Monday, June 30, 2014

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Books: An interview with poet David Mura on his latest work, "The Last Incantations" | Hyphen magazine - Asian American arts, culture, and politics

WORD. I was just thinking this and how to create a safe space for writers of color between the coasts. Ok. Will start writing again. soon. today. Thx David Mura and Hyphen magazine:
Still, let’s keep things in proportion. The refusal of so many white people on the right and left to deal with race is a far larger problem than any clichéd language or intellectual tics that writers and intellectuals of color may exhibit. And, as I’ve said [in this interview], sometimes writing anything with a white audience in mind can actually work to the detriment of the quality of one’s work. It’s hard to write well if you’re writing to an audience whose ignorance you cannot cure. And who do not want a cure.

The Racism Beat — Matter — Medium

I don't remember if I posted this when it first came out, but great article in Medium on the difficulty of writing about race and diversity repeatedly.
The hostility directed at writers who cover minority beats in America is solid proof that those people are doing important work. But that work can be exhausting. It’s exhausting to always be writing and thinking about a new person being racist or sexist or otherwise awful. It’s exhausting to feel compelled on a consistent basis to defend your claim to dignity. It’s exhausting to then watch those defenses drift beyond the reaches of the internet’s short memory, or to coffee tables in dentists’ offices, to be forgotten about until you link to them the next time you need to say essentially the same thing....
Imagine an editor asking a writer to passionately articulate why a drunk driver hitting and killing a boy on a bicycle is wrong and sad. That would never happen, because a drunk driver killing a boy on a bike is a self-evident tragedy. Asking a writer to exert lots of effort to explain why would be a disservice to the dead, as if his right to life were ever in question, as if our moral obligation to not snuff out our fellow citizens via recklessness were something in need of an eloquent plea.
When another unarmed black teenager is gunned down, there is something that hurts about having to put fingers to keyboard in an attempt to illuminate why another black life taken is a catastrophe, even if that murdered person had a criminal record or a history of smoking marijuana, even if that murdered person wasn’t a millionaire or college student. There is something that hurts when thinking about the possibility of being “accidentally” shot on some darkened corner, leaving a writer who never met you the task of asking the world to acknowledge your value posthumously, as it didn’t during your life.
I think about race and racism every day of my life. How can any American not? (James Baldwin once proffered the idea that “the Negro-in-America is increasingly the central problem in American life.”) I anticipate that I’ll always write about race and racism in some professional capacity. Still, wouldn’t it be wonderful if writers and creatives on the periphery were welcomed in from anonymity, not thanks to their accounts of woe, but simply because they have things to share—tales of love, joy, happiness, and basic humanity—that have nothing to do with their race and also everything to do with their race. I’m ready for people in positions of power at magazines and newspapers and movie studios to recalibrate their understanding of what it means to talk about race in the first place. If America would like to express that it truly values and appreciates the voices of its minorities, it will listen to all their stories, not just the ones reacting to its shortcomings and brutality.

The Racism Beat — Matter — Medium

Friday, June 27, 2014

love letter from Helen Zia

I shared the links to 18 Million Rising's post and the #iamvincentchin Tumblr as well as all the materials I have collected at with Helen Zia and the folks at American Citizens for Justice (ACJ) and...
Thanks so much for all the links to the final mural art and such moving testaments to Vincent, his mother and the movement to bring him justice. It all speaks to the importance of ACJ's work in advocacy and as keepers of the legacy of both Vincent and the movement that ACJ started.
Thanks to you all,
Squee! :) So let's keep working...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Teaching this summer at University of Hawaii Hilo

From UH Hilo College of Continuing Education & Community Service (UHH CCECS):
She's back! Frances Kai-Hwa Wang will be teaching another round of her hugely popular writing workshops here in Hilo. Lots of options, no matter what your level of experience or interests. Call 974-7664 for more info or to register, or learn more about Frances at

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Video: Hawai'i: Deep Beauty and Volcanic Power | Ann Arbor District Library

Finally received and watched this video of our presentation and reading about Hawaii at the downtown Ann Arbor District Library, October 29, 2013, with writer Tom Peek, visual artist Catherine Robbins, Kumu Hula June Tanoe, Professor Susan Najita, and me. It was a great three days of aloha and talk story during Tom Peek's book tour for his novel, "Daughters of Fire."

