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Periodically Speaking: Immigrant Voices

Join CLMP at the New York Public Library on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at 6 PM to hear four outstanding writers, editors, and teachers in conversation about literature, immigration, and the literary life. The world is changing for immigrants in the arts in 2017. How are stories of immigration impacting literature? Who is telling these stories and where can they be read? What does it mean to be an immigrant writer in America today?

Event is free! Click here to reserve your seat today.

Featured Panelists:


(L to R: Esther Lin, Nicole Dennis-Benn, Jyothi Natarajan, Porochista Khakpour)

Nicole Dennis-Benn is the author of the highly acclaimed debut novel, Here Comes the Sun (Norton/Liveright, July 2016), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Dennis-Benn has an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College where she now teaches as a Visiting Faculty in the MFA Fiction program. She was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica and lives with her wife in Brooklyn, New York.

Porochista Khakpour was born in Tehran in 1978 and raised in the Greater Los Angeles area. Her debut novel Sons and Other Flammable Objects (Grove/Atlantic, 2007) was a New York Times “Editor’s Choice.” Her second novel, The Last Illusion(Bloomsbury, 2014) was a Kirkus Best Book of 2014. Khakpour was also the guest-editor and curator of Guernica‘s first Iranian-American issue, which came out in November 2011.

Esther Lin was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and lived in the United States as an undocumented immigrant for 21 years. She is a 2017-19 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, and recipient of the inaugural Undocupoets Fellowship. Her poems have appeared in Adroit, Copper Nickel, Cortland Review, Crazyhorse, Drunken Boat, Guernica, Vinyl, and elsewhere.

Jyothi Natarajan is an editor and writer who has worked in publishing and journalism for the past 10 years. She is managing editor at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, where she edits an online arts and ideas magazine, The Margins, and runs a fellowship for emerging writers. She also helps run IndyKids, a social justice-oriented newspaper written by youth ages 9-13.

Doors open at 5:30 PM.

For more information, visit the NYPL Periodically Speaking website.

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