F267. Building Banyan: Asian Americans Writing for Visibility and Social Change

Room 214C, Henry B. González Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Friday, March 6, 2020
3:20 pm to 4:35 pm


Banyan: Asian American Writers Collective is a grassroots organization in the Chicago area. The founder and core organizers of the group discuss how its readings, workshops, and critique sessions foster the innovation of Asian American writing in the Midwest, when often this literature is perceived as concentrated on the two coasts. Furthermore, Banyan provides a model for building literary and arts organizations in minority communities that promote visibility, awareness, and education.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: Banyan_AWP_Outline_revised_9-29-19.pdf
Supplemental Document 1: Building_Banyan_Strategies_BW_version.pdf



Jane Hseu is associate professor of English at Dominican University outside Chicago. She teaches and publishes in the areas of Asian American and Latinx literature, in such venues as Kartika Review, riksha, and Asian American Literature: Discourses and Pedagogies.

Samina Hadi-Tabassum is an associate professor at Erikson Institute in Chicago. Her first book of poems is Muslim Melancholia.

Karen Su writes children’s picture books presenting the life stories of Asian Americans and artists of color. She was chosen to be a mentee with Reflection Press (Maya Gonzalez) and with We Need Diverse Books. She teaches in the Global Asian Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Mary Grace Bertulfo has written for Chicago Wilderness, Sierra, and CBS. Her work has appeared in City of Big Shoulders: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry, and Growing up Filipino II. She founded the Banyan Asian American Writers Collective to promote the visibility of Asian American stories in the Midwest.

Isabel Garcia-Gonzales is a Chicago-area writer and educator. She has received support for her writing from Hedgebrook, VONA, Bread Loaf, and others. Her work has appeared in publications including Kuwento: Lost Things, An Anthology of New Philippine Myths and Riksha: Asian American Arts in Action.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center