On Friday, May 18th I attended the 2007 Annual Dinner to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in Minnesota.
Organized by the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans, this year it was held at the Golden Valley Golf & Country Club.
Over 300 people were in attendance from across the state. Entertainment and cultural performances included myself, the CAAM Chinese Dance Theater and Tou Ger Xiong.
Salo Ale served as this year's Master of Ceremonies.
Jodie Tanaka, the chair of the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans and Ilean Her, the Executive Director of the Council discussed the importance of this month and the exciting projects our community is undertaking to plant the seeds for the future, from the Asian Pacific Cultural Center to the MN Dragon Festival and the Asian Pacific Endowment.
We also honored MN Asian Pacific community members for their leadership and service to the community, including Hedy Tripp, Seng Yang, Takuzo Ishida, Terry Cheng, and Vee Phan Nelson.
This reading was also an opportunity to demonstrate the relationship of art and writing to the story of Asian Pacific Minnesotans, and my belief there is much poetry to be found in our community and in our experience. These are things well worth writing about.
The poems that I read this evening included: Stairways In Luang Prabang, Burning Eden One Branch At A Time, five fragments, The Shape, Zelkova, and Whorl, which will be featured in my book On The Other Side of the Eye, coming out this August from Sam's Dot Publishing.
It was a great and satisfying evening, and I thank everyone who came. I look forward to seeing you all next year!