Summit 2011 Evaluation!

10 Aug

Thank you for coming to the 2011 APIA Spoken Word & Poetry Summit, Twin Cities!! Please continue to share memories and photos over at our facebook group.

Now that it is all over, we’d like to get your feedback. Please take a couple minutes to download this evaluation form and answer the questions.

When you’re done, email the completed form back to Bao Phi.

*Also* if you are willing, and want to give us positive quotes separate from the anonymous eval, please do so and email it directly to We will be working on reports for granters, and any positive quotes you can provide for us would be much appreciated.



Pre-register – online registration ends Sunday July 31

27 Jul

Hello friends,
If you haven’t already, please pre-register now. This will help us plan. And if you want to pay the registration fee with a credit card, prepay via Paypal. WE WILL ONLY ACCEPT CASH AND CHECKS AT SUMMIT.

Online registration ends Sunday, July 31, so get it while it’s good.

If you are observing Ramadan and/or are bringing a child to Summit and are interested in child care, please let us know.

p.s. Summit is on Angry Asian Man!


25 Jul

Folks, please register. Also, prepay using Paypal to avoid hassle. We’ll only be accepting cash and checks during Summit, so if you want to use a card, prepay your registration using Paypal.

Also, the Saturday Community Showcase is now FULL. There are still spots open in Friday’s Showcase.

Schedule with workshops posted!

25 Jul

With less than 10 days to go, check out the Summit schedule and get ready for four days made of awesome:

Workshop titles with facilitators are included. A special announcement that the bookmaking workshop during the second session on Friday with Anh-Hoa Nguyen is limited capacity with room only for 15 participants. If you would like to pre-register a spot, please email There is a $10 materials fee, but you get to take home your very own book!

a request! donations for Summit Library

23 Jul

Hello friends!

For this year’s Summit, we are hoping to coordinate a library of APIA materials to be made available in a reading room for attendees to peruse during their chill time. It would be fantastic if you could contribute! Please bring an extra copy of your chap/book/zine to share with others in our reading room library. They can be fresh or classic.

We are also hoping to possibly extend the reading library beyond this year’s Summit, and perhaps have it travel and grow over the years. Please email if you have any comments/questions/concerns. Spread the word to amongst your homies!

linda librarian

First Generation Spotlight: Lawson Fusao Inada

22 Jul











The organizers of the 2011 APIA Spoken Word Poetry Summit made it a priority to create an inter-generational dialogue.  Part of the strategy was to invite four first generation guests, who have had many years of impacting APIA performance poetry and community activism.  We have posted extensive bios and a special message from three of our first generation guests: Joe Kadi, David Mura, and Brenda Wong Aoki.  Here is the last but certainly not the least.

Born in Fresno, California, in 1938, Inada is a third-generation Japanese American. His father was a dentist and his mother a teacher, and his maternal grandparents founded the Fresno Fish Market in 1912. In 1942, shortly after the United States entered World War II, Inada and his family were sent to internment camps with his parents and grandparents—first to the Fresno County Fairgrounds Assembly Center; then to a camp in Jerome, Arkansas, in the Mississippi Delta; and, finally, to Amache Camp in the Colorado desert.

In 1971, Inada’s Before the War: Poems as They Happened was the first volume of poetry by an Asian American published by a major publishing house. By then, Inada had earned a master of Fine Arts at the University of Oregon and had been teaching at Southern Oregon College (now Southern Oregon University) for five years. He is the author of two other collections of poetry: Legends from Camp (1992), which won the American Book Award, and Drawing the Line (1997), which won an Oregon Book Award.

In addition to these individual publications, Inada has written critical introductions to a number of works, such as John Okada’s No-No Boy.

He is also a contributing editor for the Northwest Review and was the narrator for PBS specials on “Children of the Camps” and “Conscience and the Constitution.” In 2004 he was one of only 185 artists, scholars and scientists chosen from a nationwide pool of 3,200 applicants to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is currently serving as the Steinbeck chair for the National Steinbeck Center, a forum established to promote a community-wide celebration of literature in the tradition of John Steinbeck.

Inada has been recognized by the President of the United States, appearing at the White House in “A Salute to Poetry and American Poets.” Inada served as Oregon’s Poet Laureate from 2006 to 2010.

In 1997, he was awarded a Creative Arts Grant from the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund and his work has been the subject of a documentary titled “What It Means to Be Free: A Video about Poetry and Japanese-American Internment” and an award-winning animated film of “Legends from Camp” made in collaboration with his son, artist Miles Inada.

Lawson’s special message to the Summit:  “I look forward to the expedition that will scale Mt. Minneapolis to the very Summit.  But who will plant which flag?  And where to go from there?”

First Generation Spotlight: Brenda Wong Aoki

7 Jul

Three time NEA Theater Fellow, Brenda Wong Aoki writes and performs monodramas. Her intense lyrical song/dance/dramas are drawn from her grandfather’s memories of San Francisco during the Great Earthquake, Kabuki legends and her own personal life experience. Aoki’s multidisciplinary performances weave together Japanese Noh, Kyogen Theater, Commedia Dell’arte, movement and voice. She has performed in such venues as the Kennedy Center, New Victory Theater on Broadway, Hong Kong Performing Arts Center, the Adelaide International Festival in Australia, the Esplanade in Singapore, the Graz Festival Austria and the International House in Tokyo.

Brenda’s plays have been produced world-wide: Mermaid, a work for symphony, was commissioned by Maestro Kent Nagano, the award-winning Queen’s Garden was published by Routledge Press and produced at the San Diego Repertory Theatre, Uncle Gunjiro’s Girlfriend was the American representative to the Adelaide International Festival, Australia, Random Acts was produced by the Dallas Theater Center, Kuan-Yin: Our Lady of Compassion was commissioned by the Hong Kong International Festival and performed at the Esplanade in Singapore, and Obake: Tales of Spirits Past and Present was presented at the Kennedy Center and on Broadway at the New Victory Theater. Her CD recordings of The Queen’s Garden and Tales of the Pacific Rim were awarded Indie Awards for Best Spoken Word. Her book/CD Mermaid Meat was released in Tokyo 2008 and her most recent recording Legend of Morning, was released in 2009. She is currently developing a pageant play with world musicians and dancers about the lost continent of MU to premiere in 2012.

Brenda has deep roots in San Francisco. Her paternal grandfather was a founder of Japantown in the 1890’s, and her maternal grandmother was vice president of the first Chinatown garment union in the 1920’s. She is a member of the Dramatist Guild, ASCAP and the Western Arts Alliance. Brenda is a trustee of the Museum of Performance and Design in San Francisco and is an active member of the National Recording Academy. A founding member of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University, Aoki continues to teach and perform internationally.

Her message to the Summit:

“I am honored to be considered a “first generation” API writer and look forward to the energy and passion of all the young writers at this summit.”