We are thrilled to be hosting a number of terrific readings and events at De-Canon during the last week of March as part of the offsite event offerings for AWP 2019 (Association of Writers & Writing Programs), the largest North American conference for writers, writing programs, publishers, literary journals, and other related vendors. Over 14,000 writers are expected to visit Portland. And we are pleased to be the host for a number of great events — check them out below. If Facebook event links are available, we’ve linked them to the event titles.
Wed Mar 27
8:30-11:00 pm Team Mashallah Reading
Featuring: Hanif Abdurraqib, Kaveh Akbar, Fatimah Asghar, Safia Elhillo, Angel Nafis
Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His first full length poetry collection, The Crown Ain't Worth Much, was released in June 2016 from Button Poetry. With Big Lucks, he released a limited edition chapbook, Vintage Sadness, in summer 2017. His first collection of essays, They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us, was released in winter 2017 by Two Dollar Radio. His next books are Go Ahead In The Rain, a biography of A Tribe Called Quest due out in 2019 by University of Texas Press, and They Don't Dance No' Mo', due out in 2020 by Random House. Yes, he would like to talk to you about your favorite bands and your favorite sneakers.
Kaveh Akbar’s poems appear recently in The New Yorker, Poetry, The New York Times, The Nation, Tin House, Best American Poetry, The New Republic, The Guardian, Ploughshares, PBS NewsHour, American Poetry Review, The Poetry Review, and elsewhere. His debut full-length collection, Calling a Wolf a Wolf, is just out with Alice James in the US and Penguin in the UK, and his chapbook, Portrait of the Alcoholic, was published by Sibling Rivalry Press.
Fatimah Asghar is a nationally touring poet, screenwriter, educator and performer. She is a member of the Dark Noise Collective and a Kundiman Fellow. Her chapbook After came out on Yes Yes Books fall 2015. She is the writer and co-creator of Brown Girls, an Emmy-Nominated web series that highlights friendships between women of color. In 2017 she was awarded the Ruth Lily and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation and was featured on the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. Her debut book of poems, If They Come For Us, was released One World/ Random House, August 2018.
Safia Elhillo is the author of The January Children (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), recipient of the 2016 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets and a 2018 Arab American Book Award. Sudanese by way of Washington, DC, she holds a BA from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and an MFA in poetry from the New School. Safia is a Pushcart Prize nominee, receiving a special mention for the 2016 Pushcart Prize. She was co-winner of the 2015 Brunel International African Poetry Prize, and listed in Forbes Africa’s 2018 “30 Under 30.” Her fellowships and residencies include Cave Canem, The Conversation, SPACE on Ryder Farm, and a 2018 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg fellowship from The Poetry Foundation. With Fatimah Asghar, she is co-editor of the anthology Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books, 2019).
Angel Nafis is the author of BlackGirl Mansion (Red Beard Press/ New School Poetics, 2012). She earned her BA at Hunter College and is an MFA candidate in poetry at Warren Wilson College. Her work has appeared in The BreakBeat Poets Anthology, The Rumpus, Poetry Magazine, Buzzfeed Reader and elsewhere. Nafis is a Cave Canem fellow, the recipient of a Millay Colony residency, an Urban Word NYC mentor, and the founder and curator of the Greenlight Bookstore Poetry Salon.Facilitating writing workshops and reading poems globally, she lives in Brooklyn. In 2016, Nafis was a recipient of the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation and in 2017 she was awarded a Creative Writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Fri Mar 29
6:00-8:00 pm Coastlines & Crossroads (APANO)
Featuring: Alyssa Ogi, Ami Patel, Taz Ahmed, Traci Kato-Kiriyama
What happens as we move back, forth, across, up, down, backwards, and sometimes sideways along the West Coast? Longtime friends and cultural organizers Candace Kita (Portland) and Traci Kato-Kiriyama (Los Angeles) host this unique offsite AWP reading on the states of movement between Portland, Los Angeles, and everywhere in between.
Join us for a reading bridging PDX and LA, snacks suited for PNW and SoCal tastes, generative writing opportunities, and maybe even a little insight on planetary movement (also known as astrological insights from Candace). This event is co-sponsored by APANO, the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon
Alyssa Ogi writes and teaches in Portland, OR. She received her MFA from the University of Oregon, and her recent poetry can be found in Best New Poets 2017, Crab Orchard Review, and other journals.
Ami Patel is a poet currently based in Portland, Oregon. She has read at Unchaste and the Whitenoise Project. Ami is a two-time VONA fellow and her work is published in the Unchaste Anthology Volume 2 and in the upcoming Madwoman Etc zine.
Taz Ahmed is an activist, storyteller, and politico based in Los Angeles. An essayist, poet and now podcaster, her writing developed around creating a counter narrative for the communities that she belonged to, whether youth, Muslim, South Asian or counterculture. She can be heard monthly on The #GoodMuslimBadMuslim Podcast and can be read monthly in her Radical Love column at loveinshallah.com.
Traci Kato-Kiriyama is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer/author, actor, arts educator & community organizer. Since 1996, she has performed and written for theatre tours, productions, artist residencies, and performance collaborations in hundreds of venues throughout the country.
