Join us for the opening night of the Singapore Literary Festival! Racial/ethnic identifications are seen as visible, whereas sexual preferences are deemed otherwise. How do writers make visible, or not, such identifications and preferences, and why do they do so? Award-winning Singaporean authors and playwrights Alfian Sa’at and Ovidia Yu will join New York-based writers Naomi Jackson and Jason Koo in a special reading and discussion the invisibilities and visibilities of race and gender. Moderated by Jennifer Hayashida. Reception and book signing after the event.
The event is co-presented by Hunter College’s English Department and Asian American Studies Program.
Alfian Sa’at is a Resident Playwright with W!LD RICE, one of Singapore’s most recognized theater companies. Alfian has been nominated eight times for Best Original Script at the Life! Theatre Awards, winning in 2005 for Landmarks, in 2010 for Nadirah, and in 2013 for Kakak Kau Punya Laki (Your Sister’s Husband). In 2011, Alfian was awarded the Boh-Cameronian Award in Malaysia for Best Book and Lyrics for the musical The Secret Life of Nora. In 2013, he won the Boh-Cameronian Award for Best Original Script for the play Parah. His published works include three collections of poetry, One Fierce Hour, A History of Amnesia and The Invisible Manuscript, a collection of short stories, Corridor, a collection of flash fiction, Malay Sketches, two collections of plays as well as the published play Cooling Off Day. In 2001, Alfian won the Golden Point Award for Poetry as well as the National Arts Council Young Artist Award for Literature.
Ovidia Yu has had over thirty plays produced in Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, including The Woman In A Tree On The Hill, which won an Edinburgh Fringe First, and Hitting (On) Women, which won the Audience Award and Singapore’s Life! Theatre Awards Best Original Script. Ovidia has received the National Arts Council Young Artist Award (Drama and Fiction), the Singapore Youth Award (Arts and Culture), and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) Singapore Foundation Award for outstanding contribution to the development of arts. She received a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Iowa’s International Writing Programme and spent three months at the Toji Cultural Centre Residency writing her first children’s book. The Mudskipper, about a mixed race child exploring her Singapore roots, a runner-up for the inaugural Scholastic Asia Book Award and a finalist for the Hedwig Anwar Book Prize the same year. Her murder mysteries Aunty Lee’s Delights (2013), Aunty Lee’s Deadly Specials (2014), and Aunty Lee’s Chilled Revenge (2016) all feature a kiasu, kaypoh, em zai si crime-solving cook.
Naomi Jackson is the author of The Star Side of Bird Hill, which was longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize and nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Jackson studied fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and traveled to South Africa on a Fulbright scholarship, where she received an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. A graduate of Williams College, her work has appeared in literary journals and magazines in the United States and abroad. She is the recipient of residencies from the University of Pennsylvania’s Kelly Writers House, Hedgebrook, Vermont Studio Center, and the Camargo Foundation.
Jason Koo is the author of two collections of poetry, America’s Favorite Poem and Man on Extremely Small Island. Named one of the “100 Most Influential People in Brooklyn Culture” by Brooklyn Magazine, he is also the editor of Poems for Kobe, a private limited edition of poems presented as a retirement gift to Kobe Bryant by the Brooklyn Nets and Brooklyn Poets, and coeditor of the forthcoming Bettering American Poetry anthology and Brooklyn Poets Anthology. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center and New York State Writers Institute, Koo is the founder and executive director of Brooklyn Poets, a professor at Quinnipiac University, and creator of the Bridge.
Jennifer Hayashida (moderator) is a writer, translator, and visual artist. Her most recent projects include translation from the Swedish of Athena Farrokhzad’s White Blight (Argos Books, 2015) and Karl Larsson’s Form/Force (Black Square Editions, 2015). Her work has been published and exhibited in the U.S. and abroad, and she has received awards from, among others, PEN, the MacDowell Colony, the Jerome Foundation, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She is Director of the Asian American Studies Program at Hunter College, CUNY, and serves on the board of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop...
