Kith and Kin

with Divya Victor, Shiv Kotecha & Rahel Aima

Thursday, October 4, 2018 7:00pm
Asian American Writers' Workshop
112 W 27th St Suite 600
New York, NY 10001

Media Gallery

Join us for a reading that pushes the boundary of home and desire through meditations on kin, violence, and rupture. The poet Divya Victor will read from Kith, her visual and instructional book of stolen and insurgent history that asks us to re-order the question of belonging in the Indian and Southeast Asian diasporas, and writer Rahel Aima will read about Krishna Menon, colonial baggage, and real and imagined family. We’ll also hear from Shiv Kotecha, whose forthcoming book of poetry The Switch, compiles an apology, a manual on obedience, and a poem by the “unlovable Lord fucking Shiva.” Moderated by AAWW Programs Coordinator Sophia Hussain. Please note: Unfortunately Meena Alexander is no longer able to attend this reading. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.


Divya Victor’s Kith (Fence Books/ Book Thug, 2017), a book of verse, prose memoir, lyric essay and visual objects that explores what ‘kith’ might mean outside of the national boundaries of those people belonging to the Indian and Southeast Asian diasporas. How do ‘brownness’ and ‘blackness’ emerge as traded commodities in the transactions of globalization? What are the symptoms of belonging? How and why does ‘kith’ diverge from ‘kin,’ and what are the affects and politics of this divergence? Rachel Zolf writes, “In Kith, it turns out that kith is also kin and kin is also kith and the neighbor is also friend, enemy, and the other neighbor’s neighbor, and ‘we’ are all stuck here at the limits of language grasping for new forms of community and belonging when those words suck too yet refuse to burn.” She is also the author of Natural Subjects (Trembling Pillow, Winner of the Bob Kaufman Award), Unsub (Insert Blanc), and Things To Do With Your Mouth (Les Figues). Her criticism and commentary have appeared in Journal of Commonwealth & Postcolonial Studies, Jacket2, and The Poetry Foundation's Harriet. Victor is Assistant Professor of Poetry and Writing at Michigan State University and Guest Editor at Jacket2. She is currently at work on a project commissioned by the Press at Colorado College. Check out her piece about Wordsworth’s daffodils in your mouth, and the colonial history of reciting English poetry in Tamil Nadu in The Margins.

Shiv Kotecha is a poet and critic. He is the author of EXTRIGUE (Make Now, 2015), OUTFITS (Troll Thread, 2013) and Paint The Rock (Troll Thread, 2011). He is currently a PhD candidate in NYU English, finishing a dissertation titled Decomposition as Explanation: The Forms of Duration from Poe to Post-Conceptualism.

Rahel Aima is a freelance writer and editor currently based in Brooklyn. She mostly writes about art, tech, and politics, and is a special projects editor at The New Inquiry.

Please note: Unfortunately Meena Alexander is no longer able to attend this reading. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Image credit: Karin Aue

This event will be livestreamed on the Asian American Writers’ Facebook page.

*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 Tiffany Le at with any questions on reserving priority seating.

/\ /\ \/\/ \/\/

Add a comment
2500 characters allowed
User Guidelines

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We would like to collect information during your visit to help us better understand site use. This data is anonymized, and will not be used for marketing purposes. Read More on our Privacy Policy page. You can withdraw permission at any time or update your privacy settings here. Please choose below to continue.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons