Join us and our friends at Graywolf Press and Pen America Center to celebrate Liu Xia’sEmpty Chairs: Selected Poems, translated from the Chinese by Ming Di and Jennifer Stern. Born in Beijing in 1961, the Chinese painter, photographer, and poet Liu Xia has been under house arrest at her home in Beijing since 2010, when her husband Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. As she writes in her poem Dark Night, which we published in The Margins: “Eyes will return tonight / with their ghosts / in the shape of tombstones.” This event will feature readings from Empty Chairs, along with a discussion of Liu Xia’s work and the translation process, as well as ongoing issues surrounding freedom of expression and the current political climate in China. Featuring translator Ming Di, Brooklyn Poet Laureate Tina Chang, AAWW Executive Director Ken Chen, and Guggenheim Fellow Nick Flynn. Moderated by Antonio Aiello, Content Director and Web Editor for PEN American Center.This event is co-presented with Graywolf Press, Housing Works, and PEN American Center.Please note that this event will take place at Bookcourt...
NOTE: ACTUAL DATE FOR EVENT IS DECEMBER 3rd AT 7:00 PM. WE ARE CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING SOME TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES.Watch a talented cast of actors bring a novel to life! The Workshop is proud to host an exclusive back-to-back staged reading of Eric Gamalinda's The Descartes Highlands, performed by Alexis Camins and Jennifer Betit Yen, Executive Director of the Asian American Film Lab--as well as a new play in progress, Annette Storckman’s Bonesetter: A Tragislasher. Reserve a seat for this special, intimate performance.Eric Gamalinda’s The Descartes Highlands tells the story of two brothers who grow up on opposite sides of the world but realize they were abandoned at birth by the same draft-dodging father in this "thoughtful, slow-burning character-driven story" that illuminates "a condition that everyone can identify with—the need to define ourselves—by asking whether we do that by learning about our past or forging a path into the unknown future." (New Pages). A contributor to Harper's Magazine, Manila Noir, and Language for a New Century, Eric Gamalinda has been awarded the Philippine National Book Award; the Asian American Literary Award; and the Palanca Memorial Award, the highest literary honor in the Philippines. Formerly the Publications Director of the Asian American Writers' Workshop, he teaches at Columbia University's Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race. Read his poetry on The Margins!In Bonesetter:A Tragislasher, Annette Storckman adapts Thomas Middleton's The Revenger’s Tragedy and explores the bloody world of Jacobean-era England through the lens of campy 1980s horror movies. Bonesetter tackles the virgin/whore dichotomy, so common in Jacobean plays, head on, and modernizes issues of consent and vengeance in a funny and satirical setting. The play will be performed by five actors from Spicy Witch Productions, an organization dedicated to creating roles for women on and offstage and help close the gender gap in theater.
Eric Gamalinda’s novel will be performed by actors Alexis Camins and Jennifer Betit Yen. Alexis Camins last appeared in Manhattan Theater Club's production of The World of Extreme Happiness by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, as well as Resurrection, written by Eric Gamalinda (Clurman Theater), Japanoir (EST), and Killing the Boss (Cherry Lane). President of the Asian American Film Lab, Jennifer Betit Yin is the CEO of MyJennyBook, a company providing multimedia stories for children, and is currently in production on the film The Opposite of a Fairy Tale, designed to draw light to the issue of elder abuse. As an actor, Betit Yen has appeared in productions at East West Players and Lodestone in Los Angeles and at the Manhattan Theatre Source and Snapple Theatre in New York, as well as on Royal Pains (USA), Reading Rainbow, and America's Most Wanted (FOX).$5 Suggested Donation Open to the public..
In the stories of Mia Alvar and Vu Tran, you can run away from history but you can't escape it. Both authors have been acclaimed by NPR and the New York Times for their debut books that discuss the trauma of transnational migration of the 1960s and ‘70s and the ghosts that pursue us across the globe. They'll be joined by poet and novelist (and AAWW co-founder!) Bino Realuyo, who will moderate the event. Reserve a seat for this incredible event.A series of nine short stories that jump through time and space, Mia Alvar’s In the Country (Alfred A. Knopf 2015) zeroes in on unique voices of the Filipino diaspora: a laundress’ daughter, a nurse who leads a strike at Manila’s City Hospital, and an exiled senator running the Boston Marathon (really opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr.!). As Maureen Corrigan wrote on NPR’s Fresh Air, the books balances Alvar’s “gorgeous writing style” with “fresh subject matter: namely, Filipinos living under martial law in the 1970s in their own country and in exile” in the US and the Middle East. As J.R. Ramakrishnan wrote in the New York Times, “Worlds continue to be upended as Alvar’s characters move among the Philippines, the Persian Gulf and the United States. The Manila-born, New York-based author offers deft portraits of transnational wanderers, blessed and cursed with mobility.” A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, In the Country is an unpredictable globe-trotter, the globalization of Filipino labor as literature.In Vu Tran’s Dragonfish(W.W. Norton and Company 2015), a Vietnamese woman called Suzy--still haunted by her escape from the fall of Saigon--writes lonely letters to her estranged daughter, remarries a smuggler, and disappears into the dark underbelly of Las Vegas. Vu plays the story as a dark and uncompromising noir, but the story’s subtext is even darker. It turns out that Suzy’s husband had languished in a Vietnamese communist reeducation camp after the fall of Saigon, and Suzi herself later made her way through a Malaysian refugee camp. The novel works at what Vu calls “that interplay between what’s knowable and unknowable” (NPR). You might say that both crime
stories and immigrant mothers know more than they’re willing to tell. As Chris Abani writes in The New York Times, “Dragonfish is a strong first novel for its risk taking, for its collapsing of genre, for its elegant language and its mediation of a history that is integral to post-1960s American identity yet often ignored.”