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Presented By: Asian Languages and Cultures

Asian x American x Buddhist x Literature

A Gathering of Writers, a Field of Cultivation

Asian American Buddhist Literature Panel Poster Asian American Buddhist Literature Panel Poster
Asian American Buddhist Literature Panel Poster
RSVP for in-person (Koessler Room, Michigan League 3rd Floor) or virtual attendance here:

What creative, political, and liberatory possibilities emerge at the intersections of Asian America, Buddhism, and literature? This roundtable brings together five prolific authors—Quyên Nguyễn-Hoàng, Tsering Yangzom Lama, Shin Yu Pai, Ryan Lee Wong, and Bryan Thao Worra—to discuss the cultural and spiritual influences in their work. In a panel conversation moderated by Chenxing Han, these writers will share how a wide range of Buddhist traditions—in conjunction with their Vietnamese, Laotian, Tibetan, Taiwanese, Korean, and Chinese heritages—shape their artistic practice and political commitments.

If you’re able, please join us in person at the Michigan League to welcome our guest speakers, who are visiting from Pittsburgh, New York City, Seattle, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Vancouver, Canada. After the author readings and roundtable discussion, there will be time for audience Q&A followed by an informal reception and book signings. Please stay to enjoy light refreshments and to meet the authors one-on-one!

This event is sponsored by the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and co-sponsored by the Department of American Culture, the Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies program, the Nam Center for Korean Studies, the Department of Comparative Literature, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, and the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies with local bookshop Booksweet organizing the book signings.

Quyên Nguyễn-Hoàng is a writer and translator born in Việt Nam. Recent publications include Masked Force (Sàn Art), a pamphlet-catalogue on Võ An Khánh’s war photographs, and Chronicles of a Village (Penguin SEA), her translation of a novel by Nguyễn Thanh Hiện. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Jacket2, Modern Poetry in Translation and other venues. Currently studying at Stanford University, she has received support from the PEN/Heim Fund and the Institute for Comparative Modernities, among other honors.

Tsering Yangzom Lama’s debut novel, We Measure the Earth With Our Bodies, won the GLCA New Writers Award as well as the Banff Mountain Book Award for Fiction & Poetry. Tsering holds an MFA in Writing from Columbia University and a BA in Creative Writing and International Relations from the University of British Columbia. We Measure the Earth With Our Bodies is published in English in Canada, the United States, and India. Translations are available or forthcoming in French, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Bulgarian, Tibetan, and Arabic.

Shin Yu Pai is currently the Civic Poet of The City of Seattle. She is the author of 13 books, and has received awards for her work from the Academy of American Poets, 4Culture, The Awesome Foundation, and Artist Trust. Shin Yu is host and writer of “Ten Thousand Things”—an award-winning, chart-topping podcast on Asian American stories. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and earned an MA in Museology from The University of Washington.

Ryan Lee Wong is author of the novel Which Side Are You On, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel. He organized the exhibitions Serve the People at Interference Archive and Roots at Chinese American Museum, and has written on the intersections of arts, race, and social movements. Ryan holds an MFA in Fiction from Rutgers-Newark and served on the Board of the Jerome Foundation. He lived for two years at Ancestral Heart Temple and is the Administrative Director of Brooklyn Zen Center.

Bryan Thao Worra is a Lao American poet. With 20+ awards and fellowships, he is the author of 9+ books of poetry on the Lao American diaspora. He has presented at the Library of Congress, Poets House, Kearny Street Workshop, the Singapore Writers Festival, and the Smithsonian, and is the author of over 100 publications. He has documented Lao Theravada Buddhist temples in the US for over 15 years. His newest book American Laodyssey is forthcoming from Sahtu Press in Spring 2024.

Chenxing Han is the author of Be the Refuge: Raising the Voices of Asian American Buddhists; one long listening: a memoir of grief, friendship, and spiritual care; and over twenty articles and book chapters for both academic and mainstream audiences. She is a frequent speaker and workshop leader at schools, universities, and Buddhist communities across the nation, and currently serves as the Khyentse Visitor in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan.

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