April 23, 2015 Poetry and Literature Center Spring/Summer Programs

Showcase Asian-American, U.S. Hispanic, Pacific Islander Writers

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

The Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress in May and June will host three literary events, showcasing Asian-American, U.S. Hispanic, and Pacific-Islander writers.

The programs will be held in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the Library’s James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The readings are free and open to the public. Tickets are not needed.

“Asian American Literature Today: AALR A Lettres Fellowship Reading” will take place at 4 p.m. on Monday, May 4. The event will feature readings by The Asian American Literary Review’s first-ever A Lettres Fellows Cathy Linh Che, Eugenia Leigh, R.A. Villanueva and Ocean Vuong. In addition, there will be a discussion about the current state of Asian-American literature.

The program will be presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, The Asian American Literary Review and the University of Maryland Asian American Studies Program. In 2014, AALR launched its A Lettres Fellowship Program, a project to nurture emerging Asian-American writers and generate a sense of community across literary generations, pairing established and emerging writers to conduct mentorships by writing letters (“a lettre”). The fellowship culminates in a reading by the four fellows at the Library of Congress and in the published exchanges in the journal’s most recent and forthcoming issues.

“Literature in Conversation: Tim Z. Hernández,” will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6. Hernández, an author and performance artist, will read his poetry and fiction and discuss his work with Letras Latinas Director Francisco Aragón.

The Poetry and Literature Center will co-host the reading with the Library’s Hispanic Division, and the program will be presented in collaboration with Letras Latinas—the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame—and with the University of Arizona Press.

Hernández is the author of three poetry collections, including the “Natural Takeover of Small Things” (2013), “Culture of Flow” (2012) and “Skin Tax” (2004). Hernández is also the author of the novels “Mañana Means Heaven” (2013) and “Breathing, In Dust” (2010). His awards include the 2014 International Latino Book Award in historical fiction, the 2014 Colorado Book Award and the 2010 Premio Aztlán Prize in Fiction from the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Hernández is a full-time assistant professor in the University of Texas, El Paso’s Bilingual Creative Writing M.F.A. program.

“Pacific Islander Literary Spotlight” will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 3. ”Poets Brandy Nālani McDougall, Craig Santos Perez and Lyz Soto will read from their work and participate in a moderated discussion with Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis, founding director and co-editor-in-chief of The Asian American Literary Review.

The event will be presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, Ala Press, The Asian American Literary Review and the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Maryland.

The Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center fosters and enhances the public's appreciation of literature. To this end, the center administers the endowed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry position, coordinates an annual season of readings, performances, lectures, conferences, and symposia, and sponsors high-profile 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 more than 160 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 www.loc.gov.


PR 15-069
ISSN 0731-3527