“this is all // that matters” : South Asian Poets on Diaspora, Kith, Material, and Speech with Serena Rose Chopra, Kama La Mackerel, Aditi Machado, Prageeta Sharma, and Divya Victor

In conjunction with the recent publication of CURBDivya Victor joins Serena Rose ChopraKama La MackerelAditi Machado, and Prageeta Sharma for an evening of readings and conversation tracing breadths of South Asian diasporic experience. Across a range of inquiries, five poets consider the textual scaffoldings of empire, the human entanglements of production and consumption, and the tenuous, beautiful work of relations to thrive and endure.

Serena Chopra (Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, Seattle University) is a teacher, writer, dancer, filmmaker and a visual and performance artist. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Denver and is a MacDowell Fellow, a Kundiman Fellow and a Fulbright Scholar. She has two books, This Human (Coconut Books 2013) and Ic (Horse Less Press 2017), as well as two films, Dogana/Chapti (Official Selection at Frameline43, Oregon Documentary Film Festival and Seattle Queer Film Festival) and Mother Ghosting (2018). She was a featured artist in Harper's Bazaar (India) as well as in the Denver Westword’s “100 Colorado Creatives” and has recent publications in SinkFoglifterMatters of Feminist Practice, and the anthology Alone Together: Love , Grief and Comfort in the Time of COVID-19 (Central Avenue Publishing). Serena is Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Seattle University. You can find out more at SerenaChopra.com

Kama La Mackerel is an award-winning Mauritian-Canadian multi-disciplinary artist, educator, writer, curator and literary translator. They are the author ZOM-FAM which was named a CBC Best Poetry Book, a Globe and Mail Best Debut, and was a finalist for the QWF Concordia University First Book Award and the Writers‘ Trust of Canada Dayne Ogilvie Prize. World Literature Today called ZOM-FAM “a milestone in Mauritian literature.” They are presenting their new multimedia installation and performance QUEERING THE IS/LAND BODY at the 17th edition of MOMENTA, Biennale de l’image in Fall 2021.

Aditi Machado is a poet, translator, and essayist. Her second book of poems, Emporium (Nightboat, 2020), received the James Laughlin Award. Her other works include the poetry collection Some Beheadings (Nightboat, 2017), an essay pamphlet titled The End (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2020), a translation from the French of Farid Tali’s novella Prosopopoeia (Action, 2016), and several poetry chapbooks. Her writing appears in journals like The Chicago ReviewLana TurnerThe RumpusVolt, and Western Humanities Review, among others. She works as an Assistant Professor of Poetry at the University of Cincinnati.

Prageeta Sharma is the author of the poetry collections Grief Sequence (Wave Books, 2019), Undergloom (Fence Books, 2013), Infamous Landscapes (Fence Books, 2007), The Opening Question (Fence Books, 2004), which won the 2004 Fence Modern Poets Prize, and Bliss to Fill (Subpress, 2000). She is the founder of the conference Thinking Its Presence: Race, Creative Writing, Literary Studies and Art. A recipient of the 2010 Howard Foundation Award and a finalist for the 2020 Four Quartets Prize, she has taught at the University of Montana and now teaches at Pomona College.

Divya Victor is the author of CURBKITH, and THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR MOUTH, among other books. Her work has been translated into French, German, Spanish, and Czech. She has been a Mark Diamond Research Fellow at the U.S Holocaust Memorial Museum, a Riverrun Fellow at the Archive for New Poetry at University of California San Diego, and a Writer in Residence at the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibit (L.A.C.E.). Her work has been performed and installed at Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) Los Angeles, The National Gallery of Singapore, the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibition (L.A.C.E.) and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). She has been an editor at Jacket2 (United States), Ethos Books (Singapore), Invisible Publishing (Canada) and Book*hug Press (Canada). She is currently Associate Professor of English at Michigan State University.

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