Interests in parenting, mixed-race relationships, books, and design.
I am living in Manila through May 31, 2015 and then I am back to Boston. I love to tell stories about people who are often invisible or overlooked. I’m currently working on stories about the lives of Filipino call center workers as well as travel and food pieces from Manila.
I talk on TV and Radio (Much Music, MTV, CBC’s The Current, Q and Radio 1 news service) and host a monthly radio show on the Toronto Radio Project. Last summer I curated a three-part networking series for young creatives in Toronto called #HustleHard, to facilitate collaboration across scenes and allow people to share their ideas about the cultural economy in Toronto. I am also a juror for the Polaris Music Prize and participate in tons of other readings, panels and talks, when asked. Also, I do all of this and hold down an unrelated day job because I am a boss.
Pirooz Kalayeh received an MFA from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. He is the founding member and proprietor behind the musical group, The Slipshod Swingers, and the records Orange Lamborghini (2006) and Transistor Radio (2008). Kalayeh has also served as an Associate Producer and Post Production Coordinator with Weller Grossman Productions and Screen Door Entertainment on several television programs, including STRICTLY SEX WITH DR DREW (DISC), CRAFTLAB (DIY), and LOOK WHAT I DID (HGTV). In 2009, Kalayeh’s first solo directorial feature SHOPLIFTING FROM AMERICAN APPAREL (2012) was released under his personal label ILIKENIRVANA and had a theatrical release at select theaters throughout the United States. Kalayeh’s documentary feature about Buddhist teacher Brad Warner, entitled BRAD WARNER’S HARDCORE ZEN (2013) premiered at the Buddhist Film Festival in Amsterdam on October 5, 2013. THE HUMAN WAR (2013) was co-produced and co-directed by Kalayeh and premiered at the Beloit International Film Festival on February 21, 2014. His novel THE WHOPPER STRATEGIES details an advertising executive’s journey to package Enlightenment in a Box. Kalayeh is currently working on several web series and film narratives, including the much-anticipated comedy, ZOMBIE BOUNTY HUNTER M.D. He lives with his wife in Los Angeles and South Korea. He interviews various entertainers and artists on his blog, Shikow.
My book, HOOD, will be published by Bloomsbury in January 2016: “We all wear hoods: the Grim Reaper, Red Riding Hood, torturers, executioners and the executed, athletes, laborers, anarchists, rappers, babies in onesies, and anyone who’s ever grabbed a hoodie on a chilly day. Alison Kinney’s HOOD explores the material and symbolic vibrancy of this everyday garment and political semaphore, which often protects the powerful at the expense of the powerless—with deadly results. Kinney considers medieval clerics and the Klan, anti-hoodie campaigns and the Hooded Man of Abu Ghraib, the Inquisition and the murder of Trayvon Martin, uncovering both the hooded perpetrators of violence and the hooded victims in their sights.”
Have published in the NY Times, American Way, TeenVogue, Cosmopolitan, Parade, MSN, ABC News, iVillage.com, Vulture.com, People, TeenPeople, The Daily Beast, Mom.Me, CafeMom, TheBump.com and other major media. Formerly a reporter at People magazine and senior editor at TeenPeople, also contributing writer at MSN TV for more than four years.
I write the Bone Street Rumba Urban Fantasy series, which began in January 2015 with Half-Resurrection Blues (Penguin’s Roc Books). My first YA novel is Shadowshaper, from Scholastic’s Arthur A. Levine Books. I co-edited the anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History.
The Wondrous Woo tells the story of Miramar Woo who is the quintessential Chinese girl: nice, quiet, and reserved. The eldest of the three Woo children, Miramar is ever the obedient sister and daughter … on the outside. On the inside, she’s a kick-ass kung fu heroine with rock star flash, sassy attitude, and an insatiable appetite for adventure. Just as Miramar is about to venture forth on the real adventure of leaving home for university, her beloved father is killed in an accident.
Miramar watches helplessly as her family unravels in the aftermath of her father’s death. Her mother is on the brink of a recurring paranoia that involves phantom hands. Her younger siblings suddenly and mysteriously become savants, in possession of uncanny talents nicknamed The Gifts. As her siblings are swept up into the fantastic world of fame and fortune and her mother fights off madness, Miramar is left behind, feeling talentless and abandoned with no idea who she really is or who she wants to become. She gets herself to university on a bus with no family to see her off, no hugs, and no support. She is utterly on her own.
In a story that spans four eventful years, Miramar ventures forth from the suburbs of Toronto to university in Ottawa and back again. Along the way she encounters people and situations light years apart from her sheltered world. She explores new friendships, lust, and a side of herself never seen before. Ultimately, Miramar discovers the meaning of courage, belonging, and family.