S180. The Border Against Belonging: American Occupation in Asian American Poetry

A106, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


With the increase in American overseas military presence, the border enclosing American identity widens at the same time that the nation grows more hostile towards immigration. Immigrants find themselves occupying a nation that has occupied homelands. They move within a perimeter they’ve been made tangential to. And yet, a border makes costs. A border means having to pay. Join four poets as they discuss the complexities of immigrant narratives in the era of American occupation.



Asa Drake is an information services librarian. Her poetry and book reviews can be found in American Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Frontier Poetry, and elsewhere. She received her MFA in poetry from The New School and was a finalist for Gold Line Press's 2017 Chapbook Competition.

Sokunthary Svay is a founding member of the Cambodian American Literary Arts Association, a recipient of the American Opera Projects' Composer and the Voice Fellowship for 2017–19, and the 2018 Emerging Poets Fellowship at Poets House. She is the author of Apsara in New York.

Chiwan Choi is the author of three books: The Flood, Abductions, and The Yellow House. In 2015, he wrote, presented, and destroyed the novel Ghostmaker. Chiwan is also founding partner of Writ Large Press, a DTLA based indie publisher that uses books and publishing to resist, disrupt, and transgress.

Barbara Jane Reyes is the author of Invocation to Daughters, Diwata, Poeta en San Francisco, and others. She teaches in the Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program at University of San Francisco.

Mai Der Vang is the author of Afterland, winner of the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets, and a recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship. Her writing has appeared in Poetry, Virginia Quarterly Review, the New York Times, and elsewhere.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center