Video: Hawai'i: Deep Beauty and Volcanic Power | Ann Arbor District Library
Look beyond the idyllic tourist image of Hawaii and explore the deeper beauty and sacred heritage of Hawaii and its volcanoes through its cultural traditions, history, literature, music, and art with authors Tom Peek and Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, and artist Catherine Robbins. The program will include author readings, cross-cultural discussion, nature photography, and volcano-inspired art. The event features:
Hawaii-based writer Tom Peek, who will read from his new novel, "Daughters of Fire," a gripping story of interracial and intercultural romance, political intrigue, myth and murder, set atop the volcanoes of the Big Island of Hawaii and filled with complex characters that reveal the true heart of Hawaii.
Ann Arbor-based writer Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, who will read from her new chapbook, "Where the Lava Meets the Sea—Asian Pacific American Postcards from Hawai‘i," in which she explores the natural wonders, many cultures, and interesting characters of Big Island as she searches for home in Hawaii, and instead discovers an Asian Pacific American sense of belonging.
Hawaii-based artist Catherine Robbins, who will discuss her volcano-inspired paintings and artistic practice.
Related Event: Hawai'i: Deep Beauty and Volcanic PowerCopyright: Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)
Rights Held By: Ann Arbor District Library
Length: 01:20:33
Here are the time marks:

Chant by Kumu Hula June Tanoe 00:19
Introduction by Professor Susan Najita 6:43
Catherine Robbins art 17:00

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang Reading:
Introduction to "Where the Lava Meets the Sea" 29:28
Pahoa: 31:21
Kalapana Black Sand Beach 35:33
Culture on the Volcano 38:00
Aunties at the Temple 41:29
Where the Lava Meets the Sea 45:15
Tom Peek Reading 51:24
Q&A: 1:07:49

Video: Hawai'i: Deep Beauty and Volcanic Power | Ann Arbor District Library

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

from Roland Hwang at Vincent Chin's gravesite at dusk

from Roland Hwang, one of the founding members of  American Citizens for Justice / Asian American Center for Justice, today at #vincentchin's gravesite at dusk.

Also read 18MillionRising's moving visit: 18MILLIONRISING (I went to Vincent Chin’s grave today, cleaned it,...)

Vincent Chin is buried next to his parents, Lily and CW Hing Chin, at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, 11851 Van Dyke Ave., Detroit, MI 48234-4137, section 42. (313) 921-6960.

More about the Vincent Chin case at

More about the Vincent Chin case at my other blog,

Lots of thoughts, recollections, photographs, videos, poems, and links. Lots of links. Lots to think about. Thanks to the community for sharing your thoughts!

Remembering Vincent Chin

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang on Role of the Media in Vincent Chin Case State Bar of Michigan Legal Milestone - YouTube

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, Executive Director American Citizens for Justice, "Role of the Media in the Vincent Chin Case and the Birth of the Asian American Civil Rights Movement" at The State Bar of Michigan's 34th Michigan Legal Milestone commemoration of the Vincent Chin Case "From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry," Friday, June 19, 2009. (Finally got this video cut and uploaded!)

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang on Role of the Media in Vincent Chin Case State Bar of Michigan Legal Milestone - YouTube

3 videos for Remembering Vincent Chin

Thanks to Ankur Dholakia, then at Detroit News, for this clip of the Vincent Chin memorial plaque installation in Ferndale, Michigan, in 2010, which includes a short summary of the case and its significance at the beginning by former American Citizens for Justice Executive Director Frances Kai-Hwa Wang (me).

