Becoming Realer: Re-Claiming Asian America

Becoming Realer: Identity, Craft and the MFA is a column that explores issues of poetry, theory and writing craft in relation to the personal experiences of Saint Mary’s College of California Creative Writing MFA candidate and LR staff writer, Kelsay Myers.

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K Awareness Campaign circa 2008 | Graphics by Nina Reyes

“My [writing] is a testament to who I am and what I have lived. It is a process of becoming a student, a teacher, an activist, and an Asian American woman. I was forced to pick up the pen as a weapon and wield it in a fight against the oppression of my people, to become a voice for those of us who are unable or unwilling to speak.”

I wrote those words in the introduction to my Senior Individualized Project (SIP) at Kalamazoo College called, “Creating History and Spaces: The Making of an Asian American Woman in Zuihitsu.” That’s still what I want to do with my writing—create personal and political history , expose it, re-frame it and carve new spaces for people who have been left out or overlooked. I want my writing to make a difference in the world. It should make a statement that will reach others, even though I am ultimately writing for myself.

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