Wednesday, February 09, 2011

[The 500 Project] 6 questions

So over at we're asking 6 questions while trying to find at least 10 people in each state passionate about Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) literature. Help us spread the word as we look over the next 12 months to find at least 500, if not more people who enjoy it.

Here are my answers to the six really simple questions:

Does APIA literature matter to you?

Why does APIA literature matter to you?
Because we can see so many voices that have never been heard within the normal sense of the American narrative and I've found them to be intriguing for personal reasons, too many to go into.

But on a slightly different note, I'll say in this question that it disappoints me to see writers who think the idea of APIA literature is some pejorative ghetto.

We don't dismiss the categories of Russian literature, Beat literature, or Greek literature nor should we do it with APIA literature. Sometimes, the categorization is apt, sometimes it's not, and this can be interesting. APIA literature is far from the only thing I read, but I've found many gems within it and I look forward to discovering more.

What are 3 works of APIA literature you last read?
Phayvanh Luekhamhan's I Think of This Every Time I Think of Mountains.
Burlee Vang's The Dead I Know: Incantation for Rebirth.
William F. Wu's Hong on the Range.
Saymoukda Vongsay's draft for a new play involving sex, cities and kung-fu zombies.
I'm also starting Karen Tei Yamashita's I Hotel while waiting for Barbara Jane Reyes' Diwata to arrive.

Who are your favorite APIA writers or poets and why?
Lol. I've got too many to list. It would be easier to name who I WON'T read. ;) But I'm most thankful to the ones who really showed me a side of Asian American culture far beyond the safe and the expected.

In your own words, you are: A lot of things. A writer of poetry, short stories, attempting a novel, seeing what works, what doesn't, what's interesting and what's not. And above all, grateful, to have these moments with all of you. I don't think that gets said enough in this day and age.

In your own words, APIA literature is: About to experience a MAJOR sea change that we've been seeing on the horizon for a long time, but it's really arriving. Without being cryptic about it, I think all bets are off. We're going to see some stars fade out of relevance, while new voices and visions are found who aren't going to resemble anything close to what we thought they were going to sound like.

But I really just hope everyone keeps writing and creating, adding to the great tapestry, and we'll sort it all out later.

Your turn.

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