Three Sessions, 3 hours each (6-9pm)
Wednesdays June 14th, June 21st, June 28th
Fees & Payment Options: $250 General / $220 AAWW Members (Become a Member!)
Full payment due before first class. Maximum of fifteen students.
*EARLY BIRD! Sign up before June 1st for $200 General / $180 AAWW Members*
*STUDENT RATE for limited seats, contact Tracy Wong at email@example.com for availability!*
What is vernacular literature? What is its role in dismantling the oppressor’s language and assumptions? What happens to power when the oppressor co-opts the vernacular of the oppressed? And why would the oppressor want to co-opt the oppressed’s vernacular? Could it be becoz our power is embedded, encoded in our vernacular? We will explore these questions and read texts that challenge imposed ideas of hierarchy. Workshop discussion will center around Rotten English ed. Dohra Ahmed, Sleeping with the Dictionary by Harryette Mullen, Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley, and more. Students will create original vernacular works as part of the workshop.
REGISTER HEREMarwa Helal is a poet and journalist. Her work appears in Apogee, Hyperallergic, the Offing, Poets & Writers, the Recluse, Winter Tangerine and elsewhere. She is the author of I AM MADE TO LEAVE I AM MADE TO RETURN (No, Dear/Small Anchor Press, 2017) and Invasive species (Nightboat Books, 2019). Helal is the winner of BOMB Magazine’s Biennial 2016 Poetry Contest and has been awarded fellowships from Poets House, Brooklyn Poets, and Cave Canem. Born in Al Mansurah, Egypt, Helal currently lives and teaches in Brooklyn, New York. She received her MFA in creative nonfiction from The New School and her BA in journalism and international studies from Ohio Wesleyan University...
Celebrate the new edition of works by Nick Joaquin, one of the most important writers of the Philippines who is only now being published in the United States for the first time by Penguin Classics. Born in 1917, Joaquin wrote a surreal, anguished sentence that cast an ironic eye at colonialism’s longue durée and Catholic rites, both of which he depicted through magical realism and baroque splendor. We’ll feature readings and discussion by Pen Open Book winner Gina Apostol (who wrote the introduction to the new Joaquin collection), legendary activist and author Ninotchka Rosca (a friend of Joaquin’s), and Five-Under-35 winner Alex Gilvarry, author of From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant. Melissa R. Sipin will moderate the discussion.
RESERVE A SEAT!
$5 SUGGESTED DONATION | OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Nick Joaquin, Jessica Hagedorn writes, “is akin to García Márquez in the extravagant, surreal imagery of his stories, the fatalistic humor, and the intricate weaving of history and memory. His magical Macondo was the very real Philippines, in all its beauty, splendor and ruin.” The new Penguin Classics edition of Joaquin’s work includes his best-known story, “The Woman Who Had Two Navels,” the stories “May Day Eve” and “The Summer Solstice,” and a canonic play, “A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino.” Former AAWW board member Luis Francia class Joaquin an “intense chronicler of doubleness,” whose depiction of double consciousness took in “the patriarchal tone of Spanish and the feminist susurrations of Tagalog.”
Gina Apostol wrote the introduction to the Joaquin collection. Her first two novels, Bibliolepsy and The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata, both won the Juan Laya Prize for the Novel. Gina’s third novel, Gun Dealers' Daughter, won the 2013 PEN/Open Book Award and was shortlisted for the 2014 William Saroyan International Prize. Her essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Foreign Policy, Gettysburg Review, and Massachusetts Review. Check out an excerpt from Gun Dealers’ Daughter in AAWW’s The Margins.
Ninotchka Rosca writes: “One cannot overstate what Nick Joaquin is to Philippine literature. Writing in English with the melody of Spanish and Tagalog, Joaquin was the first Filipino writer to focus on the impossible contradictions of a tribal civilization overlain by Spanish and American world views. And because that tribal civilization was woman-centered, Joaquin’s heroines are as complex, romantic and defiant as Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina.” Rosca is a legendary organizer for women’s liberation and is engaged in the study and codification of the theory and practice of transnational and intersectional feminism. Her two novels, State of War and Twice Blessed, are considered classics of modern Philippine literature, with the second receiving the American Book Award for Excellence in Literature.
