1.27.2012

angry reader of the week: melissa hung



Hey everybody. Gather 'round to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Melissa Hung.

Who are you?
I am Melissa Hung. I am hungry all the time.

What are you?
The daughter of Chinese immigrants, the eldest of three. I think birth order has a lot to do with who you become, and in my case, I became bossy and about getting stuff done.

Where are you?
San Francisco. I moved to the Bay Area 10 years ago and it grew on me.

Where are you from?
Texas. I grew up in hot, humid Houston and spent many summers in hot, dry El Paso where my grandparents ran a small grocery store. For them, it was incredibly hard work. But for me as a grandchild, it was fun, because I could eat as many sweets and snacks as I wanted when my parents weren’t looking.

What do you do?
Write, edit, curate, educate. I am the director of WritersCorps, a program that hires and trains writers to teach creative writing to young people. We don’t have a center; instead, we go out to the communities where the youth live or go to school.

I co-founded Hyphen and was the editor in chief for its first five years. I am still involved with it. We are celebrating our 10th anniversary this summer, and it amazes me how far we’ve come on volunteer power. Being part of a volunteer-run nonprofit media organization can be frustrating because of the lack of resources, but the Hyphen family continually inspires me with their dedication and creativity.

Once a year I also curate a small festival in Houston dedicated to Asian American short films. Feature films are sexy, but I just love shorts. I love coming upon up-and-coming artists and sharing their work with an audience. I love how someone can tell a great story in 10 minutes.

And on occasion, I make stop-motion animations. I might try my hand at some live action this year.

What are you all about?
Empowering people to be seen and to make their voices heard, whether it’s Asian Americans bringing light to issues in their community or encouraging young people to speak up for themselves.

Trying to be a good friend.

Organizing things. I have a compulsion to find a place for everything and to keep my surroundings neat. Sometimes I can’t think when things are not in their places. The best gift a friend ever gave me was a label maker.

Also, food. I love to eat. Sometimes, I even write haiku about it.

What makes you angry?
A lot of things. Leaving Asian Americans out of discussions about race. Blaming teachers for the sad state of our educational system. Hating or being afraid of others because they are different from you. People who are all talk and no action. Drivers who don’t signal turns or who brake a lot. I have a lot of complaints, but I try to harness my anger for good. That’s one reason I got involved with Hyphen. I was angry about the lack of nuanced stories about Asian Americans in the media, so I decided to do something about it.

(photo credit: Seng Chen)