Drop by for the special launch for AMPLIFY(HER), the first-ever zine by and for undocumented women from the Asian diaspora. Grab your copy and support undocumented Asian writers alongside event hosts Sonia Guiñansaca of CultureStrike and Kay Ulanday Barrett, author of When The Chant Comes (Topside Press 2016). Come hear from the editors Manolova “Manny” Yusuf, who leads police accountability and immigrant rights work at DRUM and Israt Audry, a core member of RAISE: Revolutionizing Asian American Immigrant Stories on the East Coast--as well as readings by contributors Michelle Chen and Soonaenae. We’ll also screen a short film by immigrant filmmaker Laura X Moya, an experimental documentary filmmaker that explores the notion of solitude, immigration, desire, and estranged family dynamics in her/their work. We’ll also have a special dance performance by Deesha Narichania, who has studied classical and contemporary Kathak, and works full-time as a Domestic Violence Coordinator and Trauma-Focused Therapist. We’ll close out the night by jamming out to a special set by DJ Ushka, an AAWW Open City Fellow and Communications Manager at the New York Immigration Coalition. AMPLIFY(HER) is a counter-narrative project that aims to empower and encourage women-led storytelling that is crucial to our identities and survival. AMPLIFY(HER) is a collaboration between RAISE and DRUM. The zine launch is intended to be a safer space for womxn and folks who've survived sexual & gender based violence.
Co-sponsored by AMPLIFY(HER) and CultureStrike.
Stay tuned for Accessibility information for visitors and audience.
Open to the public
RESERVE A SEAT!
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Two Truths and a Lie: Writing Memoir and Autobiographical Fiction Six MondaysOctober 3, 10, 17, 24; November 7, 14 7PM-9PM
$400 General / $375 AAWW Members
$360 Early Registration before Labor Day - September 5th
Writing from life can be a tricky business. There are people to protect, faulty memories of events, and the pitfalls of self-censorship. In this workshop, we will employ techniques of poetry and fiction to create works of Memoir and Autobiographical Fiction. Through original writing exercises, we will learn literary techniques including character, dialogue, setting and story arc. In our writing, we will draw upon both the truths and lies of our experience because our lives are too rich not to write about and our imaginations too strong to ignore. Every writer will have the opportunity to workshop one original piece. All levels of writers are welcome. This workshop is partially funded by a grant from Poets & Writers.
If interested in registering, please e-mail a paragraph about yourself and the writing project you would like to work on to email@example.com.Bushra Rehman’s first novel Corona, a dark comedy about being South Asian in the United States, was noted among Poets & Writers Best Debut Fiction and featured in the LA Review of Books among a new wave of South Asian American Literature. Rehman also co-edited the anthology Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism which was included in Ms. Magazine’s “100 Best Non-Fiction Books of All Time.” Her writing has been featured in numerous anthologies and journals. She has taught creative writing for over 15 years at organizations including Teacher & Writers Collaborative, Urban Word NYC and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. Check out her website.What Writers are Saying About “Two Truths a Lie”
This class was an invaluable tool for combining reflection and creative energy. Bushra created an environment that was stimulating, challenging, and accepting all at once. This space opened up imaginative channels that had been blocked for years. This class helped lay the groundwork for a writing practice that will stretch well beyond these weeks. I'm so thankful for this space that brings all kinds of people together, and makes new writing and thinking possible!
- Trishala Deb
Bushra creates a space that is at once fun, challenging, and safe for writers to explore and reveal their stories.
- Kavita Das, Writer :: Nonprofit Consultant
Two Truths, provided a safe and supportive space for me to cultivate my talents as a writer; it helped me structure my writing practices, both disciplined and motivated me to write more, quelled my fears and winged my creativity. I've had som of my most insightful and emotionally charged moments as a writer in Bushra's workshop. Definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to get their feet off the ground as a writer.
- Zainab Shah, Writer
I'm glad I found Bushra's workshop. She provides incredible material that gets the juices flowing, and creates a space where everyone is palpably engaged. The weeks with her flew by so fast. It was incredible to see how much our writing changed in such a short time. Thank you Bushra for helping us unleash our truth - and lies.
- May Pamana, Playwright
The workshop legitimizes the stories we tell with a supportive, diverse cast of eager readers. Bushra has the ability to govern a group into a family. An adjective to describe Two Truths and a Lie is: reformative.
- Pio Tsai, Writer
Two Truths was a reinvigorating experience for me as a writer. Bushra guided us in learning and experimenting with tools of the craft, and always made sure to set aside a chunk of time to actually write during workshop. She shared lots of resources with us and I loved the reading selections she curated with our interests in mind. It was a great experience to help co-create a community of writers where each person's work was given the time to be critiqued in detail, in a way that both supports you and pushes you to grow.
- Noelle de la Paz, Writer