April 23, 2014 Bangladeshi-American Poet Tarfia Faizullah Reads at Library of Congress, May 21

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Robert Casper (202) 707-5394
Contact: Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ada@loc.gov.

Bangladeshi-American poet Tarfia Faizullah will read from and discuss her first collection of poetry, “Seam,” at the Library of Congress on May 21.

The event, “Asian-American Literature Today,” will start at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21, in the Mary Pickford Theater on the third floor of the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. A book signing and sale will follow the reading. The event is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are needed.

The program is hosted by the Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center and presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, The Asian American Literary Review and the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Maryland.

Faizullah’s book “Seam” explores the history of the Birangona, Bangladeshi women raped by Pakistani soldiers during the Liberation War of 1971, and the ethics of interviewing. It won the 2012 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award.

Faizullah’s poems have appeared in Ploughshares, The Missouri Review, The Southern Review, Massachusetts Review and Ninth Letter and are anthologized in “Poems of Devotion: An Anthology of Recent Poets.” Some of her many awards and honors include an AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) Intro Journals Project Award, a Ploughshares Cohen Award, A Fulbright Fellowship and a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize.

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, founded in 1998 by Dr. Franklin Odo, provides vision, leadership and support for Asian and Pacific Islander American initiatives for the Smithsonian Institution. The center works to better reflect Asian-Pacific Americans’ contributions to the American experience, world culture and the understanding of our planet and the natural world, throughout Smithsonian Institution collections, research, exhibitions, outreach, and education programs. For more information, visit www.smithsonianapa.org External.

The Asian American Literary Review (AALR) is a literary magazine for writers who consider the designation “Asian American” a fruitful starting point for artistic vision and community. In showcasing the work of established and emerging writers, the journal aims to incubate dialogues and open those dialogues to regional, national and international audiences of all constituencies. Published biannually, AALR features fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, translations, comic art, interviews and book reviews. For more information, visit aalrmag.org/ External.

The Asian American Studies Program (AAST) at the University of Maryland provides students with the opportunity to critically study the experiences of Asian Americans. Through an interdisciplinary approach, students examine the histories, communities and cultures of Asian Americans as both distinctive from and connected to the broader themes of diversity, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation and migration in the Americas. AAST draws upon the experiences of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans to explore critical questions about identity, representation, and power. For more information, visit www.aast.umd.edu External.

The Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress fosters and enhances the public’s appreciation of literature. The center administers the endowed chair, U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry; coordinates an annual season of readings, performances, lectures and symposia; and sponsors prizes and fellowships for literary writers. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/poetry/.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds nearly 158 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site and in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov.


PR 14-070
ISSN 0731-3527