This year, during my first year as a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America, I signed up to experience my first-ever Nebula Awards Weekend. At the Nebulas, I met some amazing authors, one of them being the very sparkly and fabulous Alethea Kontis. Afterwards she invited me to an online interview, and here are my answers, in prose and haiku, because that’s what I sometimes do. Thank you, Alethea, for your great questions!
The first issue of Interfictions is online and available to read! The fiction, poetry, and nonfiction is all quite stunning in its range of speculativeness. I’m honored to have my translation & song set “A Pentatonic Moon” published within their poetry section. You can read and listen to “A Pentatonic Moon” here!
I’m so pleased to finally share that Sofia Samatar has purchased A Pentatonic Moon for the first issue of Interfictions, a new interstitial magazine. A Pentatonic Moon consists of five ancient Chinese poems, all about the moon and each written by a different Chinese poet (a total of 2 women and 3 men) who lived during the Tang Dynasty, over 1,000 years ago. After I co-translated these poems, I set the English text using the pentatonic scale to 5-part choral music for treble voices. It was also my honor to have the amazing San Francisco Choral Artists perform the first two (Moon and Moonlight) earlier this year. A Pentatonic Moon is one of my favorite creations of 2012, and I’m delighted it has found a home at Interfictions!
AS A WRITER
Emily Jiang is the author of Summoning the Phoenix: Poems & Prose about Chinese Musical Instruments, illustrated by April Chu and published by Shen’s Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books. Emily holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Saint Mary’s College of California and a BA in English from Rice University. She is also a graduate of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop, the Chautauqua Writers’ Conference, the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, and the VONA/Voices of Our Nation Workshop. In other words, she is an over-educated writer. Her fiction has won several awards, including Top Prose Prize in The Binnacle’s Ultra Short Competition, First Place in the Tom Howard/John Reid Short Story Contest, and the Sue Alexander Award for Most Promising New Manuscript from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Her poetry has been published in Stone Telling, Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit, The Cascadia Subduction Zone, and The Moment of Change anthology of feminist speculative poetry. She wrestles with words everyday. Sometimes she wins. Other times, it’s a draw.
AS A MUSICIAN AND COMPOSER
Emily Jiang plays piano in a piano trio and sings and solos with the award-winning Peninsula Women’s Chorus and its small ensemble Alla Breve. The recipient of a Thera Rabinowich Award for Musicianship and Community Service, Emily co-founded The Rice Philharmonics, the university’s first co-ed student a cappella group. Since then, she has sung in several a cappella groups and played piano in small chamber ensembles. Her musical influences range from Western classical composers like Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Debussy, Rossini, Rachmanioff to Broadway composers like Stephen Sondheim, Claude-Michel Schonberg, Alan Menkin, and Andrew Lloyd Webber to Chinese pop songs of the late 20th century and Korean pop songs of the early 21st century. Her favorite contemporary choral composers include Kirke Mechem, Brian Holmes, Joan Szymko, Javier Busto, Alberto Grau, Stacy Garrop, Ron Jeffers, Veljo Tormis, Chen Yi, and Libby Larsen. Her compositions range from art songs to chamber music to piano solo works, though her primary musical focus is choral music for treble and mixed voices, since she delights in the challenge of setting words to song.