Archive for April, 2010

Decolonial Poetics*, Kundiman West Salon, Third Area & Writing the Desert – Call for Participants!

April 26, 2010

To all I’ve met this week –

Thank you for your lighted words.  Thank you for your ready ears.  Thank you for your gracious hellos.  Thank you for your smiling hands.

Hope to see you this week too!  (Also, looking for a few more community writers for the Writing the Desert project – deadline extended to this Wednesday, April 28 – info @ the bottom of this message!)

Where I’ll be this week:

Monday April 26, 2010: 3-5pm

Decolonial Poetics* Reading/Discussion

a reading & discussion on a collaborative decolonial poetics* project by Ching-In Chen & Tamiko Beyer (read by Ching-In Chen & Panida Lorlertratna)

INTN 4043 (Ethnic Studies Conference Room),

University of California at Riverside

Inspired by the examples of other queer women of color who were writing collectively, Ching-In Chen & Tamiko Beyer’s collaboration began as a response to participation in a panel organized by poet and scholar Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán, entitled “Decolonial Poetics: Womanist, Indigenous, and Queer Poets of Color on the Art of Decolonization (also with ku’ualoha ho’omanawanui, Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano, Susan Deer Cloud, and Lisa Suhair Majaj) at the recent Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference last month in Denver.

We began by reading/thinking about the work of certain poetic ancestors, including Larissa Lai, Larissa Lai, Rita Wong, Cathy Park Hong, Eric Gamalinda, Haas Mroue, Judy Tzu-Chun Wu writing about the physician Margaret Chung, Kristin Naca, Pepón Osorio, Romel Joseph & June Jordan, writing two different poemstrands by exchanging work via e-mail and then using a collaborative revising process where we wove our words together. 

Sponsored by the Mellon Group on Decolonization Studies

* a phrase Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán has coined *

Wednesday April 28, 2010: 7-9pm

Kundiman West, Flying Fists Collective + Habi Arts

invite you to a

Kundiman Reading & Salon celebrating Asian American poetry!

Featuring Melissa Roxas, Nicky Schildkraut, Ngoc Luu, Jackson Bliss, Oliver de la Paz

+ a salon celebrating Asian American poetry (bring a poem by your favorite Asian American poet + your own to share!)
Emceed by Neil Aitken & Ching-In Chen.

Casa Princesa

4527 York Blvd

Los Angeles, CA

(323) 474-6860
$3 – 10 suggested donation — to benefit Kundiman (no one turned away for lack of funds).

Thursday April 29, 2010


Oliver de la Paz, Ching-In Chen, Neil Aitken and William Archila 



2525 Michigan Avenue

Santa Monica, CA  90404

310.828.0211 tel

Doors open 7:15 p.m. / Reading begins at 8 p.m.

$5 donation recommended.  Come early for nibbles and assorted beverages.

Frank Pictures Gallery


Writing the Desert – Call for Community Writers

workshop and reading

Workshop: Saturday, May 1st 12-5 pm

UCR California Museum of Photography

Reading: June 4th 7pm,

UCR Culver Center of the Arts

UCR Sweeney Art Gallery invites writers and poets to apply to participate in its Writing the Desert workshop. Writing the Desert will bring together people interested in exploring the unique landscapes, ecologies, communities and aesthetic possibilities of the desert, with a special attention to the desert regions of Southern California.

The first part will be a workshop between accepted applicants and members of the University of California-Riverside’s Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing for a one-day workshop collaboration. The workshop will take place on Saturday May 1st, from 12-5 pm. UCR MFA writers will lead discussions on topics related to writing about the idea of the desert in various contexts: Language, Visual Art, and Landscape and the re-assembly of identity, community and place; Landscape and place in poetry in the works of Eastern (Chinese and Japanese) and American poets that explore techniques of perspective and perception; constructing nonfiction pieces rooted in the landscape; and other topics.

The workshop will also allow for discussion about the presentation topics, and time for the participants to explore shared areas of interest in relation to the idea of the desert. Optional field trips to various desert sites may be planned at this time as well.

Workshop participants will read original work produced from the workshop at a limited engagement event to be held inside the new UCR Culver Center of the Arts on June 4th.

To apply, please submit the following to by April 28: 1. Contact information; 2. Writing sample (2-5 pages); Statement of intent explaining why you wish to be a part of the project (200 words). Applicants from the City of Riverside are highly encouraged, but applicants from Riverside County are also welcome.

Battle Cry, UCR Performing Arts + LA Times Book Festival readings this week!

April 22, 2010

I’ve gotten attached to this little patch of desert I call home and am working on re-orienting myself to do everything I have to before I leave.  So these next set of performances & readings will be my love poems to Southern California and the people I’ve met along the way as I prepare to uproot myself again.

This week, I’m thankful to be reading in a place I’ve never been, amongst comrades & in a place where I’ve faithfully gone since I’ve been here to listen to my favorite writers.  Full circle.

