Ballads at Battery Park City
Adeeba Shahid Talukder, Aldrin Valdez, Catherine Chen, and Sokunthary Svay
Ballads at Battery Park City

Join us at Rector Park on July 7th at 7 PM ET where the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and Battery Park City present Ballads at Battery Park City, the third installment of our summer poetry series in collaboration with Battery Park City Alliance.

This reading will include a reading and possible conversation with interdisciplinary poets and artists Adeeba Shahid Talukder, Aldrin Valdez, Catherine Chen, and Sokunthary Svay.


Rector Park East
Rector Place & South End Ave
New York, NY 10280

Adeeba Shahid Talukder is a poet, vocalist, and translator of Urdu and Persian poetry. She is the author of What Is Not Beautiful (Glass Poetry Press, 2018) and her debut collection, Shahr-e-jaanaan: The City of the Beloved (Tupelo Press, 2020), is a winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize. Her poetry has appeared in Poem-A-Day, Gulf Coast, Poetry Daily, The Aleph Review, and The Margins, and her translations in PBS Frontline and Words Without Borders. Adeeba has received fellowships from Kundiman and Poets House, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan.

Aldrin Valdez is a bakla writer and visual artist. They are the author of ESL or You Weren’t Here (Nightboat Books), selected as a 2019 finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Poetry.

Catherine Chen is a multidisciplinary poet and performer. They have received fellowships from Theater Mitu, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (Arts Center Residency 2021), Lambda Literary, Poets House, and Franconia Sculpture Park. Their poems appear in The Rumpus, Hyperallergic, Apogee, Nat. Brut, among others. Chen is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection Beautiful Machine Woman Language (Noemi Press, October 2023). They live in Brooklyn.

Sokunthary Svay is a Cambodian poet, essayist and librettist from New York City. A founding member of the Cambodian American Literary Arts Association (CALAA), she has received fellowships from the American Opera Project, Poets House, Willow Books, and CUNY, as well as commissions from Washington National Opera, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, the Chautauqua Institution, and ISSUE Project Room. She is a doctoral candidate in English at the CUNY Graduate Center and a Lecturer at CCNY in Harlem. Her hybrid memoir, Put it on Record: A Memoir-Archive, is forthcoming from Willow Books this fall. Her poetry collection, Apsara in New York was also published by Willow Books in 2017.

From May through July 2023, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and Battery Park City present an outdoor summer poetry reading and discussion series under the theme of “love”: declarations of love, rejections of love, self-love, romantic love, familial and platonic love, and the multitudes of the way love glimmers through our experiences.

This event will be outdoors. Masks are highly encouraged. We keep each other safe.

Event Image Description: Layered on a watercolor background in shades of green are lime green shapes and a light pink wavy line. Bolded bright pink text reads, “AAWW & BATTERY PARK CITY AUTHORITY PRESENT BALLADS IN BATTERY PARK CITY WITH SOKUNTHARY SVAY, CATHERINE CHEN, ALDRIN VALDEZ, & ADEEBA SHAHID TALUKDER. JULY 6, 7 PM ET. IN-PERSON AT RECTOR PARK. MASKS HIGHLY ENCOURAGED. RSVP AT AAWW.ORG/EVENTS.” Beneath the text are four portraits of AAPI poets: Sokunthary Svay is a Khmer poet and writer with short black hair, red lipstick, and a black long sleeve top with a silver adornment; Catherine Chen is a Taiwanese poet wearing a white tee, wire-framed glasses, with long layered black hair; Aldrin Valdez is a Pinoy writer with black round glasses, in a blue tank top, and short black hair; Adeeba Shahid Talukder is a Pakistani writer with long dark hair, wearing eyeliner, pink lipstick, and a floral top. Below the portraits and text is a white bar with AAWW’s logo in bold black text beside a logo in the shape of New York state that reads “New York State of Opportunity. Battery Park City Authority.”

Ballads at Battery Park City

Adeeba Shahid Talukder, Aldrin Valdez, Catherine Chen, and Sokunthary Svay
Thursday, July 6, 2023
7:00 AM
Rector Park East
Rector Place & South End Ave
New York NY 10280
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