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Cities of the Future: Youmna Chlala, Sesshu Foster, Renee Gladman & Ken Chen

Organizer: Asian American Writers’ Workshop
Venue: Asian American Writers’ Workshop
110-112 West 27th Street, Suite 600
New York, NY 10001 United States
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Add to Calendar 03/28/2018 07:00 PM 03/28/2018 09:00 PM America/New_York Cities of the Future: Youmna Chlala, Sesshu Foster, Renee Gladman & Ken Chen More detail: https://apa.nyu.edu/event/cities-of-the-future-youmna-chlala-sesshu-foster-renee-gladman/ Asian American Writers’ Workshop, New York, NY, 10001

Co-presented by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, and Kaya Press.

Three experimental writers of color investigate the vision of the city through books that merge visual art with poetry and prose. Sesshu Foster’s eagerly anticipated City of the Future rebels against the gentrification of Chicano/Asian East LA through poems, letters, drawings, and postcards: Douglas Kearney calls it “elegiac, documentarian, furious and fun as hell”! A visual artist exhibited at Performa, ArtDubai, and Art In General, Youmna Chlala imagines language as the vehicle that records memory—the recollections of love, loss and longing that traverse cities and the migration from Beirut—in her new poetry collection The Paper Camera. In the Ravicka novels by Renee Gladman, a linguist-traveler explores the invented city-state of Ravicka, a Wittgensteinian urban landscape with its own gestural language, poetic architecture, and inexplicable physics. Moderated by Asian American Writers’ Workshop Executive Director Ken Chen.

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Youmna Chala’s forthcoming book of poetry, The Paper Camera (Litmus Press, 2018), is inspired by Beirut, the city where she was born. An artist and writer, her work investigates the relationship between fate and architecture through drawing, video and performance, prose, and poetry. She is the founding editor of Eleven Eleven {1111} Journal of Literature and Art and the recipient of a Joseph Henry Jackson Award. She is the co-founder of the Mutating Cities Institute and Associate Professor in the Humanities & Media Studies and Writing Department at the Pratt Institute.

Sesshu Foster’s new poetry collection City of the Future (Kaya Press, 2018) maps the past twenty years of change in East Los Angeles, fusing intimate reflections on the forces of gentrification and globalization with a nod to futurity. The book’s publication comes twenty-one years after City Terrace Field Manual, his boundary-breaking first work on the physical and psychological landscapes of LA. A poet, teacher, and community activist, he earned his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and returned to LA to continue teaching, writing, and community organizing. His third collection of poetry, World Ball Notebook (2009), won an American Book Award and an Asian American Literary Award for Poetry. Foster is the author of the speculative-fiction novel Atomik Aztex (2005), which won the Believer Book Award and imagines an America free of European colonizers.

Renee Gladman is a writer and artist preoccupied with lines, crossings, thresholds, geographies, and syntaxes as they play out in the interstices of poetry and prose. She is the author of ten published works, including a cycle of novels about the city-state Ravicka and its inhabitants, The Ravickians (Dorothy Press, 2010); Calamities (Wave Books, 2016), a collection of linked essays on writing and experience, which won the 2017 Firecracker Award in Nonfiction; and a monograph of ink drawings that dissolves boundaries between drawing and writing, Prose Architectures (Wave Books, 2017).

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