Get Your Asian American Writer's Workshop On: Luis Francia And Filipino Style

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Got sent word about what sounds like a pretty cool event down at the Asian American Writer's Workshop focusing on two Philippine literary icons José Rizal and José Garcia Villa where Luis Francia will be reading some of Villa's work:

The Asian American Writers' Workshop presents
From José Rizal to José Garcia Villa:
An Introduction to Philippine Literary Greats

Celebrate two heroes of Philippine literature andthe Philippine-American heritage and experience JOSÉ RIZAL and JOSÉ GARCIA VILLA with special guests HAROLD AUGENBRAUM and LUIS H. FRANCIA

Readings & Discussion
Light Reception

Monday, April 27 @ 7pmThe Workshop
16 W. 32nd Street, 10th Floor(between Broadway & Fifth Ave)


General Admission: $25AAWW and AAJA Members: $20
Students: $15
VIP Package: $50 (includes books and AAWW membership)

José Rizal (1861-1896) penned the great Philippine novel, Noli Me Tangere. Set during the Spanish occupation, Noli is a love story of a young gentleman who returns to the Philippines from Europe after his father's death. This powerful, moving novel and its sequel, El Filibusterismo, were banned by Spanish authorities. Rizal was later executed for sedition, rebellion, and conspiracy. Now considered a Philippine national hero, his work helped spark revolutionary movements.

Well-known translator and critic Harold Augenbraum discusses Rizal's life and reads from his translation of Noli Me Tangere, published by Penguin Classics, and from his translation-in-progress of El Filibusterismo. Augenbraum currently serves as Executive Director of the National Book Foundation.


Known as the "Pope of Greenwich Village," José Garcia Villa (1908-1997) was arguably the most important Asian American writer of the mid-twentieth century, as well as a colleague of modern literary giants such as W.H. Auden and Tennessee Williams. Edith Sitwell called him "a poet with a great, even an astounding, and perfectly original gift... The best of his poems are among the most beautifully written in our time." Penguin Classics recently reissued Doveglion: Collected Poems, a compilation of Villa's work, including rare and previously unpublished material.

Luis H. Francia, reknowned writer and poet, discusses Villa and reads from Doveglion, and will also read from his own Eye of the Fish: A Personal Archipelago. Francia's semi-autobiographical account of life straddling American and Philippine culture won the Pen Center Beyond the Margin Award and The Asian American Writers' Workshop Literary Award in 2002.

An informal discussion will be encouraged after the presentations. Wine and meryenda hors d'oeuvres will be served.

Please visit the event page or call 212/494-0061
Now you'll never have a reason to not know who José Garcia Villa is.