Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a journalist, essayist, speaker, activist, and poet focused on issues of diversity, race, culture, and the arts. The child of immigrants, she was born in Los Angeles, raised in Silicon Valley, and now divides her time between Michigan and the Big Island of Hawai‘i. She has worked in philosophy, ethnic new media, anthropology, international development, nonprofits, and small business start-ups. Her writing has appeared at NBC News Asian America, PRI Global Nation, New America Media, Pacific Citizen, Angry Asian Man, Cha Asian Literary Journal, Kartika Review, Drunken Boat, and several anthologies, journals, and art exhibitions. She teaches courses on Asian/Pacific Islander American media and civil rights at University of Michigan, and she teaches creative writing at University of Hawaii Hilo and Washtenaw Community College. She co-created a multimedia artwork for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Indian American Heritage Project online and travelling art exhibition. She is a 2019 Knight Arts Challenge Detroit winner, Marguerite Casey Foundation Equal Voice Journalism Fellow on Poverty, and Keith Center for Civil Rights Detroit Equity Action Lab Race and Justice Reporting Fellow on Arts and Culture. franceskaihwawang.com @fkwang

Longer bio:
Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a second-generation Chinese American from California who now divides her time between Michigan and Hawai‘i. She has worked in philosophy, anthropology, international development, nonprofits, small business start-ups, and ethnic new media. She is a contributor and essayist for NBC News Asian America, PRI Global Nation, and other media outlets. She has also written for AAPIVoices.com, NewAmericaMedia.org, ChicagoIsTheWorld.org, JACL’s PacificCitizen.org, InCultureParent.com, MIAsian, and Michigan History Magazine. Before that, she was the arts and culture editor of IMDiversity.com Asian American Village for many years, she wrote a column called “Adventures in Multicultural Living” originating out of AnnArbor.com and AnnArborChronicle.com, and syndicated nationally. She has been Executive Director of American Citizens for Justice and Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce. She teaches Asian/ Pacific Islander American civil rights, history, film, and media at University of Michigan. She teaches creative writing at University of Hawaii Hilo and Washtenaw Community College. She is a popular speaker on Asian Pacific American, race, diversity, culture, parenting, social justice, and social media issues. She has published three chapbooks of prose poetry, Imaginary Affairs—Postcards from an Imagined Life and Where the Lava Meets the Sea—Asian Pacific American Postcards from Hawai‘i and Dreams of the Diaspora. Her poems have been included in several poetry journals, anthologies, and art exhibitions, including Cha Asian Literary Journal, Kartika Review, Ricepaper, and Drunken Boat. She has created a multimedia artwork with Jyoti Omi Chowdhury entitled, “Dreams of the Diaspora,” as part of a Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Indian American Heritage Project online and travelling art exhibition. She is a 2019 Knight Arts Challenge Detroit winner, Marguerite Casey Foundation Equal Voice Journalism Fellow on Poverty, and Keith Center for Civil Rights Detroit Equity Action Lab Race and Justice Reporting Fellow on Arts and Culture.
Check out her web site at franceskaihwawang.com, and she can be reached at fkwang888 AT gmail DOT com or on Twitter fkwang.

Supershort bio:
Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a journalist, essayist, speaker, and poet focused on issues of diversity, race, culture, and the arts. She has a weakness for a well-crafted argument and a lyrical turn of phrase. franceskaihwawang.com


angryasianman.com angry reader of the week: frances kai-hwa wang

Watermelon Sushi World: Multi-Culti Info Goddess by Yayoi Winfrey

Asian Americans Advancing Justice Q&A with Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Pact Press Writing Times with Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

What People are Saying:

"At this time, I would like to express my mad crush on Frances Kai-Hwa Wang."
--Angry Asian Man Phil Yu

"I like you Frances Kai-Hwa Wang"
--Kristina Wong, performance artist

"my homegirl, that scholarly, witty, and charismatic Asian-American no limit soulja"
--Jie-Song Zhang, Producer and Director of international arts & cultural exchange projects; Violinist

"Your coolness quotient just exploded through the roof."
--Harry Lin, Idealab, Asian American Journalists Association, ubercool tech startup guru

“If I had a lost love—imaginary or real—I would want Frances to be mine. Her writing is heartfelt, eloquent, and nostalgic all at once. Frances possesses the ability to reach deep within the soul to speak on her heart's behalf—no matter how tormented, broken, and hopeful it may be. You will get what it is she is sharing.”
—Lac Su, author of I Love Yous Are for White People (HarperCollins, 2009)

