The Sweat of Love & The Fire of Truth: A Reading
DJ Rekha, Faith Adiele, Leah Johnson, Jai Dulani, Lisa Ko, Nina Sharma, Daisy Hernández, Quincy Scott Jones, Serena W. Lin, Cyrée Jarelle Johnson, Cathy Linh Che, Mahogany L. Browne, and Kay Ulanday Barrett
The Sweat of Love & The Fire of Truth: A Reading

***Broadcast on Facebook Live. Link to the event is here***


“I Believe In The Sweat Of Love And The Fire Of Truth” 

Assata Shakur


All struggles for freedom are intertwined. We at AAWW join in freedom struggles for Black and Indigenous people and by extension all those who are fighting for liberation. We believe song, literature and community building shape our fight for our multiple freedoms. We are inviting activists and artists to reflect on freedoms, whether they be collective, practiced out in the world, or of the body and mind. 

On August 27 at 7 PM EDT, join artists, activists, DJs, and game-changers to share works inspired by the concept of Liberation, featuring DJ Rekha, Faith Adiele, Jai Dulani, Lisa Ko, Nina Sharma, Daisy Hernández, Quincy Scott Jones, Serena W. Lin, Cyrée Jarelle Johnson, Cathy Linh Che, Mahogany L. Browne, and Kay Ulanday BarrettRSVP here.

Cathy Linh Che is the author of Split (Alice James Books), winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize, the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the Best Poetry Book Award from the Association of Asian American Studies. Her work has been published in POETRY, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Gulf Coast. She has received awards from MacDowell, Djerassi, The Anderson Center, The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center,  Artist Trust, Hedgebrook, Poets House, Poets & Writers, The Fine Arts Work Center at Provincetown, and much more. She serves as Executive Director at Kundiman and lives in Queens.


Cyree Jarelle Johnson is a poet and writer from Piscataway, NJ. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. Slingshot, his debut collection of poetry, was published by Nightboat Books in 2019, and won a 2020 Lambda Literary Award in Gay Poetry. 

Daisy Hernández is the author of the award-winning memoir A Cup of Water Under My Bed and coeditor of Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism.

Rekha Malhotra aka DJ Rekha is a producer, curator, and activist.  As founder of Basement Bhangra, Bollywood Disco Club nights, they pioneered merging Bhangra and Bollywood sounds with contemporary electronic dance music. Rekha was the sound designer for the TONY award-winning Broadway Show, “Bridge and Tunnel”, received a Drama Desk Award nomination for their work on the play “Rafta Rafta”.  Rekha has done remixes for artists that range from Meredith Monk to Priyanka Chopra, has performed at the Obama White House and internationally. They are on the board of Queens-based Chhaya Community Development Corp., serving New Yorkers of South Asian origin. They have a Masters Candidate in Comparative Media Studies from MIT and produces the weekly podcast Bhangra and Beyond.

Faith Adiele is the author of two memoirs—Meeting Faith: The Thai Forest Journals of a Black Buddhist Nun, which won the PEN Open Book Award, and The Nigerian-Nordic Girl’s Guide to Lady Problems—and co-editor of Coming of Age Around the World: A Multicultural Anthology. The PBS documentary My Journey Home chronicles her search for family and home. She lives in Oakland, California, where she is co-founder of VONA Travel, the nation’s first writing workshop for travelers of color, BIPOC Writing Party, a online community formed in response to the pandemic, and African Book Club at the Museum of the African Diaspora. 

Jai Dulani is a poet, writer and multimedia artist whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Waxwing, Foglifter, Porcupine Literary, No Tokens and elsewhere. He has received fellowships from Kundiman, VONA/Voices, and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop.

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, The Dodge Poetry Foundation, The Hemispheric Institute, & Brooklyn Museum. Their contributions are found in The New York Times, Academy of American Poets, Buzzfeed, Asian American Literary Review, PBS News Hour, Race Forward, NYLON, The Huffington Post, Bitch Magazine, The Advocate, & more. More Than Organs, published in 2020 by Sibling Rivalry Press is their second collection. Currently, Kay lives outside of NYC area with his jowly dog and remixes his mama’s recipes whenever possible.

