Archive for April, 2009

Rhapsodomancy & Fullerton Readings + News!

April 19, 2009

Good Sunday morning!

Two of the poems from The Heart’s Traffic (“Two Truths & A Lie” and “Black Light”) were finalists for the Borders Open-Door Poetry Contest, judged by Billy Collins.

I also have two readings this week in SoCal (info below)! Hope to see you there!


Rhapsodomancy announces the writers reading on Sunday, April 19, 2009:


Sunday, April 19, 2009
Doors open at 7:00 – Reading begins at 7:30pm
The Good Luck Bar, 1514 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, 90027 (east Hollywood/Silver Lake: corner of Hollywood & Hillhurst)
21 and over only.
RSVP at (RSVP not required, but appreciated)
$3 suggested donation at door.
There will be a cash bar.

Jericho Brown worked as the speechwriter for the Mayor of New Orleans before receiving his Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Houston. He also holds an M.F.A. from the University of New Orleans and a B.A. from Dillard University, and he has served as poetry editor at Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts. His poems have appeared in Callaloo, The Iowa Review, jubilat, New England Review, and Prairie Schooner. The recipient of a Cave Canem Fellowship, two scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and two travel fellowships to the Krakow Poetry Seminar in Poland, Brown is currently an Assistant Professor of English at the University of San Diego where he teaches creative writing. Western Michigan University’s New Issues Poetry & Prose published his first book, Please.

Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart’s Traffic (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press), a novel-in-poems chronicling the life of an immigrant girl haunted by the death of her best friend. Daughter of Chinese immigrants and a Kundiman Fellow, Ching-In has worked in the Asian American communities of San Francisco, Oakland, and Boston. Her work has been recently published in Tea Party, Fifth Wednesday Journal, OCHO, Iron Horse Literary Review, and Water~Stone Review.

Sina Grace is the author of the comic book series Books with Pictures and The Roller-Derby Robo-Dykes versus The Cannibals. His work has appeared in several prose and graphic novel anthologies. He illustrated More Adventurous, the Rilo Kiley comic to the eponymous album; and also illustrated inserts and promotional material for Common Rotation, Finest Dearest, and others. Cedric Hollows in Dial ‘M’ for Magic is his first novel. He lives in Southern California.

Edan Lepucki has published fiction in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, CutBank, Meridian, Avery, Narrative Magazine, and the Los Angeles Review. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a regular contributor to The Millions book blog. She is the founder of Writing Workshops Los Angeles, private writing school for the brave, enthusiastic and talented. She’s currently at work on a novel.
Reflections on Activism and Community
In celebration of National Poetry Month, National Library Week, and Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Cal State Fullerton is hosting readings by poets in our community, featuring special guest Ching-In Chen

Monday, April 20, 2009
Pollak Library, Salz-Pollak Room (PLS 102A), Cal State Fullerton
California State University, Fullerton
800 N. State College Blvd.
Fullerton CA 92870

1:00 pm—2:00 pm
Poetry Workshop by Creative Writing Club
Susan Asch and Lyndsey Lefebvre

2:30 pm—3:30 pm
Ching-In Chen Reading

4:00 pm—5:00 pm
World Languages Session

5:00 pm—6:00 pm
CSUF & Community Reading

Ching-In Chen is a poet and multi-genre, border-crossing writer. She is the daughter of Chinese immigrants and a Kundiman Asian American Poet Fellow. A community organizer, she has worked in the Asian American communities of San Francisco, Oakland, and Boston, as well as helped organize the third national Asian Pacific American Spoken Word and Poetry Summit in Boston. Ching-In is also the co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Partner Abuse in Activist Communities. Ching-In Chen’s poetry has been featured at poetry readings across the country, including Poets Against Rape, Word from the Streets, and APAture Arts Festival: A Window on the Art of Young Asian Pacific Americans. Her work has been published in the anthology Growing Up Girl: Voices from Marginalized Spaces and journals such as Tea
Party, Fifth Wednesday Journal, and OCHO. Her poems are forthcoming in Iron Horse Literary Review, WaterStone Review, and the anthology Yellow as Turmeric, Fragrant as Cloves. She has won an Oscar Wilde honorable mention for “Two River Girls,” a poem from The Heart’s Traffic. Her poem-play “The Gei-
sha Author Interviews,” also from The Heart’s Traffic, was nominated for a John Cauble Short Play Award and recommended for development at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Ching-In has also been awarded residencies and fellowships from the Voices of Our Nations Foundation, Soul Mountain Retreat, Vermont Studio Center, and the Paden Institute. A graduate of Tufts University, Ching-In Chen currently lives in Riverside, CA, where she is in the MFA in Creative Writing Program at the University of California Riverside.

