Thursday, May 18th at 7:30 p.m.
We are thrilled to host this NOT-TO-BE-MISSED event. You need to be there!!!
Cherished for his mastery of the understated, poet Chiwan Choi’s third collection, the newly published The Yellow House is being praised for its evocation of both ecstasy and intense melancholy, as he renders familial loss in the context of war and displacement. He’s joined by the powerfully playful poet Chris Santiago whose debut collection Tula is a sequence of poems unspooled from the meaning of the word “tula” in several languages. And prize-winning novelist Nayomi Munaweera further infuses the evening with her extraordinary writing. Witness these poems and prose unfold in our midst in what can only be an incandescent talk, reading, and signing.
“The Yellow House is a wide-ranging, book-length poem that roams through time, touching on family history, identity, the disruption of emigration, urban life, the loss of an unborn child and much else. The poem continually brings the reader to ordinary scenes that, by means of an understated musicality, take on symbolic significance.”–Matthew Zapruder, New York Times
Tula: a ruined Toltec capital; a Russian city known for its accordions; Tagalog for “poem.”
“In Tula…Santiago pursues the language and experience of the immigrant, engaged with dreams, wonder, oppression, and heartbreak. Exquisitely lyric, fierce and delicate, the poems often are fractured in form and charged with suffering. From landscapes of distant islands and ancient civilizations, Santiago takes provocative flights to contemporary suburbs and hate crimes. Whether set in Manila, Japan, or Minnesota, these poems, lit with imagination, reveal what poetry can be in life and the sweet and searing moments of life itself.”
– –Patricia Kirkpatrick, Odessa
Publisher’s Weekly’s “Ten Essential Books About the Immigrant Experience” Ganga, a young girl, grows up carefree in the midst of her loving family in an old and beautiful house nestled in the idyllic hill country of Sri Lanka. Her childhood is like any other―until it isn’t. A cherished friendship is revealed to have monstrous undertones and the consequences of trauma spell both the end of her childhood and that of her stable home. Ostracized by their community in the wake of one terrible night, Ganga and her mother seek safety by immigrating to America.
Chiwan Choi is the author of 3 collections of poetry, The Flood (Tía Chucha Press, 2010), Abductions (Writ Large Press, 2012), and The Yellow House (CCM, 2017). He wrote, presented, and destroyed the novel Ghostmaker throughout the course of 2015. Chiwan is a partner at Writ Large Press, a downtown Los Angeles based indie publisher, focused on using literary arts to resist, disrupt, and transgress.
Chris Santiago is the author of Tula, winner of the 2016 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry, selected by A. Van Jordan. His poems, fiction, and criticism have appeared in FIELD, Copper Nickel, Pleiades, and the Asian American Literary Review. Santiago is also a percussionist and amateur jazz pianist. He teaches literature, sound culture, and creative writing at the University of St. Thomas. He lives in Minnesota.
Nayomi Munaweera‘s debut novel, Island of a Thousand Mirrors won the 2013 Commonwealth Literary Prize for Asia and was nominated for the Northern California Book Award. The New York Times Book Review called it “incandescent” and Publisher’s Weekly has compared her work to that of Jumpha Lahiri and Michael Ondaatje. Her second novel, What Lies Between Us was named one of the best literary releases of 2016 from venues such as BuzzFeed and Elle Magazine. The novel was included in Publisher’s Weekly’s Ten Essential Books About the Immigrant Experience.