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1976 Pacific NW Asian American Writers Conference
During the week of June 29th Seattle and the University of Washington were the stage for the Pacific Northwest Asian American Writers Conference. Writers from widely scattered parts of the country came, presented lectures, participated in panel discussions, read from their works. Among the highlights were: a lecture by Professor N.V.M Gonzalez of California State University, entitled "The Planting and Harvesting of Metaphors, or the Stories We Can Tell"; a talk by Professor Bienvenido Santos on the Filipino as exile, in which he shares some of his own experiences; and a lecture by Dr. Sam Solberg presenting information on the little known writers, the Eaton sisters: Sui Sin Far and Onoto Watana.
There was also a panel discussion on the problems, pleasures and implications of writing in dialect and mixed languages, featuring Milton Murayama, Ray Tsuchiyama, and Steve Sumida, conference coordinator. Frank Chin, author, playwright and critic, spoke about"The Yellow Critics of Yellow Writers" and Lawson Inada presented an appreciation of Toshio Mori.
The entire conference was interspersed with the writers reading from their works, including
poetry and fiction.
Portions of the Conference are being broadcast throughout this month, with some yet to be scheduled in September. This series was recorded and produced by Karen Berge.
In the guide these programs as well as several programs of Asian music are marked with examples of Japanese family crests such as the ones on his page.
[The above is copied from the Aug 1976 KRAB program guide introduction to the conference. KRAB Production Assistant Karen Berge coordinated, recorded and produced these programs for broadcast on KRAB, and then preserved and shared the tapes with the Archive. She also made copies of the programs available to conference participants. Some of these recordings appear to have made their way into the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections. The notes below are adapted from the program guide listings, but have been edited to eliminate redundancies. The biographical info in the program descriptions below comes from "Notes on Participants" which was distributed at the conference.]
The Asian American in Seattle, and the Pacific NW: A Context for our Works - Rec Jun 29, 1976; KRAB Aug 3, 1976
The conference begins with an announcement by Frank Chin; then opening remarks by conference coordinator, Steve Sumida, are followed by two lectures:
The first is by Dr Jesse Hiraoka Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies at Western Washington State College; and the second by Fred Cordova, manager of UW Information Services.
Frank Chin, b. 1940, Berkeley, California. Drama: The Chickencoop Chinaman; The Year of the Dragon; Gee Pop! Chin has also published fiction and essays, and is one of the editors of AIIIEEEEE! An Anthology of Asian American Writers.
Chin's The Year of the Dragon was retelecast on June 12 in the Theater in America
series on KCTS 9. The Year of the Dragon is a tender portrait of a Chinatown family torn by contending forces of tradition and assimilation. The nationally broadcast performance was produced by the American Place Theater for Theater in America. Author Chin spent many years in Seattle, associated with KING Broadcasting Company. In 1966, he produced "S.R.T., Act Two" for KING-TV, and in 1969, "Mary" and "Rainlight Rainvision" for King Screens. Chin also served as film consultant for Western Washington State College from 1969-70.
Stephen Hiro Sumida, b. 1946, Aiea, Hawaii, is a doctoral candidate in the UW Department of English, with major work in Renaissance English literature. After receiving his baccalaureate degree in English from Amherst College, 1968, Sumida spent a year at Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan, on a teaching fellowship, and received his M.A. in English literature, Columbia University, 1970. He has taught for three years at the University of Havlai; and has recently completed his teaching at the University of Washington. More about Steve Sumida
Dr. Jesse Hiraoka is Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies at Western Washington
State College, Bellingham; and editor of The Journal of Ethnic Studies. More about Jesse Hiraoka
Fred Cordova is Manager of Press Services of the University of Washington; and
amoderator/founder of the Filipino Youth Activities. More about Fred Cordova
Listen now - The Asian American in Seattle, and the Pacific NW: A Context for our Works - Rec Jun 29, 1976; KRAB Aug 3, 1976 (60.08)
Collection Inv KB0001
Alan Chong Lau and Lawson Inada - Rec Jun 30, 1976; KRAB Aug 5, 1976
Alan Lau and Lawson Inada, poets, reading
Alan Lau, b. 1948, Oroville, California, has had poetry published in Panache; Bridge; Fuse; The Kyoto Review; Aion; Yardbird Reader III; East/West Newspaper; and forthcoming in Amerasia Journal; The Second Coming; Greenfield Review. More about Alan Chong Lau
Lawson Fusao Inada, b. 1938, Fresno, California, has had poetry published in Before the War: Poems as They Happened; and in many periodicals. Along with Frank Chin, Jeffery Paul Chan, and Shawn Wong, Inada is an editor of AIIIEEEEEI, An Anthology of Asian American Writers. Inada teaches in the English Department
of Southern Oregon College (Ashland) and has read his poetry throughout the
Northwest. More about Lawson Inada
Listen now - Alan Chong Lau and Lawson Inada - Rec Jun 30, 1976; KRAB Aug 5, 1976 (56:26)
Collection Inv KB0002
The Eaton Sisters: Sui Sin Far and
Onoto Watana - Rec Jun 30, 1976; KRAB Aug 11, 1976
Dr Sam Solberg, of UW Asian American Studies, presenting his findings on the two Eaton sisters. Followed by some remarks by Frank Chin, author and playwright.