Cal State Fullerton’s Creative Writing Club will host an interactive workshop from 1-2 on Monday, April 20th. During the workshop entitled “Found Poetry: Reflections on Personal Experience in the Everyday,” Lyndsey Lefebvre and Susan Asch (President and Vice president of the CWC) will provide an interactive forum through which attendees can create their own fresh perspectives from public discourse- in this case, the daily newspaper. After five-ten minutes of poetry readings in which Lyndsey Lefebvre and Susan
Asch share their own found works, participants will be led through a half hour quest to separate their own distinct voices from the columns and the classifieds, circling and combining words and phrases from the newspapers provided to show the versatility of So. Cal. vernacular. The last twenty minutes of the workshop will be devoted to audience participation in which willing workshoppers can polish and share their work.

Susan Asch, (714) 278-3124,
Tu-Uyen Nguyen, (714) 278-4157,
Stephanie Rosenblatt, (714) 278-5801,

Upcoming SoCal Readings (Riverside, San Bernardino)

April 15, 2009

Ching-In’s Upcoming Local Readings

Wednesday, April 15, 2009, 2pm
Recently Published MFA Students & Graduates
with Neil Aitken, Alba Cruz-Hacker, Gabriela Jauregui, Mary Copeland & Kate Durbin
INTS 1113, UC Riverside
900 University Ave
Riverside, CA

Come celebrate the first books of poets from the Creative Writing Program of UC Riverside, Neil Aitken, Alba Cruz-Hacker, Gabriela Jauregui, Mary Copeland, Kate Durbin & Ching-In Chen.

Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart’s Traffic (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press, 2009). Daughter of Chinese immigrants and a Kundiman Fellow, Ching-In has worked in the Asian American communities of San Francisco, Oakland, and Boston. Her work has been recently published in Tea Party, Fifth Wednesday Journal, OCHO, Iron Horse Literary Review, and Water~Stone Review.

Kate Durbin’s first full-length collection of poetry, The Ravenous Audience, is forthcoming from Black Goat Press/Akashic Books in fall 2009. Her chapbook, Amelia Earhart: Fragments Found in a 1937 Aviator’s Boot, is available from Dancing Girl Press. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Drunken Boat, elimae, diode, The Ledge Poetry and Fiction Magazine, Boxcar Poetry Review, and elsewhere. Currently, she lives in Whittier, California, where she is writing a novel.

Gabriela Jauregui (b. Mexico City, 1979) is the author of Controlled Decay (Akashic Books/Black Goat Press, 2008). She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from UC Riverside and an MA in Comparative Literature from UC Irvine. Her critical and creative work has been published in journals and anthologies in the US, Mexico, and Europe, including, most recently, in New American Writing, The Canadian Review of Comparative Literature, The Afro Hispanic Review and in The Aesthetics of Risk(JRP Ringier, 2008). Gabriela is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at USC and a Soros Fellow. She lives and works in Los Angeles and Mexico City. You can find her on the web at:

The Dominican-American Alba Cruz-Hacker is the author of No Honey for Wild Beasts (2008). A Pushcart Prize nominee, she was awarded the 2007 UCR Poet Laureate Prize and the 2007 Tomas Rivera Endowment Poetry Selection. Her creative and scholarly work has been published throughout the Caribbean, Canada and the United States, including Poetry Magazine (Senior Editor’s Choice), The Caribbean Writer, Canadian Woman Studies, Spillway Review, Pacific Review, Soundings: A Journal of Exploratory Research and Analysis, Bear Flag Republic: Prose Poems and Poetics from California, and the Hispanic volume of the American Encyclopedia of Ethnic Literature, among others. Ms. Cruz-Hacker teaches creative writing at the University of California Riverside.

