Event Recording

Uncanceled, unghosted, and still here. Join us for a virtual reading in celebration of Asian diasporic trans, non-binary, and gender-expansive as we gather to fundraise for ReorientingReads.com, a new campaign and community resource for lovers and learners of our stories. 

This event, organized in the wake of the cancellation of the 2023 Asian American Literary Festival, will be held virtually on Zoom. Saturday, November 11th, 2023 at 3 pm PT / 6 pm ET. As Trans Day of Remembrance approaches, as grief and violence persist, we gather collectively to defy all attempts to censor our livelihoods.

Featuring Andrea Abi-KaramGeorge Abraham, Ashna AliH Felix Chau BradleyCeleste Chan최 LindsayChae(lee) DaltonRiver 瑩瑩 DandelionEli Tareq El Bechelany-LynchZeyn JoukhadarKoomahe.jinLeah Lakshmi Piepzna-SamarasinhaTrish SalahWilly Wilkinson. Curated by Ching-In ChenNoah Arhm ChoiChrysanthemum, and Yanyi.

This event is in collaboration with Asian American Writers' WorkshopAsian/Pacific/American Institute at New York UniversityBrew & ForgeKaya PressKundimanLambda LiteraryLoyalty BookstoresPalah Light Lab at The New School

This event will have live captioning and ASL interpretation, provided by Pro Bono ASL and Sign Nexus. Registration is required.


Andrea Abi-Karam is a trans, arab-american punk poet-performer cyborg. They are the author of EXTRATRANSMISSION (Kelsey Street Press, 2019) and with Kay Gabriel, they co-edited We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics (Nightboat Books, 2020). Their second book, Villainy (Nightboat Books, Sept 2021) reimagines militant collectivity in the wake of the Ghost Ship Fire and the Muslim Ban. They are currently working on a poet's novel.

Photo by Tarik Bartel

George Abraham (they/هو) is a Palestinian American poet. Their debut poetry collection Birthright (Button Poetry, 2020) won the Arab American Book Award and was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. They are currently executive editor for Mizna, and are a recipient of fellowships from Kundiman, The Arab American National Museum, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, National Performance Network, and more. They are currently co-editing a Palestinian global anglophone poetry anthology with Noor Hindi (Haymarket Books, 2024) and are a Litowitz MFA+MA candidate at Northwestern University.

Ashna Ali is a Best-of-the-Net-nominated queer, disabled, and diasporic Bangladeshi poet raised in Italy and based in Brooklyn. They are the author of the forthcoming reissue of The Relativity of Living Well (Bone Bouquet, 2024) and their work appears in Split This Rock, Nat Brut, Zoeglossia, Sundog Lit, and several other independent journals. They publish a weekly Substack newsletter called PAIN BABY, serve as a fellow in Shira Erlichman's In Surreal Life program, and are currently an intern at Brooklyn Poets. They hold a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from The Graduate Center, CUNY, and live in daily worship of their hairless feline familiar, Kubo Avatar. 

Celeste Chan is a writer and artist schooled by Do-It-Yourself culture and immigrant parents from Malaysia and the Bronx. She founded and directed Queer Rebels, curated experimental film programs for MIX NYC, joined Foglifter Literary Journal as a board member, and toured with Sister Spit. She’s screened films in Austin, Tijuana, Berlin, and her writing can be found in The Rumpus, cream city review’sgenrequeer folio, Gertrude, and Citron Review. A Periplus and Hugo House fellow, she’s currently writing her hybrid memoir. Her favorite color is glitter-leopard-rainbow.

H Felix Chau Bradley is a writer and editor living in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal). They are the author of Personal Attention Roleplay, a story collection. You can find their recent work in carte blanche, ESPACE art actuel, the Humber Literary Review, PRISM International and Xtra.

