Preorder A House Made of Water!

Preorder here!
Catch me on my book tour here!


Praise for A House Made of Water

A House Made of Water is a lyrical examination of daughterhood, womanhood, and Asian American identity. Elusive, but tactile, the collection wrestles beautifully with trauma and our inherited stories, seeking transformation throughout. What I love most is the intimacy of detail: the difficult weight of memory, the exquisite relief of disclosure. Lin’s debut is a document of deep feeling, in the vein of Li-Young Lee and Sylvia Plath, but told in a voice
Cathy Linh Che

Home in A House Made of Water is mythical, cultural, and intimate. Michelle Lin writes like the daughter/exile of that home; someone both buoyed and drowned by its history. In one poem she conjures Aphrodite above the sea and the Little Mermaid beneath it. Another considers the various meanings of “chink.” Lin fuses an outsider’s longing and a native’s self-possession. She is at once spirited and restrained. Her poems are stunning visions of homesickness and escape.
Terrance Hayes

In her titular poem, Michelle Lin writes: “For family, drag three dresses in a tub. Hang them up. Watch them fill with light.” Such is the experience of reading A House Made of Water: the poems here illuminate, with ecstatic precision and depth, the vagaries of family, alienation, the domestic, heartbreak,  immigration history, and trauma—they swim deftly through waters “pearled/with grief.” The language enchants with the poet’s lyrical grip, elegiac yet alive: “My instinct with softness is/the same as any other’s—to touch or/to smother. Let me hold you.” These are haunting poems, and they are elevated by wonder, the permutations of pain and joy that make up the experience of living. In A House Made of Water, Michelle Lin has crafted an astonishing, shapeshifting debut.
Sally Wen Mao

In Michelle Lin’s gorgeous debut collection, A House Made of Water, we enter the language of the dream, as if dream-space could produce its own off lexicon, its own wave-like syntax. Lin’s poetry is like a bright bloom after everything has been near dead for so long. If you want to be elevated, if you want to be transported away from the muck of the everyday and into what art can do—that bristling dimension—then read A House Made of Water. It just might save you.
Dawn Lundy Martin

SALT + BONE PRESENTS: Reading + Workshop

So. Freaking. Excited for this. 13241118_10154017495521084_5105122294083381004_n (2)

SALT+BONE (Grace Shuyi Liew + Muriel Leung) reaches the west coast and presents a WORKSHOP + READING.

The suggested donation of $3-5 for this event will help offset costs of travel. Thank you! ♥



“The Monster in Your Body”

When you can name your monsters, you kill them too. In this 2-part workshop, we will think of myths, monsters, movement, collaboration, and synergy. We will write, breathe, collaborate, and riff. Exploring visual medium and body awareness, we will experience poetry as more than verbal or written.

To participate in this writing workshop, please RSVP to



One day, a king demands his daughters to express their love for him through metaphor. A daughter writes, “I love you like salt.” “Here,” the father says, banishing her to the bottom of the ocean, “you will never run out of salt.” After all, what is salt but a capacity to wound?

In SALT+BONE: A Reading Tour, poets Muriel Leung and Grace Shuyi Liew travel across the South/West to share poetry that showcases the wateriness of identity, how bones morph to survive undersea, and how to emerge out of liminal spaces as two queer Asian American women who dwell in all the spaces in between. At this reading, they will be joined by poets Kazumi Chin and Michelle Lin.


Muriel Leung is from Queens, NY. Her writing can be found or is forthcoming in The Collagist, Fairy Tale Review, Ghost Proposal, Jellyfish Magazine, inter|rupture, and others. She is a recipient of a Kundiman fellowship and is a regular contributor to The Blood-Jet Writing Hour poetry podcast. She is also a Poetry Co-Editor of Apogee Journal. She will attend USC’s PhD program in Creative and Literature in the fall. Her first book Bone Confetti is forthcoming from Noemi Press in October 2016.

Grace Shuyi Liew is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Prop (Ahsahta) and Book of Interludes (Anomalous). Her work was chosen by Vancouver Poetry House as one of “Ten Best Poems of 2015.” Her poetry has been published in West Branch, cream city review, Puerto del Sol, and others, and she is a contributing editor for Waxwing. Grace grew up all over Malaysia and currently resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Kazumi Chin is the author of Having a Coke with Godzilla (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017). His work has appeared in GlitterMob, HEArt, Split This Rock’s Poem of the Week series, and elsewhere. His blog, GODZILIANA H8S UR COLONIAL BS can be found at he grows up, he wants to be Ariana Grande.

Michelle Lin is the author of A House Made of Water (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017). Her latest poems can be found in HEArt, Apogee, Powder Keg Magazine, and more. She has taught for the LEAPS summer program, Gluck Fellows Program for the Arts, Young Writer’s Institute, and the University of Pittsburgh. She has edited for journals Hot Metal Bridge, B.E. Quarterly, Mosaic, and now serves as Poetry Reader for Twelfth House Journal.