Dr. Sam Solberg: Asian American Studies Program. UW; leader of the Asian American Studies X499 extension credit program in the Conference; instructor
for AAS 400, "Asian American Literary Experience." [Editors note: Sam Solberg was a scholar, translator, University of Washington professor, and community activist. In additionto being anauthority on Korean Literature, he was a pioneer in the study of Asian American literature.He also played an active role in Asian American immigrant community organizations in Washington state, and appeared several times on KRAB in the mid-60's] More about Sam Solberg
Listen now - The Eaton Sisters: Sui Sin Far and
Onoto Watana - Rec Jun 30, 1976; KRAB Aug 11, 1976 (66:08)
Collection Inv KB0003
James Masao Mitsui and Wakako Yamauchi
Reading - Rec Jul 1, 1976; KRAB Aug 12, 1976
Selections of original poetry and fiction from the Pacific Northwest Asian American Writers Conference
James Masao Mitsui, b. 1940, Skykomish, Washington. His book of poems, Journal of the Sun
won the Pacific NW Booksellers Award for Poetry. Also published in New York Quarterly; Northwest Review; Pacific Search; Poettry Northweest; Chariton Review; West Coast Poetry Review; Copperhead; Waterfront Review; The Pacific;
The Washington Review; Puget Soundings; Raven; Charas; Inscape; Hippocrene; Madrona.
Mitsui has read his poems extensively in the Northwest, and he will be teaching in the poetry workshop at the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference this summer at Pacific Lutheran University. His second book, Crossing the Phantom River, contains 60 poems, currently in manuscript form. More about James Masao Mitsui
Wakako Yamauchi, b. 1924, Westmoreland, California, has had fiction published in
AIIIEEEEE!; YardbirdReader Vol 3; Amerasia Journal; and forthcoming in Counter-point. Her play, Andthe Soul Shall Dance, premiered at the UW Ethnic Cultural Center Theater May 13, 1976. Yamauchi is currently with the East-West Players of Los Angeles, where she is Playwright-in-Residence on a Rockefeller grant. More about Wakako Yamauchi
Listen now - James Masao Mitsui and Wakako Yamauchi
Reading - Rec Jul 1, 1976; KRAB Aug 12, 1976 (54:28)
Collection Inv KB0004
The Planting and Harvesting of Metaphors, or, The Stories we can Tell - Rec Jun 29, 1976; KRAB Aug 15, 1976
A lecture by N.V.M. Gonzalez, Professor of English from California State University.
Professor N. V. M. Gonzalez, b. 1915, Romblon, Philippines. His fiction
includes The Winds of April; Seven Hills Away; Children of the Ash-covered
Loam and Other Stories; A Season of Grace; The Bamboo Dancers; Look, Stranger,
on this Island Now; and numerous other publications appearing in literary reviews and anthologies.Prof. Gonzalez has won all the major Philippine literary awards as well as fellowships, grants,and awards from the Rockefeller Foundation. Since 1968, he has been a professor of English at California
State University, Hayward. More about N.V.M. Gonzalez
Listen now - The Planting and Harvesting of Metaphors, or, The Stories we can Tell - Rec Jun 29, 1976; KRAB Aug 15, 1976 (44:36)
Collection Inv KB0005
Professor Bienvenido Santos and Laureen Mar, Reading - Rec Jun 30, 1976; KRAB Aug 16, 1976
Professor Santos, writer in residence at Wichita State University, reads from his works, including from his novel "The Man Who (Thought he) Looked Like Robert Taylor"; and Laureen Mar reads some of her poetry.
