A lively roster of multi-genre writers discuss how to document the changing face of the Bay Area and embody our new multicultural, multilingual story. Arab-American writer/performer/activist/teacher Elmaz Abinader will announce a new series of regional workshops led by VONA/Voices of Our Nations Arts, for writers of color. One of the major voices in Chicana literature, poet Lorna Dee Cervantes explores the cultural differences between natives and waves of immigrants in her native Bay Area. Karen Tei Yamashita’s polyphonic epic novel, I Hotel, documents Bay Area historical politics through ordinary and immigrant voices. Odilia Galván Rodríguez, eco-poet, writer, editor, and activist, is the author of four volumes of poetry, including Red Earth Calling.
Elmaz Abinader is an Arab-American author, poet, performer, English professor at Mills College, recipient of the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, and co-founder of the Vona/Voices workshops.
Carolina De Robertis
Carolina De Robertis is the editor of the anthology ‘Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times.’ She is also the author of the novels ‘The Gods of Tango,’ ‘Perla,’ and the international bestseller ‘The Invisible Mountain.’ Her books have been translated into 17 languages, and have received a Stonewall Book Award, Italy’s Rhegium Julii Prize, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, among other honors. A long-time activist, De Robertis spent ten years in the nonprofit sector before publishing her first book, and during that time she led projects around issues including women’s rights, immigrant rights, and addressing sexual violence. She is also an award-winning translator of Latin American literature. She teaches creative writing at San Francisco State University, and lives in Oakland, California, with her wife and two children.
Nayomi Munaweera's debut novel, Island of a Thousand Mirrors won the 2013 Commonwealth Literary Prize for Asia and was nominated for the Northern California Book Award. The New York Times called it "incandescent" and Publisher's Weekly has compared her work to that of Jumpha Lahiri and Michael Ondaatje. Her second novel, What Lies Between Us will be released in Spring 2016.
Karen Tei Yamashita
Karen Tei Yamashita is the author of "Tropic of Orange, "Circle K Cycles," and "I Hotel," among other books. She recently received a U.S. Artists Ford Foundation Fellowship, is Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the UC Santa Cruz, and currently the co-holder with Bettina Aptheker of the UC Presidential Chair for Feminist Critical Race and Ethnic Studies.