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Poetry bears fruit at USC in the form of “Kazim Ali with fig tree.” Come watch the miracle of words brought to music Wednesday night at 7:30 pm. #MehfilMassive #KayaPress

Poetry bears fruit at USC in the form of “Kazim Ali with fig tree.” Come watch the miracle of words brought to music Wednesday night at 7:30 pm. #MehfilMassive #KayaPress

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Rob Eap gets turban tied in anticipation of #mehfilmassive! Thanks to Jas for his special skills!

Rob Eap gets turban tied in anticipation of #mehfilmassive! Thanks to Jas for his special skills!

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Kaya Press is now on Instagram, just in time for #mehfilmassive! You know you wanna follow for #smokinghotlit

Kaya Press is now on Instagram, just in time for #mehfilmassive! You know you wanna follow for #smokinghotlit

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Huge congrats to Andrew Leong for winning the 2014 Association of Asian American Studies Book Award for Creative Writing for translating Shoshon Nagahara’s Lament in the Night (Kaya Press, 2012). Here is an excerpt from the incredible acceptance speech he gave:
"With thanks to the Association – this award goes to Nagahara Hideaki Shōson, wherever he may be. Shōson was born in Yama-no-uchi-nishimura in 1901 – the date and place of his death are as yet unknown.
In The Tale of the Heike, Rokudai, last of the Taira, cannot reach the grave of his father. He turns instead to the sand on the beach, for the sand might contain some trace of his father’s bones. He spends the night on the shore, reciting sutras, using his fingertip to write sacred images upon the sand.
Tonight, we write on sand.
From 1918 to 1923, Shōson worked in the mines and railroads of the American West. When he arrived in Los Angeles in the early twenties, he worked long hours as a gardener and a printer’s assistant. And in the time that was never enough, he wrote. He wrote novels – at least five, of which two survive.
Thank you Shōson, for the gift of your world.

Awards Committee: Thank you for recognizing non-English literature, and for acknowledging the act of translation. May this award not be one of a few exceptions, but one of a whole category of future awards for translation.
For translators past, present, future. Many are the voices of discouragement. They say your languages are not good enough. They say you are not young enough to learn, or relearn your language. They say your Asian language is what makes you a perpetual foreigner, that American Asian literature is not Asian American enough. They say that literature is not political enough. They say a translation is second-class service, not good enough for a dissertation, or a job, or for tenure. They say to you that you are not good enough.
Say to them what Shōson said: watashi wa namakeru koto ga ichiban kirai desu. The thing I hate most is doing nothing.
From my family, who taught me everything I know about stubbornness and persistence: No matter how long it takes, no matter how discouraging it seems, don’t let yourself do nothing. Every word you translate…every line, every page, every book …is an act of resistance.
Write on sand, so they may hear those words and see those worlds.”

Huge congrats to Andrew Leong for winning the 2014 Association of Asian American Studies Book Award for Creative Writing for translating Shoshon Nagahara’s Lament in the Night (Kaya Press, 2012). Here is an excerpt from the incredible acceptance speech he gave:

"With thanks to the Association – this award goes to Nagahara Hideaki Shōson, wherever he may be. Shōson was born in Yama-no-uchi-nishimura in 1901 – the date and place of his death are as yet unknown.

In The Tale of the Heike, Rokudai, last of the Taira, cannot reach the grave of his father. He turns instead to the sand on the beach, for the sand might contain some trace of his father’s bones. He spends the night on the shore, reciting sutras, using his fingertip to write sacred images upon the sand.

Tonight, we write on sand.

From 1918 to 1923, Shōson worked in the mines and railroads of the American West. When he arrived in Los Angeles in the early twenties, he worked long hours as a gardener and a printer’s assistant. And in the time that was never enough, he wrote. He wrote novels – at least five, of which two survive.

Thank you Shōson, for the gift of your world.

Awards Committee: Thank you for recognizing non-English literature, and for acknowledging the act of translation. May this award not be one of a few exceptions, but one of a whole category of future awards for translation.

For translators past, present, future. Many are the voices of discouragement. They say your languages are not good enough. They say you are not young enough to learn, or relearn your language. They say your Asian language is what makes you a perpetual foreigner, that American Asian literature is not Asian American enough. They say that literature is not political enough. They say a translation is second-class service, not good enough for a dissertation, or a job, or for tenure. They say to you that you are not good enough.

Say to them what Shōson said: watashi wa namakeru koto ga ichiban kirai desu. The thing I hate most is doing nothing.

From my family, who taught me everything I know about stubbornness and persistence: No matter how long it takes, no matter how discouraging it seems, don’t let yourself do nothing. Every word you translate…every line, every page, every book …is an act of resistance.

Write on sand, so they may hear those words and see those worlds.”

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Inside LA’s Indie Lit Scene

"Whereas New York is vertically oriented, Los Angeles is horizontally oriented. That spatial reorientation gives you a different sense of what’s possible," says Sunyoung Lee, 42, who founded Kaya Press in 1994 as a platform for the Asian and Pacific Islander diasporas. Lee sees the geography of L.A., as well as its demographics, as the perfect metaphor for what’s possible in the literary scene - collaborative publishing and events that bring together voices from diverse ethnicities, classes and neighborhoods across the city.

"One of the books we’re proudest of is Lament in the Night, by Nagahara Shoson, which we published last fall,” Lee says. Shoson was part of a group of intellectuals in 1920s Little Tokyo who worked as day laborers, gathering at night to debate Tolstoy and write novels. The book, originally written in Japanese, was a forgotten part of L.A.’s history; it went untranslated for 90 years.

Read more here

By Jessica Langlois in the LA Weekly!

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Check out our photos from our Smokin’ Hot Indie Lit Lounge the LA Times Festival of Books last weekend!

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Come celebrate Kaya Press’s 20th birthday in style Thursday April 17 in San Francisco, with a reading at City Lights Bookstore and a party at the legendary LiPo Lounge, featuring tiger-themed food and drink. Visit our website for more information about Kaya Press activities at the Association of Asian American Studies Conference. 

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Check out our updated list of programs for the LA Times Festival of Books, happening in FOUR DAYS!

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Come hang out with Kaya at the LA Times Festival of Books this weekend! We’ll be doing writing and design workshops, and we’ll have guest authors like Ruth Ozeki, Edan Lepucki, Zoe Ruiz of The Rumpus, Janet Fitch, and Luis Rodriguez. See you there!

Come hang out with Kaya at the LA Times Festival of Books this weekend! We’ll be doing writing and design workshops, and we’ll have guest authors like Ruth Ozeki, Edan Lepucki, Zoe Ruiz of The Rumpus, Janet Fitch, and Luis Rodriguez. See you there!

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This Sunday, join Kaya Press author Brian Castro (Shanghai Dancing and Garden Book) from Australia, along with Kien Nguyen and Paisley Rekdal, at the Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar Series: Transpacific Mixed Race Literatures: A Reading and Dialogue at USC. 

This Sunday, join Kaya Press author Brian Castro (Shanghai Dancing and Garden Book) from Australia, along with Kien Nguyen and Paisley Rekdal, at the Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar Series: Transpacific Mixed Race Literatures: A Reading and Dialogue at USC.