Nishanth Injam is a fiction writer from Telangana, India. He has an MFA from the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program where he is currently a Zell fellow. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in VQR and The Georgia Review.

When I think about my own experiences trying to write in this country, a lot of my difficulties had to do with the experience of immigration, with being an ‘other’ in a landscape I didn’t know how to read, and with not having access to a community of writers. The few times I got workshopped, I’d spend a lot of time sifting through feedback, trying to navigate the differences between a critique that originates from a distinctly American lens and a truly valuable comment that helps me grow as a writer. And that is something I continue to struggle with, this question of how to preserve the integrity of your work while locating it in a larger American context.

Karolina Letunova was born and raised in Western Siberia. She earned her MFA at the University of Michigan where she is currently a Zell Fellow. Her short fiction appears in Cosmonauts Avenue. She lives in Northern California and is working on a novel.

To leave home is to carry the homeland and its people inside you for the rest of your life. To writers this presents particular issues on the page, of craft, intent, and audience. I’m interested in how we can both claim home in our writing and cope with its absence.