Alanna Li is a youth educational equity activist and grassroots organizer from Maryland. She is the co-founder of Lifting Lives, a nonprofit that mitigates the impact of educational inequality, and has worked on political campaigns such as the Ossoff for Senate Campaign in Georgia.

The Social Distancing Issue: Poetry Roundup

Each issue we feature pieces by Asian womxn around the world. Here are this issue’s poems:

Medicine by Helen Liu

There was never anything to fix;

it wasn’t my body that was sick.

The pain I felt inside

was just another scar to hide.

Your medicine in my veins

wasn’t dopamine in my brain.

Sacrificing mental health

in the name of material wealth.


beyond distance by Kyra Butt

my eyes are half open,

but I am content

in my sugar-spun bubble,

observed by potted plants,

and I realise that 

life isn’t on hold,

that we flower even 

when everything around us

seems stagnant;

look here –

an elderly woman just made

a birthday wish

over eight frosted candles,

hands clasped together in excitement.

and across the river bend –

an estranged father just whispered

“I’m proud of you”

to the son he hasn’t seen

in two decades,

and just down the road –

a chuckling toddler just learned

How to walk

With their two tiny feet.

and me –

an ivory roof shelters my heavy head,

my mother’s cooking fills my stomach,

and with these hands,

I still write.

boxy cars speed by

with places to be,

but I am here

with all that I need.


We Have the Sky by Aria Mallare

And yet,

In all of this,

The sun rises 

The stars shine 

The moon beams 

In all of this,

The sun still gets up every morning,

Wrapping her children in her warmth 

The stars travel through time, 

Smiling sweetly in each window 

The moon stands guard every night, 

Protecting a sleepy world from the shadows

In all of this,

Light continues to emerge from the darkness 

So look up and to tomorrow 

Because regardless of all of this,

You will always have the sky

Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.

You can find announcements, more news, and get to know our staff on social media: give us a follow, and learn how you can get involved today!

We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.

We hope you’ll join us.

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