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May 16 @ 3:00 pm EDT - 6:00 pm EDT

Meeting Location:
  • Online
Virtual Event

Stories We Bear: A Multigenre AAPI Author Panel & Reading

In honor of May 2021 Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, The Muse Writers Center is proud to present:

Stories We Bear: What We Endure(d), How we Transform, How We Carry Forward

Two Linked Multi-Genre Events
Panel (3:00-4:00 PM) and
Reading (5:00-6:00 PM)
This free event will be held live over Zoom and available to watch on the Muse Facebook page. Register to attend the Zoom webinar live here. (The link is the same for both the panel and the reading, though you may choose to attend only one or the other; if you plan to attend both events, you only need to register once.)

Featuring 4 AAPI Writers:

Trinidad Escobar
Preslaysa Williams
Ira Sukrungruang
Leslieann Hobayan

in conversation with Luisa A. Igloria, Poet Laureate of Virginia, and Michael Khandelwal, Executive Director of The Muse.

Join us to listen to 4 AAPI writers share their latest work, talk about their creative process, as well as explore some of the most pressing questions on the minds of AAPI creatives, especially in today’s climate of heightened violence toward AAPI communities and communities of color in general. The panel will be followed by a reading later the same evening.

Author Bios:
Trinidad Escobar is a poet, comic book creator, and musician. Her comics have been featured in NPR, The New Yorker, Abrams, various literary journals, and exhibitions such as Women In Comics at The Society of Illustrators in NYC and ARF! in Rome, Italy. Her graphic novels are forthcoming from Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, Black Josei Press, and Gantala Press. Learn more at

Preslaysa Williams is an award-winning author who writes heartwarming romance and women’s fiction with an Afro-Filipina twist. Proud of her heritage, she loves sharing her culture with her readers. A graduate of Columbia University, Preslaysa is a professional actress, a planner nerd, an avid bookworm, and a homeschool mom who wears mismatched socks. Learn more at

Ira Sukrungruang is the author of four nonfiction books: Buddha’s Dog & Other Meditations, Southside Buddhist, Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy, and the forthcoming memoir, This Jade World; the short story collection The Melting Season; and the poetry collection In Thailand It Is Night. He is the recipient of the 2015 American Book Award, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature, an Arts and Letters Fellowship, and the Anita Claire Scharf Award in Poetry. His work has appeared in many literary journals, including The Rumpus, American Poetry Review, The Sun, and Creative Nonfiction. He is one of the founding editors of Sweet: A Literary Confection (, and is the Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing at Kenyon College. For more information about him, please visit:

Leslieann Hobayan is a poet, essayist, badass mama, healer, and host of the podcast, Vinyasa In Verse, a show about poetry and spiritual practices. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a 2018 Best of the Net, her work has appeared in The Rumpus, Aster(ix) Journal, The Grief Diaries, The Lantern Review, The Mom Egg Review, The World I Leave You: Asian American Poets on Faith and Spirit, and elsewhere. She has been awarded the James Merrill Fellowship for Poetry at the Vermont Studio Center, a Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation writing fellowship for a residency at Millay Colony for the Arts, and artist grants for the Bread Loaf Orion Environmental Writers Conference. Currently teaching at Rutgers University, she’s also the founder of Heal to Power, a program that helps women of color heal from racial trauma. A VONA alum, she also teaches yoga & meditation and facilitates sacred healing circles for BIPOCs. Learn more at

Resources for AAPI Heritage Month and Beyond:
Asian American and Pacific Islander Month:

Library of Virginia Digital Collections: APIDA Resources:

Asian American Writers Workshop:

Virginia Asian Advisory Board:

Shawn Soares
Special Assistant for Board Appointments & Director of Asian American & Pacific Islander American Outreach, VA

NAPAWF (National Asian & Pacific American Women’s Forum):


Please note: This class or event will be held online (using Zoom or a similar live platform). To participate, students or attendees should have a stable internet connection. Class participants: you should have a computer or device with a webcam and microphone; and your Zoom link will be automatically sent to you after you register.