Professor Bienvenido Santos, b. 1911, Tondo, Manila, Philippines. Fiction: Villa Magdalena; The Volcano; The Praying Man; The Man Who (Tought He) Looked Like Robert Taylor; You Lovely People; Brother My Brother; The Day the Dancers Came. Poetry: The Wounded Stag. Professor Santos has taught for six years in the Writers Workshop, University of Iowa, and is currently teaching at Wichita State University, Kansas. More about Bienvenido Santos
Laureen Mar, b. 1953, Seattle. Poetry: published in Northwest Review; Intro 7; and Assay, with publications forthcoming in Mademoiselle and Greenfield Review.
Her prizes and awards for poetry and for academicdistinction include the Loren D. Milliman Award (finalist, 1975); Northwest PoetsContest; the Marie K. Dearborn Award (1975); and the Academy of American Poets Award (first place, University of Washington, 1975). Mar graduated from the UW, magna cum laude, and resides in Seattle. More about Laureen Mar
Listen now - Professor Bienvenido Santos and Laureen Mar, Reading - Rec Jun 30, 1976; KRAB Aug 16, 1976 (51:03)
Collection Inv KB0006
Readings by Milton Murayama and Hisaye Yamamoto - Rec Jun 29, 1976; KRAB Aug 18, 1976
Murayama reads from his latest novel "All I Asking For Is MyBody", and Yamamoto has published works in Harpers, Partisan Review and the Kenyon Review. Recorded at the Asian American Writers Conference.
Milton Murayama, a Nisei, b. in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii. Fiction: All I Asking for is my Body, his first book, but his fifth book-length manuscript. Murayama served as an interpreter in the U.S. Army in India and China, WWII. Murayama's Hawaiian childhood and his univeristy studies in literature, philosophy, Chinese
and Japanese inform his novel. More about Milton Murayama
Hisaye Yamamoto Desoto, b. 1921, Redondo Beach, California. Fiction: published in Kashu Mainichi; Rafu Shimpo; Crossroads; Sangyuo Nippo; The Poston Chronicle; New Canadian; New Pacific; Partisan Review; Kenyon Review; Carleton Miscellany (Furioso); Harper's Bazaar; Best American Short Stories of 1952; Yardbird Reader Vol 3; AIIIFEEEE!; and other periodicals and anthologies . Poetry: Rafu Shimpo.
Hisaye Yamamoto DeSoto is one of the first Asian American writers to establish herself as a literary artist. Wakako Yamauchi describes in AIIIEEEEE! how her friend Hisaye has inspired her since before WWII: "Wesubscribed to a Japanese paper and I used to enjoy Hisaye Yamamoto's column inthe English section. I remember when I first discovered the column, I frantically searched through back issues to see if I'd missed any. She was very young but she wrote with
wit and whimsy even then." More about Hisaye Yamamoto Desoto
[Unfortunately, a large portion of the audio of this presentation has not been located. Here, we have a 16 minute excerpt of Milton Murayama's reading, which ends abruptly.]
Listen now - Milton Murayama, Reading - KRAB Aug 18, 1976 (16:50)
Collection Inv KB0007
Readings by Toshio Mori Rec - Rec Jun 29, 1976; KRAB Aug 19, 1976
Toshio Mori, writer, and author of "Yokohama, California", reading from his works
Toshio Mori, b. 1910, Oakland, California. Fiction: Yokohama, California. A pioneer Asian American writer, Mori has alsopublished in numerous periodicals and anthologies. During WWII, Mori was Camp Historian at Topaz Center, Utah, where he organized theDocumentation Department. He is an expert on the literature that proliferated in the camps where Japanese Americans were incarcerated during WWII. More about Toshio Mori
Listen now - Readings by Toshio Mori Rec - Rec Jun 29, 1976; KRAB Aug 19, 1976 (29:18)
Collection Inv KB0008
Readings by Lonny Kaneko - Rec Jun 30, 1976; KRAB Aug 25, 1976
Lonny Kaneko, Seattle poet, reading selections from his poetry.
