Thank you to Jamie Chau for spotlighting Driving without a License in the "Immigration & Literature" feature in The Los Angeles Times High School Insider!
Here a few snapshots from my visit to Pellissippi State Community College, where I delivered a Convocation address on their Common Academic Experience theme for the year, Inner Space | Outer Space. I was fortunate enough to share this day--the very day the current administration announced the repeal of DACA--with the most brilliant and kind Carlos G., who introduced me and shared his own similar experiences. While there, I got to meet with students, faculty, and staff to talk in depth about poetry and immigration. When I left, my suitcase was full of the various snacks they bought to sweeten my welcome. (Everyone in the Clayton Performing Arts Center got to hear me exclaim, loudly, "Otap!" 😁) Thank you, PSCC, and everyone who worked to bring us all together. (center photo of me by Pellissippi State Community College)
I'm thrilled to share that there will be a special performance of From My Mother's Mother at Flushing Town Hall on Mother's Day (5/13)! The performance begins at 7:30 pm.
Description: A hot bowl of seaweed soup—also known as birthday soup—is traditionally prepared for new Korean mothers for twenty-one days to aid in their recovery. From My Mother's Mother follows the passing down and rejection of this tradition through four generations of Korean-American women. Composed by Jeeyoung Kim. Libretto by Janine Joseph.
Tickets: $10/FREE for Members, Students & Mothers
I'm awfully late in sharing the news here, but I am happy to share that Driving without a License was reviewed--at the start of National Poetry Month--by Laura Donnelly in Kenyon Review! Read the full review here.
This International Women's Day, treat yourself to some reading recommendations from the New York Public Library! Be sure to check out #155 ;)
I'm absolutely thrilled to share that Driving without a License is a poetry finalist for the 2017 Oklahoma Book Awards! Congratulations to the other finalists! I look forward to the awards ceremony on April 8th.
At the 2017 Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Conference in DC, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Javier Zamora, and I chatted with Rachel Zucker about literary activism and our work with Undocupoets for the newest episode of Commonplace: Conversations with Poets.
Be sure to also check out Episode 21: Undocupoets Part 1 with Christopher Soto aka Loma, one of the original members of Undocupoets, .
I'm happy to share that Driving without a License is on the longlist for the 2016 Julie Suk Award for the best book of poetry published by an independent or university press. Congratulations to the other finalists!
Driving without a License Named an "Immigrant Authors Are Making American Literature Great Again: 12 of the Best Books of 2016" title in Vice magazine /
Thank you to Matthew Salesses and Vice for including Driving without a License on this stellar 2016 list of influential books written by immigrant writers!
I'm *thrilled* to share that Driving without a License is Late Night Library's August Book Club selection! Thank you to Paul Martone and LNL for this unique opportunity and interview about my book.
Some details about Late Night Library's Book Club: "Subscribers pay $9.99/month and receive a gift-wrapped, newly released debut book every month, and an extra book gift every other month." I hope you'll subscribe!
From July 19-31, I attended the 2016 Sewanee Writers' Conference as a Howard Nemerov Poetry Scholar. I'm now back at my new home in Stillwater, OK and am still thinking about A. E. Stallings' reading on the first night of the conference, Alice McDermott's craft lecture on the sentence, and Robert Hass' reading and craft lecture on the ode and elegy forms. I carry with me the many friendships I formed, as well as the many, many books packed in my suitcase. Below are a few snapshots from the conference:
After months of collaboration and planning, on May 25th, Emotive Fruition and Kundiman brought to the stage “a night of live poetry that explores (un)documented immigration, migration, home, exile, and what it means to be(come) American.” Komal Kapoor Fox, Pearl Sun, and Tiffany Villarin performed excerpts from Driving without a License alongside work by Rachel Ansong, Marina Blitshteyn, Chialun Chang, Samina Hadi-Tabassum, Hieu Huynh, Vikas Menon, Ansley Moon, Julia Munslow, Sahar Muradi, and Sokunthary Svay. I heard we filled the space beyond max capacity!
A very special thanks to Thomas Dooley and Cathy Linh Che for directing and organizing the event, as well as to the Botanic Lab for providing us with a venue! Thank you, too, to those in NYC who attended the event and shared your stories. Below are just a few snapshots from the evening.
In February, I had the opportunity to read excerpts from Driving without a License at the Poesía Peligrosa series at UC Riverside. This special reading and homecoming would not have been possible without the collaboration between and financial support from Poets & Writers, the Paul & Daisy Soros Foundation, and UC Riverside's PODER (Providing Opportunities, Dreams, and Education in Riverside) and Chicano Students Programs--THANK YOU!
On Wednesday, 5/25, New York City actors will be performing excerpts from Driving without a License along with other poems that explore (un)documented immigration, migration, home, exile, and what it means to be(come) American. Reserve your tickets now.