Thursday, January 26, 2012

Launch Party at USC

On the evening of Thursday January 19th, students, faculty, and community members from around Los Angeles celebrated the arrival of Kaya Press to USC. While noshing on banh-mi sandwiches and spring rolls, the audience enjoyed readings by Kaya Press authors Sesshu Foster and Nicky Sa-Eun Schildkraut. Since Samantha Chanse could not join us, we screened her short film Asian American Jesus, which the audience seemed to love. We would like to give our heartfelt thanks to everyone who attended and we hope to see you all at our upcoming events.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Students at Parsons the New School for Design were asked to interpret a poem through motion graphics. The poem, entitled "Shilling Love," is part of a book entitled "Migritude" by Shailja Patel, published by Kaya Press.

Vote for your favorite animation of text from Shailja Patel's tour-de-force poem Shilling Love. Which do you think does the best job of pulling you inside the poem? How do you think animation can enhance or contribute to a poem? "Like" your favorite animation on Facebook (the winner gets a $50 gift certificate to Amazon!) and give your thoughts on collaborative interactions between poetry and moving images.

This project was assigned in Fall 2011 for Motion Graphics 2 class, taught by Ken Tanabe.

Shilling Love, Envisioned by Behnaz Babazadeh

Shilling Love, Envisioned by Behnaz Babazadeh from Kaya Press on Vimeo.

Shilling Love, Envisioned by Jae Won Lee

Shilling Love, Envisioned by Jae Won Lee from Kaya Press on Vimeo.

Shilling Love, Envisioned by Katherine Maguire

Shilling Love, Envisioned by Katherine Maguire from Kaya Press on Vimeo.

Shilling Love, Envisioned by Haley Shibble

Shilling Love, Envisioned by Haley Shibble from Kaya Press on Vimeo.

Shilling Love, Envisioned by Charrel Montalbo

Shilling Love, Envisioned by Charrel Montalbo from Kaya Press on Vimeo.

Entire text of Shilling Love Part I from Migritude

They never said / they loved us
Those words were not / in any language / spoken by my parents
I love you honey / was the dribbled caramel / of Hollywood movies / Dallas / Dynasty / where electricity surged through skyscrapers / twenty-four hours a day / hot water gushed / at the touch of gleaming taps / banquets obscene as the Pentagon / were mere backdrops / to emotions without consequences / words that / cost nothing / meant nothing / would never have to be redeemed
My parents / didn’t speak / that language
mother speaks battle / storms the bastions of Nairobi’s / most exclusive prep schools / hurls / our cowering, six-year-old bodies / like cannonballs / into all-white classrooms / scales the ramparts / of class distinction around Loreto Convent / where the president / sends his daughter / where foreign diplomats / send their daughters / because / my mother’s daughters / will / have / world-class educations
she falls / re-groups / falls and re-groups / in endless assaults on visa officials / who sneer behind bullet-proof windows / at British and US consulates
1977 / twenty Kenyan shillings to the British pound / my father speaks stoic endurance / he began at sixteen / the brutal apprenticeship / of a man who takes care of his own / dreams / of pilot / rally driver / relinquished / to the daily crucifixion / of wringing profits / from beneath cars / my father / the foot soldier / bound to an honour / deeper than any currency
you must / finish what you start you must / march until you drop you must / give your life for those / you bring into the world
I try to explain love / in shillings / to those who’ve / never gauged who gets to leave / who has to stay / who breaks free / and what they pay / those who’ve never counted love / in every rung of the ladder / from survival / to choice / a force as grim and determined / as a boot up
the backside / a spur that draws blood / a mountaineer’s rope / that yanks / relentlessly / up
My parents never say / they love us / they save and count / count and save
The shilling falls against the pound / college fees for overseas students / rise like flood tides / love is a luxury / priced in hard currency / ringed by tariffs / and we on the raft / devour prospectuses of ivied buildings / smooth lawns / vast libraries / gleaming science labs / the way Jehovah’s Witnesses / gobble visions of paradise / because we know we’ll have to be / twice as good / three times as fast / four times as driven / with angels / powers / and principalities on our side / just / to get / on the plane
Thirty shillings to the pound / forty shillings to the pound / my parents fight over money / late in the night my father / pounds the walls and yells / I can’t / it’s impossible / what do you think I am?
My mother propels us through / tutors, exams, scholarship applications / locks us into rooms to study / keeps an iron grip / on the bank books
1982 / gunshots in the streets of Nairobi / military coup leaders / thunder over the radio / Asian businesses wrecked and looted / Asian women / raped / after the government / regains control / we whisper what the coup leaders / had planned
Round up all the Asians / at gunpoint / in the national stadium / strip them of what they carry / march them fifty kilometres to the airport / elders in wheelchairs / babies in arms / pack them onto foreign planes / like
battery chickens / tell the pilots down rifle barrels / leave / we don’t care where you take them / leave
I learn / like a stone in my gut / that third-generation Asian Kenyan / will never / be Kenyan enough / that all my patriotic fervour / will not / turn my skin / black
As yet another western country / drops a portcullis of immigration spikes / my mother straps my shoulders back with a belt / to teach me / stand up straight
Fifty shillings to the pound / we cry over meltdown pressure / of exam after exam / where second place is never good enough
Seventy shillings to the pound / they hug us at airports / tearless / stoic / as we board planes for icy / alien England / cram instructions into our pockets like talismans
eat proper meals / so you don’t get sick / cover your ears / against the cold / stay away from the muffathias / the ones without purpose or values / learn and study / succeed / learn and study / succeed / remember remember remember / the cost of your life
they never say / they love us

Friday, June 12, 2009

Yay! We've done it!

