Exiled Voices: City of Asylum Resident Writer ReunionSaturday, October 19, 2019 @ 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Celebrate 15 years of sanctuary with a reading from City of Asylum’s former Writers-in-Residence!
Our 15th anniversary celebration begins with a special reunion reading by five former City of Asylum Exiled Writers-in-Residence: Huang Xiang (China), Horacio Castellanos Moya (El Salvador), Khet Mar (Burma), Israel Centeno (Venezuela), and Yaghoub Yadali (Iran). This one-night-only event is an opportunity for to discover or reconnect with the writers and reflect on what we have accomplished together. All are welcome. We hope to see you there.
“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.
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, in addition to writing poetry and collaborating with American painter William Rock on their “Century Mountain Project.” City of Asylum also commissioned a translation of Mr. Huang’s poetry by Michelle Yeh. Titled A Lifetime is a Promise to Keep: Poems of Huang Xiang, it was published by the University of California Press in 2008.
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). Currently on the faculty at the University of Iowa, he also taught in the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2009, he was guest researcher at the University of Tokyo with a fellowship granted by the Japan Foundation. His novels have been translated into French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Swedish, and English. Four novels are now available in English: Senselessness, She-Devil in the Mirror, Dance with Snakes, Tyrant Memory, and The Dream of My Return.
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.
Yaghoub Yadali, a fiction writer from Iran, was a City of Asylum Writer-in-residence from 2013-2015. He has directed for television and was an editor of Roshd magazine. 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), which won the 2004 Golshiri Foundation Award, and Probability of Merriment and Mooning (2001). His short stories, articles, essays, and translations are widely published in Iran, and in Turkey.
City of Asylum is celebrating fifteen years of creating a thriving community for writers, readers, and neighbors. This year’s programming will feature several unique experiences that invite the public to reflect on the organization’s role as a bastion of creative free expression and cross-cultural exchange.