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Friday May 24, 2019 7-9:30pm 

Arc Gallery & Studios     

Curated by Michelle Lin and Kazumi Chin

Pre-sale $8 | Door $12 | Supporter $20 (includes reserved seats)

On March 24th, KSW Presents: Even Still, a reading and conversation featuring Grace Shuyi Liew, author of the poetry collection Careen, and Vidhu Aggarwal, author of the poetry collections AVATARA and The Trouble with Humpadori.

This is a reading in which together we will summon, queer, resist, and disturb the violence of colonialism. This reading especially seeks to attune to monsters, ghosts, and the hauntings of gendered violence.

This event is part of the United States of Asian American festival, presented by the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center.


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. 

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GRACE SHUYI LIEW is the author of Careen. Her work has appeared in West Branch, Black Warrior Review, Kenyon Review, cream city review, PANK, The Wanderer, and elsewhere. She is a Watering Hole fellow. Her other honors include the Lucille Clifton Poetry Fellowship from Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Aspen Summer Words scholarship, resident writer at Can Serrat in Barcelona, resident at Agora Affect, Vancouver Poetry House’s “10 Best Poems of 2016,” Ahsahta Press Chapbook Prize 2016, and others.

Born and raised in Malaysia, a former colony of The British Empire, Grace thinks closely of migration, loss, sexuality, violence, and nation states. The Mother figure, the Mother tongue, and the Mother land converge in her work, alongside theories about split consciousnesses and their affect. Currently, Grace lives in New York, where she also runs a burgeoning qpoc arts collective.


“Careen is a battlefield of conflicting desires, a place where words are dragged from the liminal engine of Grace’s ‘kinetically charged’ soul into the broad daylight of racial politics. A place where it’s impossible to dodge the inevitable bullets aimed at whiteness and its whitened landscape. Her work swells with infinite breast songs shaped to evoke and choke all exit doors towards a place where poetry doesn’t exist as an aftermath. Her poetry is designed to stay current, to enrapture, and also a place to ‘reveal [her] private galaxy of bruises.’ Are her words bruises? Grace’s Careen will drape a white sheet over you.”

  • Vi Khi Nao

VIDHU AGGARWAL’s poetry and multimedia practices engage with world-building, video, and comic book media. Her poetry book The Trouble with Humpadori (2016), won the Editor’s Choice Award with The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective. Chosen by distributor Small Press Distribution as a February 2016 “Handpicked” selection by editors, poems from Humpadori were listed as the top 25 from Boston Review in 2016 and appeared on Sundress Publications Best Poetry of 2016 list.

In addition, her poems have appeared in Orlando Museum of Art’s catalogue for their “Baggage Claims” traveling exhibition. Other works have recently appeared in Chicago Quarterly Review, Black Warrior Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Texas Review. Her latest work, Avatara, is a chapbook available at Portable Press @Yo-Yo Labs. A Djerassi resident and Kundiman fellow, she teaches poetry and postcolonial/transnational studies at Rollins College.


“Aggarwal, both an artist and Professor of Postcolonial/Transnational Studies, surely embodies a new kind of artist-scholar. In her book, Aggarwal creates the interstellar character Humapadori (“Hump” for short) who acts as a messenger for extraterrestrial beings, a medium sent down from the cosmos. Move over Ziggy Stardust. It’s time for Humpadori’s to occupy the international stage.

Aggarwal’s poetic music is sonic heavy with wide visual caesuras, highlighting both the severity and elongation of sound that neither leans towards consonance or dissonance. It celebrates hard and soft volumes juxtaposed by long dense lines and spontaneous breaks, giving way for the submersion of the “primal emollient” which she dubs Humpadori. Through the orgasmic enigma of Hump, Aggarwal pries open a portal’s tight lid with a post-colonial feminist voice infused in intergalactic jargon and fantastical description. Hump emerges regaled in high-flash-drama, oozing otherworldly gestures. Hump is lead spectacle, a performer by birth, a deity of post-colonial theatre, yet also seemingly terrestrial.”

  • Angela Peñaredondo