Schedule

TimeTopicLocation
11:00:00 AM Gag Order: Writers on What Goes Unpublished
So you sent your writing to a magazine and you got rejection slip--one that doesn’t even have your name on it. Well, this special reading features award-winning writers reading their favorite works--that got turned down by journals and presses! But this isn’t just sour grapes. Did you know that only five percent of the writers and reviews in The New York Times are writers of color? Four writers--poet and photographer Thomas Sayers Ellis, Bino Realuyo of Kundiman, Manijeh Nasrabadi of the Association of Iranian American Writers, and Cate Marvin of VIDA--share their personal and professional tales of being silenced and the editorial visions that exclude writing on the margins.
powerHouse Ground Floor
11:00:00 AM Modern Love
“It’s not you, it’s me.” This might be a line you’ve heard at many a break-up, but sometimes words like “you” and “me” are more slippery than they initially appear. Come hear a modern take on that mysterious, oppressive experience that keeps us distracted at work and early to happy hour--love!--from three hot writers hailing from experimental poetry, the transnational novel, and performance. In National Book Award finalist Monica Youn’s poetry, Ignatz Mouse from Krazy Kat transmutes into an eroticized stand-in for all our unrequited loves and unreturned texts. Wena Poon’s Alex y Robert features a young American woman who enters the testosterone-driven world of Spanish bullfighting with the help of a famed torodero. And former Kearny Street Workshop Artistic Director Sam Chanse performs in multiple voices to plumb out love Bay Area style. Trade your candied hearts and forget-me-nots for the comic strips, bullrings and stand-up comedy of desire.
powerHouse Mezzanine
12:00:00 PM Growing Pains
All happy teens are all alike, but all unhappy teens are unhappy in their own way. Four excellent writers chronicle our miserable and angelic adolescent years. Whiting Award-winner Nami Mun ran away from home at a young age, before she wrote Miles From Nowhere, a bestselling riveting fiction collection about 1980’s New York, escort clubs and petty crime. In Karan Mahajan’s Family Planning, the main character walks in on his parents doing the beast with two backs. Iraj Isaac Rahmim--whose work has been listed as a Notable Essay five times in Best American Essays--writes about his wonder years in an Iran interrupted by revolution and war. And Grant Best Young American Novelist Akhil Sharma’s An Obedient Father presents us with an oily protagonist--a bribe-collector father who molests his daughter. From the Bronx to metropolitan Asia, hear four edgy and critically acclaimed writers describe the agony of becoming a person.
powerHouse Mezzanine
01:00:00 PM Big Brother Loves Asians: States, Spies, and Suspects
Whether it’s the recent immigrant graduate on an expired H1B visa or a South Asian who gets searching looks from the TSA rent-a-cop, many Asian Americans possess an uncomfortable relationship with the government and its watchful eye. Party down against the Panopticon with three writers who explore the intersection of surveillance and Asian identity in modern times. In Susan Choi’s A Person of Interest, an Asian-American professor attracts the attention of FBI agents who suspect him of being a serial bomber. Your Republic is Calling You, a gripping political thriller by South Korea’s most prominent young novelist, Young-ha Kim, explores the double life of a North Korean spy and father in today’s Seoul. Amitava Kumar’s most recent work, A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb, takes a critical look at artistic responses to Big Brother. A reading that’s part John Le Carré, part George Orwell--all awesome.
powerHouse Ground Floor
01:00:00 PM Build Your Own Superhero
Ever think of Clark Kent as a nerdy Asian American that no one understands? Are you beginning to see some parallels between your life and and superheros in comics? Whether you’ve always wanted Invisibility, an indestructible exoskeleton, or just the ability to tune out your parents--come design your own superhero in this workshop with Jeff Yang and Jerry Ma, editor of the ground-breaking comics anthology Secret Identities, where superheroes and Asian American history collide!
powerHouse Mezzanine
02:00:00 PM Internet Auteur
So you may use the Internet just to procrastinate, flirt and google-stalk, but the Web remains a frontier where the mores on authorship, ownership and privacy are still being written and can change at any moment. Three innovative writers discuss the way the Internet is rewriting what it means to be both an author and a person. We start with a reading by infant terrible Tao Lin, the harbinger of the Internet generation of Twenty-First Century American letters--he’s been likened to Mayakovsky scribbling via text message. Then, Columbia Law Professor Tim Wu--the theorist of “net neutrality,” the principle that advocates an Internet without restrictions--discusses The Master Switch, his play-by-play about how corporations have controlled American communications media. Arianna Huffington calls the book “A must-read for all Americans who want to remain the ones deciding what they can read, watch, and listen to.” He’ll be joined in conversation with avant-garde poet Tan Lin, whose eleven new collections are available for free download and appropriate online detritus: YouTube, Chinese-English translators, and copied-and-pasted blurbs describing other books.