“With echoes of Sei Shonagon and Li Bai, Frances Kai-Hwa Wang has created a contemporary pillow book of sensual longing, heartache, erotic impulse, and wry wit. Her book is to be savored like dark chocolate on a moonlit night.”
—May-lee Chai, author of Hapa Girl and Dragon Chica

“Imaginary Affairs is a must-read for any woman who has experienced unfulfilled love and heartache. Through a series of vignettes and short poems, Frances Kai Hwa Wang finds beauty and hope in the most unlikely of places in her search for love and desire. Her words of yearning will speak to your heart.”
—Dr. Kate Agathon, Curator, CommUNITY and ImaginAsian Identity and Experience in Contemporary Asian Pacific America Art Exhibit

Frances, I read your book on the plane going home. You are so brave. Such a romantic too! My favorite line: "What would it mean to have you coursing through the arteries of my life?"
--Betty Ming Liu on "Imaginary Affairs--Postcards from an Imagined Life"

Where the Lava Meets the Sea—Asian Pacific American Postcards from Hawai‘i, in the vein of Maxine Hong Kingston’s essays in Hawai‘i One Summer, enters into the complexity of Asian America’s romance with the mythical racial 'promised land' of Hawai‘i. The pain and longing of life on the continent meets the wondrous, dynamic world of Hawaii’s Puna Coast.”
—Dr. Susan Najita, Associate Professor in the Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies Program in the Department of American Culture and the Department of English, University of Michigan

"Frances, what a terrific and unsurprising body of work you have created!!!! After reading your websites, you are in the forefront of globalization, albeit a personal way."
--Larry Voight, President, Catholic Social Services

"(The article is) absolutely beautiful....I am touched by your ability to write so bravely and honestly. You have to decide how much you are willing to let the whole wide world see!"
--Professor Sujata Shetty, University of Toledo

"I want to thank you for the wonderful, effective presentation you gave last evening at our International Dinner. Speaking to such a diverse, complex audience - students from China/students from 20 other countries/ and non-student friends of our Center - you spoke to everyone. The authenic way you spoke from your own life story was compelling and challenging - urging us all to seek the resilient strength-in-community that comes from honoring and welcoming the unique, diverse gifts of others, and affirmng our deep, common humanity."
--Roger Pohl, University of Michigan Ecumenical Center and International Residence

sean miura ‏@seanmiura15 Jun
Real, untweetable talk from @fkwang. #V3con #v3activism

May-lee Chai ‏@mayleechai17 May
@fkwang @somarts Your poem for "Navigating the underCurrents" was awesome and inspiring, Frances! #AsianAmerican #poetry

Christina Lam ‏@AsianDorkkk7 Apr
@fkwang I enjoyed your workshop on becoming badass. :)

cayden ‏@cayden6 Apr
Advice from @fkwang: unlearn politeness. Practice being tactful in calling out ish and de-escalate, create learning moments. #MAASUsc2013

18millionrising ‏@18millionrising6 Apr
.@fkwang also suggests: let's stand up for each other, standing up is right, and point out ignorance if it occurs. #MAASUsc2013

 Keith Kamisugi ‏@KeithPR23 Jun 12
@fkwang = awesome

Kevin Lien ‏@kevinlien8 Apr 12
@rrrlisarrr @fkwang @akufuncture @baohausnyc @mochimag @_jasonylee @hochie71 FRANCESSSS <3 o:p="">

lisa lee ‏@rrrlisarrr8 Apr 12
@fkwang i think everyone will agree with me that you rock! right? @akufuncture @kevinlien @baohausnyc @mochimag @_jasonylee @hochie71

Angry Asian Man ‏@angryasianman2 Apr 12
@fkwang Of course! I hope your kids are aware of how awesome you are.

Angry Asian Man ‏@angryasianman14 Feb 12
@fkwang Your daughter is seriously awesome.

APASC ‏@apascusf28 Oct 11
Yes we are! RT: @angryasianman: @fkwang Lucky USF students!

Advancing Justice ‏@JusticeConf28 Oct 11
@fkwang Thanks for coming out here and happy travels! Loved hearing your thoughts on the social media panel yesterday.

Tracy NC ‏@AfterBruce2 Mar 11
@fkwang you were amazing at #banana2 thank you!

Angry Asian Man ‏@angryasianman26 Feb 11
This panel on activism is pretty darn awesome. #banana2

Hungry Pandas ‏@Twohungrypandas26 Feb 11
"Learn fr online porn & use their stereotypes against them"-Frances Kai Hwa Wang of Adventure in Multicultural Living #banana2

Emil Guillermo ‏@emilamok26 Feb 11
Best advice for bloggers at #banana2: "learn from on-line porn."

