March 13, 2012: Asian American Writers Respond to Decade Since 9/11

Jennifer Hayashida, director of the Asian American Studies Program and Lawrence-Minh Bui-Davis, editor of Asian American Literary Review

March 13: This day marks my return to lovely Hunter College to perform with Kundiman friends the most timely Together We Are New York show. I practically grew up as an educator and scholar at Hunter College. It was an institution that began my teaching career and although, now I teach ancient literature, teaching Arab American and West Asian American Literature in a post-9/11 NYC was an interesting epic adventure of its own.

On this evening, at the Roosevelt House (a very fancy most un-Hunter-like building!) we performed for an audience of mostly Hunter College students.

A view from above: Purvi Shah, Eugenia Leigh, Marlon Esguerra and April Naoko Heck at Roosevelt House.

The best part of this evening, besides performing, was listening to the stories and experiences that contributors to the special issue of the Asian American Literary Review that commemorated the decade after September 11th. Sonny Singh and Cynthia OuYang, activists and writers gave beautiful readings and testimonies of the backlash. As a contributor to this special issue, I want to say how important it was for me to have compassionate editors like Parag Khandhar (not present at Hunter but there in spirit) and Lawrence-Minh Bui-Davis.

Lawrence-Minh Bui-Davis chatting with Sonny Singh before the event
The lovely Purvi Shah
The sweet Eugenia Leigh pre-show
Lawrence, Sonny and Cynthia

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Asian American Writers Respond to Decade Since 9/11

The impact on Asian American communities in the decade since 9/11 has taken many visible and invisible forms: detention and deportation, displaced Chinatown workers and residents, racial profiling and the “war on terror,” yet Asian Americans are frequently left out of public discussions surrounding the ten years since 9/11. Please join us for a program featuring KUNDIMAN and THE ASIAN AMERICAN LITERARY REVIEW, two Asian American arts and literature organizations that have responded to this living history by producing projects that bring attention to Asian American experiences in the decade since 9/11.

TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012, FROM 6 – 8 PM

AALR Editor-in-Chief Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis will be on hand with contributors to the AALR Special Issue:

Commemorating the Tenth Anniversary of Sept. 11, featuring testimonies, essays, and dialogues by Asian American scholars, educators, activists, artists, and poets on the before and after of the decade since 9/11.

Poets April Heck, Eugenia Leigh, Marlon Esguerra, Zohra Saed, and Purvi Shah will perform and discuss work from Together We Are New York:

Asian Americans Remember & Re-vision 9/11, a unique community history and public remembrance arts project produced by KUNDIMAN, the country’s leading organization for Asian American poetry and poets. The show combines poems based on interviews with Asian American community members about 9/11 and the decade since with audio clips from the interviews.

Co-Sponsored by the Human Rights Program, The Public Policy Program and the Asian American Studies Program at Hunter College, CUNY.

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