The Story of Jasmine (as told by and to Iris)

The Story of Jasmine (as told by and to Iris)

Who is Jasmine?

Our editor, mentor, colleague, friend

Who shepherds Iris to the end,

Who prompts and guides the story of Iris

With kind truths, love notes, and cookies for us. 

Poet and scholar who dares to dream—

In Jasmine’s light we all feel seen.


Who is Jasmine?

When I first sprouted almost two decades ago,

My mother named me Jasmine


Chinese Characters for Jasmine's Chinese Name

(Wang Jing Ming)

At the same time

She says one name did not come before the other

I’m not sure if I believe her

For me and my mother

There is no first either

We came to be

My mother and her daughter

At the same time


Who is Jasmine?

The Iris Chorus sings:

Campy, creative, and candid.

Kind, caring, patient and welcoming.

Such a calming presence and

gentle energy.

An earnest listener who can speak my words back at me much better than I could ever articulate.

Distinguished major,

she plays with words in such a visceral, mesmerizing way.

Creative genius, fearless editor of two magazines,

I'll never forget her piece, "The Root of My Mother,"

genuinely awe-inspiring.

Supremely intelligent,

down to earth,



Who is Jasmine?

"Storytelling and writing can be really isolating work. I think the best part of it is when you collaborate with other people. Iris is a beautiful example…. And that's also why I like editing because you get to interact with people in some kind of way. Even when I'm in my room reading words on a page, I can see, Ella or Miriella, or whoever I'm reading, come through really strongly.

My first year, I took a creative writing class and our professor, her advice that’s always stuck with me is: the writer writes. To be a writer, and to be able to call yourself a writer, all you have to do is to write. And also, she said, the good writer is a good reader. And that's it.

I don't know. I don't, sometimes I hesitate to say- I wouldn't say I'm always a good writer. I'm always thinking about, 'Am I good enough?' I hope I am in the process of becoming better or becoming good.

But I would say in the same sense that I am constantly pushing other people to write—because I think it's a really joyful experience—that I should also say that I am a writer."


Who is Jasmine?

"For home is not a place. Home is perfectly peeled pears and sunflower seeds scattered across dinner party tables. Home is being scolded for not wearing slippers on the frigid tile and for drinking icy glasses of water on wintry days. Home is racing to devour dumplings on Lunar New Year, hoping to find the ones hidden with pennies to ensure our luck for the next year. Home is nestling into my mom while watching Chinese dramas and cackling with my sister over variety shows. Home is catching each other cheating during our fast-paced games of mahjong and hearing the same stories of my parents’ childhood in China instead of an American 'I love you,' but that is enough—more than enough.

For home is not a place. It is remembering a time when things were more simple. It is a version of myself that felt more safe, secure, and happy. It is that feeling of joy, of warmth, of pride, of acceptance. Home is where my identity lies."

"Fangirling. Fixations. Pure fascination and infatuation…. My friends may point out how quickly my passions die, but they neglect to notice how bright and strong my love burns. How I have so much love to give, it can never stay in one place."

"I watch how all the women in my life give their time, their energy, give all of themselves. This is how they quietly say I love you. And I hope they know, I love them too."

"What if my sentences never grew tired, what if they constantly ran a relay, passing on the baton to just another clause at each new comma I tagged on? What would happen then? My sister says I need to be more definite. Take a break, she says. Let your words rest. But what if I have more to say?"