River 瑩瑩 Dandelion is a practitioner of ancestral medicine through writing poetry, teaching, energy healing, and creating ceremony. As a poet, he writes to connect with the unseen and unspoken so we can feel and heal. River also facilitates creative writing workshops, where participants connect with their own inner and collective power. A 2023 Tin House Resident and 2023 Lambda Literary Fellow, River is the author of remembering (y)our light.  River's work is published in POETRY, Best New Poets, The Offing, Bellevue Literary Review, Bellingham Review, The Margins, and elsewhere. He loves to swim and does this work for queer and trans ancestors and descendants to come. For more, visit: riverdandelion.com.

Photo by Surah Field-Green

Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch is a writer and translator living in Tio’tia:ke. Their book, knot body, was published by Metatron Press in 2020, and their second book, The Good Arabs, published by Metonymy Press in 2021, was granted the honorary mention for poetry by the Arab American Book Awards and won the Grand Prix du Livre de Montréal. Their translation of Gabrielle Boulianne-Tremblay’s La fille d’elle-même was published April 2023. With co-editor Samia Marshy, they are editing El Ghourabaa, an anthology of queer and trans writing by Arab and Arabophone writers, forthcoming Spring 2024. They are also an acquisitions editor at Metonymy Press.

e.jin is an adoptee writer who is based in New York. They have received nominations for a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Best New Poets, and their work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Nashville Review, The Margins, The Shade Journal, and others. They are a Lambda Literary Fellow and Margins Fellow.

Based in Berkeley, CA, 최 Lindsay is the author of Transverse (Futurepoem, 2021), which was a finalist for the 2022 Lambda Literary Award in Transgender Poetry. They are also the author of the chapbooks Who Can Remember His Past Lives (Belladonna* Chaplet Series, 2022), and Matrices (speCt! Books, 2017). Their work has appeared in translation in Nioques, 22/23: Nouvelle Poésie des États-Unis (New U.S. Poetry), Edited by DoubleChange Collective and translated to French by Abigail Lang. Recent writing can be found in Changes Review and Aster(ix) Journal. They are a Kundiman fellow and a Ph.D. candidate in English at UC Berkeley, and they run the chapbook press MO(0)ON/IO. Visit them at lindsaychoi.com.

Chae(lee) Dalton is a wintertime writer and summertime ice cream maker. The Back of the Envelope editor for The Offing, they are the author of the chapbook Mother Tongue (Gold Line Press 2021) and their work appears or is forthcoming in Diagram, Pinwheel, and Penn Review. A queer Korean adoptee, Chae is working on a collection of poems about accumulation and grief, and an essay collection about sex– of all definitions–, gender, friendship, and violence. Chae lives in New York, where they teach kids and make things with their friends.

Photo by Leah James Photography

Zeyn Joukhadar is the author of the novels The Thirty Names of Night, which won the Lambda Literary Award in Transgender Literature and the Stonewall Book Award, as well as The Map of Salt and Stars. His work has appeared in Electric Literature, Salon, The Paris Review, and other outlets and has been anthologized in Letters to a Writer of Color, This Arab Is Queer, and elsewhere. He has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Joukhadar serves on the board of the Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI) and mentors emerging writers of color with the Periplus Collective.

Koomah is an intersex and genderfluid multidisciplinary artist, community organizer, and educator. Involved with nonprofit and arts organizations, Koomah is co-founder of The Houston intersex Society, advisor to the Transgender Foundation of America, and member of the DiverseWorks artist board. Koomah’s art and social practice has received awards including BIPOC Arts Network and Fund’s artist award and LGBTQI+ artist recognition from the White House. Outside of the arts, Koomah serves as a legislative policy advisor and strategist for intersex related legislative efforts and speaks on intersex community issues in listening sessions with the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a nonbinary femme disabled writer and disability and transformative justice movement worker of Burgher and Tamil Sri Lankan, Irish and Galician/Roma ascent. They are the author or co-editor of ten books, including The Future Is Disabled: Prophecies, Love Notes and Mourning Songs, Beyond Survival: Stories and Strategies from the Transformative Justice Movement (co-edited with Ejeris Dixon), Tonguebreaker, and Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice. A 2020-2021 Disability Futures Fellow, Lambda Award winner and longtime disabled QTBIPOC space maker, they are currently building Living Altars, a cultural space space by and for disabled QTBIPOC writers and creators.