Where I’ll be this week:

Thursday April 22 2010
8:00pm – 10:00pm
Java Groove
14310 Victory Blvd
Van Nuys, CA

H.I.P., Hollywood Institute of Poetics reading
Battle Cry’
hosted by Cassandra Love

Ching-In Chen
Peggy Dobreer
Karen Harryman

open reading to follow

Ching-In Chen is a poet and multi-genre, border-crossing writer and the author of The Heart’s Traffic. 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.  Ching-In Chen currently lives in Riverside, CA, where she is in the MFA in Creative Writing Program at the University of California Riverside.

Karen Harryman’s poems have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Los Angeles Review, Poetry New Zealand, and other journals. Her first book of poetry, Auto Mechanic’s Daughter, was published in 2007 by Akashic Books. Before moving to Los Angeles with her husband, Kirker, she lived and worked in Kentucky for most of her life. She teaches creative writing at YULA, an orthodox Jewish girls’ high school.

Saturday April 24 2010

WHERE: U.C. Riverside Humanities Theater Lab Room 411

WHEN: Saturday April 24 at 8pm

You are invited

To a night of MFA Readings

Works from first and second year screenwriters and playwrights:

V. Lazaro Zamora

Leonid Leonov

Sara Green

Eva Konstantopoulos

Joe Powers

Ching-In Chen

SR Mishler

Melissa Harkness

Limited seating- Come early.

Sunday April 25 2010

I’m reading on the Poetry Stage of the L.A. Times Festival of Books @ 10:30am

Here’s the link for more info:
Hope to see you along the way!

AWP schedule, Poetry Giveaway, 3 Riverside Chinatown poems in Tidal Basin Review

April 5, 2010

Gearing up for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference coming up this week in Denver.  Wow, I feel tired before my plane even leaves, but am excited to see old writing friends from across the country and will be interesting to re-visit a place I made my home a very long time ago.

A very busy poetry month, but am making time to participate in the Writing a Daily Poem by sending one poem a postcard a day to Kundiman folks across the country & by continuing with the Grind, a ever-changing group of writers who commit to sending writing on a daily basis to each other.  Also, am excited about sharing the work I’ve been doing with fellow Kundiman poet Tamiko Beyer on a weekly decolonial poetics exchange at AWP (see  Decolonial Poetics panel below!)

I also heard about Kelli Agodon’s Poetry Giveaway where we give away one book of our own and another by a poet we admire through Poemeleon.  If anyone is interested in these books below, post your name in the comment boxes below (a way to find you if you win) and I’ll pick a random winner at the end of April and will mail the books to you for free.  I will give away my book, The Heart’s Traffic, and Cathy Park Hong‘s Dance Dance Revolution. Hong creates her own dialect (a desert language compiled from an amalgamation of 300 tongues), landscape, geography, history — a poetic sequence in a way that takes my breath away. I find her work exciting because it pushes aesthetically towards a border poetics that is political and engages what’s going on in the world today in a way that I would like to aspire to.

Also, I feel lucky that 3 poems from my Riverside Chinatown series — “Killed Memory Together,” “Instructions from the Postcard Maker,” & “3. Breakfast Tray” have found a home in the gorgeous inaugural issue of Tidal Basin Review.

Happy poetry month!

My AWP Schedule, or where to look me up in Denver:

Wed., April 7th
8-11pm, Kundiman/Cave Canem Reading & Salon, Mercury Cafe, 2199 California St. Denver, CO
Join the Cave Canem & Kundiman Families for a Reading Featuring Toi Derricotte, Paisley Rekdal, Cornelius Eady, Oliver de la Paz, Dawn Lundy Martin & Kazim Ali + a salon featuring Cave Canem and Kundiman fellows & family (bring a poem to share!)  Emceed by Ching-In Chen & Tara Betts.

Thurs. April 8th
9-10:15am, Rooms 301, 302, Colorado Convention Center, Street Level
R117. Decolonial Poetics: Womanist, Indigenous, and Queer Poets of Color on the Art of Decolonization. (Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán, ku’ualoha ho’omanawanui, Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano, Susan Deer Cloud, Ching-In Chen w/Tamiko Beyer, Lisa Suhair Majaj) Many poets of color see art playing a vital role in the decolonization of our bodies, cultures, and landbases. In what ways do we use writing as an act of re-creation, alongside other forms of activism, organizing, and spirituality, by which to undo centuries of white supremacist, capitalist, and heteropatriarchal intrusions into the workings of our communities? How does poetry serve to decolonize our lives, and how must we decolonize our poetic traditions in order to live?

Fri. April 9th.
1-2pm — Book Signing, Red Hen Press Table, C1-C4, Exhibit Hall A

Sat. April 10th
10:30-11:45am – Room 201, Colorado Convention Center, Street Level
S132. Re-writing America: Complicating the Poetics of Identity. (Neelanjana Banerjee, Hayan Charara, Samantha Thornhill, Ching-In Chen, Tim Hernandez, Summi Kaipa) Even as the minority surges towards the majority in making up the New America, poets seek out the nurturing spaces of ethno-literary organizations like Kundiman and Cave Canem. Popular ethnic-specific anthologies are being published each year. Yet the work coming out of these cultural boundaries is incredibly diverse in style and influence. This panel examines the ways in which hyphenated American poets are rethinking the concept of identity and, in turn, shaping the national zeitgeist.

1:30-2:30pmBook Signing, Red Hen Press Table, C1-C4, Exhibit Hall A