Editors’ Corner: What is the Landscape of APIA Literature?

Our crowd-sourced map at AWP 2013.
Our crowd-sourced map at AWP 2013.

“What is the Landscape of APIA Literature?” reads the poster board map of the United States that I’ve stuck up on my bedroom wall. Red, green, and blue dots cluster over the black sharpie outlines of its borders, clotting layer upon layer in some locations (e.g. NYC, LA, SF, New England), and scattering more sparsely across others (there’s two lonely blue dots huddled together in the southeastern-most corner of South Dakota; while several states—such as Alaska, Idaho, Oklahoma, and New Mexico—remain blank). A key in the right hand corner provides some interpretation: green dots stand for people who identify as writers and readers (and/or publishers) of Asian/Pacific Islander American (APIA) literature, red for those who identify as readers (but not writers) of APIA lit, and blue for those who identify as neither a reader nor a writer of APIA lit, but are curious to learn more.

The information on this map was “crowd-sourced” a few months ago at our the AWP bookfair table, where we and three other APIA lit mags (Kartika Review, TAYO Magazine, and Hyphen) invited passers-by to add dots representing themselves to the map according to the place of origin with which they most identified and their relationship to APIA literature. One of the things that struck us immediately was how very open people were to our invitation to “map” themselves. The act of adding oneself to a map carries its own particular appeal. To place yourself on a map is to make a statement about one’s identity; to declare one’s origins; to make one’s mark on a place; to speak for and represent oneself amidst a larger community. In the context of a conference as bewilderingly large and far-flung as AWP, especially, that seemed particularly important.

Continue reading “Editors’ Corner: What is the Landscape of APIA Literature?”


ConferenceOverviewScreen shot 2013-03-02 at 4.24.57 PM

Here’s a preview of what Lantern Review will be up to at this year’s AWP conference… which is coming up in just a few days! You’ll find us listed in the bookfair catalogue as Lantern Review Kartika Review, located at Table Y2 in Exhibit Hall D, Level 2. For the second year in a row, we’ll be tabling with Kartika Review this time, with the wonderful support of our friends at TAYO Literary Magazine and Hyphen.

We’ll have chapbooks, magazines, and lots of other information about what’s happening in the Asian American literary world… not to mention an interactive display that will allow you to “put yourself on the map,” so to speak, of Asian American literature. See you next week!

Some Panels of Interest

R131. Baring/Bearing Race in the Creative Writing Classroom. (Aimee Suzara, Kwame Dawes, Debra Busman, Diana Garcia, Lee Herrick)

F150. Intersecting Lineages: Poets of Color on Cross-Community Collaboration. (Ching-In Chen, Sherwin Bitsui, Celeste Guzman Mendoza, Hayan Charara, Kevin Simmonds)

F162. The New Workshop: Literary Community through Pedagogical Innovation, Sponsored by Kundiman. (Sarah Gambito, Regie Cabico, Paisley Rekdal, Myung Mi Kim)

F251. The Divided Heart: Writing Far From Home. (Sandra Yee, Eduardo C. Corral, Ishion Hutchinson, Valzhyna Mort, Jane Wong)

F279. Visible Shores: Writers of Color Listening Across Waters. (Patrick Rosal, Tiphanie Yanique, Roger Bonair-Agard, Christian Campbell, Rachelle Cruz)

S122. Biracial Women Poets. (Brenda Shaughnessy, Monica Ferrell, Paisley Rekdal, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Monica McClure)

S203. Inside Asian American Editing: How Aesthetics and Advocacy Affect Five Editors’ Publishing Decisions. (Allen Gee, Phong Nguyen, Sunyoung Lee, Jennifer Derilo, Tarfia Faizullah)

BF39. Kundiman:10-Year Celebration of Lovesongs, Verses, and Books. (Joseph O. Legaspi, Cathy Linh Che, Mathew Olzmann, Brynn Saito, Sharon Suzuki-Martinez)

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For a complete listing of panels and readings, browse the official conference schedule on the AWP website.