Age: 26

Hometown: Irvine, CA

Generation: 4th - Yonsei

Biography: Kellyn Kawaguchi is a Japanese-Filipino American born and raised in Orange County, California. She is proud to be an older sister to two brothers and the daughter of a Filipino American immigrant and a Japanese American sansei. During the day, Kellyn works as a media manager, handling digital advertising distribution at a creative content marketing agency. In her free time, she enjoys ceramics, painting, writing, and various other crafts. Her most recent obsession is creating balloon garlands and hosting themed parties. She is very excited for the final season of Game of Thrones

Name of Piece: For Brother, Love Sister (Poems from a Bystander)

One of the most painful parts of depression is watching someone you love become someone who at times is unrecognizable to you. When a person has depression, it can make him say or do things that are out of character—maybe he speaks harsh words or acts unkindly. As a bystander to it, I had to separate the feeling of being hurt by the idea of my loved one and learned to recognize depression when it was speaking and acting for him. There are times when it has felt like helplessly witnessing a hostage situation and there are other times when it feels like being annoyed by an unwanted roommate. (There are also times when it is so quiet, you almost dare to think the storm has passed.) Who knew an illness could be such a master of disguise, that something intangible could take the face and form of someone you love? He is not the problem—depression is forcing him to create one. He is the same person; depression has just disguised him. Depression is not simple or easy, but I've learned loving someone with it is. These poems express that and explore other inspired feelings.