December 4, 2022

Immigrant writer-poet-artists will present at the next “Writers With Drinks” event from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018 at The Make Out Room, 3225 22nd. St., San Francisco, Calif.

The doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets range from $5 to $20 with all proceeds benefitting the Center for Sex & Culture.

Shawn Wen, May-Lee Chai, Alan Chazaro, Jennifer S. Cheng, Jaymee Goh and Bryan Thao Worra will get you ready for the holidays with an evening of powerful poetry, intense speculative fiction, mind-expanding essays and stories of immigrants making their way in a strange new world.

The readers/performers:

Shawn Wen is a writer, radio producer, and multimedia artist. Her writing has appeared in n+1, The New Inquiry, Seneca Review, Iowa Review, White Revie. Her radio work has broadcast on This American Life, Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Marketplace, and she is currently a producer at Youth Radio. Wen was born in Beijing, raised in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA, and currently resides in San Francisco.

Jennifer S. Cheng’s work includes poetry, lyric essay, and image-text forms. She is the author of MOON: LETTERS, MAPS, POEMS, selected by Bhanu Kapil for the Tarpaulin Sky Book Award; HOUSE A, selected by Claudia Rankine for the Omnidawn Poetry Book Prize; and INVOCATION: AN ESSAY, an image-text chapbook published by New Michigan Press. She has received fellowships and awards from Brown University, the University of Iowa, San Francisco State University, the U.S. Fulbright program, Kundiman, Bread Loaf, and the Academy of American Poets. Having grown up in Texas and Hong Kong, she lives in San Francisco.

Alan Chazaro is a high school teacher at the Oakland School for the Arts, a Lawrence Ferlinghetti Fellow at the University of San Francisco, and a June Jordan Poetry for the People alum at UC Berkeley. His poems have appeared in BOAAT, Frontier, Huizache, Juked, Iron Horse Review, and others. He isn’t happy about the Warriors moving across the Bay so he will write protest poems about it until they decide to reverse their decision and give him ownership of the franchise.

Jaymee Goh is a writer, poet, critic, reviewer, and editor of science fiction and fantasy from Malaysia. She graduated from the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop in 2016, and holds a PhD from the University of California, Riverside where she wrote an angry little dissertation on whiteness in steampunk. She has been published in places like Strange Horizons, Lightspeed Magazine, andScience Fiction Studies. She co-edited The Sea is Ours: Tales of Steampunk Southeast Asia (Rosarium Publishing), and edited The WisCon Chronicles Vol. 11: Trials By Whiteness (Aqueduct Press).

May-lee Chai is the author of ten books of fiction, nonfiction, and translation, including her latest short story collection, Useful Phrases for Immigrants, published this past month by Blair. She teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at San Francisco State University. Her writing has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, Bakwin Award for Writing by a Woman, Jack Dyer Fiction Prize, Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and named a Kiriyama Prize Notable Book.

Bryan Thao Worra was born in 1973 in Vientiane, Laos during the Lao civil  war. He came to the US at six months old, adopted by a civilian pilot flying  in Laos. In 2003, he reunited with his biological family after 30 years during his first return to Laos. An award-winning writer, his work appears in numerous international anthologies, magazines and newspapers, including Innsmouth Free Press, Kartika Review, Outsiders Within, Bamboo Among the Oaks, Tales of the Unanticipated, Astropoetica, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore,  Whistling Shade, Journal of the Asian American Renaissance, and Asian American Press. In 2009 he became the first Laotian American to receive an NEA Fellowship In Literature. In 2012 he was a Cultural Olympian during the Summer Olympics in London representing Laos. He is the author of the books On the Other Side of the Eye, BARROW, Tanon Sai Jai and Winter Ink. Thao Worra curated numerous readings and exhibits of Lao and Hmong American art including Legacies of War: Refugee Nation Twin Cities (2010), Emerging Voices (2002), The 5 Senses Show (2002), Lao’d and Clear (2003), Giant Lizard Theater (2005), Re: Generations (2005), and The Un-Named Series (2007).

Writers With Drinks has won numerous “Best ofs” from local newspapers, and has been mentioned in 7×7, Spin Magazine and one of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City novels. The spoken word “variety show” mixes genres to raise money for local causes. The award-winning show includes poetry, stand-up comedy, science fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery, literary fiction, erotica, memoir, zines and blogs in a freewheeling format.

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