my SF book release party, choreopoem opera performance + book review of Shimoda’s Alps!

Dear lovelies!

Thank you all for your love & support! I’m making an all-too brief trip to San Francisco where I’m excited to be reading with my talented writer friends at my SF book release party at Modern Times (info below). Also, one of my favorite things this past month has been watching my words come alive on the stage with six ridiculously talented actors under the direction of Majd Murad (info below).

Friday, May 29, 2009, 7:30pm
San Francisco Book Release Party!
with special guests Elmaz Abinader, Alicia Kester, Kenji Liu & Zuleikha Mahmood
Modern Times Bookstore
888 Valencia St, San Francisco CA

Join Ching-In Chen and special guests Alicia Kester, Kenji Liu, Zuleikha Mahmood and Elmaz Abinader to celebrate the release of The Heart’s Traffic — a novel-in-poems chronicling the life of an immigrant girl haunted by the death of her best friend who grows into her sexuality and searches for a way to deal with her complicated histories.

Bios of readers in alphabetical order:
Author, poet, playwright, Elmaz Abinader has won the 2002 Goldies Award for Literature, a PEN/Josephine Miles award for poetry and two Drammies (Oregon’s Drama Circle) for her performances. Author of a Memoir, Children of the Roojme a collection of poetry, In the Country of my Dreams… and several one-woman shows, in. She is a co-founder of the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation that holds workshops for Writers of Color, and teaches at Mills College.

Ching-In Chen is the author ofThe 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, and Boston. Ching-In is currently co-editing an anthology on militarism, gender and war from the perspectives of girls, women, and non-gender-conforming people of color and part of the Save Our Chinatown Collective in Riverside, California.

Alicia Kester is a writer and activist living and working in Oakland. Political science-fiction and poetry keep her pretty occupied. In her free time she’s known to cheat at Backgammon.

Kenji Liu is a 1.5 generation Japanese-born Taiwanese American expatriate of New Jersey suburbia. His writing explores the politics of migration, memory, culture, history, mourning and joy. His poetry chapbook You Left Without Your Shoes is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.

Zuleikha Mahmood is a queer mixed Afghan writer. Her work has been featured on Muslim WakeUp’s Sex and the Umma column, and she is currently at work on a novel.

Saturday, May 30, 2009
Performance of “When She Singing Flame Battles the Broke-Down Bus Narrative: A Choreopoem Opera”
Directed by Majd Murad
Playworks 2009
Theatre Lab, Humanities 411 (next to University Theater)
University of California at Riverside
Riverside, CA
Starring Clarissa Ching, Anne Marie Iniguez, Justin Chao, Francis Chen, Daniel de Ramos & Alison Minami

A kaleidoscope poem-play featuring a shapeshifter, a single-mother matriarch She Singing Flame and her children who talkstory through the night to survive an impending war.
Last but not least, my review of Brandon Shimoda’s The Alps is up in the new Galatea Resurrects:


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