Lonny Kaneko, b. 1939, Seattle. Poetry: published in Puget Soundings; Counterpoint; Jawbone; Niagara; Kansas Quarterly; and elsewhere. Fiction:
published in Amerasia Journal; YardbirdV; Playboy. Kaneko has given readings at Seattle public schools and onKUOW, and is regularly a poetry panelist for the Northwest Writers Conference. He resides in Tukwila and teaches English at Highline Community College, where he is chairperson of t he Humanities Division. More about Lonny Kaneko
Listen now - Readings by Lonny Kaneko - Rec Jun 30, 1976; KRAB Aug 25, 1976 (26:03)
Collection Inv KB0009
Reading by Shawn Wong - Rec Jun 30, 1976; KRAB Aug 26, 1976
Shawn Wong, California Writer, reading from his recently completed novel, "Good Luck, Happiness, and Long Life".
Shawn Hsu Wong, b. 1949, Oakland, California. Fiction: recently completed his novel, Good Luck, Happiness and LongLife. Co-editor of AIIIEEEEE! and Yardbird Reader III. Teaches in the Asian American Studies and the Creative Writing Deaprtments at San Francisco State University, and is Co-director of the Combined Asian American Resources Project, Inc. (C.A.R.P.), San Francisco. More about Shawn Wong
Listen now - Reading by Shawn Wong - Rec Jun 30, 1976; KRAB Aug 26, 1976 (29:23)
Collection Inv KB0010
The Filipino as Exile, Professor Bienvenido Santos - Rec Jun 30, 1976; Aug 30, 1976
A lecture by Professor Bienvenido Santos, author and writer-in-residence at Wichita State University.
His talk is followed by discussion and he is joined by Professor N.V.M. Gonzalez of California State.
Listen now - The Filipino as Exile - Rec Jun 30, 1976; Aug 30, 1976 (60:06)
Collection Inv KB0011
Garrett Kaoru Hongo Reading - Rec Jun 30, 1976; KRAB Sep 10, 1976
Garrett Hongo, poet and playwright, reading selections from his poetry, and from his play "Nisei Bar and Grill".
Garrett Kaoru Hongo, b. 1951, Hilo, Hawaii. Poetry: published in numerous reviews, including Cafe Solo, Bachy, Greenfield Review, Momentum, The Spectator, and Puget Soundings. Hongo has won the SpectatorPoetry Prize (1973) and the Hopwood Poetry Prize (University of Michigan, 1975). He has taught Asian American Literature at theUniversity of Washington and is the managing directorof The Asian Exclusion Act, the Seattle drama ensemble which recently produced The Year of the Dragon and Wakako Yamauchi's And the Soul Shall Dance. Hongo will edit a special issue of The Greenfield Review dedicated to the Conference. More about Garrett Hongo
Listen now - Garrett Kaoru Hongo Reading - Rec Jun 30, 1976; KRAB Sep 10, 1976 (35:52)
Collection Inv KB0012
Presentation of Women Writers - Rec Jul 2, 1976; KRAB Sep 13, 1976
Hisaye Yamamoto, Wakako Yamauchi, Momoko Iko, Jessica Hagedorn, Laureen Mar and Mona Lisa Saloy reading from their works.
Momoko Iko, b. 1940, Wapato, Washington, spent her childhood (1942-1945) in the Heart Mountain Concentration Camp and believes that mute time has colored her life more than any other experience. Her plays THe Old Man and The Gold Watch won the East-West Players playwriting contests in 1970 and 1971. She received a B.A. degree from the University of Illinois in 1961 and attended the University of Iowa and Institudo Allende in Mexico. She edited and contributed to the "Asian Liberation" newsletter in Chicago where she now lives. She has a novel in
progress, Second City Flat, and her play The Gold Watch has been televised for Public Broadcasting Systems future broadcast. More about Momoko Iko
Mona Lisa Saloy was a surprise participant at the conference, so her bio does not appear in the participant list. More about Mona Lisa Saloy
Listen now - Presentation of Women Writers - Rec Jul 2, 1976; KRAB Sep 13, 1976 (63:13)
Collection Inv KB0013
Laureen Mar Reading - Rec Jun 30, 1976
Most of this tape is excerpts from the Jul 2 Presentation which can be heard above, but the recording of Laureen Mar reading from her Chinatown Series may be from the Poetry Workshop on Jun 30th, 1976.
