Word From Asia: Contemporary Writing from Japan, Korea, and Pakistan

Asia Society & PEN World Voices Festival 2011 Collaboration

Saturday, April 30, 2011
Asia Society and Museum
725 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021

PEN World Voices 2011 collaborates with the Asia Society to celebrate the work of some of the most innovative writers, poets, and translators from Japan, Korea, and Pakistan as they explore the challenges and the pleasures of writing and translating across national, cultural, and linguistic borders.

Admission is free to all three Word from Asia programs, but advance registration is recommended. Separate tickets required for each event. Click on the title of each program, below, for complete details.


Word From Asia:
Contemporary Writing from Korea
12:30 - 2:00 pm

Join us to crack the code to the cryptic, suspenseful world of acclaimed young South Korean novelist Kim Young-ha, author of Your Republic is Calling You, a taut political thriller that spans a single day in the life of a North Korean spy suddenly called back by his handlers after decades of undercover life in South Korea. Kim is paired with a master of the 21st-century literary whodunit, Susan Choi, the award-winning novelist and author of A Person of Interest, who brings her distinctive lens to bear on the mysteries of the immigrant search for identity. Distinguished translator and editor Bruce Fulton nvites Kim and Choi to share their take on spies, cinema, and a bold new wave of Korean literature in translation.

Co-presented by Asia Society and the Korean Cultural Service. Cosponsored by The Korea Society. For more information about The Korea Society click here.

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Word From Asia:
Contemporary Writing from Japan
2:30 - 4:00 pm

Join one of Japan's most influential cultural critics and translators, Motoyuki Shibata, as he engages four innovative and hybrid literary voices — leading contemporary novelist Hiromi Kawakami, eminent Haiku poet Minoru Ozawa, and their Japan-inspired American counterparts, novelist Rebecca Brown and poet and translator Joshua Beckman. Writers and translators will discuss their most formative shared "Japanamerican" influences from science fiction to manga and the serious performative play of Japanese renga poetry.

Co-presented by Asia Society and the Japan Foundation.

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Word From Asia:
Contemporary Writing from Pakistan
4:30 - 6:00 pm

The recent surge in interest in Pakistani culture is reflected in the landmark publication of Modern Poetry of Pakistan, the first anthology of Pakistani poetry ever to include contemporary work translated from seven major languages, six regional (Bolachi, Kashmiri, Punjabi, Pashto, Seraiki, and Sindhi) and one national (Urdu). Join Hasina Gul, a woman poet and broadcaster writing in Pashto, Urdu poet Fahmida Riaz, and poet and travel writer Waqas Khwaja, the editor of the anthology, for a poetry reading and discussion of the rich variety of contemporary Pakistani poetry.

Sponsored by Asia Society, Dalkey Archive, and Granta. Co-presented with Poet's House and City Lore as part of the Illuminated Verses: Poetries of the Islamic World project.

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Mushaira: Celebrating Urdu Poetry
8:00 pm Performance

The centuries-old legacy of Urdu poetry continues to flourish in Pakistan, India, and the Middle East through the mushaira, or gathering of poets and patrons. This event, which will gather a host of celebrated Pakistani poets, recreates the intimate teahouse atmosphere of the mushaira along with the myriad rituals and interactive etiquette for audience participation and response.

Poetry readings will be in Urdu with English translation in a special co-presentation with Poet's House and City Lore as part of the Illuminated Verses: Poetries of the Islamic World project.

This program has been supported by Dr. Azra Raza and Creative Voices of Islam in Asia, a three-year initiative made possible by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

Tickets: $15 Asia Society/City Lore/Poet's House members; $17 students with ID and seniors; $20 nonmembers.

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All programs part of the Asia Society & PEN World Voices Festival 2011: Word From Asia.