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Liu Xia Tribute Reading


163 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

A celebration of Liu Xia’s Empty Chairs: Selected Poems translated from the Chinese by Ming Di and Jennifer Stern. In collaboration with Graywolf Press this event will feature readings from Empty Chairs, along with a discussion of Liu Xia’s work and the translation process, as well as ongoing issues surrounding freedom of expression and the current political climate in China. With Ming Di, Tina Chang, Ken Chen, and Nick Flynn. Moderated by Antonio Aiello.

*Co-presented in conjuction with Graywolf Press; co-sponsored with Asian American Writers’ Workshop

Graywolf Press is a leading independent publisher committed to the discovery and energetic publication of contemporary American and international literature. They champion outstanding writers at all stages of their careers to ensure that diverse voices can be heard in a crowded marketplace.

Established in 1991, Asian American Writers Workshop (AAWW) is a national not-for-profit arts organization devoted to the creating, publishing, developing and disseminating of creative writing by Asian Americans–in other words, we’re the preeminent organization dedicated to the belief that Asian American stories deserve to be told.


 Image result for graywolf press logo     http://aaww.org/     


Liu Xia is a Chinese poet and artist. English translations of Liu Xia’s poetry by Ming Di and Jennifer Stern have been published by PEN America, Chinese PEN, the BBC, the Guardian, the Margins for the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Poetry, the Poetry Society of America, and Words without Borders. Liu Xia’s photographs have appeared in galleries throughout the world. She has been living under strict house arrest since her husband, poet and activist Liu Xiaobo, was imprisoned in 2009 for “inciting subversion of state power” and then received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

Ming Di was born in China and lives in the United States as a poet and translator. She is the co-founder and executive editor of Poetry East West, a Chinese-English bilingual literary journal. She is the Senior Editor of Translation at Tupelo Quarterly and the co-founder and chief editor of DJS BOOKS, an imprint of Red Hen Press. Publications of her poetry include six books in Chinese published by major Chinese presses, a selection of her work translated into English titled River Merchant’s Wife (Marick Press/USA, 2012), and translations of her work into German and Spanish. She edited and co-translated New Cathay: Contemporary Chinese Poetry (Tupelo Press, 2013), and has translated several English language poets into Chinese. With co-translator Jennifer Stern, she edited and translated Empty Chairs: Selected Poems by Liu Xia.

Tina Chang
Tina Chang, Brooklyn Poet Laureate, is the author of the poetry collections Half-Lit Houses (2004) and Of Gods & Strangers (2011). She is the co-editor of the Norton anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond. Her poems have been published in journals such as American Poet, McSweeney’s, The New York Times, and Ploughshares. She has received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Poets & Writers, among others. She teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College.
Ken Chen is the Executive Director of The Asian American Writers’ Workshop, the most prominent literary arts nonprofit in support of Asian American literature. Most recently, he curated PAGE TURNER, a two-day Brooklyn literary festival that featured writers such as Jhumpa Lahiri, Michael Ondaatje, and David Henry Hwang. He is the 2009 recipient of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. His debut poetry collection Juvenilia was selected by Pulitzer Prize winner Louise Gluck. While an immigration attorney, Mr. Chen successfully represented the asylum claim of a Guinean teenager who had been detained by the Department of Homeland Security. The case was named one of the top ten most significant pro bono cases of 2007 by American Lawyer and profiled by The New York Post, Essence, and The New York Times. He is a co-founder of Arts & Letters Daily, a cultural website described by The New York Times as “required reading for the global intelligentsia” and called the “best website in the world” by The Guardian.

Nick Flynn

Nick Flynn is the author of three memoirs, The Reenactments, The Ticking is the Bomb: A Memoir of Bewilderment, and Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, which has been made into a film, Being Flynn, starring Robert DeNiro and Julianne Moore. He is the author of four books of poetry, My Feelings, The Captain Asks For a Show of Hands, Some Ether, which won the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award, and Blind Huber. He has been awarded fellowships from The Guggenheim Foundation, The Library of Congress, The Amy Lowell Trust, and The Fine Arts Work Center. His poems, essays, and non-fiction have appeared in The New Yorker, Paris Review, National Public Radio’s This American Life, and The New York Times Book Review. 


Antonio Aiello is the Content Director and Web Editor at PEN American Center, where he develops written and multimedia content at the intersection of freedom of expression advocacy and the literary arts. During his time at PEN, Aiello founded and continues to direct the PEN America Blog, the PEN Poetry Series, the PEN/Guernica Flash Series, the PEN Ten Interview Series, the Illustrated PEN, and most recently Passages, a quarterly translation chapbook. As previous Associate Director of the Prison Writing program, he co-wrote and edited PEN’s Handbook for Writers In Prison, distributed free each year to thousands of incarcerated writers. His interviews, essays, and fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in/on the Literary Hub, The Carolina Quarterly, PEN America, Alimentum, Anderbo.com, and elsewhere. 

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