Monday, March 19, 2007

Asian Pacific American Book Festival - May 12, 2007

March 19, 2007

Contact: Audrey Lee-Sung
Asian Pacific American Legal Center
(213) 977-7500, ext. 229

APALC to Launch Inaugural Asian Pacific American Book Festival

Premiere Book Event to be Held During Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month on May 12

Los Angeles -- The Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California will launch the Asian Pacific American Book Festival, the first festival of its kind focusing on the literary contributions of writers of Asian and Pacific Islander descent, on Saturday, May 12, at the Japanese American National Museum. The festival will be part of Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month.
Writers, poets, and industry professionals from across the country will participate in panel discussions, readings, and book signings exploring the festival’s inaugural theme of “Family.” Some of the confirmed panelists include Newbery Award winner Cynthia Kadohata, Asian American Writers Workshop executive director Quang Bao, Los Angeles Times Book Review editor David Ulin, poet Victoria Chang, pioneering Latino activist and author Luis J. Rodriguez, and many others.
“The Asian Pacific American Legal Center’s mission is to advocate for issues involving our various ethnic communities and what could be more illuminating than to spread, share, and examine our stories,” said Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director, Asian Pacific American Legal Center. “Through the celebration of these stories, we can help to transform the lives of not only Asian Pacific Americans, but also our larger world. Democracy begins with ideas and these ideas are expressed through words, either spoken or written.”
The festival, which will feature various book and community group booths that target Asian Pacific American issues, will begin at 11 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. Activities, designed for audiences of different ages, will include panel discussions, poetry and children’s book readings, spoken word presentations, writing workshops and a publishing seminar.
The growing list of writers, poets, and industry professionals confirmed to participate include:
· Noel Alumit / novelist, Talking to the Moon (Carroll and Graff) and Letters to Montgomery Clift (Alyson Books)
· Teena Apeles / nonfiction writer, Women Warriors: Adventures from History’s Greatest Female Fighters (Seal Press)
· Cecilia Manguerra Brainard / fiction writer, When the Rainbow Goddess Wept (Ann Arbor Paperbacks); editor, Growing Up Filipino: Stories for Young Adults (PALH)
· Victoria Chang / poet, Circle (Southern Illinois University) and Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation (University of Illinois Press)
· Alison de la Cruz / poet and performer
· Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla / novelist, Ode to Lata (Really Great Books)
· Sesshu Foster / poet, Atomic Aztex (City Lights Publishing)
· Kip Fulbeck / performance artist and author, Part Asian, 100% Hapa (Chronicle Books)
· Linda Furiya / food memoirist, Bento Box in the Hearthland: My Japanese Girlhood Whitebread America (Seal Press)
· Tracey Gee / coeditor, More Than Serving Tea: Asian American Women on Expectations, Relationships, Leadership and Faith (Intervarsity Press)
· John Hamamura / novelist, Color of the Sea, (Thomas Dunne)
· Naomi Hirahara / mystery author, Summer of the Big Bachi and Snakeskin Shamisen (Bantam Dell), and short story contributor, Los Angeles Noir (Akashic)
· Toyomi Igus / children’s book author, The Two Mrs. Gibsons (Children’s Book Press)
· Blossom Kan and Michelle Yu / chick lit authors, China Dolls (St. Martin’s)
· Ketu Katrak / UC Irvine professor and nonfiction writer, Politics of the Female Body: Postcolonial Women Writers of the Third World
· Shishir Kurup / performance artist
· Dan Kwong / performance artist and author, From Inner Worlds to Outer Space: The Multimedia Performances of Dan Kwong (University of Michigan Press)
· Ann Le / writer, The Little Saigon Cookbook: Vietnamese Cuisine & Culture in Southern California’s Little Saigon (Globe Pequot)
· Lela Lee / creator, Angry Little Girls
· Philip Lee / cofounder, Lee and Low Books
· William Poy Lee / memoirist, The Eighth Promise: An American Son’s Tribute to His Toisonese Mother (Rodale Books)
· Sunyoung Lee /editor, Kaya Books
· Russell Leong / editor, Amerasia Journal, UCLA Asian American Studies Center, fiction writer, Phoenix Eyes and Other Stories (University of Washington Press), and poet, Country of Dreams and Dust (West End Press)
· Claire Light / speculative fiction writer and cofounder, Hyphen Magazine
· Aimee Liu / memoirist, Gaining: The Truth About Life After Eating Disorders (Warner Books) and novelist, Flash House (Warner Books)
· Pooja Makhijani / children’s book writer, Mama’s Saris (Little, Brown), and editor, How Girls Experience Race in America (Seal Press)
· David Mas Masumoto / memoirist, Epitaph for a Peach (HarperCollins) and Letters to the Valley: A Harvest of Memories (Heyday Books)
· Eric Nakamura and Martin Wong / co-editors of the magazine, Giant Robot
· An Mai Nguyen / publisher, Viet-Baby
· Rick Noguchi / poet, The Ocean Inside Kenji Takezo (University of Pittsburgh Press) and children’s book author, Flowers from Mariko (Lee and Low Books)
· Angela Oh / memoirist, Open: One Woman’s Journey (UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press)
· Mae Respicio / nonfiction author, Filipinos in Los Angeles (Arcadia Publishing)
· Nina Revoyr / novelist, Southland (Akashic) and Necessary Hunger (St. Martin’s)
· Luis J. Rodriguez / memoirist, Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. (Touchstone) and cofounder of Tia Chucha Bookstore
· Brian Ascalon Roley / novelist, American Son (W.W. Norton) and short story contributor, Los Angeles Noir (Akashic)
· Sonia Singh / chick lit author, Ghost Interrupted and Goddess for Hire (Avon)
· Icy Smith / publisher of East West Discovery Press
· Eileen Tabios / poet, I Take Thee, English, for My Beloved (Marsh Hawk Press)
· Denise Uyehara / performance artist and author, Maps of City and Body: Shedding Light on the Performances of Denise Uyehara (Kaya Press)
· Amy Uyematsu / poet, Stone Bow Prayer (Copper Canyon Press)
· Patricia Wakida / former editor, Heyday Books
· Duncan Williams, Camp Dharma: Buddhism and the World War Two Incarceration of Japanese Americans (University of California Press)
· Phil Yu / blogger and creator, Angry Asian Man
· Sandra Zane / agent, Global Literary Management

