Asian American Literary Review to Hold Symposium at JANM


Hiromi Ito (Photo by Jeffrey Angles)

Nine accomplished writers will be featured at the daylong celebration, “8 + 1: A Symposium: Voice from the Asian American Literary Review,” set for Saturday, May 7, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. The event is free and open to the public.

The Asian American Literary Review showcases the works of established and emerging writers. Published biannually, the journal features poetry, creative nonfiction, translations, comic art, interviews and book reviews. The publication, the editors believe, is “an expression of our needs…[and]feeling, modified by the writer’s moral and technical insights.” It was founded by Lawrence-Minh Bui Davis, Gerald Maa and Larry Shinagawa.

The symposium will begin with remarks by Davis and Maa, who are co-editors-in-chief. The writers will appear mostly in pairs with the following schedule:

10-11:30 a.m., Brian Ascalon Roley and Viet Nguyen

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., R. Zamora Linmark and Reese Okyong Kwon

1-2:30 p.m., Kip Fulbeck and Ray Hsu

2:30-4 p.m., Joy Kogawa and Rishi Reddi

4-4:45 p.m.m Hiromi Ito with translator Jeffrey Angles

There will be a book signing beginning at 4:45 p.m.

Brian Ascalon Roley’s work, including “American Son,” traverses the Philippines and far-flung pockets of Filipino America and touches upon the violence, both physical and psychic, done in the desire for racial belong.

Viet Thanh Nguyen is a writer in the broad sense, moving from the scholarly to the imaginary to the political with a mixture of delicacy and moral purpose.

R. Zamora Linmark writes poetry, fiction and drama, fashioning characters that encounter forces that reshape identity.

Reese Okyong Kwong is a Narrative “30 Below 30” emerging writer who has published works in several journals. She is working on her first novel.

Kip Fulbeck, whose photographic work has been twice featured at JANM, is a writer, filmmaker and slam poet. Known as the “face of Hapa,” he has encouraged society to see people of mixed race as they see themselves.

Canadian poet Ray Hsu is known for his vibrant poems that push language to its various limits only from a reverence for a life well lived.

Joy Kogawa is a poet, teacher and activist who wrote the seminal book “Obasan,” which depicted the forced removal of Japanese Canadians by their own government during World War II.

Rishi Reddi is an environmental lawyer and board member of South Asian Americans Leading Together. She is working on her first novel about the Sikh community in California.

Hiromi Ito is one of the most important poets of contemporary Japan. In the 1980s, she wrote a series of collections about sexuality, childbirth, and women’s bodies in such dramatically new and frank ways that she is often credited with revolutionizing postwar Japanese poetry. Her presentation will include translator Jeffrey Angles, an associate professor of Japanese and translation studies.

The symposium is hosted by JANM. Community and media sponsors include the International Center for Writing and Translation, UCLA Asian American Studies Center, USC Asian American Studies Program, Coffee House Press, Hyphen Magazine, Philippine Expressions Bookshop, Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network, Giant Robot, Asian American Journalists Association, Los Angeles Chapter, Audrey Magazine, Asian Arts Initiative, Kaya Press, and Calypso Editions. This event is supported by Poets & Writers Inc. through a grant from the James Irvine Foundation.

For more information, inquire at [email protected] The museum is located at 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo.


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