The 2nd Annual Katherine Min Fellowship Celebration
On Wednesday, June 1, 2022, the MacDowell community and family and friends of author Katherine Min gathered for the 2nd annual Katherine Min Fellowship celebration. The Katherine Min Fellowship is an endowed fellowship awarded annually to elevate the voices of Asian American writers at MacDowell.
MacDowell Fellow Alexander Chee hosted this year's celebration from MacDowell NYC in Chelsea, Manhattan. The evening of readings and commemoration featured Jessica Shi, 2020 Katherine Min Fellow, Lisa Ko, 2021 Katherine Min Fellow, and Kayla Min Andrews, writer and daughter of Katherine Min.
Katherine Min, a writer and educator, held eight residencies at MacDowell between 1995 and 2013. During her 2001 residency, she finished the first draft of her novel Secondhand World, which was a finalist for the PEN/Bingham Prize. Along with the uninterrupted time to write, Katherine loved MacDowell for its picnic basket lunches, friendly pool games, late-night dance parties, and the opportunity to meet and share work with other artists. She cherished the lifelong friendships she made at MacDowell and was a beloved member of the MacDowell community.
In honor of the life and legacy of Katherine Min, her family and friends established the Katherine Min Fellowship for Asian American writers at MacDowell. This permanently endowed fellowship will allow MacDowell to continue to elevate Asian American voices and to strengthen relationships within the Asian American writers community.
A "house" of one's own to work with out interruptions or distraction. Peace, Quiet. Yes, MacDowell is inspiring and soul-feeding. It grounds me in the work like nothing else can, allows me to "inhabit" it fully, and this carries over into the future, always.
- Katherine Min on MacDowell, 2004
Kayla Min Andrews is Katherine Min's daughter. She lives in New Orleans where she teaches English to international students and is a member of the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance. She has been published in Asymptote (literary translation) and Halfway Down the Stairs (creative nonfiction). Her flash essay "Old Kleenex" was nominated for a Best of the Net 2020. Kayla is working on a collection of autobiographical short stories.
Alexander Chee (05, 07) is the author of the novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night, and the essay collection How to Write an Autobiographical Novel. He is the guest editor of the 2022 Best American Essays anthology, forthcoming in October 2022, a contributing editor at The New Republic and an editor at large at Virginia Quarterly Review. His essays and stories have appeared recently in The New York Times Book Review, T Magazine, The New Republic and Harper’s. Chee is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in nonfiction and a 2021 United States Artist Fellow, and a recipient of the 2003 Whiting Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in prose, a 2010 MCCA Fellowship, and residency fellowships from MacDowell, the VCCA, and Civitella Ranieri. He teaches creative writing at Dartmouth College.
Jessica Shi (20) began working on a historical novel at MacDowell about a nineteenth-century Chinese American family in California. Set in San Francisco during Chinese Exclusion, the novel explores family life, inter-generational relationships, ancestry, and how the Chinese undertook one of the earliest mass civil rights movements in the United States. Jessica is also finishing a collection of short stories that explore migration, lineage, and questions of identity and belonging among first-generation Chinese Americans. Prior to transitioning into full-time writing, Jessica has held two decade-long careers. From 2010 to 2019, she owned a yoga and spine health studio in Emeryville, California. From 1999 to 2009, she worked for JPMorgan Chase on Wall Street and in Asia Pacific, holding positions in Internal Consulting, Private Banking, Investment Banking Strategy and Business Development.
Lisa Ko is the author of The Leavers, which was a national bestseller and a 2017 National Book Award for Fiction finalist, won the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, and was a finalist for the 2018 PEN/Hemingway Award. Her short fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories and her essays and nonfiction in The New York Times, The Believer, and elsewhere. Her second novel is forthcoming from Riverhead Books. She is the recipient of fellowships from Hedgebrook, MacDowell, the Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada, Ucross, Blue Mountain Center, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, among others, and has taught creative writing in many settings. She lives in New York City.