No Tokens Issue 5: Launch Celebration
Tuesday April 26, 2016
On April 26, we hosted a reading featuring No Tokens contributors Wo Chan, Tony Y. Fu, Mary Gaitskill, Muna Gurung, Kirsten Major, Nkosi Nkululeko, Shelly Oria, Nelly Reifler, David Ryan, Michael Sharick, Bud Smith, and Sofi Stambo.
About No Tokens
No Tokens is a biannually published journal celebrating work that is felt in the spine. We are run entirely by women and non-binary people, and we are dedicated to featuring the words and artwork of all voices of the past, present, and future. We are here to keep stories alive. We are here to make a physical object to hold in your hands. We are paying attention.
Wo Chan is a queer Fujianese poet and drag performer. A recipient of fellowships from the Asian American Writers Workshop, Poets House, Kundiman, and Lambda Literary, Wo’s work has been published in cream city review, Cortland Review, VYM Magazine, and elsewhere. Wo is a member of the Brooklyn-based drag alliance, Switch n’ Play, and has performed at venues including Brooklyn Pride, The Trevor Project, and the Architectural Digest Expo.
Tony Y. Fu is presently biking between Mt. Pyre and Lilycove City. They are working toward the Rain badge and training a team strong enough to challenge the Elite Four. On weekends, they attend pilates mat classes at the Lab, a cozy fitness studio in DUMBO with complimentary towels and two gender-neutral changing rooms that always smell of flowers. We might as well start somewhere. Tonight perhaps rain and in two seasons the Perseids will arrive, meteors dragging across the sky like the finger movements of a promise made with clumsy sincerity.
Mary Gaitskill published the story collection Bad Behavior in 1988; since then she's written two more collections of stories (Because They Wanted To and Don't Cry), and three novels, Two Girls, Fat and Thin, Veronica and most recently The Mare.
Muna Gurung splits her time between Kathmandu and NYC. Her fiction and translated works have appeared in Words Without Borders, The Margins, HimanSouthasian, VelaMag and Lalit. She received her MFA from Columbia University, where she was a teaching fellow. Muna currently directs a high school writing center in NYC, where her students help her discover America through activities such as eating an entire packet of “Sour Patch Kids” while writing about the flavour blue. Muna also founded KathaSatha, an organisation that fosters a public writing and storytelling culture in Nepal.
Kirsten Major has had fiction and essays appear in Crannog, The Rake, Chelsea, and Berkeley Fiction Review, and the podcast series The Other Stories. She holds an MFA from Cornell University and has recently completed a short story collection. She was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and currently resides in New York City.
Nkosi Nkululeko, the 2016 NYC Youth Poet Laureate, is a Callaloo Fellow. He has been nominated for the American Voices Award, Independent Best American Poetry, and Pushcart Prize. His work is currently published in No Tokens, Rose Red Review, Hobart, and elsewhere. He lives in Harlem, New York.
Shelly Oria was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Israel. Her fiction has appeared in McSweeney's and The Paris Review among many other places, and has won a number of awards, including the Indiana Review Fiction Prize. Her short story collection, New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 (FSG and Random House Canada, 2014) earned nominations for a Lambda Literary Award, a Goldie Award, and the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction. A MacDowell Fellow in 2012 and 2014, Shelly teaches fiction at Pratt Institute, where she co-directed the Writers' Forum from 2011 to 2014. New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 was recently translated into Hebrew and published in Israel by Keter Publishing.
Nelly Reifler is the author of a story collection, See Through, and a novel, Elect H. Mouse State Judge. Her stories have appeared in McSweeney's, BOMB, jubilat, Story, and Lucky Peach, among others, and anthologized in books such as Lost Tribe: Jewish Fiction from the Edge and Found Magazine's Requiem for a Paper Bag. A Recommendations editor at Post Road, she teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Saugerties, New York.
David Ryan is the author of Animals in Motion (Roundabout Press). His fiction has appeared in Esquire, Fence, Tin House, Electric Literature, BOMB, the Mississippi Review, Denver Quarterly, Alaska Quarterly Review, Booth, WW Norton's Flash Fiction Forward, and elsewhere. You can read more about him at www.davidwryan.com.
Michael Sharick holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College. His fiction has appeared in Conveyor and Lumina. He serves as Technical Director for the Picasso Machinery performing arts series in Williamsburg. Sometimes, Michael tells people that he’d rather be fishing, but that’s not true. Also, the nanobots are coming to get you. Michael lives in Prospect Heights with his wife and son.
Bud Smith is the author of the novels F 250 and I'm From Electric Peak, among others. He works heavy construction in refineries and power plants. He lives in NYC. www.budsmithwrites.com
Sofi Stambo won the first prize in fiction in 2015 SLS Disquiet literary contest. She was a finalist in the American Short Fiction contest. She has a Master’s degree in Literature from Sofia University St. K. Ohridski, Bulgaria and was a graduate student in Literature at City College New York. Sofi Stambo had been published by Promethean, Ep;phany, The Kenyon Review, The MacGuffin, New Letters, Fourteen Hills, New England Review, Stand, American Short Fiction, Guernica and AGNI. Two more of her stories are pending publication by The Lifted Brow and The Avalon Review.