Dear Friends of Achiote Press,

You are invited to Part 1 of an exciting poetry reading and collaboration between Achiote Press, PAWA, & Kundiman:

Readers: Joseph O Legaspi, Oliver de la Paz, Ching-In Chen, Debbie Yee, and Neil Aitken

Where: UC Berkeley at the Barbara T. Christian Room, 554 Barrows Hall
When: Thursday, Sept 17th
Time: 11:30: Chapbook & Book Sale and Light Reception // 12 – 2: Reading

UC Berkeley Campus Map (Barrows is in D4 quadrant of map):

This reading celebrates the publication of Achiote Press’ newest chapbook-anthology: “Here is a Pen:” An Anthology of West Coast Kundiman Poets, edited by Ching-In Chen, Margaret Rhee, and Debbie Yee (the cover is pictured above)

Chapbooks will be available for purchase at the reading. All proceeds will go to Kundiman.

Kundiman is a dynamic arts organization dedicated to fostering Asian American poetry. As part of their mission, Kundiman provides a retreat for emerging Asian American poets at the University of Virginia every summer.

Special thanks to: UC Berkeley’s Asian American Studies Program & Asian Pacific Islander Working Group


Reader Bios:

Joseph O. Legaspi is the author of Imago (CavanKerry Press), winner of a 2008 Global Filipino Literary Award. Born in the Philippines, he currently resides in Manhattan and works at Columbia University. A graduate of New York University’s Creative Writing Program, recent works appeared in Callaloo, North American Review, Poets & Writers, New York Theater Review, Crab Orchard Review, Gay & Lesbian Review and the anthology Language for a New Century (W.W. Norton). A recipient of a poetry fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts and an Urban Artists grant, he co-founded Kundiman (, a non-profit organization serving Asian American poets. Visit him at

Oliver de la Paz is the author of three books of poetry, NAMES ABOVE HOUSES, FURIOUS LULLABY (Southern Illinois University Press), and the forthcoming book REQUIEM FOR THE ORCHARD which was selected by Martin Espada as the winner of the 2009 University of Akron Poetry Prize and will be available in the Spring of 2010. He is a recipient of grants from the Artist Trust of Washington and from the New York Foundation for the Arts. He teaches creative writing at Western Washington University and is the co-chair of the Advisory Board for Kundiman.

Debbie Yee is a trusts and estates attorney, Kundiman fellow, arts enthusiast and crafts explorer. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in 32 Poems, OCHO, Fence and The Best American Poetry 2009. She received her undergraduate and law degrees from UC Berkeley. Debbie blogs irregularly at

Neil Aitken is the founding editor of Boxcar Poetry Review and the author of The Lost Country of Sight, winner of the 2007 Philip Levine Prize. His poetry has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, The Drunken Boat, Ninth Letter, Sou’wester and many other literary journals. He lives in Los Angeles where he is currently pursuing a PhD in literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California.

Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart’s Traffic and a multi-genre, border-crossing writer. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, she is a Kundiman, Macondo and Lambda Fellow. A community organizer, she has worked in the Asian American communities of San Francisco, Oakland, and Boston. Her work has been recently published in journals such as BorderSenses, Rio Grande Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, OCHO, Iron Horse Literary Review, Water~Stone Review, Boxcar Poetry Review, Verdad and the anthology Yellow as Turmeric, Fragrant as Cloves. A co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Partner Abuse in Activist Communities, forthcoming from South End Press, Ching-In is currently in the process of editing an anthology on gender, militarism and war from the perspective of women and non-gender-conforming people of color. In Riverside, California, Ching-In is a member of the Save Our Chinatown Committee, a grassroots organization focused on the preserving the archaelogical heritage of Riverside Chinatown.


Part 2 of our collaboration features another wonderful poetry reading on Saturday, September 19th. Details here:


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