Amanda Mei Kim

Amanda Mei Kim is a Japanese/Korean American who writes about culture, nature, and power in the lives of rural Californians of color. She is a Steinbeck Fellow and a California Arts Council Emerging Artist Fellow. She has published in Brick, LitHub, PANK, Eastwind Magazine, the New York Times’ Tiny Love Stories, and Nonwhite and Woman—an anthology of BIPOC women writing. She volunteered as the media director for the Crystal City Pilgrimage Committee. She has completed residencies at Mesa Refuge, Yefe Nof, the Fine Arts Work Center and Hedgebrook. Amanda grew up on a tenant farm in Saticoy, CA.

Updated December 2022

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Dear Sosobo

Dear Sosobo, Let me begin with an apology. I didn’t know what to call you; I had to look it up in a Japanese-English dictionary: sosobo. I’m sure I’ve never heard this word before. I would have remembered its rhythm, like the chorus of a children’s song, so-so-bo. Why didn’t I know this word? Perhaps we are too American and fooling ourselves when we think we have cultural pride, when we dance at Obon, celebrate Oshо̄gatsu, or light incense on family shrines. Maybe there’s something else we are missing, closer to our core, everyday things, like the word for …

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