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Thursday, October 20, 2016

On Thursday, October 20th, we will be celebrating And China Has Hands, a novel by political activist, life-long eccentric, and agitprop author H.T. Tsiang. Tsiang’s mostly self-published experimental novels and poetry, published in the 1920s and 1930s, are a testament to his singular unwillingness to compromise his vision or his politics in order to fit within the narrow strictures of convention.

Join us in celebrating Tsiang’s life and times with a reading held at Otros Libros/Other Books, Kaya’s new shared (with Seite Books and Tiny Splendor) storefront space in Boyle Heights! The event will feature readings by: Floyd Cheung, editor of And China Has Hands; Kaya authors Sesshu Foster and Ed Lin; along with Jen Hofer, Kima Jones, and Iris De Anda — reading excerpts from Tsiang as well as their own work. Refreshments will also be served!

Come help us to re-animate the life and legacy of H.T. Tsiang (buried just down the street in Evergreen Cemetery) and also help us break in our new digs!

Thursday, October 20th
7:30 – 9:30 pm
Otros Libros / Other Books
2006 E. Cesar Chavez Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90033

BIOS

Poet, playwright, and novelist. Hsi Tseng Tsiang (H. T. Tsiang) was born in China in 1899 and came to America as a young man. He was involved with the Greenwich Village literary scene in the 1920s and 1930s, and self-published a number of books which he would hawk at downtown political meetings. Tsiang also appeared as an actor in Hollywood, most notably in the film Tokyo Rose. He died in 1971 in Los Angeles, CA.

Floyd Cheung is Associate Professor of English Language & Literature and American Studies at Smith College. In addition to teaching English language and literature and American studies, Floyd Cheung is also a member of the Five College Asian/Pacific/American Studies Certificate Program, for which he served as the founding chair. He is particularly interested in the recovery of early Asian American texts. Cheung also writes poetry. Along with AND CHINA HAS HANDS, Cheung has edited H.T. Tsiang’s THE HANGING ON UNION SQUARE (Kaya Press, 2013)

Sesshu Foster is a poet, teacher, and community activist, who was born and raised in East Los Angeles. He earned his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and returned to LA to continue teaching, writing, and community organizing. His first collection of poetry, City Terrace Field Manual (1996), celebrates the neighborhood Foster grew up in. He has said that representing his community as one of his central tasks. He is the author of American Loneliness: Selected Poems (2006). 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 novel of speculative fiction Atomik Aztex (2005), which won the Believer Book Award and imagines an America free of European colonizers. Foster’s work has been published in The Oxford Anthology of Modern American Poetry (2000), Language for a New Century: Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond (2008), and State of the Union: 50 Political Poems (2008). He coedited the anthologyInvocation L.A.: Urban Multicultural Poetry (1989). Foster taught in East LA for 25 years as well as at the University of Iowa, the California Institute for the Arts, Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, and the University of California, Santa Cruz. He lives in Los Angeles.

Iris De Anda is a writer, activist, and practitioner of the healing arts. A womyn of color of Mexican and Salvadorean descent and a native of Los Angeles, she believes in the power of spoken word, poetry, storytelling, and dreams. She has been published in anthologies like The Coiled Serpent, Poetry of Resistance: Voices for Social Justice, Revolutionary Poets Brigade Los Angeles, The Border Crossed Us, Mujeres de Maiz Zine, Loudmouth Zine: Cal State LASeeds of Resistance, In the Words of Women, Women Who Submit, Heartbreak Anthology, Twenty: In Memoriam, Dryland, Angel City Review, Frontera Esquina, Brooklyn & Boyle, and online at La Bloga & La Tolteca Zine. She is a moderator for Poets Responding to SB 1070. She currently hosts The Writers Underground Open Mic every Third Thursday of the month at the Eastside Cafe. Author of CODESWITCH: Fires From Mi Corazon.

Kima Jones has received fellowships from PEN Center USA Emerging Voices, Kimbilio Fiction,Yaddo and was named the 2014-2015 Gerald Freund Fellow at The MacDowell Colony. She has been published at GQ, Guernica, NPR, PANK, Scratch Magazine and The Rumpus among others and in the anthologies Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, Her Own Accord: American Women on Identity, Culture, and Community and The New York Times Best Seller, The Fire this Time, edited by Jesmyn Ward. Her short story “Nine” received notable mention in Best American Science Fiction 2015. Kima is an MFA candidate in fiction and Rodney Jack Scholar in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She is a founding board member of Makara Center for the Arts. Kima lives in Los Angeles where she operates Jack Jones Literary Arts, a book publicity company.

Ed Lin, a native New Yorker of Taiwanese and Chinese descent, is the first author to win three Asian American Literary Awards and is an all-around standup kinda guy. His books include Waylaid and This Is a Bust, both published by Kaya Press in 2002 and 2007, respectively. Snakes Can’t Run and One Red Bastard, which both continue the story of Robert Chow set in This Is a Bust, were published by Minotaur Books. His latest book, Ghost Month, a Taipei-based mystery, was published by Soho Crime in July 2014. Lin lives in Brooklyn with his wife, actress Cindy Cheung, and son.

Jen Hofer is a poet, translator, bookmaker, social justice interpreter, public letter-writer, knitter, book-maker, urban cyclist, and co-founder (with John Pluecker) of the language justice and literary activism collaborative Antena, which recently had a large-scale installation at the Blaffer Art Museum at University of Houston. Her latest translations include the chapbook En las maravillas/In Wonder (Libros Antena/Antena Books, 2012); Ivory Black, a translation of Negro marfil by Myriam Moscona (Les Figues Press 2011, winner of translation prizes from the Academy of American Poets and PEN); sexoPUROsexoVELOZ and Septiembre, a translation from Dolores Dorantes by Dolores Dorantes (Counterpath Press and Kenning Editions, 2008); and lip wolf, a translation of Laura Solórzano’s lobo de labio (Action Books, 2007). In addition to teaching poetics in the MFA Writing Program, Jen teaches in the Graduate Writing Program at Otis College, is on the editorial board of Litmus Press, and works with Antena Los Ángeles doing language justice advocacy and social justice interpreting locally in Los Angeles.

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— Junot Díaz