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Friday March 22, 2019 7-9:30pm 

Clarion Performing Arts Center 2 Waverly Pl. SF, CA      

Curated by Michelle Lin and Kazumi Chin

Pre-sale $8 | Door $12 | VIP $25 (includes artist meet & greet, reserved seats, complimentary drinks)

On March 22nd, KSW Presents: From the God-Shaped Hole, a reading and conversation featuring Lee Herrick, author of the poetry collection Scar and Flower, and R. O. Kwon, author of the novel The Incendiaries.

This is a reading that celebrates their new books and examines some of the themes within them: grief, loss, violence—the impact of trauma—and what we are capable of doing when trying to make sense of it.

*The title of this event comes from R. O. Kwon’s The Incendiaries.

VIP tickets are available for a special open bar meet and greet with R.O. Kwon and Lee Herrick from 7-7:45pm. Comes with reserved seating.


We are opening up submissions for writers to be a part of this reading. We will only be able to accept up to five readers.
Eligibility: We welcome writers of all genres, and strive to spotlight those of the Asian Pacific diaspora and people of color. We are especially interested in showcasing emerging writers who have had little stage time or few publications.
At this time, KSW Presents cannot provide payment for writers who submit to be a part of this reading series, but we are actively pursuing funding for this program.
How to Submit: Submit work that explores this upcoming event's theme, that can be read or performed within 3 minutes or less. 



Lee Herrick is the author of Gardening Secrets of the Dead, This Many Miles from Desire, and Scar and Flower. His poems appear widely in literary magazines and anthologies, including Indivisible: Poems of Social Justice and Here: Poems for the Planet (with an introduction by the Dalai Lama, forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in March 2019). With Leah Silvieus, he is co-editor of The World I Leave You: Asian American Poets on Faith and Spirit (forthcoming in Spring 2020 by Orison Books). Born in South Korea and adopted to the United States, he is a former Fresno Poet Laureate and teaches at Fresno City College and the MFA Program at Sierra Nevada College.


"This is an incredible, luminous and most serious investigation, of being, of human suffering, of war and peace - of the factories of violence and the notebook of enlightenments. We deepen into spirit and lives lost. Lee is concerned with the turning of beauty, the intimacy of death and the boundlessness of small moments, 'the broken body of a tiny bird,' fragments that can change a life. Glitterings of light, planetary systems, electric skies available and unavailable. He is the 'form rider' of hope. A stellar project, here. Rare and gifted, a timely arrival. Life-deep brilliance."

  • Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of the United States 2015-2017

R. O. Kwon is the author of The Incendiaries, published by Riverhead (U.S.) and Virago (U.K.). The Incendiaries is an American Booksellers Association Indie Next #1 Great Read and Indies Introduce selection, and it was named a best book of the year by over forty publications. The novel is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Award for Best First Book, Los Angeles Times First Book Prize, and Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Fiction Prize, and is nominated for the Aspen Prize and American Library Association Carnegie Medal. The Incendiaries is being translated into five languages. Kwon’s writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Paris Review, Vice, BuzzFeed, Noon, The Cut, Time, and elsewhere. She has received awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Yaddo, MacDowell, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the Sewanee Writers' Conference. Born in South Korea, she has mostly lived in the United States.


A powerful, darkly glittering novel about violence, love, faith, and loss, as a young Korean American woman at an elite American university is drawn into acts of domestic terrorism by a cult tied to North Korea. Phoebe Lin and Will Kendall meet their first month at prestigious Edwards University. Phoebe is a glamorous girl who doesn’t tell anyone she blames herself for her mother’s recent death. Will is a misfit scholarship boy who transfers to Edwards from Bible college, waiting tables to get by. What he knows for sure is that he loves Phoebe. Grieving and guilt-ridden, Phoebe is increasingly drawn into a religious group—a secretive extremist cult—founded by a charismatic former student, John Leal. He has an enigmatic past that involves North Korea and Phoebe’s Korean American family. Meanwhile, Will struggles to confront the fundamentalism he’s tried to escape, and the obsession consuming the one he loves. When the group bombs several buildings in the name of faith, killing five people, Phoebe disappears. Will devotes himself to finding her, tilting into obsession himself, seeking answers to what happened to Phoebe and if she could have been responsible for this violent act. The Incendiaries is a fractured love story and a brilliant examination of the minds of extremist terrorists, and of what can happen to people who lose what they love most.