powerHouse Ground Floor
03:00:00 PM OPEN CITY: The Mean Streets of LES/Chinatown
Few places are as iconic as New York’s Lower East Side and Chinatown, the multi-ethnic nexus of hipsters and low-income Fukienese laborers--and of the 5th and 7th precinct. This reading and conversation offers a rare look into the friendship and urbanist reporter’s eye shared by two of the biggest crime writers of the day: Henry Chang, author of the Chinatown Trilogy, and Richard Price, author of Lush Life, inspiration behind The Wire and, according to Michael Chabon, one of the greatest writers of dialogue in American literature. Join moderator Rob Hollander, an LES activist, for a ride-a-long past Mulberry Bend, down the Bloody Angle into the turf wars where multiple worlds meet. Reading headlined by Organizing Fellows of the Workshop’s OPEN CITY: Blogging Urban Change, an innovative anti-gentrification blog featuring writers gathering testimony from immigrants in Chinatown, Sunset Park and Flushing.
powerHouse Ground Floor
03:00:00 PM Scrabble for the Rabble
Come upstairs to The Hangout, where we'll have booze, books, and Scrabble. From 3pm to 6pm, You'll be able to throw back a few, challenge a writer to beat your triple word score, and support the Workshop’s daily efforts in this raucous, informal fundraiser. We want you to have fun while you’re giving us needed funds. Buy tickets in advance here. Drinks on us--and Beer Lao.
powerHouse Mezzanine
04:00:00 PM OPEN CITY: The Diaspora Next Door
So say you head out to Flushing for the food and New Jersey to see your fam, but who’s telling the stories of the immigrant communities, whose stories are often obscured by language barriers and economic segregation? Luis Francia, Hari Kondabolu, and Sung Woo will act as your tour guide through the diasporic landscape of Mom-and-pop shops, strip malls, and cart food in the outer boroughs and Jersey, the honorary borough. Asian American Literary Award winner Luis Francia’s new chapbook is populated by manongs, teen rappers, and a comfort woman relocated to Queens. Stand up comic Hari Kondabolu--star of Comedy Central and “a national comedic treasure” (The Stranger)--talks about coming of age in Queens. And Sung J. Woo’s Everything Asian features a Korean American family running a shop in a depressed New Jersey town. Reading headlined by Organizing Fellows of the Workshop’s OPEN CITY: Blogging Urban Change, an innovative anti-gentrification blog featuring writers gathering testimony from immigrants in Chinatown, Sunset Park and Flushing.
powerHouse Ground Floor
04:00:00 PM Scrabble for the Rabble
Come upstairs to The Hangout, where we'll have booze, books, and Scrabble. From 3pm to 6pm, You'll be able to throw back a few, challenge a writer to beat your triple word score, and support the Workshop’s daily efforts in this raucous, informal fundraiser. We want you to have fun while you’re giving us needed funds. Buy tickets in advance here. Drinks on us--and Beer Lao.
05:00:00 PM Between Worlds, Between Words
While most people think of Asian American literature is all about the conventional memoir, many Asian Americans grew up living in multiple worlds, each with its own way of speaking. Three experimental writers--Gina Apostal, Sarah Gambito, and Myung-mi Kim--work at a deterritorialized space where the silences between words can matter as much as the words themselves. Gina Apostol’s The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata is a metafictional, footnote-festooned take on the Katipunan--imagine if David Foster Wallace had written a history of Philippine revolutionaries! Slippery and boisterous, Sarah Gambito’s Tagalog-inflected poems lilt between the erotic and the historic, playfully surveying both post-colonialism and Cheetos, electronica, and a man burning on fire. And Myung-mi Kim’s decentered poetry--an almost autobiography of transnational immigration without the word “I”--forces you to read in an entirely new, subtextual way, training you into both a cartographer and a translator. Come hear daring writing that possesses an ambivalent, necessarily mongrel relationship with the worlds we live in and the language we use to describe it.
powerHouse Ground Floor
05:00:00 PM Scrabble for the Rabble
Come upstairs to The Hangout, where we'll have booze, books, and Scrabble. From 3pm to 6pm, You'll be able to throw back a few, challenge a writer to beat your triple word score, and support the Workshop’s daily efforts in this raucous, informal fundraiser. We want you to have fun while you’re giving us needed funds. Buy tickets in advance here. Drinks on us--and Beer Lao.
06:00:00 PM Awards Ceremony
Since 1998, The Asian American Writers' Workshop has presented the highest literary honor for writers of Asian American descent. We're the only national organization actively soliciting entries, to ensure that a comprehensive list of the year's Asian American books are entered into competition. Past winners of the award include Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri, National Book Award winner Ha Jin, and Guggenheim Fellow Arthur Sze. The culminating event of Page Turner, the Thirteenth Annual Asian American Literary Awards will honor great contributions to Asian American letters. Come have a drink and raise a glass in honor of three award winning writers!
powerHouse Ground Floor
12:00:00 AM Postcolonial Blues
Himanshu Suri, member of the hip hop group Das Racist, said in an interview with Sepia Mutiny: “not a lot of people want to hear rappers talk about Dinesh D'Souza being a punk, Eddie Said, Gayatri Spivak being dope.” We do. Moderated by author V.V. Ganeshananthan, this once-in-a-lifetime meeting of post-colonial heavyweight and author of Fault Lines Meena Alexander and deconstructionist rabble rousers Das Racist will be the conversation no one said they wanted to hear, a cross-generational cipher on role of the writers and musicians as migrant, transcultural brokers, and travelers between worlds.
powerHouse Ground Floor