8:30-10:30 pm Asian American Poets Present New Books (Kundiman)
Featuring: George Abraham, Jason Bayani, Ching-In Chen, Shamala Gallagher, Vanessa Huang, Sally Wen Mao
Join Kundiman off-site at AWP 2019 as six fellows read from newly released books and chapbooks.
George Abraham (they/he) is a Palestinian-American poet and Bioengineering PhD candidate at Harvard University. They are the author of Birthright (Button Poetry, 2020), as well as two chapbooks: the specimen's apology (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2019) and al youm (TAR, 2017). He is a Kundiman, Watering Hole, and Poetry Incubator fellow, winner of the 2018 Cosmonauts Avenue Poetry Prize, and recipient of the Best Poet title from the College Union Poetry Slam International. Their writing has appeared or is forthcoming with The Paris Review, Tin House, The American Poetry Review, LitHub, Boston Review, and in anthologies such as Bettering American Poetry and Nepantla.
Jason Bayani is the author of Amulet (Write Bloody Publishing, 2013). He's an MFA graduate from Saint Mary's College, a Kundiman fellow, and works as the Artistic Director for Kearny Street Workshop. Jason performs regularly around the country and debuted his solo theater show "Locus of Control" in 2016. His second book Locus is forthcoming from Omnidawn Publishing in Spring 2019.
Ching-In Chen is author of The Heart's Traffic and recombinant (2018 winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry). Chen is co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities and Here Is a Pen: an Anthology of West Coast Kundiman Poets.
Shamala Gallagher is an Indian/Irish American poet and essayist whose first book is Late Morning When the World Burns (The Cultural Society, 2019). She is also the author of a chapbook, I Learned the Language of Barbs and Sparks No One Spoke (Dancing Girl Press, 2015), and her writing has appeared in Poetry, The Rumpus, The Offing, Gulf Coast, Black Warrior Review, and elsewhere.
Born in Berkeley and home in diaspora from California and Taipei to Atlanta, New York, and Tianjin, Vanessa Huang is a multimedia poet, artist, and cultural worker whose practice inherits teachings from the prison industrial complex abolition, gender liberation, and intersecting social justice movements. For over 15 years, Vanessa has worked to shift cultural narratives and strategies based in fear, violence, and exploitation towards realities centering love, vision, and transformation. quiet of chorus (UpSet Press 2018) is Vanessa’s debut poetry collection.
Sally Wen Mao is the author of Oculus (Graywolf Press, 2019) and Mad Honey Symposium (Alice James Books, 2014). She has won a Pushcart Prize and a fellowship at the New York Public Library Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.
Sat Mar 30
Las Musas is a collective of over twenty debut and sophomore Latinx young adult and middle-grade authors. Come and learn more about our work together and hear five of our fabulous members read from their current or forthcoming books at the lovely De-canon library at Milepost 5. www.lasmusasbooks.com
Aida Salazar is a writer, arts advocate and home-schooling mother whose writings for adults and children explore issues of identity and social justice. She is the author of the forthcoming middle grade verse novels, The Moon Within (Feb.26, 2019), The Land of the Cranes (Spring, 2020), the forthcoming bio picture book Jovita Wore Pants: The Story of a Revolutionary Fighter (Fall, 2020). All books published by Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic. Her story, By the Light of the Moon, was adapted into a ballet production by the Sonoma Conservatory of Dance and is the first Xicana-themed ballet in history. She lives with her family of artists in a teal house in Oakland, CA.
Yamile Saied Méndez is a fútbol-obsessed Argentine-American who loves meteor showers, summer, astrology, and pizza. She lives in Utah with her Puerto Rican husband and their five kids, two adorable dogs, and one majestic cat. An inaugural Walter Dean Myers Grant recipient, she’s also a graduate of Voices of Our Nations (VONA) and the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Writing for Children’s and Young Adult program. She’s a PB, MG, and YA author. Yamile is also part of Las Musas, the first collective of women and nonbinary Latinx MG and YA authors. She’s represented by Linda Camacho at Gallt & Zacker Literary.
Anna Meriano grew up in Houston with an older brother and a younger brother and a large but close-knit network of aunts, uncles, and cousins spreading across the state of Texas. I graduated from Rice University with a degree in English, and earned my MFA in creative writing with an emphasis in writing for children from the New School in New York. There I was lucky to meet CAKE Literary founders Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra, who started me on the Love Sugar Magic journey. author of the Love Sugar Magic series.
Ann Dávila Cardinal is a novelist and Director of Recruitment for Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA). She has a B.A. in Latino Studies from Norwich University, an M.A. in sociology from UI&U and an MFA in Writing from VCFA. She also helped create VCFA’s winter Writing residency in Puerto Rico. Ann’s first novel, Sister Chicas was released from New American Library in 2006. Her next novel, a horror YA work titled Five Midnights, will be released by Tor Teen in June 2019.
Michelle Ruiz Keil is an author and playwright with an eye for the enchanted and a way with animals. Her first book is All of Us With Wings, a magic-infused coming of age story set in post-punk San Francisco, coming June 18th, 2019 from Soho Teen.