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Smithsonian to host Asian American Literature Festival in Washington DC

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The festival is expected to be a melting pot of culture and literature

Smithsonian Asia Pacific American Center has announced that it will host Smithsonian Asian American Literature Festival in Washington, DC, later this month to celebrate the literary legacy of Asian American writers.

The festival, which was first hosted in 2004, is expected to be a melting pot of culture and literature where Asian origin writers will celebrate their creation under one roof.

The 2004 event saw Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History inviting a wide range of Asian-American writers, who attended the South Asian Literary and Theatre Arts Festival, a two-day event.

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This time Smithsonian Asia Pacific American Center has invited over 70-80 Asian American writers to the three-day event that has been scheduled for July 27 till July 29. One of the key highlights of this year’s festival is the celebration of the release of an all Asian American issue of Poetry Magazine.

Another attraction of the Asian American Literature Festival will be the premier of an animated short film by Matt Huynh, which is an adaptation of Pulitzer-prize winning novelist Viet Nguyen.

The festival’s curator Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis, who is also the curator of Asian Pacific American Studies at the Smithsonian Asia Pacific American Center, said that “the festival will bring literature to life, as not so much a solitary activity but a communal activity.”, dcist.com reported.

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According to him, the festival will offer booths to participants and can make their own books, invent literary memes, and perform “literary karaoke.”

The festival also poses as a great networking opportunity for writers and scholars of the Asian American diaspora whose numbers are sprawling these days.

Davis, who teaches Asian American studies at the University of Maryland, said, “A lot of people teaching Asian-American literature today tend to be most familiar with work published 10 or 15 years ago, and older, and not with people writing right now.”

The Asian-American Literature Festival will commence from July 27 till July 29 at three venues – Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Phillips Collection, Dupont Underground, and The Library of Congress.

See the complete schedule of the festival here.