Many Asian Americans know innately that intergenerational trauma is real, but how do we “prove” it? Utah Poet Laureate Paisley Rekdal‘s new book, The Broken Country, tells the story of Vietnamese-American Kiet Thanh Ly, who stabbed two white men in 2012 in retribution for the Vietnam War, even though he did not experience it himself. Come for a special event with Paisley Rekdal, 2017 Margins Fellow Yanyi, Soyoung Yoon, and Jennifer Hayashida that brings together nonfiction, brain science, trauma theory, poetry, and data visualization together to express the persistence of intergenerational trauma in our communities.
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Paisley Rekdal is the author of a book of essays, The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee, the hybrid-genre photo-text memoir Intimate, and four books of poetry: A Crash of Rhinos, Six Girls Without Pants, The Invention of the Kaleidoscope and Animal Eye, which was a finalist for the 2013 Kingsley Tufts Prize and winner of the UNT Rilke Prize. Her newest book of poems is Imaginary Vessels, and a book-length essay, The Broken Country: On Trauma, a Crime, and the Continuing Legacy of Vietnam is forthcoming in 2017. Her work has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Fellowship, a Civitella Ranieri Residency, an NEA Fellowship, Pushcart Prizes, the 2016 AWP Nonfiction Prize, and various state arts council awards. Her poems and essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, The New Republic, Tin House, the Best American Poetry series (2012, 2013, and 2017), and on National Public Radio among others. She teaches at the University of Utah, where she is also the creator and editor of the community web project Mapping Salt Lake City. In May 2017, she was named Utah’s Poet Laureate.
Yanyi is a writer and critic based in Brooklyn. His manuscript deals with self-documentation, intergenerational trauma, and how memory lodges itself in the body. He currently serves as a senior editor at Nat. Brut, contributing editor at Foundry, and curatorial assistant at The Poetry Project. A recipient of a 2015 Poets House fellowship, his poems and criticism have appeared in Model View Culture, The Shade Journal, and cellpoems, among others.
Soyoung Yoon is Program Director and Assistant Professor of Art History & Visual Studies at the Department of the Arts, Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, The New School.
Jennifer Hayashida is a poet, translator, and visual artist. She is most recently the translator, from the Swedish, of Ida Börjel’s Miximum Ca’Canny The Sabotage Manuals (Commune Editions, 2016), Athena Farrokhzad’s White Blight (Argos Books, 2015), and Karl Larsson’s Form/Force (Black Square Editions, 2015). With Ida Börjel, she is the Swedish co-translator of Solmaz Sharif’s Look (Rámus Förlag, 2017). Ongoing projects include her début collection, A Machine Wrote this Song, forthcoming from Gramma Press in 2018; the English translation of The Day I Am Free, Lawen Mohtadi’s biography of the Swedish Roma civil rights activist and author Katarina Taikon; as well as the first two volumes of Taikon’s children’s book series, Katitzi, to be published by Sternberg Press in 2018. She serves on the board of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop.