Who am I?

A poetry pop-up at Ally Wei’s Fellows’ Collective showcase in November. Jireh sits at a table with her grandfather’s typewriter with a sign that reads, “ASK ME FOR A POEM”.

Jireh (they/them) is a queer Taiwanese/Hong Konger American poet and multimedia journalist born and raised in the San Gabriel Valley. They are currently an intern with In These Times and Janet Yang Productions while also freelancing for various publications including The Los Angeles Times and The Guardian US. They serve as the national board representative for the Asian American Journalists Association, L.A. chapter and currently co-direct AAJA national’s LGBTQIA+ affinity group. They’ve been a recipient of writing fellowships from the Key West Literary Seminar and Brooklyn Poets. They directed two short documentaries on Asian American identity in relationship to the geographies of L.A. “Mia’s Mission” and “Making Our Homes”.

Previously they interned with NPR’s Diverse Sources Database and with The Los Angeles Times‘ editorial board. Most recently they were an associate producer with CapRadio’s new podcast MidPacific on Asian American identity and a video fellow with the Asian American Journalists Association’s Voices program. Their poetry has appeared in Ada Limón’s The Slowdown, the Human Rights Campaign, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Rumpus as well as the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. Their words have appeared in local and national publications including L.A. Taco, Next City,The Washington Post, amongst other places.

Random other facts about me in no particular order.

  1. Before becoming a journalist, I dreamed of being a marine biologist and spent three months cutting shrimp to feed stingrays in respirometry trials. And before that, I fancied a career in politics and had a two-year run in student government.
  2. I was 19 years old, helping Californians divorce at my local legal self-help center. Seeing the social barriers facing my neighbors left a lasting impression on me as a young person that still informs my work today.
  3. It was in the summer of 2022 that I realized I’d never left L.A. County for longer than two to three weeks at a time??? I’m a real Angeleno through and through. Not going to lie, I’m kind of obsessed with East L.A.
  4. When I’m not busy writing, I run free poetry workshops for writers of all levels. (I usually host these in person and share them on social media.)
  5. I run a project that shares writing resources, Be(yond) the MFA.
  6. I also have a smol poetry chapbook out if you’re interested in supporting a young and struggling artist.
  7. I have a bokchoy and a dumpling tattoo amongst others.
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