8+1: An Asian American Literary Symposium

Last year, I attended AALR’s very first 8: A Symposium, which featured many great contemporary Asian-American authors. I got word from editors Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis and Gerald Maa that they will be hosting the follow up to their 2010 event in Los Angeles, which promises to be bigger and better. This spring the Asian American Literary Review (AALR) will be working with a variety of community organizations to bring their festival free to Los Angeles area audiences. “8+1: A Symposium” will be held at the Japanese American National Museum on May 7th, and featured readers will include Joy Kogawa, R. Zamora Linmark, Rishi Reddi, Kip Fulbeck, Reese Okyong Kwon, Hiromi Itō and translator Jeffrey Angles, Ray Hsu, Viet Nguyen, and Brian Ascalon Roley. AALR needs YOUR help to make sure this event happens.

AALR has set their kickstarter goal at $4,000 to cover the majority of the costs of travel and accommodations for our writers. Any amount superseding the goal will go to the other costs necessary for keeping this event free and open to the public. By donating the cost of just one day’s worth of coffee, you could be in the company of sponsoring organizations like USC’s Asian American Studies Progarm, UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center, UC-Irvine’s International Center for Writing and Translation, Giant Robot, Hyphen Magazine, Poets & Writers, and Coffee House Press. (You don’t even really have to give up coffee; you could just go with a smaller size, or one less fancy!) Please consider donating what you can; a celebration for the community is built upon a collective generosity from the community.

Why Pledge?

-Great Writers: The featured writers are award-winning and hail from a range of backgrounds, from across the U.S. and Canada, illustrating the wonderful complexity of the Asian American literary landscape. One is a long-established legend, another a promising new talent. One splits time between Japan and Escondido, another between Manila and Honolulu. One chronicles early Sikhs in California, another multiracial America.

-Community: “8 + 1” is a collaborative effort by a range of organizations and university programs, many of them local. It aims to bring together diverse arts, cultural, and academic communities.

-Celebrate the Arts: “8 + 1” offers an all-important moment of artistic self-representation to a historically under-represented group of communities. A pledge is a vote of confidence for Asian American arts.

-Cool Rewards: AALR has some great stuff that they excited to share. Also, their rewards are celebrations of Asian American arts!

For more info:



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