Here's another video clip of the installation ceremony from WXYZ News:
Video: Dec 2010 WXYZ News: Plaque honoring murdered Asian man, Vincent Chin, unveiled in Ferndale

And wow, look what I found!  Charlie Chin - "Ballad of Vincent Chin" - live NYC, 2009

Friday, June 20, 2014

We Are Vincent Chin #IAmVincentChin

Check out the new site and see what folks are saying this weekend on the 32nd anniversary of the baseball bat beating death of Vincent Chin, #IAmVincentChin on Twitter and Tumblr, curated by
Jenn Fang Reappropriate Remember 32 years of Vincent Chin with #IAmVincentChin! Help trend it! | Reappropriate,

Vanessa Teck Project Ava #IAmVincentChin: Never Forget - Project Ava,

Juliet Shen Fascinasians
on Twitter #IAmVincentChin

and at Tumblr or We Are Vincent Chin.

Updated: with more names and links.

Remember 32 years of Vincent Chin with #IAmVincentChin! Help trend it! | Reappropriate

From Jenn Fang at Reappropriate:
Yet, there are still those who have forgotten about Vincent Chin.Earlier this year, a columnist for the Detroit News published an op-ed that defended Nitz and Ebens, and blamed Chin for his own death by racial hate crime. Although the Asian American community generated a powerful series of writing refuting the Detroit writer’s revisionist history of the Chin case (including this piece by Frank Wu), the fact that a writer would write such a fallacious article thinking it would not impact an entire community of Asian Americans is proof that we cannot let Vincent Chin’s death be forgotten.
We must remind the world that Vincent Chin was us, and we are him.
Check out Jenn's call to action at: Remember 32 years of Vincent Chin with #IAmVincentChin! Help trend it! | Reappropriate

Twitter / reappropriate: Want more resources on the ...

Thanks for the tweet, Jenn Fang at Reappropriate, "Want more resources on the Vincent Chin tragedy? @fkwang curates the definitive blog.  #IAMVincentChin"

Twitter / reappropriate: Want more resources on the ...

Vincent Chin’s hate crime attack was 27 years ago today | NIKKEI VIEW: The Asian American Blog - GIL ASAKAWA'S JAPANESE AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE ON POP CULTURE, MEDIA & POLITICS

from Gil Asakawa 2009 Vincent Chin’s hate crime attack was 27 years ago today | NIKKEI VIEW: The Asian American Blog - GIL ASAKAWA'S JAPANESE AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE ON POP CULTURE, MEDIA & POLITICS

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Creative Nonfiction Math

Calculating the mathematical possibilities and functions in my Creative Nonfiction class at WCC last night. (Math Asian. Ha!)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dominic Pangborn Retrospective

Just received an invitation to Dominic Pangborn's retrospective show, "Evolution of Art & Design Through Revolution," at the Ella Sharp Museum. Wow! Congratulations Dominic!

Displaying Ella Sharp Museum invite.png

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sewing Dreams of the Diaspora

Sewing book bindings until midnight...

PS if you have one of these chapbooks from the January binding, um, the last line of the book is missing. Pls pencil in "I like who I am when you are in my heart." at the bottom of page 37 and it will make a lot more sense. #Soembarrassing #howdidinotcatchthisearlier #whyweneedcopyeditors These have been corrected.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Folding Dreams of the Diaspora

Folding books today. Second half of the Dreams of Diaspora first printing, with one correction.

PS if you have one of these chapbooks from the January binding, um, the last line of the book is missing. Pls pencil in "I like who I am when you are in my heart." at the bottom of page 37 and it will make a lot more sense. #Soembarrassing #howdidinotcatchthisearlier #whyweneedcopyeditors These new chapbooks have been fixed.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Remembering Yuri Kochiyama

Remembering Yuri Kochiyama. 

From the University of Michigan Yuri Kochiyama Leadership Program - YK Leaders, an A/PIA high school student mentorship program.

Check out and email your #yurikochiyama artwork to curator Adriel Luis.

Also check out the because of yuri tumblr put together by the great folks at 18 Million Rising.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Remembering Yuri Kochiyama. Rest in Power.

Remembering Yuri Kochiyama (May 19, 1921-June 1, 2014). Rest in Power.

from the great folks at 18 Million Rising.  (Update: Also check out 18MR's because of yuri tumblr)