Where to Find Kundiman at the Asian American Literature Festival

The Asian American Literature Festival is back! We hope we'll see some of you in Washington, D.C., from August 2nd–4th at this free, open-to-the-public festival! We have several amazing events planned. Read more about the festival on the Smithsonian APA website. Here's where to find us once you're there:

Friday, August 2nd

12:30 PM–1:45 PM: Blood in the Water: Pacific Islander Poetry Reading, featuring Will Nu'utupu Giles, Terisa Siagatonu, Lee Kava, & Christopher Diaz

Eaton DC, Beverly Snow Ballroom (Second Floor)

Oceaniaʻs vast Sea of Islands was once tightly woven together with trade and tradition. But as our shores have been seized by colonial powers, economic and climate hardships have created a new culture of forced migration. This reading/panel shares the work of poets from across the Pacific diaspora, as we hold uncertainty, assimilation, and distance as we try to build home away from it.

2:00 PM–3:30 PM: VS Podcast Live

Eaton DC, Wild Days Rooftop Bar (top floor)

Come out for a live podcast taping hosted by Danez Smith and Franny Choi! Kundiman's Executive Director Cathy Linh Che and Kundiman's Cofounders Sarah Gambito and Joseph Legaspi will be interviewed.

9:00 PM–10:00 PM: Kundiman Salon

Eaton DC Hotel: Room number to come!

Join us for an informal reading and gathering space in our hotel room! Bring a piece of your own work to share (250 words or less), and enjoy snacks and mingling with a warm community.

Saturday, August 3rd

5:30 PM–7:00 PM: Kundiman Mentorship Lab Reading

Eaton Hotel, Beverly Snow Ballroom (Second Floor)

In Kundiman’s 2019 Mentorship Lab, nine emerging Asian American writers receive 6-month-long mentorship in Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, and Poetry. Mentorship Fellows Pik-Shuen Fung, Julie Ae Kim, June Daowen Lei, Divya Nair, Kimarlee Nguyen, Danielle Batalion Ola, Shrima Pandey, Ananya Kanai Shai, and Paul Aster Stone-Tsao will each share brief readings from their work, as will Mentors J. Mae Barizo, T Kira Madden, and Bushra Rehman.

9:00 PM–11:00 PM: Queer Literaoke

Eaton DC, Beverly Snow Ballroom (Second floor)

This beloved mashup of karaoke & poetry returns, featuring Franny Choi, Ching-In Chen, Wo Chan, Mimi Khúc, Yanyi, Jericho Brown, Kristen Arnett, Regie Cabico, Ricco Siasoco, Sarah Gambito + Joseph Legaspi, emceed by our very own Dan Lau!

Sunday, August 4th

11:00 AM–3:00 PM: Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon for Asian American Literature, co-sponsored by Wikimedia DC Eaton DC, Crystal Room (Second floor)

At our previous Edit-a-Thons, Kundiman has added over 30,000 words on Asian American literature to Wikipedia! In conjunction with Wikimedia DC, we'll have a space for everyone to add or revise entries on their favorite Asian American writers, books, and movements. Trainings will be provided––no Wikipedia experience necessary!

3:00–5:00 PM: Caring for Liberation Workshop with Purvi Shah, Sunu P. Chandy, & Krittika Ghosh Eaton DC, Crystal Room (Second Floor)

The ways we give, receive, and create chosen families of care are connected to gender, ethnicity, sexuality, immigration status, birth order, and more. In this 2-hour workshop, we will deepen our relationship to self and community care through embodied healing art practices. Together we will generate art; connect within ourselves and across communities; and, move towards healing and collective liberation.

Announcing Our 2019 Mentorship Lab Fellows and Finalists!

We are thrilled to announce the Mentorship Fellows & Finalists for our 2019 Mentorship Lab! We received so many incredible applications from poets and writers for this program, which shows us just how much of a need there is for both mentorship and community within the field of emerging Asian American literature. We're so grateful to everyone who applied and shared their work with us.

