Kundiman Asian American Writers Showcase
Kundiman and Hugo House present a reading showcasing local writers of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) diaspora in honor of heritage month. Featuring Betsy Aoki, Troy Osaki, Ari Laurel, and Nari Kirk with hosts Jordan Alam and Shankar Narayan, this series of poets and prose writers bring us new work after a long pause.
Read Hugo House’s current COVID safety policy for in-person events here. We are continuing to track local, state, and federal health recommendations and guidelines as circumstances change and evolve. We will notify registrants of any updates to Hugo House’s COVID safety policy prior to the event.
The grandson of Filipino immigrants and the great-grandson of Japanese immigrants, Troy Osaki is a poet, organizer, and attorney. Osaki is a three-time grand slam poetry champion and has earned fellowships from Kundiman, Hugo House, and Jack Straw Cultural Center. He was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry fellowship from the Poetry Foundation in 2022. A 2022-2023 Critic-at-Large for Poetry Northwest, his poetry has appeared in Crazyhorse, the Margins, Muzzle Magazine, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the Seattle University School of Law where he interned at Creative Justice, an arts-based alternative to incarceration for youth in King County. He lives in Seattle, WA.
Elizabeth (Betsy) Aoki
Elizabeth (Betsy) Aoki is a poet, short story writer and game producer. Her first poetry collection, Breakpoint, was a 2019 National Poetry Series Finalist and received Tebot Bach’s Patricia Bibby First Book Award. Its signature poem, “Slouching like a velvet rope,” was selected by Pulitzer Prize winner Jericho Brown as the winner of the Auburn Witness Poetry Prize.
She has received fellowships/grants from the City of Seattle, Artist Trust, Jackstraw Writers Program and residencies at Hedgebrook and Clarion West Writers Workshop. She currently serves as an assistant poetry editor at terrain.org and on the board of the Clarion West Writers Workshop. Learn more at betsyaoki.com or follow her on twitter at @baoki.
Nari Kirk holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of New Mexico. She has published work in Hobart, Plume, the anthology All the Women in My Family Sing, and elsewhere.
Ari Laurel is a fiction writer in Seattle who writes about radicalism, orientalism, climate, and the Pacific Northwest. Her work has appeared in Ninth Letter, Passages North, Blue Mesa Review, The Conium Review, The Toast, Duende, and more. Her short story “Farewell Address to the Last Mango in the Pacific Northwest” won first place in Blue Mesa Review’s 2021 Summer Fiction contest. This story is currently part of a larger project. You can get in touch with her or read more of her work at arilaurel.com