06 July 2011

Multi-Genre Reading: Queer Border Crossings at The Asian American Writers' Workshop (NY)

Post date: 06 July 2011
Deadline: 14 July 2011, 7pm

Even as New York becomes the largest state to legalize same sex marriage, the queer body remains a point of contention in public policy and literature. In writing the queer body, the borders that separate pertain not just to gender and sexuality, but also race and voice, form and genre. In this multi-genre reading, Ronaldo Wilson, Rahul Mehta, Kit Yan, and Ching-In Chen cross borders of both gender and genre. Avant-garde poet Ronaldo Wilson reads from Poems of the Black Object, winner of the Asian American Literary Award--detailing the nitty-gritty of bodily fluids, illicit subcultures, and dream states to critique the objectification of the black queer body. Short story writer Rahul Mehta will take you across continents, uncomfortable family gatherings, and bitter generational rifts to reveal the growing pains of being gay and Indian American in Quarantine. Multi-genre poet Ching-In Chen plays with form and theatrical jazz aesthetics in her latest work. A Hawaiian spoken word artist lost in New York, Kit Yan’s love poems, dirty sex stories, and comedic tales of his childhood are raw, real, heart-wrenching, and unforgettable.

Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart's Traffic (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press) and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press). She is a Kundiman and Lambda Fellow and part of the Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities. She has worked in the San Francisco, Oakland, Riverside and Boston Asian American communities. Ching-In currently lives in Milwaukee and is involved in union organizing and direct action against the draconian proposals of Governor Scott Walker. Her work is lauded by veteran poet Juan Felipe Herrera, as Chinese classic poet “Cho Wen-Ch√ľn on fire—with a punk mohawk cut.”

Rahul Mehta earned his MFA at Syracuse University and is the author of the short story collection Quarantine (HarperPerennial). Portions of Quarantine, already a runaway success in India, have appeared in New Stories from the South, The Kenyon Review, The Sun, Epoch, NOON, Fourteen Hills and Storyville.com. His essays have appeared most recently in OUT Magazine, Marie Claire India, and The Telegraph (Kolkata). Born and raised in Parkersburg, West Virginia, he currently lives in Alfred, New York, and teaches at Alfred University. Quarantine is described as “A rich study of family ties, romantic failings and cultural disconnection told in crisp, clean prose,” (Kirkus).

Ronaldo V. Wilson is the author of Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man (University of Pittsburgh Press) and Poems of the Black Object (Futurepoem Books), winner of the 2010 Asian American Literary Awards. He is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, NYU’s Graduate Creative Writing Program, and holds a PhD in English from the CUNY Graduate Center. Wilson has won numerous fellowships to include the National Research Council Ford Foundations, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Cave Canem, Kundiman, Djerassi, and Yaddo. A co-founder of the Black Took Collective, he currently teaches creative writing, literature, and African American poetics at Mount Holyoke College. Publishers Weekly calls Poems of the Black Object “erotic verse about gay sexuality, demolition jobs directed at racial stereotypes, and plenty of genre-busting, metafictional, forward-looking hybrid forms.”

Kit Yan tells stories through slam poetry from the lens of a transgender Asian American from Hawaii now lost in the big city of New York. Through touching love poems, dirty sex accounts, and comedic tales of his childhood–Kit takes you on a journey that is raw, heart-wrenching, and unforgettable. Kit’s work has been taught at universities coast to coast. He spoke to over 200,000 from the stage of the 2009 National Equality March, performed on the San Francisco Pride main stage, and is a nationally ranking slam poet. Kit Yan is the first ever and reigning Mr. Transman 2010. “The eloquence of Kit’s spoken-word delivery lies in the anti-racist, anti-homophobic, gender-inclusive, language that ties his lyrics together,” (Bitch Magazine).

The event is co-sponsored by Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY).

@ The Asian American Writers’ Workshop
110-112 West 27th Street, 6th Floor
Between 6th and 7th Avenues
Buzzer 600

Open to the public. $5 suggested donation.

Contact Information:

For inquiries: desk@aaww.org

Website: http://aaww.org/
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