Photo by Sam Ace

Trish Salah is associate professor of Gender Studies at Queen’s University, in traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Territory.  She is the author of Wanting in Arabic (Mawenzi House) which won a Lambda Literary Award, and Lyric Sexology, Vol. 1 (Metonymy). Selections of her poetry have been translated into Arabic, French, Greek, Spanish and Urdu.  At the University of Winnipeg, she co-organized the conferences, Writing TransGenresand Decolonizing and Decriminalizing TransGenres. She edits the Journal of Critical Race Inquiry, and co-edited special issues of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, on cultural production, and of Arc Poetry Magazine, featuring trans, Two-Spirit and non-binary writers. 

Willy Wilkinson, MPH is the author of the Lambda Literary Award-winning book Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency, which illuminates trans experience from a Chinese American and mixed heritage perspective, and transforms the memoir genre into a cultural competency tool. Willy has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, Asian Week, San Francisco Bay Times, Transgender Studies Quarterly, and numerous anthologies, including Trans Bodies, Trans Selves and Manning Up: Transsexual Men on Finding Brotherhood, Family, and Themselves. He is the recipient of a National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association Excellence in Writing Award. www.willywilkinson.com.


Photo by Cassie Mira

Descended from ocean dwellers, Ching-In Chen is a genderqueer Chinese American writer, community organizer and teacher. They are author of The Heart's Traffic: a novel in poems (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press, 2009) and recombinant (Kelsey Street Press, 2018 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry) as well as chapbooks to make black paper sing (speCt! Books) and Kundiman for Kin :: Information Retrieval for Monsters (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, Leslie Scalapino Finalist). Chen is co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press, 1st edition; AK Press, 2nd edition) and a core member of the Massage Parlor Outreach Project. They have received fellowships from Kundiman, Lambda, Watering Hole, Can Serrat, Imagining America, Jack Straw Cultural Center and the Intercultural Leadership Institute as well as the Judith A. Markowitz Award for Exceptional New LGBTQ Writers. They are currently collaborating with Cassie Mira and others on Breathing in a Time of Disaster, a performance, installation and speculative writing project exploring breath through meditation, health and environmental justice. They teach at University of Washington Bothell. www.chinginchen.com

Photo by Zach Oren

Chrysanthemum is a poet, performance artist & public historian. She is the winner of a 2023 Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. She is a Kundiman Fellow and received the 2023 Justin Chin Memorial Scholarship from Lambda Literary. Chrysanthemum first broke ground as a finalist of the 2016 Women of the World Poetry Slam representing the Providence Poetry Slam. Her teams were champions of the Rustbelt Poetry Slam & the first-ever FEM Slam. Featured on PBS & Button Poetry, she appears on nationwide stages & in The Nation, Them, The Offing, among others. chrysanthemvm.com

Noah Arhm Choi is the author of CUT TO BLOOM, the winner of the 2019 Write Bloody Prize. They received a MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and their work appears in Apogee, The Rumpus, Split this Rock and elsewhere. Noah was nominated for Best of the Net in 2022, shortlisted for the Poetry International Prize, and received the 2021 Ellen Conroy Kennedy Poetry Prize, alongside fellowships from Kundiman, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. A Lambda Literary Writer in Schools, they work as the Director of the Progressive Teaching Institute at a school in New York City. noaharhmchoi.com

Yanyi is the author of Dream of the Divided Field (One World 2022) and The Year of Blue Water (Yale 2019), winner of the 2018 Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize. His work has been featured in or at NPR’s All Things Considered, New York Public Library, Tin HouseGranta, and A Public Space. The recipient of fellowships from Asian American Writers’ Workshop and Poets House, he was a curatorial assistant at the Poetry Project and holds an MFA in Poetry from New York University. From 2016-2021, he was the poetry editor at Foundry. Most recently, he is the recipient of a 2023 Vermont Arts Council Grant and a 2022 Tanne Foundation Award. He gives creative writing advice at his newsletter, The Reading, and teaches poetry at the Warren Wilson MFA program. In 2023, he founded the Asian American Literary Archive. yanyiii.com

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