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AAWW Radio: New Asian American Writers

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Lola, Asian Grandmas (ft. Kate Gavino, Angela Chen, Vivian Lee, Matt Ortile & Rakesh Satyal)

Has your superstitious grandma ever told you myths that you haven’t been able to forget? In this episode of AAWW Radio, we have critically acclaimed cartoonist and Last Night’s Reading creator Kate Gavino, who has invited some of her favorite writers to read short stories about Asian grandmas. Kate Gavino’s new graphic novel Sanpaku explores the Japanese myth through the eyes of Marcine, an impressionable Filipina preteen who lives for her grandmother’s eccentric stories. She is joined by...


Losing Faith in The Incendiaries (ft. R.O. Kwon & Alexander Chee)

The Incendiaries is a dark, glittering, and obsessive new novel from R.O. Kwon. It’s a fractured love story, a inside look at a campus cult, and a literary thriller. It’s also already a bestseller. The Incendiaries follows the journey of a Korean American college student who falls under the spell of grief. As she finds new love, she’s also lured to violence in a Christian cult tied to North Korea. R.O. Kwon spoke with Alexander Chee, author of Edinburgh, The Queen of the Night, and the new...


Adoption & Identity (ft. Lee Herrick, Tracy O’Neill, Matthew Salesses, Sung J. Woo, Shinhee Han)

In this episode of AAWW Radio, join us as four authors—Lee Herrick, Tracy O’Neill, Matthew Salesses, and Sung J. Woo-read from new books that grapple with the realities of adoption, broken families, and the journeys we take to find out where we belong. The authors discuss the identity politics that go hand-in-hand with having a white name and a Korean self, small victories when it comes to adoptee visibility in everyday life, and the importance of seeing your own reflection. This...


Filipino American Music (ft. Christine Balance, Jessica Hagedorn, Patrick Rosal)

In 2016, we hosted the New York launch of Scholar Christine Bacareza Balance’s book Tropical Renditions: Making Musical Scenes in Filipino America, a vital exploration of post-WWII Filipinx literary and musical culture. In this episode of AAWW Radio, we’ll hear Christine read from her book as she asks, “How do Filipinos make music? And what else do these acts of music making do?” Opening for Christine is former AAWW Literary Award winner and Guggenheim Fellowship-winning poet Patrick Rosal,...


Words on Terror (ft. Solmaz Sharif, Mariam Ghani, Cathy Park Hong, & Rickey Laurentiis)

Two years ago on this month, we celebrated the release of Solmaz Sharif's award-winning debut poetry collection Look. Her poetry bears witness to, in the words of NPR, “war in the Middle East, the war on terror, the devastation ravaged upon families in the name of freedom.” Featuring poets and artists Mariam Ghani, Cathy Park Hong, Rickey Laurentiis, and Solmaz Sharif herself, they read from their work analyze state sponsored violence through language, form poems from redacted letters to...


Flying & Trying (ft. Bushra Rehman, Quincy Scott Jones, Sadia Shepard, & Jai Dulani)

In this episode of AAWW Radio, we’re celebrating the launch of Marianna’s Beauty Salon, Bushra Rehman’s debut poetry collection that captures the nuances and magic of growing up as a South Asian American femme in Queens. Bushra Rehman reads alongside writers Quincy Scott Jones, Sadia Shepard, and Jai Dulani. You’ll hear a hilarious story about a plane full of Pakistanis marooned in Charles De Gaulle airport, police brutality interpolated into James Brown lyrics, poetic reflections on...


Writing Asian American Food (ft. Lillian Li, Ligaya Mishan, Naben Ruthnum, & Rohan Kamicheril)

On this episode of AAWW Radio we hear from New York Times Hungry City columnist Ligaya Mishan, Number One Chinese Restaurant author Lilian Li, and Curry: Eating, Reading, and Race author Naben Ruthnum. They read from their work and have a conversation with writer and chef Rohan Kamicheril about "authentic" food, the power dynamics of cultural appropriation, and the role of food as a cultural gateway. Shout out to MSG.


Dear Life (ft. Yiyun Li, Porochista Khakpour, & Elif Batuman)

In this episode of AAWW Radio, authors Yiyun Li and Porochista Khakpour discuss how depression and chronic illness have transformed their existence not only as writers, but as people. Author Elif Batuman guides us in a conversation exploring the relationship between trauma and physical illness, the authors’ influences, and for who they tell their stories. Link to the video of this event on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/Epj7kP7gWKA


Breaking Caste (ft. Sujatha Gidla, Neel Mukherjee & Gaiutra Bahadur)

In this episode of AAWW Radio, we host a reading on India and caste with writers Neel Mukherjee and Sujatha Gidla. Neel Mukherjee's latest novel, A State of Freedom, short-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2014, follows the lives of five characters born to different circumstances in India navigating deeply entrenched class and caste divisions. Dalit-author Sujatha Gidla wrote the critically-acclaimed debut memoir Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India....


Open City Presents: Writing About Muslim Women

AAWW’s online magazine Open City documents the pulse of metropolitan Asian America as it's being lived on the streets of New York City right now. For this episode of AAWW Radio, we listen to AAWW Muslim Community Fellows Roja Heydarpour, Raad Rahman, Sumaya Awad and Humera Afridi read their stories published in Open City about their own experiences as Muslim American women, and the unique experiences Muslim Americans face in the current xenophobic political climate. Sarah Khan's...


