My VONA and Mixed Remixed Festival pal Mat Johnson, whose latest novel is out next week, has an essay in The New York Times Magazine, “Proving My Blackness,” on testing his racial DNA.
I was recently asked to blurb The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays, a new anthology that’s already racking up awards and sales records. One of my previous VONA students is in it, and the Introduction is by VONA faculty member David Mura. A great teaching tool!
The launch party is this Friday (May 4) in San Francisco at Books Inc. in Opera Plaza, 601 Van Ness Avenue, at 7 PM. The book’s release arrives just in time for the annual World Day for Cultural Diversity Dialogue and Development on May 21st, as proclaimed by the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Editor Tara L. Masih will open the program, and authors will sign books after the reading. Refreshments will be served.
The Chalk Circle has already garnered several accolades:
- Featured title, NewPages’ “New & Noteworthy Books” list
- Winner, 2012 Skipping Stones Honor Award in the Multicultural/International category
- Featured title, Amazon’s “Hot New Releases” list
Tara L. Masih has assembled a stunning collection. Disregard the textbook-sounding title and gaze upon the mosaic-like cover. The range of cultural diversity and personal complexity packed into this slim, beautiful volume is staggering and far outstrips any other collection out there. These now-American writers and travelers experience the intercultural encounter at home, overseas, within their own communities, families, and selves. The voices range from adult journalists and Peace Corps volunteers to the children of Nazis and refugees. For some, like Third Culture Kids and the children of survivors, their histories and true identities are hidden, and it is through engaging with food and spirituality, photographs and music, family stories and private letters, global and personal history, that they are able to recover and share the nuances of life on our globalizing planet. Each story is a polished, multi-faceted gem of unprecedented color and clarity, which together form a glittering necklace that redefines what it is to be intercultural—that is, human—in the world today. This is a book I will be teaching and recommending to friends and strangers again and again.
–Faith Adiele, Coming of Age Around the World: A Multicultural Anthology; Meeting Faith: The Thai Forest Journals of a Black Buddhist Nun
The editors of the groundbreaking anthology on people of color and nature, The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World (Milkweed Editions, 2011), are looking for contributions for a higher education online teaching guide with lesson ideas, questions, prompts, and resources that teachers of literature, environmental studies, multicultural studies, American Studies, geography, and other pertinent fields would find valuable for teaching the book.
The provocative writings in The Colors of Nature exist at the intersection of cultural identity and ecological awareness, featuring work from more than 30 contributors of widely diverse backgrounds—including Jamaica Kincaid, Joseph Bruchac, Yusef Komunyakaa, Kimiko Hahn, Nikky Finney, bell hooks, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Francisco X. Alarcón and me, Faith. This anthology explores the relationships between culture, place, “race,” and identity, which historically have been overlooked in traditional environmental writing.
Timetable and Submission Guidelines: Please let them know of your interest as soon as possible. The deadline has been extended for receipt of lessons or class ideas, plus resources, to May 30, 2012. Read the call for more detail CallSubmissionsOneSheet