Hyphen (magazine)

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Hyphen's award-winning cover for Issue 7
Editor-in-ChiefKarissa Chen
Editor-in-ChiefDorothy Santos
CategoriesAsian American
FounderMelissa Hung
Year founded2002
First issueJune 2003; 15 years ago (2003-06)
CountryUnited States
Based inSan Francisco, California

Hyphen is an American print and online magazine, founded in 2002 by a group of San Francisco Bay Area journalists, activists, and artists including Melissa Hung, a former reporter for the Houston Press and East Bay Express; Claire Light, former executive director at Kearny Street Workshop; Yuki Tessitore, of Mother Jones; Mia Nakano, photojournalist, filmmaker Jennifer Huang, and Stefanie Liang, a graphic designer from Red Herring magazine. Its advisory board includes notable Asian American journalists such as Helen Zia and Nguyen Qui Duc, the host of Pacific Time. The first issue was released in June 2003.[1][2][3] Hyphen is one of several Asian American media ventures created in the wake of A Magazine's demise.[4]

Shortly after its release, the publication was sharply criticized by AsianWeek columnist Emil Guillermo who theorized that Hyphen's young editors were arrogant, ashamed of their Asian heritage, and disrespectful of existing ethnic media in his weekly column.[5] He later said that he had not actually read the magazine.[6]

The magazine's first issue contained a story package on the history of Asian American community activism. Its content is decidedly to the left, feminist, and non-mainstream. Its coverage includes politics, arts, and pop culture.

In 2004, the magazine was nominated for an Utne Independent Press Award for Best New Title.[7] In January 2006, Hyphen's Body Issue won the Independent Press Association's Best Cover award for an image of an Asian American man, Yusuke Miyashita, partially submerged in a bathtub full of edamame.[8] Mr. Hyphen, a pageant created by the magazine to showcase more positive images of Asian American men, debuted in May 2006.[9] In the fall of 2007, the magazine received its second nomination for an Utne Independent Press Award, this time for Best Design.[10]

Started in 2007, Hyphen Magazine partnered with The Asian American Writers' Workshop to start a short story contest called the Hyphen Asian American Short Story Contest, the only national, pan-Asian American writing competition of its kind.[11] Previous winners include Preeta Samarasan, Sunil Yapa, Shivani Manghnani, and Timothy Tau. Previous judges include Porochista Khakpour, Yiyun Li, Alexander Chee, Jaed Coffin, Brian Leung, Monique Truong and Monica Ferrell.

On May 5, 2010, Hyphen and the Asian American Action Fund announced a cross-posting partnership.[12]


  1. ^ Hua, Vanessa (2003-06-05). "Hot fusion: Fresh S.F. wannabe joins publications for Asian Americans". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
  2. ^ "Asian-American Startup Mag Launches". KRON 4. 2003-06-06. Archived from the original on 2005-03-15. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
  3. ^ Black, Catherine (2003-12-09). "Hyphen Magazine Bridges the Gap". New California Media. Archived from the original on 2007-10-28. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
  4. ^ Deshmukh, M.S. (2002-11-29). "'Hyphen' Magazine to Fill Gap in APA Media". Asianweek. Archived from the original on 2007-10-16. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
  5. ^ Guillermo, Emil (2003-06-20). "Emil Amok: Dissin' Hyphen". Asianweek. Archived from the original on 2007-10-07. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
  6. ^ Guillermo, Emil (2003-07-04). "Emil Amok: My Cousins 'Tis of Thee and More Dissin' on 'Hyphen'". Asianweek. Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
  7. ^ "Utne Independent Press Awards Nominees -- 2004". Utne. November–December 2004. Archived from the original on 2007-05-19. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
  8. ^ Melissa (2006-01-31). "Bragging Rights". Hyphen Blog. Hyphen. Archived from the original on 2007-10-14. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
  9. ^ "Mr. Hyphen Contest". National Association of Asian American Professionals - San Francisco. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
  10. ^ "Nominees for the 19th Annual Utne Independent Press Awards 2007". Utne Reader. 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
  11. ^ Announcing the 2011 Asian American Short Story Contest, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-18. Retrieved 2012-07-21.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ Chen, Richard (2010-05-05). "AAAF Blog and Hyphen Magazine Collaborate" (Blog). Washington, DC: Asian American Action Fund. Retrieved 2010-05-26.

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