Monday, November 06, 2006

Mabanckou Wins Book Prize + Upcoming Events + VOTE

Alain Mabanckou Wins Prix Renaudot
MabanckouThe Congolese writer Alain Mabanckou has just received yet another of France's top literary prizes, the 2006 Prix Renaudot, for his novel Mémoires de porc-épic (Porcupine's Memoirs, Edition du Seuil). Mabanckou was born in 1966 and grew up in Pointe Noire, Congo Brazzaville, and later studied law in Paris. He's the author of six novels and five books of poems and currently is a visiting assistant professor of Francophone and comparative literature at the University of California-Los Angeles. He previously taught at the University of Michigan and will hold a humanities fellowship next year at Princeton. I haven't read this book (I've been meaning to check his African Psycho (which is set to appear in English translation in early 2007) out of the library), but according to the reviews, this newest work is an antic tale that draws upon a particular legend stating that every human has a correlate elsewhere in the animal kingdom. For the protagonist, Kibandi, his animal counterpart is a strangely powerful, murderous porcupine. The rollicking tale draws upon traditions of African storytelling while also further confirming Mabanckou's gifts as a writer and novelist. His widely praised previous novel, Verre Cassé (Broken Glass, Editions du Seuil, 2005), a marvelous written, highly ironic narrative of a bizarre Congolese bar, Crédite a voyagé, received a raft of prizes, including the Prix des Cinq continents de la Francophonie, the Prix Ouest-France/Etonnants Voyageurs and the Prix RFO du livre.

Upcoming Events
Lots of great info comes over the bandwidth, so here are few for this upcoming week, in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles:

November 8
On Wednesday November 8, 2006 Adodi Chicago will sponsor a showing of short films by LBGT people of color themed "Passionate Resistance".
Location: Film Row Cinema (at Columbia College)
1104 South Wabash Ave
Start Time: 6:30pm
For more information please visit the film festival
website at

Los Angeles
November 9

New York City
November 15 to November 17, 2006
Festival of Contemporary Japanese Women Poets

Five poets at the forefront of Japanese poetry (Ryoko Sekiguchi, Takako Arai, Kiriu
Minashita, Kyong-Mi Park, and Sawako Nakayasu) join American poets Cole Swensen
and Rosa Alcalá for a though-provoking array of readings and talks.

Wednesday, November 15, 7:00PM @ Poets House, 72 Spring Street
Cross Currents and Innovation in Japanese Poetry Today
a panel discussion with Takako Arai, Kiriu Minashita, Sawako Nakayasu, Kyong-Mi Park, & Ryoko Sekiguchi

Thursday, November 16, 7:00PM @ Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery
Book Release Party for four from japan: contemporary poetry by women*
with readings by Takako Arai, Kiriu Minashita, Kyong-Mi Park, and Ryoko Sekiguchi

Friday, November 17, 7:00PM @ Poets House, 72 Spring Street
Blurring the Boundaries: A Conversation on the Art of Poetry and Translation
with Rosa Alcalá, Ryoko Sekiguchi, & Cole Swensen

For more information, visit or

These events are cosponsored by Poets House, Belladonna*, Bowery Poetry Club, and Litmus Press.

Brett Neiman
November 12, 2006
This email puts you officially on notice! This Sunday, November 12th will mark the next 2nd Sun Salon. October's Salon was wonderful, well attended and a great time. Naïveté Artist Co-Op's first artist-in- residence, Niz, presented in October. Visit her site: for photos of her work.

This month's presenter is the multi-talented BRETT NEIMAN. We are proud to host him and his work, so please come out to bear witness and dialogue with Mr. Neiman.

