Memoir Award: MING LAUREN HOLDEN

“The story we need to hear right now in the only voice that can tell it.”
—Lidia Yuknavitch, Memoir Award Judge

Winner of Bellingham Review‘s 49th Parallel Poetry Award, Chattahoochee Review‘s Lamar York Nonfiction Prize and Glimmer Train‘s Family Matters Fiction Prize, MING HOLDEN is a writer, translator, activist, editor, teacher, humanitarian aid and development worker, and theater artist. She was invited by the United States Embassy to Suriname on a diplomatic speaking engagement under the U.S. Speakers Program to speak about creative writing and theater as tools for empowerment for Women’s History Month in 2014. (Here is the U.S. government press release.) In 2011, she founded the Survival Girls, a self-sustaining theater group for young Congolese women in the slums of Nairobi. Her book about the experience, the nonfiction novella  The Survival Girls, came out in 2013 through Wolfram Productions. Ming also won the USAID worldwide essay contest for inclusion in the USAID Frontiers in Development publication alongside work by Bill Gates, Indra Noori, Paul Collier, and others. Her essay about the Survival Girls got some love from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself in the book’s introduction!  (Ming’s writing about the Girls was also nominated for the AWP Intro Award for Nonfiction.)

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