Literary Panels

Panelist Bios

Southeast Asia between Art and Anthropology: May 5, 2022 5pm-6pm PDT


Writer Sunisa Manning. Speaker for the event Southeast Asia between Art and AnthropologySunisa Manning was born and raised in Bangkok by Thai and American parents. Her first novel, A Good True Thai, is about young people organizing against a dictatorship. It was a finalist for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize for Southeast Asian writers. It was published in Southeast Asia in September 2020 and went into a second printing in February 2021.

Read an excerpt from Sunisa’s novel A Good True Thai, and find more samples of Sunisa’s writing on her website and in the Thai Enquirer.

Poet and translator ko ko thett. Speaker at the event Southeast Asia between Art and Anthropologyko ko thett is a poet, poetry translator, and poetry editor for Mekong Review. thett has published and edited several collections of poetry and translations in both Burmese and English. His poems are widely translated and anthologized. His translation work has been recognised with an English PEN award. thett’s most recent poetry collection is Bamboophobia (Zephyr Press, 2022). He lives in Norwich, UK.

Read samples of his poetry.

Writer Tiffany Tsao. Speaker at the event Southeast Asia between Art and AnthropologyTiffany Tsao is a writer and literary translator of Chinese Indonesian descent. She is the author of three novels, the most recent of which is The Majesties. She has translated five book-length works, the latest being Budi Darma’s People From Bloomington. Her translations of Norman Erikson Pasaribu’s writing have been longlisted for the International Booker Prize and shortlisted for NSW Premier’s Translation Prize and the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses. Photo by Leah Diprose

Read samples of her writing and translation.


Assistant Professor Nazry Bahrawi. Moderator of literature panel Southeast Asia between Art and AnthropologyNazry Bahrawi is assistant professor of Southeast Asian literature and culture at the University of Washington. He is a critic and translator and most recently editor of Singa-Pura-Pura: Malay Speculative Fiction from Singapore (Ethos Books, 2021). Nazry is an editor-at-large at Wasafiri magazine and the essay & research editor for the Journal of Practice, Research and Tangential Activities (PR&TA).

Read Professor Bahrawi’s Tujuh and The Colonial Art of Telling Tales.

How Southeast Asia imagines itself in Creative Practice: May 13, 2022 5pm-6pm PDT


Wahid Al Mamun. Speaker on the panel How Southeast Asia imagines itself in Creative PracticeWahid Al Mamun is a Singaporean poet studying anthropology at the University of Chicago. Wahid’s poetry is concerned with the intersections of family, migration, and intimacy. He has featured in writers’ festivals in Singapore and Melbourne, and his works and translations have appeared in Cordite, PR&TA Journal, QLRS, and Food Republic. Notably, Wahid hates string cheese.


Jen Soriano. Speaker on the panel How Southeast Asia imagines itself in Creative PracticeJen Soriano is a nonbinary Filipinx-American writer, independent scholar, and social movement strategist based in Seattle, WA. She is the author of the chapbook of lyric essays and prose poems “Making the Tongue Dry” and a full-length collection of essays forthcoming from Amistad Books in 2023. Jen writes about mental health, colonialism, and social justice issues at large, and strives to share marginalized experiences and perspectives through an artistic lens.


Sharmini Aphrodite. Speaker on the panel How Southeast Asia imagines itself in Creative PracticeSharmini Aphrodite was born in Kota Kinabalu and raised between the cities of Johor Bahru and Singapore. Her short fiction has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and placed on the Australian Book Review Jolley Prize. Her essays on art, literature and history can be found online. She is the Submissions Editor for Smokelong Quarterly and the Fiction Editor for the literary journal SUSPECT.


Marc Nair. Moderator of the panel How Southeast Asia imagines itself in Creative PracticeMarc Nair is a poet and photographer from Singapore. His works bear witness to beauty, truth and hope. He has published and edited twelve books of poetry and is the co-founder and principal photographer of Mackerel, an online culture magazine. He is a recipient of the 2016 Young Artist Award. His latest collection is Sightlines (2019, Math Paper Press), a collaboration of travel photography and poetry with Tay Tsen-Waye, a film photographer. Marc holds a PhD from RMIT University.