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Priyanka A.

She/her • majoring in English • class of 2023


When evaluating whether a mentor would be a good match for your student keep in mind that the greatest leading indicator of success is how well a mentor and their mentee get along.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Would the student find this person inspiring?
  • Do they share any interests, hobbies, or lived experiences?


2019 - 2023 • Princeton UniversityPrinceton, New Jersey
2007 - 2018 • Singapore American SchoolSingapore, Singapore
I’ve been a Curious Cardinals mentor since August 2021I am passionate about mentoring students in the areas of Music, Film, Photography, Theater, History, Creative Writing & Poetry, History, Women & Gender Studies, Italian, Cooking, Creative Writing, Reading, Public Speaking, Literature, Grammar & Spelling, Current Events, Essay Writing, and Philosophy.

Priyanka A. (IN A NUTSHELL)

I am an internationally-award winning and critically-acclaimed writer, editor, performer, and teaching artist. Under the pen name Topaz Winters, I’m the author of three books from Button Poetry: So, Stranger (2022), Portrait of My Body as a Crime I’m Still Committing (2019), and poems for the sound of the sky before thunder (2017). I’ve served as the founder and editor-in-chief of the publishing house and literary journal Half Mystic Press since 2015. My peer-reviewed research on poetry and queerness in Singapore is published in the Journal of Homosexuality, and is taught at the University of Southern California’s doctorate programme in educational leadership.

My poetry, essays, and art are in the world in many different forms and many different places, from The Straits Times to American Banker to the Singapore Writers Festival to the Center for Fiction to the Academy of American Poets. I’ve traveled across the world teaching and performing creative writing, and my photography and performance art have been exhibited in Singapore and the United States. In 2017 I gave the TEDx talk Healing Is a Verb. I’m the writer and star of the critically-acclaimed short film SUPERNOVA (recipient of awards from the Newark International, Across Asia Youth, Laurie Nelson, My Rode Reel, Singapore International Student, and CINE Golden Eagle Film Festivals), and from 2015 to 2022 I wrote a column of personal essays on love and music for Half Mystic Journal.

I graduated in 2023 with a B.A. in English and certificates in Creative Writing, Visual Art, and Italian from Princeton University. I live between Singapore and Brooklyn, and I’m so honoured to bring my passion for all kinds of art to my students at Curious Cardinals!

Watch Priyanka A. break down a subject they’re passionate about.


Our mentorship sessions happen virtually over Zoom. It’s important to get a sense of how someone’s personality can come through on a video call. The best way to ensure your student is excited about learning is to have someone on the other side that they look forward to talking to.

Princeton University IQueer

What is something you are extremely proud of?

Who is your greatest role model/mentor?

What do you like to do in your spare time?

What is a passion project you’re working on or have created in the past?