Vietnamese Literature Circle

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SANTA ANA – Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association (VAALA) and Common Ground are pleased to co-present an evening of readings and conversation with poets and writers Bao Phi, Lan Duong, Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, and Caroline Kieu-Linh Valverde. The event will take place on Saturday, November 10, from 5:00pm-9:00pm at VAALA Cultural Center, 1600 N. Broadway, second floor, Santa Ana, CA 92706. The event is free and open to the public.

“When it feels like no one
Lets you live
at your own volume
you sing.”
– Bao Phi

Performance poet Bao Phi, a two-time Minnesota Grand Slam champion and a National Poetry Slam finalist, has appeared on HBO Presents Russell Simmons Def Poetry. His first collection of poetry Sông I Sing was published by Coffeehouse Press (2011) and his poems and essays are widely published in numerous publications including 2006 Best American Poetry, Screaming Monkeys, and Spoken Word Revolution Redux. He has also released several CDs of his poetry, such as the recently sold-out Refugeography to his newest CD, The Nguyens EP. Bao Phi is a fiscal year 2012 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

Bao Phi will sign his newest poetry book “Sông I Sing” at the event. His performance is made possible in part by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Bao Phi’s poetry performance will be preceded by a literature circle that includes writers and academics Lan Duong, Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, and Caroline Kieu-Linh Valverde, who will discuss their recently published books.

The literature circle’s panelists will also comment on specific works of art from the transformART exhibit, which is being held at the VAALA cultural center from November 2 to 17. The literature circle will be moderated by Viet Nguyen, USC Associate Professor.

Literature Circle panelists: 

Lan Duong is an Associate Professor in the Media and Cultural Studies Department at UC Riverside. Her book, Treacherous Subjects: Gender, Culture, and Trans-Vietnamese Feminism (Temple University Press, 2012), explores the films and literature of the Vietnamese and Vietnamese diaspora through the cultural politics of collaboration.

Isabelle Thuy Pelaud is Associate Professor in Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. She is the author of This Is All I Choose To Tell: History and Hybridity in Vietnamese American Literature (2011) and co-editor of Troubling Borders in Literature and Art: Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora (forthcoming).

Kieu-Linh Caroline Valverde is Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies at UC Davis. She authored Transnationalizing Viet Nam: Community, Culture, and Politics in the Diaspora (Temple University Press 2012), which
explores the immense influence of the native and diasporic communities on each other in politics, culture, community, generations, gender relations, technology, news media, and the arts.

Viet Thanh Nguyen is an associate professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America (Oxford University Press, 2002).

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