Congratulations to our 2019 Mentorship Fellows:

  • Pik-Shuen Fung, Creative Nonfiction Fellow
  • Julie Ae Kim, Creative Nonfiction Fellow
  • Danielle Ola, Creative Nonfiction Fellow
  • Divya Nair, Fiction Fellow
  • Kimarlee Nguyen, Fiction Fellow
  • Shrima Pandey, Fiction Fellow
  • June Daowen Lei, Poetry Fellow
  • Ananya Kanai Shah, Poetry Fellow
  • Paul Aster-Stone Tsao, Poetry Fellow

We'd also like to congratulate the finalists of the Mentorship Lab.

Creative Nonfiction Finalists:

  • Hannah Bae
  • Julia Flasphaler
  • Yasmin Majeed
  • Shivani Radhakrishnan
  • Rajat Singh

Fiction Finalists:

  • Julia Chen
  • Vivek Gowda
  • Christie Louie
  • Aarti Monteiro
  • Tiffani Ren

Poetry Finalists:

  • Kiran Bath
  • Irene Hsu
  • Laimah Osman
  • Ayesha Raees
  • Mary Sun

You can learn more about our 2019 Mentorship Lab here. We're grateful to the Jerome Foundation, whose support made this program possible.

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Kundiman's Queer Scholarship Fund!


This June, Kundiman is celebrating pride month by building the Queer Scholarship Fund, a need-based scholarship fund for queer writers to participate in Kundiman programming. We’re proud to uplift the work of queer Kundiman fellows and continue to foster queer Asian American voices.

After attending the 2014 Summer Retreat, Hieu Minh Nguyen wrote:

“Before Kundiman, I wasn't entirely sure what I meant when I used the word “community,” or at least I didn't know what that word could mean. The Kundiman fellows, faculty, and staff granted me permission to be an Asian American poet, even though I'm still figuring out what that means. Here, you are allowed to hold space. Here, you don't have to explain your existence. I believe, as Asian Americans, loneliness is a language we are all fluent in. I'm not sure I believe in fate. I'm not sure I believe that some greater force brought us together, but I do remember standing in the corner of the room, on that last night of the retreat, watching all the fellows laugh and sing and share stories, thinking to myself, This all must be impossible, right?”

This year we need your help to raise $6,000 to seed the fund and support two queer fellows to attend our flagship retreat for the next two years. With your support, we will be able to provide necessary scholarships to queer writers in need and continue to push Asian American writing to the forefront.

Give to the Queer Scholarship Fund today by clicking here!

Once there, select the Queer Scholarship Fund campaign and the amount that feels right to you. We are truly grateful for your generosity and all that we have accomplished together. It is through you that Kundiman can continue to foster an empowering space for all.

Thank You to our amazing QSF Donors!

Nawaaz Ahmed ~ Kazim Ali ~ Hossannah Asuncion ~ Jennifer Benka

Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello ~ Danielle Buckingham ~ ND Chan ~ Cathy Linh Che

Chen Chen ~ Ching-In Chen ~ Esther Choi ~ Kat Chow ~ Oliver de la Paz ~ Christopher Eng

Jessica Hagedorn ~ V. Hansmann ~ Gabrielle Hogan ~ Janine Joseph ~ Adrian Khactu

Mimi Khuc ~ Dan Lau ~ Katherine Lee ~ Joseph Legaspi ~ Muriel Leung

Lillian Li ~ Jane Lin ~ Rona Luo ~ Jennifer Medway ~ Vikas Menon

Timothy Moore ~ Tiana Nobile ~ Michelle Peñaloza ~ Tony Pham ~ Karen Pittelman

Jackie Quan & Patrick Lin ~ Jake Ricafrente ~ JD Scott ~ Ricco Siasoco ~ Leah Silvieus

Gail Wronsky ~ Debbie Yee