More White House Visits!

Michelle Obama in a sleeveless dress stands at a podium speaking in the White House. Behind her is a portrait of Abraham Lincoln.

I thought that my visit to the White House in the fall was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But lucky me, I was invited back! In May, I once again represented San Francisco WritersCorps at the White House, this time with four students in tow.


Our little group of students was part of a larger group of 77 young writers from all around the country who had been invited to participate in a poetry workshop featuring well-known writers. We got to see the first lady speak, ask questions of Billy Collins and Rita Dove, and hear Aimee Mann perform “Save Me” in the White House’s State Dining Room. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of POTUS this time, but alas, not to be.

Rather than go on about the details, I will just refer you to some reflections written by two of the students on the trip: Raeme, who got a chance to read her poem in the White House, and Anna, who was visiting DC for the first time. Also, here is a local TV news story about our trip, which is reported in rhyming couplets.

But wait, there’s more White House news! The following month, Hyphen was invited to the White House! On June 22, my Hyphen colleagues Irene (the executive director) and Chris (our new publisher) represented us at the president’s meet and greet with Asian American community leaders. Here is Irene’s “Hyphen Guide to a White House Visit” about the experience. Crazy to think that this little scrappy magazine I helped start nine years ago and struggled to keep alive is not only alive and well, but being recognized by the White House!

The Author

writer & journalist