Personal in the Political (ft. Hala Alyan, Hayan Charara, Marwa Helal & Tanwi Nandini Islam)

On this episode of AAWW Radio, we’re featuring three Arab American writers exploring the boundaries between personal and political: novelist/poet Hala Alyan and poets Hayan Charara and Marwa Helal. From the Six-Day War and the invasion of Iraq to explosive poetic experimentations, these writers explore what it means to have a private self, a family space, and a home in the conditions of war, displacement, and migration. They read from their work and have a conversation with with novelist and...


New Filipinx Literature (ft. Elaine Castillo, Luis H. Francia, Joseph O. Legaspi & Gina Apostol)

Elaine Castillo's debut novel America is Not the Heart is a vibrant and starkly hilarious novel about the De Vera family who flees Marcos-era Philippines in stages for the immigrant suburbs of the Bay Area. Elaine Castillo joins poets Luis H. Francia and Joseph O. Legaspi for a special reading about Filipinx-American history, migration, queerness, and the elusive goal of cracking the American Dream for working-class immigrants. After reading they join author Gina Apostol, author of the Gun...


I Can't Go On...I'll Go On ft. Patty Yumi Cottrell, Anelise Chen, Eugene Lim, & Lisa Chen

Do you ever feel like your life is in a constant state of crisis? Do you feel like, nevertheless, you persist? On this episode of AAWW Radio, we're featuring three thrilling experimental novelists whose books are about pushing forward against life-killing forces, whether it’s capitalism, the political status quo, or more existential threats like grief and suicide. Novelists Patty Yumi Cottrell, Eugene Lim, and Anelise Chen all navigate the universe of crisis--all with a touch of bleak...


Remixing Guantanamo Bay (ft. Phil Metres & Ken Chen)

This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of the Iraq War, so for this episode of AAWW Radio we’re bringing you an interview that AAWW Executive Director Ken Chen hosted with experimental poet Philip Metres back in 2016. Phil Metres is the author of the poetry collection Sand Opera. Solmaz Sharif writes, “Philip Metres’s poetry collection Sand Opera is complex, an untamable polyvocal array of clipped narratives in post-9/11 (if we are to believe such historical markers) America.” It’s a...


Go Home! Pt. 2

As an Asian American, what is your Wakanda? Did you ever consider it being the obscure 2005 Xbox game Jade Empire? On this episode, we're continuing to highlight the recent launch Go Home!, our anthology of Asian diasporic writers published in collaboration with the Feminist Press. Contributing writers Alexander Chee, Karissa Chen, Chaya Babu, Wendy Xu, Gina Apostol, & the anthology’s editor, Rowan Hisayo Buchanan had a hilarious and heartwarming conversation and Q&A in the final act of our...


Go Home! Pt. 1

We’re highlighting the recent launch of Go Home!, our anthology published in collaboration with the Feminist Press, featuring Asian diasporic writers who imagine “home” in the twenty-first century through an array of fiction, memoir, and poetry. On March 12th, we hosted a release party at our event space in Manhattan with contributing writers Alexander Chee, Karissa Chen, Chaya Babu, Wendy Xu, Gina Apostol, & the anthology’s editor, Rowan Hisayo Buchanan who read to a packed house. It was an...


Poetry Potluck I with Ocean Vuong, Janine Joseph, Wendy Xu, and Jennifer Hayashida

We’re starting a new series called Poetry Potluck featuring audio from our favorite AAWW poetry events and showcasing exciting poets of the moment. In Poetry Potluck 1, we have poets Ocean Vuong, Janine Joseph, and Wendy Xu reading from their work and having a conversation about writing process, family, and the body. Jennifer Hayashida introduces and moderates the conversation.


Love and Korean Democracy (ft. Jimin Han, Grace Yoojin Wuertz, & E. Tammy Kim)

We're featuring two Korean American novelists, Jimin Han and Yoojin Grace Wuertz, who read from their debut novels that interrogate 1970s and 1980s Korean politics. Both books follow university students in the US and in Seoul as they fall in love, build friendships, and understand how they relate to the turbulent changes in South Korean society. Wuertz’s novel, Everything Belongs to Us, centers around two Seoul National University students under President Park Chung-hee’s 1970s authoritarian...


Archive Seance (ft. M. NourbeSe Philip & Phinder Dulai)

We had Canadian experimental poets M. NourbeSe Philip and Phinder Dulai in our space for a reading and conversation on working between poetry and the archive. Phinder Dulai's dream / arteries remixes archival photos, ships manifests, passenger records, and interviews from the traumatic Komagata Maru event. M. NourbeSe Philip explodes genre boundaries with Zong!, Philip's response to the Zong slave ship massacre through legal poetry. Zong! is generally regarded as one of the most significant...


Speculative Visions (ft. Ted Chiang & Alice Sola Kim)

We're featuring one of the country’s most prominent science fiction writers, Ted Chiang, the winner of four Locus awards, four Nebula awards, four Hugo Awards, and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Junot Díaz wrote, “Ted Chiang is so exhilarating, so original, so stylish, he just leaves you speechless.” Chiang’s short story collection, Stories of Your Life and Others, includes the Nebula Award-winning story “Story of Your Life,” of which the 2016 Academy Award-nominated film...