Exiled Voices: City of Asylum Resident Writer ReunionTuesday, March 16, 2021 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Streamed on City of Asylum’s Virtual Channel. (run-time 60 minutes)
In October of our ‘19-’20 anniversary season, we celebrated 15 years of sanctuary with a one-night-only, sold out event showcasing the work of City of Asylum’s former Writers-in-Residence: Huang Xiang (China), Horacio Castellanos Moya (El Salvador), Khet Mar (Burma), Israel Centeno (Venezuela), and Yaghoub Yadali (Iran). Tonight’s rebroadcast features highlights from their special 2019 reunion at Alphabet City, and invites you to once again reflect on City of Asylum’s role as a bastion of creative free expression and cross-cultural exchange. Tune in to rediscover and reflect on what we have accomplished together, as we continue to push our mission forward with our new cohort of Writers-in-Residence.
Huang Xiang (China) is considered the pre-eminent post-cultural revolution poet of China. After numerous imprisonments and torture, he left his homeland in the face of unrelenting persecution. Mr. Huang was the first writer to be provided sanctuary at City of Asylum (2004-06), during which time he created “House Poem” on the façade of 408 Sampsonia Way and published Pittsburgh Dream Nest Jotting, a book of Chinese-language essays on his experiences in Pittsburgh.
Horacio Castellanos Moya (El Salvador) is the author of ten novels, five short story collections, and a book of essays. For two decades, he worked as a journalist in Mexico, Guatemala and Venezuela. He was a writer-in-residence at Frankfurt International Book Fair (2004-2006) and at City of Asylum (2006-2011). His novels have been translated into French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Swedish, and English.
Khet Mar (Burma) is a journalist, novelist, fiction writer and essayist. Author of one novel, Wild Snowy Night, as well as several collections of short stories, essays and poems, her work has been translated into English and Japanese, broadcast on radio and made into a film. Currently a broadcast journalist with Radio Free Asia, Khet Mar was an exiled writer-in-residence in City of Asylum from 2009-2012; she wrote the text and her husband, visual artist Than Htay, created the artwork on the façade of “Pittsburgh-Burma House” (324 Sampsonia Way).
Israel Centeno (Venezuela) arrived as a writer-in-residence at City of Asylum in 2011. He is the author of poetry, short stories, and ten novels and is regarded as one of the most important Venezuelan literary figures of the past fifty years. He has won numerous awards, including the Federico Garcia Lorca Award in Spain and the National Council of Culture Award in Venezuela in 1991. Known as a literary innovator, his work deals with urban dystopias and controversial themes.
a fiction writer from Iran, was a City of Asylum Writer-in-residence from 2013-2015. He is the author of the short story collection, Sketches in the Garden (1997) and the novels Adaab-e Bi-Gharari (The Rituals of Restlessness). His short stories, articles, essays, and translations are widely published in Iran, and in Turkey.
“We had no idea that a program providing sanctuary to endangered, exiled writers would resonate so deeply in the community. We only thought about the writers and making a new home for them, and then we discovered that our own neighborhood was being transformed in the process. Looking forward we hope our neighborhood will be an inspiring community to live in, where art and the imagination are central.” – Henry Reese, City of Asylum co-founder
Read more about our Exiled Writer-in-Residence program here.