Listen now - Laureen Mar reading Jun 30, 1976 (6:55)
Listen now - Complete set of excerpts - Rec Jun 30 and Jul 2, 1976 (27:50)
Collection Inv KB0014
Jessica Tarahata Hagedorn Reading - Rec Jul 1, 1976; KRAB Sep 27, 1976
Jessica Tarahata Hagedorn reading selections from her poetry and from her novel in progress "Mango Tango, the best ice cream in the Universe".
Jessica Tarahata Hagedorn, b. 1948, Manila, Philippines, arrived in America at the age of fourteen . Poetry and prose: Dangerous Music; also published in Four Young Women: An Anthology, ed. by Kenneth Rexroth; Mountain Moving Day,
ed. by Elaine Gill; Time to Greez!; Yardbird Reader Vol 4. Hagedorn co-edited Third World Women, in which her work also appears. Drama: Chiquita Banana, written and produced for television in 1972.
Besides writing poetry, fiction, and drama, Hagedorn leads The West Coast Gangster Choir, an innovative jazz band in San Francisco. In a review of the Gangster Choir, Kathy MacKay of the S. F. Sunday Examiner & Chronicle wrote: "Hagedorn has been an active voice in Third World culture for several years. With fourvolumes of poetry published, and drawing on her background in poetry, theater and dance, she is now introducing innovations into San Francisco's poetry scene." More about Jessica Tarahata Hagedorn
Listen now - Jessica Tarahata Hagedorn Reading - Rec Jul 1, 1976; KRAB Sep 27, 1976 (31:59)
Collection Inv KB0015
The Problems, Pleasures, and Implications of Writing in Dialect and Mixed Languages - Rec Jul 1, 1976; KRAB Feb 9, 1977
A panel discussion featuring Steve Sumida, Ray Tsuchiyama and Milton Murayama dealing with the issue of writing, and some of the conflicts, experienced.
Ray Tsuchiyama is a student at Western Washington State College, novelist and short story writer, and has been published in The Journal of Ethnic Studies. More about Ray Tsuchiyama
Listen now - The Problems, Pleasures, and Implications of Writing in Dialect and Mixed Languages - Rec Jul 1, 1976; KRAB Feb 9, 1977 (76:09)
Collection Inv KB0016
Panel discussion featuring Frank Chin, Lawson Inada, and Toshio Mori - Rec Jul 1, 1976; Not broadcast
Conference coordinator Steve Sumida introduces three short lectures:
Frank Chin, writer, playwright and critic, speaking on the "Yellow Critics of Yellow Writers"; Poet Lawson Inada with an appreciation of Toshio Mori; and Toshio Mori speaking about "what to write beginning with creative journals and diary".
Listen now - Panel discussion featuring Frank Chin, Lawson Inada, and Toshio Mori - Rec Jul 1, 1976 (44:21)
Collection Inv KB0020
Nisei Bar and Grill, by Garrett Kaoru Hongo. Performed at Ethnic Cultural Center - Rec Jun 2, 1976; Not broadcast
Hongo's two-act play, "Nisei Bar & Grill ," will premiere July 2, 8 p.m., at the UW Ethnic Cultural Theater, to cap off the Conference. The drama is set in a Chicago bar run and frequented by Nisei from Hawaii. The building housing the bar and barflies is about to be demolished to make way for an auto
showroom. The drama centers on the tensions triggered by the pending eviction from the building. Frank Chin is directing the play, which will be performed free and open to the public.
Collection Inv KB0017, KB0018, KB0019
Alan Chong Lau and Lawson Inada
This is the original recording of KB0002, above, on a 5" reel.
Collection Inv KB0021
Jessica Hagedorn interview?
Collection Inv KB0022
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