It’s been a busy month for us here at the Poetry and Literature Center as we excitedly prepare for the upcoming Asian American Literature Festival, which will take place all around Washington, D.C. from Thursday to Saturday, July 27–29. Co-presented with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, the festival—the first of its kind—will feature more than 50 award-winning Asian American poets, writers, literary scholars, graphic novelists, spoken-word artists, and children’s literature authors in an array of live performances, mentoring sessions, and interactive workshops.
On Saturday, July 29, the Library will host the concluding day of the festival. Join us at 11 a.m. for an intimate lecture by fiction writer Karen Tei Yamashita titled “Literature as Community: the Turtle, Imagination, and the Journey Home,” which will explore the themes of loss, exile, and immigration through the telling of a Japanese folktale. A fiction reading will follow, featuring Kundiman fellows Vt Hung, Mark Keats, and Sejal Shah.
The festival will continue at 2 p.m. with poet Kimiko Hahn delivering another intimate lecture titled “Angel Island: The Roots and Branches of Asian American Poetry,” in which she’ll discuss what made it possible for Asian American poets to begin addressing their own backgrounds with “detailed grace and rage.” Following her lecture will be a poetry reading in celebration of a new Asian American poetry issue of POETRY Magazine, featuring contributors Kazim Ali, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Paisley Rekdal, Gerald Maa, Sally Wen Mao, Rajiv Mohabir, Khaty Xiong, and John Yau.
We hope to see you there! For a complete schedule of festival events, click here.
Asian American Literature Festival. Saturday, July 29, at 11:00 a.m. LJ-119, Library of Congress Jefferson Building. Free tickets required. Full festival schedule available here. Presented in partnership with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.