Afro-Asian Poetics: Ana-Maurine Lara, Joseph Legaspi, Margaret Rhee, and Nicole Sealey

Presented by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU. Co-sponsored by the NYU Institute of African American Affairs and Kundiman.
Celebrating Afro-Asian solidarity, conversations, and poetics, four poets celebrate their newly released poetry collections, and reflect on political and aesthetic solidarity in the past, present, and future.
Featuring Cave Canem fellow Ana-Maurine Lara (Kohnjehr Woman, 2017), Kundiman co-founder Joseph O. Legaspi (Threshold, 2017), Kundiman fellow Margaret Rhee (Love, Robot, 2017), and Cave Canem Executive Director Nicole Sealey (Ordinary Beast, 2017).
The reading is followed by a Q&A moderated by Professor Sukhdev Sandhu, author of Night Haunts: A Journey Through The London Night (winner of 2008 DH Lawrence International Prize For Travel Writing) and Director of The Center for Experimental Humanities.
This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers through public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.
Ana-Maurine Lara, Ph.D., is a national award-winning poet and fiction writer. She is author of the fictional works Erzulie’s Skirt (RedBone Press, 2006), When the Sun Once Again Sang to the People (KRK Ediciones, 2011), and Watermarks and Tree Rings (Tanama Press) and the poetry manuscript Kohnjehr Woman (RedBone Press, 2017). The first of her decade-long projects, Cantos, was released as a limited edition letterpress collection in Fall 2015. She is currently working on the second decade-long project, PL – a series of workshops centering the stories of migrants and queer folks of color. Lara is an assistant professor at the University of Oregon.
Joseph O. Legaspi, a Fulbright and NYFA fellow, is the author of the poetry collections Threshold and Imago, both from CavanKerry Press; and two chapbooks, Aviary, Bestiary (Organic Weapon Arts), and Subways (Thrush Press). His works have appeared in POETRY, New England Review, Best of the Net, Orion, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day. He co-founded Kundiman (, a nonprofit organization serving Asian American literature. He lives in Queens, New York.
Margaret Rhee is a poet, new media artist, and scholar. She is the author of chapbooks Yellow (Tinfish Press, 2011) and Radio Heart; or, How Robots Fall Out of Love (Finishing Line Press, 2015), nominated for a 2017 Elgin Award, Science Fiction Poetry Association. Her first full-length collection, Love, Robot (The Operating System, 2017) was named an Entropy Magazine Best Poetry Book of 2017. As a new media artist, her project The Kimchi Poetry Machine was selected by the Electronic Literature Collection Volume 3. She has been recognized with a Kundiman, Hedgebrook, and the Kathy Acker Fellowship. She received her PhD from UC Berkeley in ethnic and new media studies and in the process of completing her monograph, How We Became Human: Race, Robots, and the Asian American Body. Currently, she is a Visiting Scholar at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, and a Visiting Assistant Professor at SUNY Buffalo in the Department of Media Study.​ ​
Born in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. and raised in Apopka, Florida, Nicole Sealey is the author of Ordinary Beast and The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named, winner of the 2015 Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. Her other honors include an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from The American Poetry Review, a Daniel Varoujan Award and the Poetry International Prize, as well as fellowships from CantoMundo, Cave Canem, MacDowell Colony and the Poetry Project. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times and elsewhere. Nicole holds an MLA in Africana Studies from the University of South Florida and an MFA in creative writing from New York University. She is the executive director at Cave Canem Foundation, Inc.