Leah Johnson is a writer, editor and eternal Midwesterner currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. Leah’s bestselling debut YA novel, You Should See Me in a Crown is available now wherever books are sold, and my sophomore novel, Rise to the Sun is due out in 2021. While you wait for your copies to arrive, you can find Leah on Twitter ranting about pop culture, politics, and the greatest show of all time (Avatar: The Last Airbender, obviously!) @byleahjohnson.

Lisa Ko’s first novel, The Leavers, was a 2017 National Book Award for Fiction finalist, won the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, and was a finalist for the 2018 PEN/Hemingway Award. Her writing has appeared in Best American Short Stories, The New York Times, The Believer, and elsewhere. She lives in New York City.

Mahogany L. Browne is a writer, organizer & educator. Executive Director of Bowery Poetry Club & Artistic Director of Urban Word NYC & Poetry Coordinator at St. Francis College. Browne has received fellowships from Agnes Gund, Air Serenbe, Cave Canem, Poets House, Mellon Research & Rauschenberg. She is the author of Woke: A Young Poets Call to Justice, Woke Baby & Black Girl Magic (Macmillan), Kissing Caskets (Yes Yes Books) & Dear Twitter (Penmanship Books). She is also the founder of the Woke Baby Book Fair (a nationwide diversity literature campaign) & as an Arts for Justice grantee, is excited to release her first YA Novel Chlorine Sky in January 2021. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Nina Sharma’s writing has been featured in journals such as Electric Literature, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Longreads, and The Margins. Her most recent essay, “Shithole Country Clubs,” has been named an Editors’ Pick at Longreads. She studies comedy at the Magnet Improvisation Theater and is part of the all-South Asian women improv team, “Not Your Biwi.” Nina is formerly the Programs Director at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. She teaches at Barnard College and leads her workshop “No-Name Mind: Stories of Mental Health from Asian America” across New York City.

Quincy Scott Jones is the author of the The T-Bone Series, published by Whirlwind Press in 2009.  His work has appeared in the African American Review, The North American Review, Love Jawns: A Mixtape, and The Feminist Wire as well as anthologies Resisting Arrest: Poems to Stretch the Sky, Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Books, and Black Lives Have Always Mattered: A Collection of Essays, Poems, and Personal Narratives. With Nina Sharma he co-created the Nor’easter Exchange: a multicultural, multi-city reading series.  His first graphic narrative, Black Nerd, is in the works.

Serena W. Lin believes writing is a political act of connection and cuts her teeth on monsters, myth, and magic. Serena’s part of the Clarion West 2020 Plague Class and writes fiction, poetry, blogs, essays, plays, reviews. Her/Their works have appeared in The Rumpus, Drunken Boat/Anomaly, cream city review, Hyphen, Bitch, Hyperallergic, among other outlets. Serena is an attorney and former public defender, the co-host of #BIPOCWritingParty, and an alum of VONA and Rutgers-Newark. website:, IG: @Serena.W.Lin, Tweet: @SerenaWLin

The Sweat of Love & The Fire of Truth: A Reading

DJ Rekha, Faith Adiele, Leah Johnson, Jai Dulani, Lisa Ko, Nina Sharma, Daisy Hernández, Quincy Scott Jones, Serena W. Lin, Cyrée Jarelle Johnson, Cathy Linh Che, Mahogany L. Browne, and Kay Ulanday Barrett
Thursday, August 27, 2020
7:00 PM

Upcoming Events
February 21 6:00 PM
[IN-PERSON] Writing Club: On Passages with maura nguyễn donohue
In collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art, this Writing Club welcomes guest writer maura nguyễn donohue to facilitate a free, in-person writing workshop on the theme of passages, in conjunction with the exhibition An-My Lê: Between Two Rivers/Giữa hai giòng sông/Entre deux rivières.
March 7 6:00 PM
[RESCHEDULED] In Conversation: An-My Lê, Monique Truong, and Ocean Vuong
Join us for our first event of the new year, a very special conversation between An-My Lê, Ocean Vuong, and Monique Truong, on Thursday, March 7.