I said I missed Asia. His elderly friend beckoned to me and showed me his smartphone--a video of a dance performance in China. Little girls singing shrilly. “If you miss it,” he beamed, “Just watch YouTube.”
My grandmother spent many long years cleaning toilets, washing bedsheets, and mopping floors doing the best she could to navigate a country knowing her then-undocumented status and her lack of language skills put her at a severe disadvantage.
“That was Love’s Holiday, by Earth, Wind & Fire for Shawna from Andre,” DJ Decks croons, imitating a sultry radio host baritone on Cortez Killer Cutz, Deck’s late-night dedication show. “Shawna, Andre wants to say, ‘You are my world and I love you.’” “And Marian would like to say, ‘Hi,’ to Nacho,” Decks continues, repurposing […]
Kalyan Ray's sweeping new novel, No Country, takes us back to the height of the colonial era and to the present, using a network of characters to understand the South Asian diaspora. We begin in 19th Century Ireland, tracing families to Calcutta, New York, from 1843 to the present. Throughout, Ray offers rich prose and characters, giving life to this expansive history.
Journalist and editor Siddhartha Mitter will moderate a conversation with Ray.
Presented by the Indo-American Arts Council in collaboration with Asian American Writers Workshop.
Kalyan Ray grew up in Calcutta after his family was uprooted from the Ganges Delta (now Bangladesh) through a combination of political upheavals, natural disasters, and poverty. Educated in India and the U.S., he has lived and taught in Ireland, Greece, Ecuador, Jamaica, and the Philippines, and currently divides his time between the U.S. and Kolkata. He is the author of Eastwords, and has translated several books of contemporary Indian poetry into English. He is married to acclaimed Indian film director and actress Aparna Sen.
Siddhartha Mitter has been an arts correspondent for the Boston Globe since 2004. He has worked as a culture reporter for WNYC—New York Public Radio, 2006-09, and published in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, TC Today (Teachers College), Colloquy (Harvard).
Part religious meditation, part pop culture, R.A. Villanueva's Prairie Schooner Book Prize-winning debut Reilquaria uses the body as a starting point for everything else. AAWW is toasting the launch of his book with a stellar lineup of poets presenting their work with him. We'll be discussing human anatomy, Filipino America, the Renaissance, and western mythology.
R.A. Villanueva was born in New Jersey and lives in Brooklyn. His honors include the 2013 Ninth Letter Literary Award for poetry and fellowships from Kundiman and the Asian American Literary Review. His writing has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, AGNI, Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere. A founding editor of Tongue: A Journal of Writing & Art, he teaches at New York University.
Janine Joseph was born in the Philippines, and now lives in both California and New York. Her recent publications include poems in or forthcoming from Third Coast, Spoon River Poetry Review, Nimrod International Journal, Salt Hill, Fugue, and Caribbean Writing Today. A Kundiman fellow, she holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from UC Riverside and the Creative Writing Program at New York University. In the fall, she will begin her doctoral studies at the University of Houston.
Sarah Gambito is the author of the poetry collections Delivered (Persea Books) and Matadora (Alice James Books). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Iowa Review, The Antioch Review, Denver Quarterly, The New Republic, Field, Quarterly West, Fence and other journals. She holds degrees from The University of Virginia and The Creative Writing Program at Brown University. Her honors include the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets and Writers and grants and fellowships from The New York Foundation for the Arts, Urban Artists Initiative and The MacDowell Colony. She is Assistant Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Fordham University. Together with Joseph O. Legaspi, she co-founded Kundiman, a non-profit organization serving Asian American poets.
Joseph Legaspii s the author of Imago (CavanKerry Press) and two chapbooks: Subways (Thrush Press) and Aviary, Bestiary (Organic Weapon Arts), winner of The Blair Prize. He lives in Queens, NY and works at Columbia University. His poems appeared in Poem-A-Day from the Academy of American Poets, World Literature Today, jubilat, CURA, Diode, Gay & Lesbian Review, North American Review, Water~Stone Review, From the Fishouse, and the anthologies Language for a New Century (W.W. Norton), Collective Brightness (Sibling Rivalry Press), Flicker and Spark (Low Brow Press) and Coming Close (Prairie Lights Books/University of Iowa Press). He co-founded Kundiman (www.kundiman.org), a non-profit organization serving Asian American poetry.
John Murillo, an afro-chicano poet and playwright, is the current Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. He is the author of the poetry collection, Up Jump the Boogie (2010) and the choreo-play, TRIGGER, which was commissioned by Edgeworks Dance Theater and is scheduled for production in early 2011. A graduate of New York University's MFA program in creative writing, he has also received fellowships from The New York Times, Cave Canem, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. His poetry has appeared in such publications as Callaloo, Court Green, Ploughshares, Ninth Letter, and the anthology Writing Self and Community: African-American Poetry After the Civil Rights Movement.
Patrick Rosal is the author of three full-length poetry collections: Boneshepherds (Persea, 2011), recognized as a 2012 notable book both by the National Book Critics Circle and the Academy of American Poets; My American Kundiman (Persea, 2006), winner of the Global Filipino Literary Award and the 2006 Book Award in Poetry from the Association of Asian American Studies; and Uprock Headspin Scramble and Dive (Persea, 2003), winner of the Members’ Choice Award from the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. His poetry and prose have been published widely in journals and anthologies, including ESPN’s Grantland, Tin House, American Poetry Review and Harvard Review. A former Fulbright Fellow, he is currently on the faculty of Rutgers University – Camden’s MFA program and lives in Bed-Stuy.
Kelly Zen-Yie Tsaiis an award-winning spoken word poet, playwright, and filmmaker whose work has been featured at over 600 venues worldwide including the White House, Apollo Theater in Harlem, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, BAM, Tyra Banks’ Flawsome Ball, & three seasons of “HBO Def Poetry.” Award recipient of the Illinois Arts Council, Asian American Arts Alliance, New York Foundation for the Arts, Asian Women Giving Circle, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Kelly has been profiled on Idealist in NYC’s Top 40 NYC’ers Who Make Positive Social Change, AngryAsianMan.com’s “30 Most Influential Asian Americans Under 30,” and HBO’s “East of Main Street: Asians Aloud.
Two Truths and a Lie: Writing Memoir and Autobiographical Fiction
Six Mondays from October 6- November 10, 2014, 7PM-9PM at AAWW
Fee: $275 General/$250 AAWW Members
Deposit: $50 General Deposit/$40 Members
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.
If interested, 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!
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..