“A group of Asian Pacific American writers has been discussing this idea of a festival of our own for a while,” said award-winning memoirist David Mas Masumoto, who is a member of the festival’s advisory council. “This event is important not only for authors but also for anyone believing in the power of public discourse and sharing of ideas, ranging from the irreverent to the profound. It’s so appropriate that the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, which promotes issues like literacy and community networking, would be at the forefront of this ground-breaking event.”
Community partners include UCLA Asian American Studies Center, Japanese American National Museum, FilAm Arts, Poets & Writers, Hyphen, KPCC, and Asian American Journalists Association – Los Angeles Chapter. Asian Pacific American Book Festival sponsors include ABC7, Prudential Financial, Los Angeles Times, The James Irvine Foundation, California Community Foundation, and the Verizon Foundation.
This event is free and open to the public; pre-registration is only required for the writing workshops. Japanese American National Museum is located in Little Tokyo at the corner of First Street and Central Avenue. Parking is available in area lots.
As part of this festival, Cecilia Brainard will be conducting free workshop - info below:

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Asian Pacific American Book Festival, organized by the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Writing Workshops (Preregistration Required) / Education Center, Japanese American National Museum Pavilion, 369 E. First St., Los Angeles

1-3 p.m.

“Writing Our Family: A Beginning Writing Workshop”

--led by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard / fiction writer, When the Rainbow Goddess Wept; editor, Growing Up Filipino: Stories for Young Adults; and teacher, UCLA Extension

--Co-sponsor: Song Sparrow Writing Workshop

This workshop is for beginning writers, interested in flexing their creativity and focusing on creating characters from their family members. Please bring a photo of a relative (living or deceased) to the class. To preregister, e-mail or call 213-241-0254.
. Also see updates at

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