‘Women Word Warriors’ at Far East Lounge

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Velina Hasu Houston and Miya Iwataki

“Women Word Warriors,” third and last in a series of readings by Japanese American/Asian American women writers, will be held on Saturday, June 17, at 2 p.m. at Far East Lounge, 353 E. First St. in Little Tokyo.

Featured readers:

Donna Frazier Glynn, who has spent time with great teachers like William Matthews, Marie Ponsot, Peter Levitt and Terry Wolverton and is always writing and editing. She has published work in places like Mudlark, First Things and an L.A. anthology of poetry experiments called “Bird Float, Tree Song,” for which she conjured the birds and trees. A collection of her small inspirations for writers is on her website at www.donnafrazier.com/news/.

Momoko Iko

Velina Hasu Houston, whose works are produced at such places as Manhattan Theatre Club, Old Globe Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, TheatreWorks, A Contemporary Theatre, Theatre X Tokyo, and Los Angeles Opera; and has been honored by the Kennedy Center, Rockefeller Foundation, Wallace Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Japan Foundation, and others. She writes plays, musical theater, opera, essays, film, poetry, and prose. The founder of graduate playwriting and the study of Asian American culture at USC, she is distinguished professor, director of MFA dramatic writing and area head of undergraduate playwriting, resident playwright, and associate dean of faculty at its School of Dramatic Arts.

Momoko Iko, born in 1940, is best known for her plays “Gold Watch,” “Flowers and Household Gods,” “Second City Flat,” and “Hollywood Mirrors,” produced in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle. Her poems are personal celebrations of people, places and experiences.

Donna Frazier Glynn and Jude Narita

Miya Iwataki, whose life experience as a Japanese American warrior for redress; host/producer of “East Wind” on KPFK-FM; architect of diversity and cultural competency programs for L.A. County; participant in the U.N. Decade for Women Convention in Nairobi, Kenya; and author of the first publication on API cultural barriers in reproductive health care have inspired a lifelong respect for cultures, community and commitment to justice and equity. Her poetry, writings and columns are shaped by an appreciation for the profound effect of words and language on our culture and our times.

Jude Narita, who has performed her one-woman plays nationally and internationally since writing her first play, the award-winning “Coming Into Passion/Song for a Sansei,” which was her artist response to the demeaning and one-dimensional stereotypes of Asian women in films, theater, and on television. For over two decades, she has continued to create and perform her plays, bringing Asian and Asian American women to the front of the stage with humor, courage, and fearless celebration. Narita explores then transcends Asian issues — celebrating our differences, while illuminating the universal humanity of us all. Visit www.judenarita.com.

Producer of this session is Iwataki; executive producer of the series is Mike Murase.

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