Alex Gilvarry’s novel From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant won the Hornblower Award for First Fiction, was named a Best New Voice 2012 by Bookspan, and selected by the New York Times as an Editor’s Choice. A National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 nominee, Alex has received fellowships from the Harry Ransom Center and the Norman Mailer Center. His essays and criticism have appeared in The Nation, Boston Globe, NPR’s All Things Considered, and many other publications. His second novel, Eastman Was Here, is forthcoming from Viking in August 2017. He is a professor of creative writing at Monmouth University.
Melissa R. Sipin was born and raised in Carson, CA. She won Glimmer Train's Fiction Open and the Washington Square Review's Flash Fiction Prize, and co-edited Kuwento: Lost Things (Carayan Press 2014). Her work is in Black Warrior Review, Prairie Schooner, Guernica Magazine, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, Eleven Eleven Magazine, and PEN American Center, among others. She cofounded and is editor-in-chief of TAYO Literary Magazine, and her fiction has won scholarships and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Poets & Writers Inc., Vermont Studio Center, Kundiman, VONA/Voices Conference, Squaw Valley's Community of Writers, and Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She is hard at work on a novel.
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Do you ever feel like your life is in a constant state of crisis? Do you feel like, nevertheless, you persist? Come see three thrilling experimental novelists whose new books are about pushing forward against life-killing forces, whether it’s capitalism, the political status quo, or more existential threats like grief and suicide. Novelists Patty Yumi Cottrell, Eugene Lim, and Anelise Chen all navigate the universe of crisis--all with a touch of bleak literary experimentation that would make Samuel Beckett proud! Moderated by poet Lisa Chen.
RESERVE A SEAT!
$5 SUGGESTED DONATION | OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
In Patty Yumi Cottrell’s debut work, Sorry to Disrupt the Peace: A Novel (McSweeney’s, 2017), Korean adoptee Helen Moran is accepting an Ikea delivery order when she earns that her adoptive brother has died. The book follows her investigation of his suicide and the grief that comes with it. Helen Oyemi writes, "Patty Yumi Cottrell's prose does so many of my favorite things--some too subtle to talk about without spoiling, but one thing I have to mention is the way in which her heroine's investigation of a suicide draws the reader right into the heart of this wonderfully spiky hedgehog of a book and then elbows us yet further along into what is ultimately a tremendously moving act of imagination." Check out Brandon Shimoda’s interview with Patty in AAWW’s The Margins here.
Eugene Lim’s Dear Cyborgs (FSG Originals, 2017) begins with two Asian American boys bonding over superhero comics--but the book then zig-zags towards alternate universes and strange realities of clairvoyance and cyborgs. Despite such fabulist inventions, the book asks what it means to resist in the age of seemingly invulnerable capitalism. In answering this question, Dear Cyborgs--in the words of The New Yorker’s Hua Hsu (an AAWW Board member)--makes “revolution seem like the most natural thing possible.” Eugene previously wrote the novels Fog & Car (Ellipsis Press, 2008) and The Strangers (Black Square Editions, 2013). The librarian at Hunter High School, where he assists with AAWW youth programs there, he runs Ellipsis Press, and lives in Jackson Heights, NY, with Joanna and Felix.
Blending elements of memoir and sports writing, Anelise Chen’s So Many Olympic Exertions (Kaya Press, 2017) is an experimental work that perhaps most resembles what the ancient Greeks called hyponemata, or “notes to the self,” in the form of observations, reminders and self-exhortations. The book follows graduate student Athena Chen who hears that her college friend has committed suicide. A former Open City Fellow of the Asian American Writers' Workshop, she is now fiction editor of AAWW's online publication The Margins. Read her writing about Tao Lin and interviewing the owner of a Chinatown dumpling shop. She teaches writing at Columbia University.
Lisa Chen is the author of the poetry collection Mouth (Kaya Press 2007). Sesshu Foster writes, “Lisa Chen’s poetry pleases and astonishes me with that display of thrilling senses—other spirits appear unexpectedly in hovering bright mid-air, ordinal forces and natural realities indexed at play in the moment, articulated in rapt intelligence of language.” Read her incredible short story “The Last Living Aztec” in AAWW’s The Margins.
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Photo by Ning Li..