Diana Michèle Yap

Writer and editor

United States

Washington, D.C.



Washington City Paper
Whatcha Reading? New Books for Fall

Clearly, Nancherla’s wholesome and society-critiquing voice deserves the pop cultural space to be understood as panoramically human. “I’ll never find all the answers. But there’s meaning in trying, and meaning can be everything,” she writes.

Washington City Paper
Julia Cameron, Author of The Artist's Way, Wants You to Believe in Yourself

In Write for Life, out Jan. 10, she suggests that writers need only one quality for success. Not look-at-me brilliance, but honesty. “When I write, I ask myself always, ‘Am I being honest? Am I being authentic? Am I being of service?’ These three questions, answered in the affirmative, yield me a piece of writing that withstands scrutiny,” Cameron writes in her new book. “The same will be true for you.”

The Washington Post
Review | Keah Brown is trying to change how disabled people are viewed. Listen to her.

Doing her own ponytail became a mission after she graduated from college. She studied YouTube tutorials, then practiced in secret in tears for weeks. “It was one of the first times I did not give up on myself even in the midst of all my self-loathing at my first failed attempt,” Brown writes. “Looking back, I can see that it was a monumental decision, because it was so different from who I was otherwise at the time.” On a Wednesday in April 2016, she finally mastered the ponytail...

The Washington Post
Review | He named his band the Slants to reclaim a slur. Not everyone approved.

His compelling memoir, “Slanted: How an Asian American Troublemaker Took on the Supreme Court,” is about keeping true to his punk-rock heart and making history through an eight-year fight to get a trademark registration from the government for his all-Asian American band’s name, the Slants. “Nobody starts a band thinking that they’re going to go to the Supreme Court,” he writes.

Washington City Paper
Sheila Heti's novel Motherhood

Heti has achieved a mystic’s appreciation for the basics of being alive, a place that many equally ambitious writers never reach. Unspooling the raw details of random chance, her romantic relationship, her maternal ancestors, her friends, her soul, and most importantly, her art, the novel deepens in feeling until the very last page.

Washington City Paper
In His Debut Novel, Author Arvin Ahmadi Writes a Love Letter to D.C.

“On the surface, I was really involved, had done really well, checked all the right boxes. But a lot of times I still felt like a failure,” Ahmadi says. “Constantly being hungry, constantly wanting more. Asking myself ‘What next, what next, what next?’ All of that comes together for my specific flavor of teen angst—which was around success, the future, and what I’d do in life.”


Washington Post
Cooking with physical limitations? Try these creative workarounds.

Cooking and baking can be difficult for many people; some may be dealing with age-related changes, others may have health conditions, injuries or disabilities, including pain and fatigue. But there are strategies and equipment that can make creating good meals at home easier. “Anyone can cook,” said Alyson Stover, president of the American Occupational Therapy Association and associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh, with a few changes...

Washington City Paper
Places, Everyone

It wasn’t about Meiwah’s glory days of being a feeder of U.S. presidents and media types, memorialized in the signed portraits of famous smiles and handshakes decorating the wood-paneled walls. Rather, it had to do with small kindnesses from the unheralded women behind the counter working fast in a cramped space, taking orders, taking credit cards, and stapling paper bags, far from their childhood homes.

Washington City Paper
A Day in the Life at D.C.'s Crisis Line

Confronted with suffering like this, the average person in our culture doesn’t understand. It’s a reflex to turn away in discomfort from the plight of others. It’s common human nature to ignore the unsettling aspects of our messy human existence, or carelessly make fun of someone in pain. It’s easier, sometimes, to live like meaning resides on the shiny surfaces of society.


Washington City Paper
In the End, We're Gonna Die Is Full of Jubilance Amid Grief

Walking the pain side of the line more than the comic, playwright Young Jean Lee’s decade-old musical We’re Gonna Die is a future cult classic. Concluding Round House Theatre’s 2020-2021 virtual season, this new streaming production is a high-spirited, cathartic hour of monologues and original pop songs based on traumatic scenarios common to the human condition in all their absurd particulars, and its true stories are awfully timeless.

Washington City Paper
Raya Bodnarchuk Painted Every Day for Years. All 1,926 Paintings Are Now on Display.

Some people start thinking that they want to do major work but have no place to do it, no materials, no money to get them. Bodnarchuk has advice: “Clear a path to make something because you did it every day, not because you knew what it would look like,” she says. “Even if it’s teensy, clear the path to make it easy for yourself to accomplish what you want to accomplish.”

Washington City Paper
Daniel Kitson Offers Profane Communion in Keep.

“It’s impossible for me to tell you the truth,” he says. Then he explains that a slice of pizza is 100 percent pizza—but a slice of pizza is not 100 percent of the pizza. As his audience puzzles out that you can never really know all of anyone, I see him smile.

Washington City Paper
Rorschach Theatre Invokes a Muse in Sing to Me Now

Dauterman’s language is alive, street, funny, and rife with insightful zingers among the originally realized characters. Her quotable lines and inventive metaphors keep the faith in these dark times delightfully, like opening jar after jar of fireflies into the night. If there’s no hope out there, this artist makes a gift of it for you.

Washington City Paper
America's Inherent Biases Are At the Forefront of Hold These Truths

Hirabayashi, a Quaker, a student interrupted at the University of Washington, an asker of questions who turns himself into the FBI, likes banana cream pie. He’s a guy who read Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet by the light of the moon while hitchhiking 1,600 miles from Seattle to the federal marshal’s office in Tucson, Arizona, to serve time before the Supreme Court agreed to take his case.


The Washington Post
After a month in a nursing home, a woman finds beauty in the everyday world

My favorite time of day was right before falling asleep, when memories could come back to me. I lived for my dreams, because they were colorful and in them I could have adventures. I tried to find beauty in the way a facial tissue unfolded from the top of the box, like a paper fountain, or in how, when I ventured out of the nursing home on a gently sunny day with my mother pushing the wheelchair, a leaf lay on the asphalt. The leaf was red-tinged: singular.

The New York Times
A Failure of Nerve, and a New Beginning

In my dreams, I can walk. Awake, I lie in bed because I have to — on my back, or on my side. I shift positions. I’ve learned I’m lucky I can do that. Sometimes I’m so tired that simply lying in bed is not restful enough. Can I be any more horizontal? Can my atrophied limbs sink any lower into the sheets, the mattress that molds to my form? I imagine falling through the mattress, but realize it would probably hurt when I hit the floor. I never get bored, lying there. Just sad.