Angry Asian Man ‏@angryasianman26 Feb 11
I have a crush on Frances Kai-Hwa Wang. #banana2

"Who ever thought of dressing up like a bag of rice for Halloween? Or hanging red envelopes on the Christmas Tree? How about making felt "play dim sum" pieces for the play kitchen in everyone's playroom? Frances Kai-Hwa Wang has thought of these things and a thousand more -- all were amazed by her creativity, energy and love for her family and respect for its beginnings and unique culture."
--Council of Asian Pacific Americans http://capa-mi.org/main.php?p=p_cultural0512

You are always beautiful, intelligent, and creative as always with your talks. Last night was no exception!...You always do good! Cheers,
--Dr. Diana Wong, Eastern Michigan University School of Business

You're a real powerhouse so I'm glad you're willing to be recruited into this effort!
--Dr. Martin Powers, University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies

"Now who was it appeared in full color the other night on public access tv? Who I could brag about to my new beau, saying, "Well, whaddya know, that's my cool friend, Frances!"? It was amazing to me that, while speaking publicly, there was not one iota of difference in your demeanor from the Frances I've known, which is to say, you're a complete natural. And I wholeheartedly applauded everything you were saying, too. Bravissimo!"
--Ann Crawford, musician

Dear Frances,
Just wanted to thank you again for your presentation. You will be pleased to know that yesterday (Tuesday) I met with my first graders and we talked about China and the Lunar New Year. They remembered all of your stories and information. We read "D is for Dragon Boat" which is a pretty simple ABC book, or was until they started adding in all that they learned. It was wonderful. Clearly they will remember your presentation for a long time. Several of them said that they had been talking about the stories at home and that their parents had learned something new from them. When we got to the page with dumplings, at least half of the group was participating in retelling the story of the silver ingots that came from the dumplings thrown in the fire. So, when you ask if just recounting the stories the way you did worked, I would say that the resounding answer would have to be YES. Thank you for the marvelous presentation. A good time was had by all.
--Linda Lakshminarayan, Emerson School Librarian

The first time I heard your talk was 7 years ago (yes, 7) at (University of Michigan) Children Center. It has gotten so much more sophisticated and with visual aids in PowerPoint, too. I love the way you began. What a clear illustration of cultural differences!
--Dr. Tzywen Gong, University of Michigan

On behalf of the King PTO, we wanted to express our appreciation to you for the recent presentation at King School on Multicultural toolbox. It was extremely informative, parents and staff from diverse backgrounds hopes to incorporate the practical tools and strategies you illustrated. Your presentation was excellent and was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. We appreciate you sharing your time, talent and expertise with us. Sincerely,
--Maneesha Gulati, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School PTO Educational Enrichment Coordinator

Just want to say thanks again for a great presentation last night. I know you felt a bit rushed but you really did a great job. I learned a lot and felt inspired, too. Thanks for last night and your overall contribution to the King community.
--Laurie Barnett, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School PTO President

Your presentation last night was very informative. I got a lot out of it. Thank you. I was wondering if there is information I could share with other principals/PTOs who may be interested in a similar presentation.
--Kevin Karr, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School Principal

Thank you very much for all your work on creating and presenting such a great performance.
--Will Hathaway, Ann Arbor Area Families with Children from China

I just want to take a moment and thank you again for helping us with the Chinese New Year celebration. We received wonderful feedback about all of the performers...Your son was so cute, too!
--Ron Sayer, Ann Arbor Area Families with Children from China

The Pan-Asian New Year's event was very successful and I was truly impressed. You did a fabulous job in hosting the event.
--Dr. Andrew Fang, Michigan Taiwanese American Association

We all agree that you are amazing! Amazingly efficient and capable and beautiful! Ann Arbor (not just King School or Chinese School) is so lucky to have you! Thank you for sharing your talent and time with the community.
--Dr. Tzywen Gong, Michigan Taiwanese American Association

From elementary students at Ann Arbor Academy:

Dear Ms. Wang, Thank you for teaching us about the Chinese Moon Festival. I thought it was very nice to come in and have us do a little play. I thought doing the play was fun. Maybe some time we will meet again. Sincerely, S.

Dear Ms. Wang, Thank you for the lovely presentation. I enjoyed being a queen very much. I also enjoyed the stories a lot. Sincereoly, K.

Dear Ms. Wang, Thank you for visiting us. you are a good storyteller. Please come again. Sincerely, J.

Dear Ms. Wang, thank you for coming to our class and telling us stories about the moon. It was fun and funny. I liked it. Sincerely, P!

Dear Ms. Wang, Thank you for coming to tell us about China, and also letting us play with the dress up stuff. It was fun. Please come again to our school. Sincerly, E.