LIC: Queens Poets & Parents
Join us at Book Culture LIC on Sunday, September 22nd at 6:30pm for a special reading and conversation showcasing the wonderful, diverse voices of poet-parents in Queens. Pichchenda Bao, Malcolm Chang, Adam DeGraff, Jared Harél, Sokunthary Svay, and KC Trommer will be sharing their work and discussing the ways that parenthood influences their creative pursuits.
This event is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Pichchenda Bao is an emerging writer and poet. Born at the end of the Khmer Rouge regime in
Cambodia, she was an infant when her mother carried her across the border. She and
her parentsarrived in the United States as refugees. Now she lives, writes, and raises her two
young children in Long Island City. She is an intersectional feminist, a stay-at-home mom, an
uneasy skeptic, a seeker of trail blazes, a survivor of many failures, and a witness to the ebb and
flow of hope and despair. Her work has been published by Newtown Literary and great weather
for MEDIA, and is nominated for a 2019 Pushcart Prize. She is an 2019 Aspen Words emerging
Malcolm Chang is a third generation Chinese South African now living in New York. He is the
President of the Board of Directors of The Newtown Literary Alliance. His writing has appeared
in Gravel and the Newtown Literary Journal. His story,The Cruelty of Children, was nominated
for a Pushcart Prize. He has read at LineBreak, Queens Writers Resist, First Tuesdays, and other
venues in New York. He is currently working on a novel based on the life of the man who
assassinated the South African Prime Minister in 1966. He is also writing a memoir about his
experience growing up Chinese during the Apartheid era in South Africa, with all of the
confusion and conflict that it entailed.
Adam DeGraff’s most recent book is Wherewithal, from Subpress. He hosts the Kith & Kin
reading series in Astoria Queens NY with Tyler Burba, teaches English lit at St. Francis Prep in
Fresh Meadows Queens. and, with Genevieve George, looks after two daughters in
Sunnyside Queens. Adam also makes Suessian floral arrangements out of pipe-cleaners with his
daughters, or at least he did today.
Jared Harél is the author of GO BECAUSE I LOVE YOU (Diode Editions, 2018) and THE BODY
DOUBLE (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2012). He’s been awarded the ‘Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize’
from American Poetry Review, the ‘William Matthews Poetry Prize’ from Asheville Poetry
Review, and two Individual Artist Grants from Queens Council on the Arts.
His poems have also appeared in such journals as 32 Poems, Massachusetts Review, Newtown
Literary, Poetry Daily, The Southern Review, Tin House, Threepenny Review and Verse
Daily. Harél plays drums, teaches writing at Nassau Community College and lives in Rego Park,
Queens, with his wife and two kids. For more info, stop by: jaredharel.com
Sokunthary Svay was born in a refugee camp in Thailand shortly after her parents fled
Cambodia after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime. They were sponsored to come to the
United States and resettled in the Bronx where she grew up. She is currently poetry editor
for Newtown Literary, the only literary journal for the borough of Queens, a founding member
of the Cambodian American Literary Arts Association (CALAA), the recent recipient of the
American Opera Projects & Composer and the Voice Fellowship for 2017-19, and the 2018
Emerging Poets Fellowship at Poets House. Her first collection of poetry, Apsara in New York, is
available from Willow Books. She is currently a doctoral student in English at the The Graduate
KC Trommer is the author of the debut poetry collection We Call Them Beautiful (Diode
Editions, 2019) and the chapbook The Hasp Tongue (dancing girl press, 2014). She is
the founder of the audio project QUEENSBOUND and is the Assistant Director of
Communications at NYU Gallatin. She lives in Jackson Heights, Queens, with her son.