Kundiman at the Smithsonian Asian American Literature Festival & Featured Speakers

Thursday, July 27: Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery
8th St NW & F St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Auditorium Foyer (bottom floor)

12–5 pm: Literary Lounge, featuring:

  • PAL Pilipino American Library, curated by PJ Gubatina Policarpio
  • Kaya Press #LitinColor Library, Postcard Project, Collective Zine Project
  • AALR tarot card workshop, child-to-parent letter workshop
  • Poets & Writers resource table
  • Penguin books table
  • Passenger Pigeon Press table
  • Tammy Nguyen art books exhibit

George Washington University (Summer Lodging)

10 pm onward: Late Nite Salon




Nan McEvoy Auditorium (bottom floor)

12–1 pm: Opening Welcome
Local DC Asian American writers

1–2 pm: Spoken Word Poetry Workshop
Facilitated by Regie Cabico

2–3 pm: Kundiman Poetry Reading
Franny Choi, Paul Tran, Gowri K, Janine Joseph, and Rajiv Mohabir

3–4 pm: Fiction Reading
Don Lee and Akhil Sharma

4–5:30 pm: Vietnamese Diasporic Literature Today
Linh Dinh, Cathy Linh Che, Andrew Lam, Vu Tran, and Isabelle Thuy Pelaud
Moderated by Mimi Khúc

5:30–7 pmPoetry Magazine Issue Launch
Issue contributors Li-Young Lee, Garrett Hongo, Cathy Linh Che, and Sueyeun Juliette Lee in conversation with issue guest editors Tarfia Faizullah, Timothy Yu, and Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis

Friday, July 28: Phillips Collection
1600 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20009
 Dupont Underground
19 Dupont Cir NW, Washington, DC 20036

Phillips L2 (bottom floor)

11 am-4:30 pm: Literary Lounge, featuring:

  • Kaya Press #LitinColor Library, Postcard Project, Collective Zine Project
  • AALR tarot card workshop
  • AALR chid-to-parent letter workshop
  • Poets & Writers resource table
  • Penguin books table
  • 826 DC station
  • Fantom Comics table
  • Participatory sculpture installation
  • Bookswap

Phillips Courtyard (Main Floor)

11 am-4:30 pm: Literary Lounge, featuring:

  • PAL Pilipino American Library, curated by PJ Gubatina Policarpio
  • Durational participatory reading of Carlos Bulosan’s America Is In the Heart, coordinated by PJ Gubatina Policarpio
  • Passenger Pigeon Press table
  • Tammy Nguyen art books exhibit
  •  Podcast interview station

Phillips Courtyard (Bookstore)

Noon–1pm: Literary Addresses
Kazim Ali and Franny Choi

2–3pm: Literary Addresses

Phillips Gallery 202 (2nd Floor)

11–1:15 pm: One-on-One Mentoring (by sign-up only)
Thi Bui, Nicole Chung, Jennifer Chang

2–3 pm: Seminar Mentoring
Regie Cabico

3–4 pm: DVAN Graphic Narrative & Art Book Panel Talk
Thi Bui, Matt Huynh, and Tammy Nguyen

Dupont Underground

6–8 pm: Poetry Slam
Regie Cabico

8–10 pm: Literaoke
Andrew Lam, Tanzila Ahmed, Franny Choi, Paisley Rekdal, Tarfia Faizullah, Ed Lin, Wo Chan, Sally Wen Mao, Mimi Khúc
Hosted by Regie Cabico

10–11 pm: Dance Party

Phillips Auditorium (bottom floor)

11 am–12 pm: Kaya Press Reading
Gene Oishi, Hari Alluri, and Anelise Chen

12–1 pm: Flickering Words: A Reading of Queer Asian Writers Rajiv Mohabir, Wo Chan, Shamala Gallagher, and Peggy Lee Moderated by Regie Cabico

1–2 pm: AAWW Margins Fellows Reading
Yanyi, Rami Karim, Kyle Lucia Wu, and Mariam Bazeed Moderated by Jyothi Natarajan

2–3 pm: Poetry Magazine Reading
Sarah Gambito, Larissa Lai, Shamala Gallagher, and Tsering Wangmo Dhompa
Moderated by Poetry magazine associate editor Lindsay Garbutt

3–4:30 pm: Kundiman/AALR Mentoring Reading
 Alexander Chee, Paisley Rekdal, Grace Jahng Lee, and Justin Monson
Moderated by Ryan Lee Wong

Phillips Carriage House

11 am–12 pm: Writer-Educator Speed-Dating

12–1 pm: Tea with Tarfia

1–2 pm: Writer-Scholar Speed-Dating
Facilitated by Christine Kitano and Peggy Lee

2–3 pm: Vietnamese American Community Meet and Greet

3–4:30 pm: Vietnamese History Talk
Dr. Nguyen Quoc Tri

Phillips Gallery 116 (Main Floor)

11–1:15 pm: One-on-One Mentoring (by sign-up only)
Gina Apostol, Victory Matsui, Sarah Gambito

2–3 pm: Seminar Mentoring
Kazim Ali

3–4 pm: Avant Poetics Salon
Facilitated by Sueyeun Juliette Lee

Phillips Gallery 206 (2nd Floor)

TBD: Open Mic


Saturday, July 29: Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave SE, Washington, DC 20540
(Capitol South Metro Station, Orange Line)

TBD Location

4 pm: Closing Ceremonies/Asian American Literary Town Hall


George Washington University (summer lodging)

9pm: Late Night Salon


Thomas Jefferson Building LJ119

11 am–12:30 pm: Intimate Lecture on Asian American Literary History, followed by Kundiman Reading
By Karen Tei Yamashita; Featuring Karen Tei Yamashita, Vt Hung, Mark Keats, and Sejal Shah

12:30–2 pm: Lunch Break

2–3:30 pm: Intimate Lecture on Asian American Literary History, followed by Poetry Magazine Reading
By Kimiko Hahn; Featuring Kimiko Hahn, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge,
John Yau, Paisley Rekdal, Kazim Ali, Khaty Xiong, Sally Wen Mao,
Rajiv Mohabir, and Gerald Maa

Featured Speakers



Akhil Sharma is the author of Family Life, a New York Times Best Book of the Year and the winner of the International DUBLIN Literary Award and the Folio Prize. Sharma’s writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Best American Short Stories, and the O. Henry Award anthology. A native of Delhi, he lives in New York City and teaches English at Rutgers University–Newark.



Award-winning author Andrew Lam is the web editor of New America Media, a regular blogger for the Huffington Post, and contributor to National Public Radio.  His collection of essays, Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora, about the problem of identity as a Vietnamese living in the U.S., received the PEN Open Book Award. His second book, East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres, a meditation on how Asian immigration changed the West, was named Top Ten Indies by Shelf Unbound Magazine.  Birds of Paradise Lost, a collection of short fiction about Vietnamese newcomers struggling to remake themselves in the San Francisco Bay, was a finalist for the California Book Award and won the Josephine Miles award for fiction.  Lam is working on a collection of short fiction exploring sex and love in the San Francisco Bay Area.