March 14, 2012 Garrett Hongo to Discuss Asian-American Poetry, April 13

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Contemporary Asian-American poetry will be the focus of a reading and discussion by Japanese-American poet Garrett Hongo at the Library of Congress.

The event, “Asian-American Poetry Today,” will start at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 13, in the Whittall Pavilion on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.

Co-sponsored by the Poetry and Literature Center and the Asian Division of the Library of Congress, the program is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are needed. A book sale and signing will follow.

The program will include a reading by Hongo and a discussion moderated by Franklin Odo, former chief of the Library’s Asian Division.

Hongo’s most recent poetry collection is “Coral Road: Poems” (2011). He is also the author of “Volcano: A Memoir of Hawai’i” (1995); “The River of Heaven,” which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1989; and “Yellow Light” (1980). He was the editor for “Songs My Mother Taught Me: Stories, Plays and Memoir by Wakako Yamauchi” and “The Open Boat: Poems from Asian America.”

The Asian Division at the Library of Congress holds more than 3 million books, periodicals, newspapers, electronic media and a large number of manuscripts from Asia. The collection is the most comprehensive source of Asian-language materials outside of Asia, and covers the area ranging from the South Asian subcontinent and Southeast Asia to China, Japan, Korea, and Mongolia. For more information, visit

The Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress fosters and enhances the public’s appreciation of literature. The center administers the endowed poetry chair (the U.S. Poet Laureate), and coordinates an annual literary season of poetry, fiction and drama readings, performances, lectures and symposia, sponsored by the Library’s Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund and the Huntington Fund. For more information,

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 151.8 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at


PR 12-055
ISSN 0731-3527