A poetry reading and roundtable talk between Jenny Xie, Natalie Wee, Cynthia Dewi Oka, and George Abraham on their new collections, the possibilities and limitations of language work, and rest and fatigue from the margins; this talk will be moderated by Asian American Writers’ Workshop editor Yi Wei. Copies of Jenny Xie’s The Rupture Tense, Cynthia Dewi Oka’s Fire Is Not a Country, Natalie Wee’s Beast at Every Threshold, and George Abraham’s Birthright will be sold at and after the event from our partnered bookseller, Yu & Me Books.

This program is sponsored by the Battery Park City Authority.

THIS IS AN OFFICIAL 2022 BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL BOOKEND EVENT.

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 a board member for the Radius of Arab American Writers, and a recipient of fellowships from Kundiman, The Arab American National Museum, and more. They are currently co-editing a Palestinian global anglophone poetry anthology (Haymarket Books, 2024) and are a Litowitz MFA+MA student at Northwestern University

(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 a board member for the Radius of Arab American Writers, and a recipient of fellowships from Kundiman, The Arab American National Museum, and more. They are currently co-editing a Palestinian global anglophone poetry anthology (Haymarket Books, 2024) and are a Litowitz MFA+MA student at Northwestern University

Jenny Xie is the author of Eye Level, a finalist for the National Book Award and the recipient of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, and The Rupture Tense. She has been supported by fellowships and grants from Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Kundiman, and New York Foundation for the Arts. In 2020, she was awarded the Vilcek Prize in Creative Promise. She teaches at Bard College.

is the author of Eye Level, a finalist for the National Book Award and the recipient of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, and The Rupture Tense. She has been supported by fellowships and grants from Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Kundiman, and New York Foundation for the Arts. In 2020, she was awarded the Vilcek Prize in Creative Promise. She teaches at Bard College.

Natalie Wee is a queer creator whose work explores themes of race, gender, queerness, and nationhood, and is deeply informed by grassroots communities. She wrote two poetry collections, Our Bodies & Other Fine Machines (San Press, 2021) and Beast At Every Threshold (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2022). Born in Singapore to Malaysian parents, Natalie is currently a settler in Tkaronto. Learn more at 

is a queer creator whose work explores themes of race, gender, queerness, and nationhood, and is deeply informed by grassroots communities. She wrote two poetry collections, Our Bodies & Other Fine Machines (San Press, 2021) and Beast At Every Threshold (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2022). Born in Singapore to Malaysian parents, Natalie is currently a settler in Tkaronto. Learn more at https://natalieweewrites.com/

Originally from Bali, Indonesia, Cynthia Dewi Oka is the author of four books of poems, most recently A Tinderbox in Three Acts (BOA Editions, 2022) and Fire Is Not a Country (Northwestern University Press, 2021). A recipient of the Amy Clampitt Residency, Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Prize, and the Leeway Transformation Award, her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Oprah Daily, POETRY, Academy of American Poets, Hyperallergic, Andscape, and elsewhere. Her experimental poem, Future Revisions, was exhibited at the Rail Park billboard in Philadelphia in summer 2021. An alumnus of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, she has taught creative writing at Bryn Mawr College, New Mexico State University, Blue Stoop, and Voices of Our Nations (VONA). She has been a featured poet in many literary, arts, and academic spaces in the US and beyond, including the Festival Internacional de Poesia de la Habana and the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. For fifteen years, Cynthia worked as an organizer, trainer, and fundraiser in social movements for justice that center the experiences of the global majority. She lives in Los Angeles.

Originally from Bali, Indonesia,is the author of four books of poems, most recently A Tinderbox in Three Acts (BOA Editions, 2022) and Fire Is Not a Country (Northwestern University Press, 2021). A recipient of the Amy Clampitt Residency, Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Prize, and the Leeway Transformation Award, her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Oprah Daily, POETRY, Academy of American Poets, Hyperallergic, Andscape, and elsewhere. Her experimental poem, Future Revisions, was exhibited at the Rail Park billboard in Philadelphia in summer 2021. An alumnus of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, she has taught creative writing at Bryn Mawr College, New Mexico State University, Blue Stoop, and Voices of Our Nations (VONA). She has been a featured poet in many literary, arts, and academic spaces in the US and beyond, including the Festival Internacional de Poesia de la Habana and the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. For fifteen years, Cynthia worked as an organizer, trainer, and fundraiser in social movements for justice that center the experiences of the global majority. She lives in Los Angeles.

Yi Wei is a first generation Chinese writer with a BA in Asian American Studies and English from Swarthmore College. She currently serves as the Assistant Flash Fiction Editor at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. Yi has been awarded the Lois Morrell Poetry Prize and is the third place winner for the 2021 Sappho Prize for Women Poets. Her work can be found in Palette Poetry, Lantern Review, and Canthius. She’s currently a Writer in the Public Schools fellow at NYU’s MFA in poetry.

is a first generation Chinese writer with a BA in Asian American Studies and English from Swarthmore College. She currently serves as the Assistant Flash Fiction Editor at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. Yi has been awarded the Lois Morrell Poetry Prize and is the third place winner for the 2021 Sappho Prize for Women Poets. Her work can be found in Palette Poetry, Lantern Review, and Canthius. She’s currently a Writer in the Public Schools fellow at NYU’s MFA in poetry.

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