Posted by on 12 March 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

A few exciting things to report! At the end of the month, I’m heading to LA to attend the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) Conference. I’ll be appearing on the following panels:

Coming of Age Queer

Friday 1 April, 1:30-2:45pm
Room 410, L.A. Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

With Amber Dawn, Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, Tom Cho, Tim Jones-Yelvington, Megan Milks

In recent years, LGBT literature for young adults has proliferated. But LGBTQ writers who grew up without it are still reckoning with that void. This panel brings together a diverse group of writers who are producing new narratives of queer and trans adolescence both within and outside the YA market. Defying expectations of what coming of age queer and trans looks like, these writers speak back to the YA lit of their youth–and to expectations of human maturation that themselves must come of age.

No Place Like Home: Setting in the Contemporary Short Story

Saturday 2 April, 10:30-11:45am
Gold Salon 4, JW Marriott LA, 1st Floor

With Anna Ling Kaye, Chris Tarry, Ayelet Tsabari, Tom Cho, Doretta Lau

Where does one set the modern short story in this globalized age? What are the artistic and political implications of these choices? In a modern world where stories take place across and outside of national boundaries, how does setting impact subject, tone, and point of view? This panel of writers with ties to multiple countries reflect on how they situate the transnational short story, and highlight narrative tools to bring geographically rich narratives to life.

Update: I’m also a last-minute panellist for this panel:

Hybrids, Bastards and Half-Breeds: On Writing Hybrid Forms

Friday 1 April, 10:30-11:45am
Room 410, L.A. Convention Center, Meeting Room Level

With Donna Minkowitz, M.G. Lord, Sesshu Foster, Tom Cho

Hybrid forms tend to be heartier than the recognized, canonical genres, according to Kim Wright at The Millions. This panel explores the glories of mixing: the formidable creative power that can be won from blending memoir with magic realism or trenchant social critique, fiction with visual art, lyric with essay, fiction, or even journalism. Does the decision to resist the firm divisions of genre let us go beyond expected sentiments, statements, and permissible content?

I’ll also be giving readings at two off-site events associated with the conference. As far as I know, these events are open to the general public and require no conference registration:

Embawdied Lit: A Drag Reading Sequel

Thursday 31 March, 7:30pm
The LASH, 117 Winston Street, Los Angeles

Joyelle McSweeney has called drag a “threat aesthetic,” and at the first Embawdied Lit (Minneapolis, AWP ’15), we almost exploded the confines of our venue with attendence double our room’s supposed capacity.

Come back for a second helping (or join us for the first time!) of literary readings (and READINGS) that explore self-conscious, exaggerated and/or hyperbolic performances of gender, both on the page and on stage.

More details (including the full line-up) at the Facebook event!

All of Us Witches

Saturday 2 April, 9pm
MaRS Gallery, 649 S. Anderson Street, Los Angeles

Nat.Brut and The Spectacle are thrilled to be hosting this special offsite event during AWP 2016! Our independently run magazines are committed to providing space for people of color, women, and LGBTQ artists, and for one wonderful night in L.A., we’ll be bringing this pursuit to the stage. Join us for an evening of poetry, music, film, and art performances featuring a stellar lineup of under-represented voices in the literary world, hosted by Kayla E. of Nat.Brut:

Featuring Meghan Lamb with Kayla E
Seuyeun Juliette Lee
Joshua Jennifer Espinoza
Ginger Ko
Tom Cho
Amber Dawn
Xina Xurner
Jayy Dodd
Carribean Fragoza 
Morgan Jerkins

More details at the Facebook event!


After the AWP Conference, I’ll be heading back to Canada for a new writer’s residency! This residency is part of the Gushul Residency Program, which is run by the University of Lethbridge. From April 15 until June 30, I’ll be starting work on the penultimate chapter of my novel at Gushul Cottage, a writer’s cottage in the town of Blairmore, Alberta.

Meanwhile, I’ve been very busy here doing my residency at Historic Joy Kogawa House. I’ve almost finished chapter 3 of my five-chapter novel. This chapter addresses the question “Does God exist?” In what is further exciting news, a long excerpt from this chapter is being published in Canadian literary magazine PRISM International. The excerpt is titled “Are you there, God? It is I, Robot”.

The issue of the journal is due to be released in a few weeks. More details on this chapter and the publication of the excerpt soon!

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