Prior to earning a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from the University of Southern California, and an M.A. from Johns Hopkins, Ava Chin was a working writer and performer. As a poet and a fiction writer, she has been a featured reader on NPR and WBAI, and performed on stages at Woodstock ‘94, the Whitney Museum, the Knitting Factory, and the Nuyorican Poet’s Café. Her lyrics appeared on Soul Coughing’s 1998 release “El Oso” (Warner Bros.) Her last staff position at a magazine was as the managing editor of VIBE. She was awarded a Van Lier Fellowship for her fiction in 1996-97 from the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. Before joining CSI in 2006, she taught memoir writing at UCLA and USC. She teaches creative writing workshops, most notably in creative nonfiction, and journalism courses.


Ph.D. The University of Southern California

M.A. The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University

B.A. Queens College

Scholarship / Publications

Ava Chin
Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love & the Perfect Meal (Simon & Schuster)
1st Prize, MFK Fisher Book Award 2015
Associate Professor, City University of New York

Professor Chin is the editor of Split: Stories from a Generation Raised on Divorce (McGraw-Hill, 2002), which was described by Booklist as a "brave and insightful collection of essays." Her fiction and poetry appear in the anthologies Dick for a Day, It's Only Rock N Roll, Listen Up!, The NuyorAsian Anthology and the Asian Pacific American Journal. The American Book Review described her prose as "piquant", and the German newspaper Taz wrote "her poetry reflects the noise and heat of the New York metropolis." She has written about arts and culture for the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine, the Village Voice, the New York Post, Time Out, and Spin, among others. She writes a wild botanicals column for the New York Times City Room called the "Urban Forager.”  

Last Updated: 12/19/1016