2nd Sun Salon @ Naïveté Artist Co-Op
4863 N. Ravenswood Ave
Chicago, IL
Doors open at 3pm and close at 7pm
Presentation at 4:30pm
Roberto Harrison & Duriel Harris
November 12, 7 pm
Myopic Books, 1564 N. Milwaukee Ave, Wicker Park, Chicago

New York City
November 9-16

Thursday, Nov. 9
Featuring: Luis Cabalquinto, Leslieann Hobayan, Joseph O. Legaspi, Ricco V. Siasoco, Dionisio Velasco and R.A. Villanueva
Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia St., NYC
$6 (includes 1 house drink)
Moving Archipelago: A Century Of Writing Filipino America
at the historic Woolworth Building
Date: Friday and Saturday, November 10-11, 2006
Location: Reception and conference at New York University, SCPS Conference Center, 2nd Floor, Woolworth Building, 15 Barclay Street, New York, NY 10038

Readings and discussion by Luis H. Francia, Sabina Murray, Eugene Gloria, Bino A. Realuyo, Eileen Tabios, Brian Ascalon Roley, Nerissa S. Balce, Nick Carbo, Luisa A. Igloria, Lara Stapleton, Sarah Gambito, Rick Barot and others!

Join A/P/A Institute at New York University in collaboration with Kundiman and the Centennial Planning Committee, on Friday night for an evening of readings and celebration of 100 years of Filipino immigration to the U.S.

Kick-off Reception Friday, Nov. 10th, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Panel Discussions Saturday, Nov. 11th, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM, reception follows with readings

The kick-off reception on Friday and series of panels on Saturday will feature readings from some of the major Filipino writers across the U.S. and from New York City to exchange stories, discuss ideas, and explore the varied meanings of literary texts. Just as importantly, the distinguished gathering will celebrate what has preceded us and the rich but ambivalent promise of what lies ahead.

RSVP by Tuesday, November 7 for the reception and conference separately to or by phone 212-992-9653. For more information, visit
Schedule of panels:
November 10th Readings & Reception: 7-9pm
Brian Ascalon Roley, Peter Bacho, Rick Barot, Nick Carbo, Fidelito Cortes, Luisa A. Igloria, Lara Stapleton & Luis H. Francia

November 11th Panels: 10:00am-5pm
10:00am, Panel 1: Where Have We Been?
Luis H. Francia, moderator; Nerissa S. Balce, Peter Bacho, Luisa A. Igloria, Lara Stapleton

11:30am, Panel 2: From Manong to Hip-Hop: Immigrant Stories
Bino A. Realuyo, moderator; Sarah Gambito, Leslieann Hobayan, Brian Ascalon Roley, and Oscar Penaranda

2:00pm, Panel 3: Rendering the Invisible Visible
Joseph O. Legaspi, moderator; Rick Barot, Eugene Gloria, Elda Rotor, and Eileen R. Tabios

3:30pm, Panel 4: Where Are We Going?
Allan Isaac, moderator; Nick Carbo, Andrew Hsiao, Sabina Murray, R.A.Villanueva

5:00pm, Reception and Closing Reading to follow panels until 7:30pm
Readings by: Eugene Gloria, Sabina Murray, Oscar Penaranda, Bino A. Realuyo, Ninotchka Rosca, Gina Apostol & Eileen Tabios

Co-sponsored by The Reginald F. Lewis Foundation, The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program, and NYU History Department.

Supported by the Asian American Writers' Workshop, Asia Society and NYU International Filipino Association.

Media Sponsorship by Asiance Magazine. Beer provided by Carlsberg. Food sponsors Cendrillon and Elvie's.
Thursday, November 16th, 7pm
Featuring Gina Apostol, Sarah Gambito, Lisa Ascalon, Marlon Unas Esguerra & Tai Yo. Hosted by Luis H. Francia

Asian American Writers Workshop
16 West 32nd Street, 10th Floor
btwn Broadway & 5th Avenue
$5 suggested donation

Despite the numerous attempts at voter suppression
the robo calls in nearly twenty states
the misleading and deceptive flyers the liars who claim
without breaking a smile that the election has moved
a day forward or better yet postponed
despite the avalanche of corrosive rhetoric
the racist ads ("call me") the subterranean codes
despite the easy hackability of the Accu Cards
the yellow buttons on the Sequoia machines
which if switched to manual would allow any voter
or political operative 1,000,000 votes
despite the legions of GOP lawyers
the challenges the demands to brandish picture IDs
despite the cynicism of knowing the elections could be
and probably would be stolen again with any less
vigilance than voting advocates are displaying these days
please vote do vote go vote you should vote
it's your government don't forget yes you own it
please vote please vote PLEASE VOTE

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shout, John, and Mabanckou's work sounds great! I can wait to read and meet him!