The Asian American Literary Review (AALR) is an organization that I have mentioned on this blog in the past month, especially with their upcoming event 8: A Symposium. Although Fil-Am Ako is dedicated to spreading awareness on Filipino culture and issues, I also like to inform everyone about the AAPI community. I was very fortunate to get Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis & Gerald Maa for an interview on their respective positions at AALR.
Please introduce yourselves.
Hi, I’m Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis, co-editor of The Asian American Literary Review. I hesitate to list my favorite books! But I’m happy to say what’s on my nightstand right now: Sonya Chung’s Long for This World, Marie Mutsuki Mockett’s Picking Bones from Ash, Miguel Syjuco’s Ilustrado, Roberto Bolaño’s 2666, and Sesshu Foster’s World Ball Notebook.
Hi, I’m Gerald Maa, the other editor of The Asian American Literary Review. As for me, right now I’m reading H.D., Thomas De Quincey, Agha Shahid Ali, John Milton, and Carl Phillips.
What is the Asian American Literary Review (AALR)?
Lawrence: AALR is a not for profit literary arts organization. The journal, our flagship production, showcases the best of today’s Asian American literature, and we’re hoping it will foster new audiences, Asian American and otherwise, nationally and beyond.
Gerald: Our chief internet presence is on Facebook, but keep an eye out for our new website, live soon, on which you can subscribe, donate, and/or submit.
Do you have any advice or words of wisdom to offer to Asian-Americans who aspire to be writers?
Gerald: Read read read…to me a writer spends infinitely more time reading than writing.
Lawrence: Submit! We’re always looking for talented emerging writers.
Who are your personal heroes?
Gerald: Although neither I nor my separate sources have ever met him, nor my sources’ sources, I’ve heard of a kimchee-hotdog vendor roaming the streets of Queens. That guy.
Please tell us about the upcoming 8: A Symposium.
Lawrence: We’re really excited about it—it’s our first big event, a day-long celebration of eight Asian American writers: Karen Tei Yamashita, Sonya Chung, Kyoko Mori, April Naoko Heck, Ed Lin, Srikanth Reddy, Peter Bacho, and Ru Freeman. It’ll take place on the University of Maryland, College Park campus on April 24th. We’re looking forward to a great day and a great turnout.
What is your favorite Filipino dish?
Gerald: I’ve been hard pressed to not order chicken adobo when sitting in front of a Filipino menu, but I’m eager for someone to suade me otherwise.
Is there any additional information you would like to share with us?
Lawrence: Our first issue, out very soon, includes work by Brian Ascalon Roley, Oliver de la Paz, Nick Carbo, Eugene Gloria, Cathy Song, Ed Lin, Karen Tei Yamashita, and others. Visit our Facebook page for more details.