Public Poetry Project 2016

Late news! My poem “California” was nominated and selected by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book to be a part of its Public Poetry Project for 2016. Posters have been printed of my poem and have been distributed to local schools & libraries. Also: I have a ridiculous number of these posters, so if you’d like a copy: let’s hang out! I’ll give you one.

Also: I was unable to attend the reading and award ceremony presented by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book and the Penn State University Libraries, but had filmed this video in advance.

Many thanks to poet Alison Stine, who deeply inspired and influenced the first, winning poem “California.” Shout-out to Kazumi Chin who braved the tall grass with me, shuffling with great difficulty and patience in order to pan/track the video.

The first three poems are in my forthcoming collection “A House Made of Water” which will be out from Sibling Rivalry Press in early 2017. These poems can also be found in the following literary magazines:

Blunderbuss Magazine



The last poem is forthcoming from Dusie’s Asian American issue, curated by Cynthia Arrieu-King.

To watch more of my awkward readings, check out this page here.




Hello loves. I’ve been off the radar and neglectful to many of you, but I promise I will be back soon. heart emoticon I want to share a beautiful, important project curated by the luminous Alicia Salvadeo and Jenny Schaeffer featuring work from some of my wonderful friends, plus yours truly.

“In the spirit of the mission of Strong Women, Strong Girls (SWSG)—a non-profit organization supporting positive mentoring relationships between women and girls in underserved local communities—we aspire towards an open conversation about girlhood, engaging the imaginations and talents of adolescent and mature women writers. Our goal over the course of this year is to produce a collaborative body of work—spanning various generations, genres, forms, identities, and ideas—that will be accessible to all in an online format.”

Please read this incredible collection, including a poem by 14-year-old Kalina Pierga. I had the pleasure of responding to and collaborating with her on this round of grlhood.

Please note that grlhood is STILL OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS. Spread the word and join in!

“Girls (12-18)

We are currently accepting creative writing by girls, including and encouraging pieces by young trans writers. We ask you to send us written work—your essays, short stories, poems, dialogues, collages—that reflects your own personal concept of girlhood: how you may define girlhood, how your girlhood may define (or not define) you, your reflections on your social position as a girl, and the connection or disconnection you feel to female communities. This project is largely motivated by the idea that there is no fixed definition of girlhood: there is you.


We invite women (non-cis inclusive) artists and writers to read the work we receive from girls, and to respond to them with your own creative work. If you would like to be contacted for the response call, please e-mail, and we’ll add you to our mailing list.”

Updates PLUS I will be reading tomorrow in SF!

Hi lovelies!

My new job at API Legal Outreach has been grueling, but rewarding. The org celebrated it’s 40th anniversary last night at the California Academy of Sciences and I am so grateful to be a new part of this amazing, hard-working family. And soon, soon I will learn to balance all these facets of my new life in the Bay Area, and get my act together–meaning: I want to write poems! I need to write poems!

But for now, I’d like to share with you three poems that went live online in the past week–these are all a part of my first poetry collection forthcoming 2017 from Sibling Rivalry Press (!!!!!)

“Stone” in Animal
“Birth of Aphrodite” in Origins
“Elegy in Blank Verse” in Quaint Magazine

I am so lucky to have poems forthcoming soon in other lit mags I love dearly and respect. Keep an eye out for them here!

Last but not least, I will be READING with my partner-in-poetry Kazumi Chin at Kearny Street Workshop’s APAture festival Literary Arts Showcase. There will be so many wonderful writers present! Check out their bios and buy tickets!! Would love to see you there.

Also, be SURE to check out the other phenomenal showcases at the festival!


Join the Model Minority Mutiny

Abandon your Honorary Guard Posts.
Fight White Supremacy.
Fight Anti-Blackness.

“Anti-blackness is something that Asian/Asian Americans in the United States have historically participated in. It is not a matter that we can collapse into our “expertise” on race, racialization, and racial violence. When we use our racialization as Asian/Asian Americans to obscure anti-black violence (epistemological, physical, social and otherwise), to be an alibi for the desires of white subject positions—we are aiding whiteness. We are offering ourselves as token voices to be utilized by whiteness in its maintenance for white supremacy.”

“There is important and pressing work that those pulled under the Asian/Asian American identity by the racializing structure of America must do in order to examine and dismantle their own anti-blackness. We must acknowledge our own roles in perpetrating anti-black violence. We must educate ourselves about the myriad instantiations of anti-black violence within the legal and artistic institutions in which we participate. And this will almost always involve betraying our own privilege, abandoning our honorary guard posts, and acknowledging our own participation in that violence.”

Read the entire letter here.

