This May, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop joins the Poetry Coalition, a vital national alliance of more than 25 independent poetry organizations, in curating a program exploring the theme “It is burning./ It is dreaming./ It is waking up.: Poetry & Environmental Justice.” The line “It is burning./ It is dreaming./ It is waking up.” is from the poem “Map” by Linda Hogan.
AAWW will engage with the urgent topic of environmental justice/injustice, alongside poet-activists Dr. Khairani Barokka and Dr. Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio. Dr. Khairani Barokka is a poet, writer, and artist whose work untangles colonial legacies of violence on the land, and Dr. Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio is a poet, scholar, and activist whose art and activism revives radical indigenous theories. Together, they will speak to Indonesian and Hawaiian craft and oral traditions, ancestral and communal resistance, and the way the land and the body holds and stands against legacies of colonial violence.
The title of this event, ‘We have lived this ending before’ is from Dr. Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio’s poem, “Notes on Surviving the End of the world, Again.”
This event will be streamed live on the Asian American Writers’ Workshop YouTube page. This program is supported by the Academy of American Poets with funds from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Dr. Khairani Barokka is a writer and artist from Jakarta, based in London. Her work has been presented widely, in more than 15 countries, and work from her Annah, Infinite series of performance installations has been an Artforum Must-See. Among Okka’s honours, she was a UNFPA Indonesian Young Leader Driving Social Change, an NYU Tisch Departmental Fellow, and Modern Poetry in Translation’s Inaugural Poet-in-Residence. She is currently Associate Artist at the National Centre for Writing and Research Fellow at UAL’s Decolonising Arts Institute. Okka’s books include Indigenous Species (Tilted Axis; Vietnamese translation, AJAR Press) and Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back (as co-editor; Nine Arches), and debut collection Rope (Nine Arches).
Dr. Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio is a Kanaka Maoli wahine artist/ activist / scholar born and raised in Pālolo Valley to parents Jonathan and Mary Osorio. Heoli earned her PhD in English (Hawaiian literature) in 2018 from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Currently, Heoli is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous and Native Hawaiian Politics at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Heoli is a three-time national poetry champion, poetry mentor and a published author. She is a proud past Kaiāpuni student, Ford fellow, and a graduate of Kamehameha, Stanford University (BA) and New York University (MA). Her book Remembering our Intimacies: Moʻolelo, Aloha ʻĀina, and Ea is forthcoming with University of Minnesota Press in Fall 2021.