Above is Kaya Press' very first book trailer, created by the very talented Sam Arbizo.

We know that there's no evidence in favor or against the effectiveness of book trailers. We also know they're very trendy. But we saw here an opportunity to ... uh ... further the art form ;) ... and also just to have a little fun with some footage Sam shot during Brian Castro's US author tour in May.

This is by way of an experiment, and we'd love to get your feedback on it. We happen to think it's pretty cool, of course, but we could be biased.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Is Courtney Love A Secret Brian Castro Fan?

Why yes, that is Courtney Love leaving Book Soup in Los Angeles ... last Monday ...

It seems that Courtney was getting her book on. Lots of books, in fact. So many, that she managed to crash Brian Castro's Book Soup reading, distracting Brian and the audience by carrying armfuls (or armsful?) of books past Brian's lectern, repeatedly. Brian himself, not a grunge fan, only saw "a blonde in a prom dress."


Thursday, April 30, 2009

New LA Tour Date for Brian Castro!

Angelenos: we're very excited to add one more tour date for Brian Castro! (And I really think this will be it, because we don't have any more free dates!)

Brian will be appearing with Colin Dickey at Betalevel in Los Angeles Chinatown (how appropriate!) on May 6.

Once again:
WHERE: Betalevel, 963 N. Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA
WHEN: Weds, May 6; 8 PM
WHAT: Reading with Brian Castro, Colin Dickey, and TBA

And New Yorkers shouldn't forget that Brian's appearing at AAWW tonight!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Kaya's Events This Week!

Hey boys and girls! This week kicks off Kaya's long-anticipated (by us, anyway) US author tours for both Brian Castro and Kazuo Hara. (See the links for complete tour dates and information.)

We can't believe it, but Brian is already here (in NY) and Hara will be here (in Berkeley) this weekend! So here's a quick 'n' dirty run-down of the events you can see on both coasts this week:


BRIAN CASTRO in New York at New York University's A/P/A Institute
This will be Brian's first ever appearance on American soil! He'll be appearing solo and giving a slideshow presentation about his book, SHANGHAI DANCING. His other appearance in the Tri-State area will be shared with other authors, so this is your chance to really delve into his work and find out what one of Australia's premier authors is about.


BRIAN CASTRO in New York at the Asian American Writers Workshop
This is going to be entirely awesome. The event is about welcoming Brian into the family of Kaya authors, in the context of AAWW's Asian American literary scene. The party features wine, chocolate, candlelight, and readings by Thad Rutkowski, Eric Gamalinda, and Ishle Yi Park (who is hosting.) And, of course, Brian Castro.


BRIAN CASTRO in San Francisco at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
This will be another wonderful event, in the YBCA museum in the afternoon. Brian will be appearing with Kaya author Sesshu Foster, who is promoting his latest book from City Lights, WORLD BALL NOTEBOOK. They'll be doing a reading and then will have a moderated discussion with each other, followed by audience Q & A. You can also take in the wonderful exhibitions while you're there, and talk to the authors at an early dinner/reception at 5 in the Yerba Buena Gardens. RSVP for the dinner at kayapress at the domain of yahoo.

KAZUO HARA in Berkeley at Pacific Film Archive
This is going to be a fantastic, two-day event in Berkeley sponsored by the Center for Japanese Studies. The first day, Saturday, will see a screening of two of Hara's films, appearances by Kazuo Hara and his producer Sachiko Kobayashi, and a booksigning of CAMERA OBTRUSA. The following day will bring a mini-conference on the topic of Hara's films (but I'll detail that more next week!)
If you can't make any of these, don't despair: there's more coming next week! Including some Southern California appearances for both. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

SHANGHAI DANCING Release Around the Corner!

Hi everyone!

We're working very hard to make the SHANGHAI DANCING and CAMERA OBTRUSA author tours a beautiful thing. We can't believe Brian Castro will be here within the week, and Kazuo Hara next week!

Anyway, the lovely news today is that SHANGHAI DANCING just shipped to us today! We can't wait to have the actual book in our hands, and we hope and expect you will love it, too!

New Yorkers: Brian Castro's first event in NY will be on April 29 at NYU.
Yay Areans: Brian will first appear in SF on May 2 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
Angelenos: Brian will appear in LA first on May 4 at Book Soup.

Please check out Brian's tour dates for a complete listing of events!