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Harjo was recently named American Poet Laureate by the U.S. Library of Congress, becoming the first Native American awarded the title. Their poetry collection In Mad Love And War received the American Book Award in 1991. The New York Times reviews her latest release.
Ishmael Reed’s new play “The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda” returns to the Nuyorican Poets Cafe this October, after a run of sold-out performances and press coverage from the New York Times, New Yorker Magazine, the Observer, the Paris Review and more. Like theater in the time of Bertolt Brecht or the WPA, Reed’s new work (under the direction of multiple AUDELCO winner Rome Neal) challenges the narrative of commercial theater and mainstream historical accounts. Reed’s play brings to the forefront those characters who are absent from “Hamilton, The Revolution”: slaves, Native Americans, indentured servants & Harriet Tubman. Performances of “The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda” take place October 4-27, 2019. Visit http://bit.ly/HauntingLMOct2019 to purchase tickets. RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/2942698925956238/
The two met to read and discuss recent works as part of PEN America’s Pen Out Loud series. Salman Rushdie celebrates the release of his newest novel, QUICHOTTE, recently shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Quichotte is a dazzling, modern take on Don Quixote by a literary master, at once an homage and a unique work of art. Rushdie was joined in conversation by Man Booker Prize-winning author Marlon James (BLACK LEOPARD, RED WOLF), to read from his work, and discuss his literary interpretation of a classic. James sits on Before Columbus Foundation’s Board of Directors, and his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings received the American Book Award in 2015.
Wong is one of Before Columbus Foundation’s original founders and currently sits on its board of directors.
Shawn Wong is a writer and Professor of English at the University of Washington. He has published two novels, Homebase (1979) and American Knees (1995), and is the editor of many anthologies of Asian-American literature, including Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian-American Writers, which helped establish the field. He has been critical to the rise of Asian-American literature in its writing, teaching, and discussion. When Homebase was first published in 1979, it was the only Chinese-American novel in print in America. As a scholar, Shawn Wong pioneered Asian-American studies and co-organized the first Asian-American writer’s conference. In this interview, we discuss these beginnings, the state of Asian-American literature now, as well as his works and teaching.