Neil Aitken is the author of The Lost Country of Sight, winner of the 2007 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry. Born in Vancouver, BC, Neil grew up in Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and various parts of western Canada and the United States. He holds an MFA from UC Riverside and is currently pursuing a PhD in Literature & Creative Writing at USC. His poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Diagram, The Drunken Boat, Ninth Letter, Poetry Southeast, and Sou’wester. He is the founding editor of Boxcar Poetry Review. His website is

~ Books will be available for purchase following the reading ~

Thursday, April 16, 2009, 5pm
with Ruth Nolan
Cal State San Bernardino
Student Theatre in Santos Manuel Student Union
San Bernardino, CA

Interviews & other media

April 12, 2009

Much much going on these days that I’m running to keep up with myself. Abundance is good! 🙂

Rigoberto González has interviewed me for the National Book Critics Circle blog:

I also participated (as a first-book author) in a conversation with Ely Shipley, just published on Boxcar Poetry Review:

Also, if you missed my LA Skylight Books reading with Ely, check it out here: http://www.Poetry.LA

Now back to work:-)

Interpretative Fragments: Asian/American Creative Showcase of UCR Graduate Work

April 8, 2009

The Mellon Group for Asian/American Literary & Cultural Studies in the 21st Century presents:

Interpretative Fragments, from Diasporic Dust to Memorized Confession: an Asian/American Creative Showcase of Graduate Work
Date: Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Time: 3:30pm-5pm
Location: HMNS 1500
The participants: Ching-In Chen, Vanessa Hua, Noel P. Mariano, Alison Minami, Patricia Rosales, Judy Soo Hoo, Jie Tian & Aloha Tolentino

Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart’s Traffic (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press). Daughter of Chinese immigrants and a Kundiman Fellow, Ching-In has worked in the Asian American communities of San Francisco, Oakland. Ching-In’s poem-film, We Will Not Be Moved!: A Story of Oakland Chinatown, was screened as part of the 2004 National Queer Arts Festival. Ching-In is the co-editor of the zine, The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Partner Abuse in Activist Communities, and is currently co-editing an anthology on militarism, gender and war from the perspectives of girls, women and non-gender-conforming people of color with a collective of women of color based in Riverside.

Vanessa Hua is a second year MFA fiction candidate at UCR. She is winner of the 2008 Atlantic Monthly student fiction prize. Previously, she worked as a journalist at the San Francisco Chronicle,Hartford Courant, and Los Angeles Times. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, she is the daughter of Chinese immigrants.

Noel P. Mariano is the author of A Girl Named Hemingway Lee, which was an honorable mention in Seven Point Star Press’s 2007 Poetry Chapbook competition. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Noel is a currently a MFA graduate student in Creative Writing where he helped edit and produce the first national “Coming Out Monologues,” an activist theatre project dealing with the LGBT community. When not spending time writing, teaching or volunteering time for various grassroots social justice organizations, Noel serves as the editor of Circumlocution Literary, an online literary magazine focused on publishing poetry, fiction, essays and artwork and showcasing reviews and interviews pertaining to young writers. You can visit it here: He was just awarded a Kundiman Asian American Poetry Fellowship.

Alison Minami is from Brookline, MA. She has worked as a waitress, high school teacher, adjunct writing professor, and crisis counselor. She likes performing and has worked with the Pan Asian Repertory Theater and UC Riverside’s Theater.

Patricia Rosales is a Chinese/Filipino American fiction writer who was raised in the San Fernando Valley and currently lives in Los Angeles. Influenced by her father who worked in film and television, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree at USC’s School of Cinema Television. For eight years she worked in both the film and television as a writer’s and producer’s assistant before deciding to return to her love of prose. She is currently working on a collection of short stories as a Creative Writing MFA candidate at UC Riverside.

Judy Soo Hoo is working on a novel, The Mysteries of George, about a family patriarch, Moon, the founder of the dusty Arizona town of George, who vanishes. His son has dreams of turning the town into a pagoda-water resort for tourists. The specter of the missing Moon hovers over the town. Her fiction has been published in the Santa Clara Review.

Jie Tian is a first-year MFA in Poetry at UC Riverside. A native of China, she came to the US in the early 1990s, and is now exploring her roots and inheritance, memory and migration, and the nature of art and poetry through her writings.

Aloha Tolentino emerged from a queer, male, immigrant Filipino’s nostalgic memory of enacting Ms. Universe pageants in his living room. Exclusively performing at UC Riverside’s “Dragalicious Drag Ball” these past five years, Aloha hopes to create more work that could reach different audiences. Her partially closeted male identity graduated cum laude and received his bachelor’s degrees in music and English in 2002. He is enjoying his second year as a master’s student in the Southeast Asia: Text, Ritual, Performance program at UC Riverside.

~ Refreshments will be Served ~