Lots going on this week. Especially interesting this week: Kundiman & Verlaine Reading Series in NYC, Vincent Who? Documentary Screening at the AAWW, poet Truong Tran’s “Lost & Found” exhibit opening. Don’t forget to also check out the beginnings of Lunar New Year festivities, which are starting in some cities this week (The New Year itself is on Feb. 14th). The Museum of Chinese in America has a great list of New Year’s events going on in NYC and in Boston, DC, San Francisco, and Honolulu.
It’s the first Weekend Events Roundup of the New Year! (And of the decade, we might add). There’s a lot of things going on this weekend in the literary arts world. Monday (January 18th) is also Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We hope that, in addition to considering what arts events you’d like to check out, you’ll also consider attending a celebratory event or participating in service or activism this weekend in honor of his work and legacy.
I mentioned in my last post that I was planning to check out an event on December 4th called Breaking English, hosted by Korean-Brazilian writer Larissa Min. Larissa moved to Seattle in 2000, where she got her M.F.A. in fiction at the University of Washington. Since then, she has taught at local community colleges and begun work on a family history project mapping her parents’ journey from Korea to Brazil, and several decades later, to New York City. Her research, sponsored by the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, has taken her back to Brazil, down the streets of her hometown, and into the archives of her childhood library.
I arrived at the event a little late, but found a great seat as Larissa assured the audience that she was running on “Latino time” and would be ready in a few minutes. I felt immediately gratified to be in the company of what seemed to me a different crowd than the one that usually frequents Seattle literary events (where I am often the only person of color present!) The unusual venue, a darkened second-floor dance studio in Seattle’s Capitol Hill district (known for its arts community), was a lovely event space: floor-length mirrors, wood pillars, votive candles flickering on the hardwood, white paper bags glowing luminously along the back wall of the studio… Continue reading “Event Coverage: Breaking English”
A short-ish list this time around. Events happening this weekend – and into next weekend – for your perusal. As usual, please feel free to suggest updates and additions.
This Wednesday, I was lucky to attend Rebecca Brown’s haibun class at the Richard Hugo House in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood Haibun is an ancient Japanese poetic form that juxtaposes prose narrative and short haiku. Brown’s interest in the form stems from what she calls “the wonderfully uncategorizeable texts” of contemporary American poets who have taken this ancient form and adapted it to their own literary moment.
The event was packed, and I shared a tiny table in the corner with three other women, one of whom is an alumni of the University of Washington’s M.F.A. program. Years ago, she helped found the program’s literary journal, The Seattle Review, and studied with the faculty member who initiated The Castalia Reading Series, which is also hosted at Hugo House. Also in attendance was the editor of a local haiku journal, and one of Seattle’s resident specialists in Beat literature, who volunteered himself to read an example of a haibun from Jack Kerouac’s Desolation Angels, a novel written in 1956 while Kerouac was living in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington State. Brown’s samples of haibun ranged from pieces like Desoluation Angels to works by John Ashbery and Basho himself, the poet credited as the originator of the haibun form.
A poet’s utopia, Open Books: A Poem Emporium, is a poetry-only bookstore located in Wallingford, Seattle. Owned and run by husband and wife duo John Marshall and Christine Deavel, Open Books is the only bookstore of its kind on the West Coast (the other is in Cambridge, MA). The store’s collection caters to a wide range of poetic sensibilities and carries not only recently published works, but a variety of rare and first editions as well.