The newspapers were quick to christen the members of the underground movement with new names: subversives, communist insurgents, terrorists, guerrillas, rebels. Yet in my mind, they were simply family.
Do you feel like you’re living in a surreal dystopia? Well, we’ve got your guidebook. Come hear critically acclaimed authors Deepak Unnikrishnan and Alexandra Kleeman read from new story collections. Their strange inventions will make perfect sense to anyone who feels like they don’t belong in our fantasia of global capitalism, gulf labor, and American culture. They’ll chat about life and death, home and migration with Grove Atlantic editor Katie Raissian.
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$5 SUGGESTED DONATION | OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
The linked stories in Deepak Unnikrishnan’s Temporary People (Restless Books 2016) look at the stateless guest workers of the United Arab Emirates through a fantastic, surrealistic lens. You might call it Gulf labor via George Saunders--or the Bedoon experience as imagined by Bruno Schulz. Here a migrant eats and then shape-shifts into a passport. A woman has a job out of a fable of 21st century global capitalism: she mends the construction workers who’ve fallen from the high-rises of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Also told in three sections, Temporary People won the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing. The judges--Maaza MEngiste, Javier Molea, and Ilan Stavans--wrote: “in giving substance and identity to the voiceless and faceless masses of guest workers in the United Arab Emirates, he not only calls attention to this very particular injustice, but also highlights the disturbing ways in which ‘progress’ on a global scale is bound up with dehumanization…. This is a writer grappling not only with the plight of ‘temporary people,’ but also with the realities of a new unruly twenty-first-century global English.” Read Deepak’s lyrical ruminations on Abu Dhabi and New York in AAWW’s Open City.
Set against a technicolor backdrop of futuristic cults, cartoons, and Disappearing Dad Disorder, Alexandra Kleeman’s You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine gets high on the sweltering mania of the American city. Her newest book The Intimations collects twelve stories that diagram the three stages of existence: birth, life, and death. As avant-garde legend Robert Coover writes: “Perhaps the most distinctive stories in Alexandra Kleeman’s Intimations are the brilliantly crafted nightmares about the dissolving of reality, but there is also everything here from an elegant Victorian tale of a feral child to a witty disquisition on the mouths of angels….. This is ambitious imaginative writing of the highest quality.”
Katie Raissian is an associate editor at Grove Atlantic, where she edits literary fiction. Her authors include Colin Barrett, who was a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 and winner of the Guardian First Book Award and the Frank O'Connor International Short Story award; Anna Noyes, author of the collection Goodnight, Beautiful Women (June 2016); and Bethany Ball (2017). Katie is the publisher and editor in chief of Stonecutter Journal, an annual magazine of art and literature which focuses on publishing international writers and artists alongside US-based ones. Stonecutter has featured work by John Ashbery, Cathy Linh Che, Mark O'Connell, Renee Gladman, Dunya Mikhail, Newsha Tavakolian, Sara Baume, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Cia Rinne, and Sally Rooney, to name but a few. As Katie said in an interview with Real Pants, “Actively seeking out and publishing voices from diverse backgrounds is fundamentally important to me as an editor (I’m half Irish and half Iranian, so that’s what I grew up with) and I love seeing how those elements strengthen from issue to issue.”
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Mic Check! Are you a writer? Come share your work at our next edition of our open mic, Mouth to Mouth. Hosted by AAWW Fam poets Sonia Guiñansaca and Kay Ulanday Barrett, this edition of Mouth to Mouth features Kit Yan and Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo. Mouth to Mouth seeks to provide a safe community space for QTPOC and rising migrant artists.
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$5 SUGGESTED DONATION | OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Kit Yan, Playwright/Poet/Performer/Lyricist, is a trans Asian-American Brooklyn based artist by the way of Hawaii. Kit's QUEER HEARTACHE (The I.D. Festival at the American Repertory Theater, IRT Theater, Chicago Fringe, Transgender Theater Festival at the Brick Theater, San Francisco Fringe) is a must-see Theater experience described by Fringe Review as “a testament to the resilience of queer love in all its forms—between cis and trans siblings, lovers, pride parade attendees, and many more—in the face of heartbreaking barriers everywhere.” Kit is currently working on a theatrical poetry investigation that has been supported by a fellowship from the Civilians R&D Group. It focuses on the effect of testosterone on transgender bodies aiming to disrupt common transgender narratives that reinforce binary happiness and the “born into the wrong body” story.
Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo is a 2016-2017 Steinbeck Fellow, former Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange winner, Barbara Deming Memorial Fund grantee, and the author of Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge (Sundress Publications 2016) -- an excerpt of this feminist collection can be found on Angels Flight Literary West Mag. She’s received residencies from Hedgebrook and Ragdale Foundation and is a member of the Macondo Writers’ Workshop. Her work is published in Acentos Review, CALYX, crazyhorse, and The James Franco Review among others. You can check out a short dramatization of her poem "Our Lady of the Water Gallons," directed by Jesús Salvador Treviño, on latintopia . She is the curator of HITCHEd and a cofounder of Women Who Submit with a piece on Submission as Social Action on Lunch Ticket.
Sonia Guiñansaca is a Queer Migrant Feminist Poet , Cultural Organizer, and Activist from Harlem by way of Ecuador. In 2007, Guiñansaca came out publicly as an undocumented immigrant. Since then she has co-founded and help build some of the largest undocumented organizations in the country, coordinating and participating in groundbreaking civil disobedience actions in the immigrant rights movement. She is a VONA/Voices alumni who has performed at El Museo Del Barrio, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, NY Poetry Festival, Galleria de La Raza, and featured on NBC, PBS, Latina Magazine, Pen American, and the Poetry Foundation to name a few. Praised as badass in 1 of 10 Up and Coming Latinx Poets You Need to Know by Remezcla, as well as one of 13 Coolest Queers on the Internet by Teen Vogue. Guiñansaca was recently announced as the 2017's Artist in Residency at NYU's Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics.
Kay Ulanday Barrett is a poet, performer, and educator, navigating life as a disabled pilipinx amerikan transgender queer in the U.S. with struggle, resistance, and laughter. When The Chant Comes (Topside Heliotrope 2016) is their first collection. K. has been invited to The White House, Princeton University, UC Berkeley, The Lincoln Center, Queens Museum, and The Chicago Historical Society to name a few. They are a fellow of both The Home School and Drunken Boat. Their contributions are found in PBS News Hour, Lambda Literary, RaceForward, Foglifter, The Deaf Poets Society, Poor Magazine, Fusion.net, Trans Bodies/Trans Selves, Winter Tangerine, Make/Shift, Third Woman Press, The Advocate, and Bitch Magazine. You can read their interview with PBS on poetry as a testimony to survival here.
NOTE ON ACCESSIBILITY
*The space is wheelchair accessible. No stairs. Direct elevator from ground floor to 6th floor.
*We strongly encourage all participants of the space/event to be scent-free.
If you all have any other specific questions about accessibility, please email Tracy Wong at twong [at] aaww.org with any questions on reserving priority seating...
In the next installment of our Asian American Feminism series, NAPAWF*NYC will be hosting a workshop on Asian American history through a feminist lens. The Chinese Exclusion Act, World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans, and the Southeast Asian refugee crisis have been raised in national conversations on the persecution of South Asian, Arab, Sikh and Muslim communities. In these times, understanding Asian American history and our place in it has become more critical than ever.
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Join us as we commemorate Womxn’s History Month by exploring the marginalized histories of our communities and families and challenging the ways in which history has been traditionally told, with the goal of identifying how we can shape those narratives into our own.
The workshop will include a brief presentation, interactive timeline, and discussion on our personal connections to Asian American history. Note that no prior knowledge in Asian American history or studies is required to participate in this workshop.
NAPAWF*NYC, the New York City chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, is a community of Asian American/Pacific Islander women dedicated to advocating for the advancement and wellness of AAPI women in New York City through the provision of multi-issue resources and a robust support network...