SAVE THE DATE: GRLHOOD READING ONE with Tameka Cage Conley, Melissa Dias-Mandoly, Ellen McGrath Smith, and Michelle Lin

redefining the I // here I am

Thursday, 4/16
7:30 PM @ Most Wanted Fine Art


In the spirit of the mission of Strong Women, Strong Girls (SWSG)–a non-profit organization supporting positive mentoring relationships between women and girls in underserved local communities–we aspire towards an open conversation about girlhood, engaging the imaginations and talents of adolescent and mature women writers. Our goal over the course of this year is to produce a collaborative body of work—spanning various generations, genres, forms, identities, and ideas—that will be accessible to all in an online format. Please find more details about this project at the bottom of this event description.

Please be aware that this very first kickoff event is 18+. (Future events will be open to all ages. Details regarding these events, including a workshop and reading day for girls, are forthcoming.)

Cover: $5; greater donations welcome.

There will also be snacks (free) and drinks (at small charge).

*All money raised during this event will be donated to Strong Women, Strong Girls.*




Tameka Cage Conley, PhD, is a literary artist who writes poetry, fiction, and plays. She received the doctoral degree in English in 2006 from Louisiana State University, where she was a recipient of the Huel Perkins Doctoral Fellowship. In 2010, she received the August Wilson Center Fellowship in literary arts. Her first play, Testimony, was produced at the Center in May 2011. An excerpt of the play is published in the anthology 24 Gun Control Plays and has been performed in Los Angeles and the Darlinghurst Theatre Company in Sydney, Australia. Her poems are published in Callaloo, The Portable Boog Reader, African American Review, Huizache: The Magazine of Latino Literature, and a special online feature of the Southeast Review in response to the Ferguson protests that spread across the nation. An excerpt of her novel-in-progress, This Far, By Grace, is also published in Huizache. She has received writing fellowships from Cave Canem, the Vermont Studio Center, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Squaw Valley Writers Conference and Workshops. In October 2013, she received the Eben Demarest Trust grant, awarded annually to an artist or archaeologist, to support the completion of her novel-in-progress. Last month, her poem “Losing” was chosen by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book as one of four featured poems for the Public Poetry Project in 2015.


Melissa Dias-Mandoly lives in Pittsburgh with her cat, Catrick Bateman. She has two degrees in poetry and film studies, but nowhere to hang them. She currently works for the University of Pittsburgh Press, which is a book publisher, NOT a newspaper. Her work has previously appeared in PANK, Storm Cellar, Broad!, and more.


Michelle Lin is a poet from Southern California. She studied creative writing at UC Riverside, where she served as editor for the journal Mosaic. As a former Gluck fellow, she held open mics and writing workshops. She was awarded the William Henry Willis and Birk Hinderaker Poetry Awards. Her community art project “Read Me. Thank You.” received the Chancellor’s Award for Undergraduate Excellence and Creative Work. A former poetry teacher for the LEAPs Summer Program and Young Writer’s Institute, she currently teaches at the University of Pittsburgh, where she is an MFA student. Her latest work can be found in Phoebe and The Journal.


Ellen McGrath Smith teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and in the Carlow University Madwomen in the Attic program. Her writing has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Los Angeles Review, Quiddity, Cimarron, and other journals, and in several anthologies, including Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Smith has been the recipient of an Orlando Prize, an Academy of American Poets award, a Rainmaker Award from Zone 3 magazine, and a 2007 Individual Artist grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Her second chapbook, Scatter, Feed, was published by Seven Kitchens Press in the fall of 2014, and her book, Spear to Sphere, will be published this year by the West End Press.



The New Media Age seems to have facilitated more frequent and open conversations regarding the equal worth and capabilities of women in relation to men, as well as necessary criticisms of feminism’s various efforts to achieve gender parity (i.e. across different communities of color and sexuality). Yet young girls’ visibility in these conversations is often minimal. Neither mainstream media nor academic scholarship truly permits girls to actively participate in the discourse that attempts to define them within social and economic contexts. Even in spaces dedicated specifically to women’s studies are we commonly faced with a marginalization of young girls’ sexuality and gender, more so with respect to girls of color; the field of “girl studies” has only recently emerged as one warranting the same attention and energy as women’s studies.

We recognize girls as our peers in these conversations. “grlhood” aims to empower girl writers–to encourage them to share work that often gets lost or remains hidden in private diaries and notes–and allow them to witness their writing in the world, as something that demands to be heard and demands a response.

We aspire towards an open conversation about girlhood, engaging the imaginations and talents of adolescent and mature women writers.

In Spring 2015, a kickoff reading will showcase the work of women writers across genres, as well as garner interest in our project and raise further community awareness of SWSG’s mission. This event will commence a period (lasting until early Summer 2015) during which girls will submit writing that reflects their own personal concept of girlhood, including: how she may define girlhood, how her girlhood may define (or not define) her, her reflections on her social position as a girl, and her connections or disassociation with female communities. During Summer 2015, we will share these pieces with women writers and artists, who will respond with writing of their own. We will also invite participating girls and women to take part in a workshop and discussion of girlhood and writing. Our goal over the course of this year is to produce a collaborative body of work—spanning various generations, genres, forms, identities, and ideas—that will be accessible to all in an online format.

Facebook Event Page HERE.