***VIRTUAL EVENT: This event will be livestreamed on the Asian American Writers’ Facebook page.***
Join us on THURSDAY June 18, 2020 at 7pm for a Book launch & PRIDE Celebration of Kay Ulanday Barrett‘s second book, More Than Organs published by Sibling Rivalry Press. What better way to usher Kay’s new arrival than to celebrate the dynamic and beautiful work of Queer, Non-Binary, and Transgender poets! For this event we are highlighting & fundraising for the TRANSgrediendo Intercultural Collective a nationally recognized bilingual and multicultural movement that defends and promotes the human rights of the diverse Trans* and gender-diversity identity populations in the United States.
A love letter to Brown, Queer, and Trans futures, Kay Ulanday Barrett’s More Than Organs questions “whatever wholeness means” for bodies always in transit, for the safeties and dangers they silo. These poems remix people of color as earthbenders, replay “the choreography of loss” after the 2015 Pulse shooting, and till joy from the cosmic sweetness of a family’s culinary history. Barrett works “to build / a shelter // of / everyone / [they] meet,” from aunties to the legendary Princess Urduja to their favorite air sign. More Than Organs tattoos grief across the knuckles of its left hand and love across the knuckles of its right, leaving the reader physically changed by the intensity of experience, longing, strength, desire, and the need, above all else, to survive. Kay will be joined by Ashna Ali, Jimena Lucero, Cyrée Jarelle Johnson, Rajiv Mohabir, and Oliver Baez Bendorf!
Named one of 9 Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Writers You Should Know by VOGUE, KAY ULANDAY BARRETT aka @Brownroundboi is a poet, performer, and cultural strategist. K. has featured at The Lincoln Center, The U.N., Symphony Space, Princeton University, Tucson Poetry Festival, NY Poetry Festival, The Dodge Poetry Foundation, The Hemispheric Institute, & Brooklyn Museum. They are a 2x Pushcart Prize nominee, Best of the Net Split This Rock 2019 nominee, and 2019 Queeroes Literary Honoree by Them.+ Condé Nast. Their contributions are found in Academy of American Poets, The New York Times, Buzzfeed, Asian American Literary Review, Them, F(r)iction, PBS News Hour, Race Forward, NYLON, The Huffington Post, Bitch Magazine, The Advocate, & more. More Than Organs, published by Sibling Rivalry Press (2020) is their second collection. Currently, Kay lives outside of NYC area with his jowly dog and remixes their mama’s recipes whenever possible. https://www.kaybarrett.net/
Ashna Ali is a queer Bangladeshi poet raised in Italy and based in Brooklyn. Their poetry has been published in several independent journals including Nat. Brut., HeART Online, The Felt, No Dear, Ginger Mag, femmescapes, and Bone Bouquet. They serve as assistant professor of literature at Bard High School Early College. They are currently working on their first book manuscript. IG and Twitter: @doctordushtu
Cyree Jarelle Johnson is a writer and librarian living in New York City. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Boston Review, and Rewire News. He has given speeches and lectures at The White House, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The University of Pennsylvania, The Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, Tufts University, and Mother Bethel AME Church, among other venues. His work has been profiled on PBS Newshour, Rooted in Rights, and Mashable. Cyree Jarelle has received fellowships and grants from Culture/Strike, Leeway Foundation, Astraea Foundation, Rewire.News/Disabled Writers, Columbia University, and the Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund. His first book of poetry SLINGSHOT is available from Nightboat Books. Find Cyree Jarelle on the internet @cyreejarelle http://www.cyreejarellejohnson.com
Jimena Lucero is a poet from Queens. She is currently an Emerge-Surface-Be fellow at the Poetry Project. You can find her writing in EOAGH, Colorbloq.org, and more. Jimena is currently working on her first poetry manuscript. Social media: Instagram: @jimena__lu
Oliver Baez Bendorf is the author of two books of poetry, Advantages of Being Evergreen (CSU Poetry Center 2019), which Gabrielle Calvocoressi called “an essential book for our time and for all time,” and The Spectral Wilderness (Kent State U. 2015), selected by Mark Doty for the Stan & Tom Wick Poetry Prize. He was awarded the 2020 Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award from Publishing Triangle, and he is a fellow of the CantoMundo Poetry Workshop. His poems can be found in recent and forthcoming issues of American Poetry Review, Poetry, BOMB, and New England Review, and were anthologized in Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics. Oliver was born and raised in Iowa and he is currently an assistant professor of poetry at Kalamazoo College in Michigan. https://www.oliverbaezbendorf.com/
Rajiv Mohabir is an Indo-Caribbean American author of two acclaimed poetry collections and four chapbooks. His award-winning debut collection, The Taxidermist’s Cut (2016)—an exploration of sexuality and culture—was selected by Brenda Shaughnessy for the 2014 Intro Prize in Poetry by Four Way Books and a finalist for the 2017 Lambda Literary Award in Gay Poetry. Mohabir’s second collection, The Cowherd’s Son (2017), won the 2015 Kundiman Prize. Winner of the inaugural chapbook prize by Ghostbird Press for Acoustic Trauma, he is the author of three other multilingual chapbooks: Thunder in the Courtyard: Kajari Poems, A Veil You’ll Cast Aside, and na mash me bone, and na bad-eye me. Rajiv holds a PhD in English from the University of Hawai`i. Rajiv is currently on staff at Auburn University in Alabama, GA. https://blueflowerarts.com/artist/rajiv-mohabir
The TRANSgrediendo Intercultural Collective‘s Overall Objective (from their website): “To strengthen and consolidate the social activity of the Trans and gender-diversity identity populations in the United States through social integration, information, education and political advocacy which allow us to visualize the reality that the Trans* population live and influence the creation of policies, plans, programs, projects and studies where this community can be seen and included.”