July 7, 2017 Library Welcomes Asian American Literature Festival

Press Contact: Bryonna Head (202) 707-3073
Public Contact: Robert Casper (202) 707-1308
Website: Asian American Literature Festival External
Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov

The Library of Congress  will host the concluding day of the groundbreaking “Asian American Literature Festival” on Saturday, July 29.

The festival’s concluding day includes two events at the Library of Congress. Both events will take place in room LJ-119 on the first floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The events are free, but tickets are required, and there may be special restrictions. Visit this event-ticketing site for more information and to secure your ticket.

The “Asian American Literature Festival,” to be held July 27-29, 2017 in Washington, D.C. and co-presented by the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, will be the first national festival of its kind. It will feature more than 50 award-winning Asian-American poets, writers, literary scholars, graphic novelists, spoken-word artists and children’s literature authors, in an array of live performances, mentoring sessions and interactive workshops.

The first event will kick off at 11 a.m. on Saturday with a lecture by fiction writer and American Book Award winner Karen Tei Yamashita titled, “Literature as Community: the Turtle, Imagination, and the Journey Home.” A fiction reading by fellows from Kundiman, a leading organization for Asian-American writers, will follow.

Saturday’s second event will begin at 2 p.m. with a lecture by poet and Poetry Society of America President Kimiko Hahn titled, “Angel Island: The Roots and Branches of Asian- American Poetry.” The event will close with a poetry reading in celebration of the release of a new Asian-American poetry issue of Poetry magazine, including readings by acclaimed poets Kazim Ali, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Paisley Rekdal, John Yau and others.

For more information, visit loc.gov/poetry/events.

Kimiko Hahn is the author of nine books of poems, including “Earshot” (1992), which was awarded the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize and an Association of Asian American Studies Literature Award, “The Unbearable Heart” (1996), which received an American Book Award and most recently, “Brain Fever” (2014). Her other honors include a PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, a Shelley Memorial Award, a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a distinguished professor in the Master’s of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College, City University of New York.

Karen Tei Yamashita is the author of several books, including “I Hotel” (2010), “Anime Wong” (2014) and the forthcoming “Letters to Memory” (2017). “I Hotel” was selected as a finalist for the National Book Award and awarded the California Book Award, the American Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature and the Association for Asian American Studies Book Award. A U.S. Artists Ford Foundation Fellow and co-holder of the University of California Presidential Chair in Feminist Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Yamashita is currently a professor of literature and creative writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center is a national resource for discovering the consequence and complexity of the Asian-Pacific American experience through collaboration, exhibitions, programs and digital experiences. For more information, please visit smithsonianapa.org. Learn more about Kundiman, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the creation and cultivation of Asian-American literature, at kundiman.org. For more information about the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, visit poetryfoundation.org.

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 loc.gov/poetry/.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.  Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.


PR 17-096
ISSN 0731-3527