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.
Thank you to the Asian American Writers' Workshop and Jennifer Hayashida for hosting such a fantastic reading with Ocean Vuong, Wendy Xu, and myself! We packed the house!
I am happy to share that my poem, "Shift," which first appeared in Painted Bride Quarterly, is today's featured poem on Poetry Daily! Thank you to the editors for selecting the poem and for helping to spread the word about Driving without a License!
From the airport, after flying to Ogden to attend my Book Release Party, my dad texted me this photo:
I'm in the Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times!!! (See the digital version of the article here.)
I am so thrilled to share that Driving without a License--alongside books by Mai Der Vang, Rajiv Mohabir, Jenny Yang Cropp, Ocean Vuong, Kenji Liu, Hannah Sanghee Park, Khaty Xiong, and Timothy Yu--is featured on NBC News' list of emerging Asian American writers to read! Thank you to Frances Kai-Hwa Wang for including DWAL on this list!
My family subscribed to the Los Angeles Times--it was the newspaper that I often combed through in search of articles to educate myself about the climate surrounding undocumented immigration debates, particularly in Southern California. That said, it is surreal to share that my debut collection, Driving without a License, was reviewed by Stephen Burt in the Los Angeles Times!
Burt writes, "It stands far apart from most first books, and from most books of autobiographical or narrative poetry, for the unpredictable vigor in its rhythmically irregular lines, especially in its depictions of youthful adventures."
Thank you to Texas Monthly for this extensive article on the history, inspiration, and creative team behind What Wings They Were: The Case of Emeline, my third project with the Houston Grand Opera/HGOco!
If you missed out on reserving your free tickets (now sold out!) to the shows at The DeLuxe Theater and The Ensemble Theatre, I am happy to share that another performance has been added to the calendar! You can reserve your free tickets for a second April 30th performance at The Ensemble Theatre here.
Note: Tickets to the fundraiser performances at the historic 1910 Coutrhouse, the original site of Emeline's trial, in support of Houston Volunteer Lawyers, are still available for purchase here.