I spent a couple of days in San Francisco, buying books and visiting friends from AKASF. It was great to see them, and I am very happy and honored that I will be part of an event celebrating Korean adoptee artists on November 2 in Oakland, along with award-winning documentary filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem. Check in later or visit my website for details soon. Some of the books I bought include four novels: Young Ha Kim's I Have the Right to Destroy Myself, Hyejin Kim's Jia, Kim Addonizio's My Dreams Out in the Street, and Dana Spiotta's Eat the Document; two books of poems, Aimee Nezhukumatathil's At the Drive-in Volcano and Jack Gilbert's Refusing Heaven; and Nobel Prize winner Gao Xingjian's book of essays, The Case for Literature. I also ordered two books of poems I am eagerly awaiting: Cathy Park Hong's Dance Dance Revolution and Sun Yung Shin's Skirt Full of Black. I am particularly excited about the latter.
About the best $6 you could spend, if you are looking for great short fiction, innovative vision, a compelling young character by a California writer (who happens to be Asian Pacific American), you cannot go wrong if you purchase The Private Listener, by Pamela Lu. You will be glad to have read this. Trust me. I can't wait for more from Lu. I am a believer of Tarquinian.
From Patricia Wakida, the great artist and editor, and creative spirit behind Wasabi Press: "I just discovered a dear writer colleague of mine, Violet de Cristoforo, of Salinas, CA, has been awarded a Lifetime Honor from the National Endowment for the Arts. I am thrilled to learn that she will be traveling to Washington D.C. to pick up her award amongst the other receipients. This particular award recognizes artists who have contributed to folk or traditional arts of the United States, over a lifetime. It is also great to know that she is being recognized not only for her writing but her role as a historian in preserving and translating so much haiku and tanka written by the Issei in the camps." Congratulations on this well-deserved honor, Violet! Read more here.
Speaking of Patricia Wakida, she is one of three co-editors, along with Stan Yogi and Gayle Mak, of the newly updated and second edition of the popular California anthology Highway 99: A Literary Journey through California's Great Central Valley. I am honored to have a poem in it (it's due out in the fall from Heyday Books)---luminaries like Steinbeck and Saroyan are in it, along with towering voices like Philip Levine, Larry Levis, and Maxine Hong Kingston, and poets with Fresno City College connections such as DeWayne Rail, Gregory Ramirez, Mike Cole, and Andres Montoya. I am excited about the new additions to the anthology, including Daniel Chacon, Tim Hernandez, and Burlee Vang. It's quite good company, and I am honored to be included. Kamsahamnida.
On July 19 at 7:00 pm, I will be reading a short set, including my poem "A Thousand Saxophones," before Armen Nalbandian's Trio plays jazz at the Fresno Art Museum. The concert is a benefit/fundraiser for New Orleans.
On September 5, please come join me for the book release party of my new book! It will be at Samo's Korean Restaurant in Fresno from 6:30 pm--8:30 pm. There will be guest poets, great food, and a book signing to follow. Bring a friend or two and enjoy yourself.
On October 12, I will be reading in the Bay Area in Burlingame for the ECCTYC conference. Keynote speaker Jody Millward is a pioneering visionary committed to the real work and beauty of the two-year college system, and I am excited to meet novelist Reyna Grande, the other reader, hailed by People magazine as one the new Latina writers to watch.
On October 18, I will be reading in Fresno at the "Respite by the River" reading series to help celebrate the aforementioned anthology's release, along with Claudia Isaac, Purva Brown, and Ocean Jones.
On October 20, I will be reading in Modesto at the Mistlin Art Gallery.
On November 2, I will be reading in Oakland for an event through AKASF. More details soon.
For more on any of these readings, visit leeherrick.com.