Every two years, a national gathering of artists and activists come together at the APIA Spoken Word & Poetry Summit. My first summit was in 2005 in Boston. The summit travels to a new host city each time, and this year was Twin Cities, Minnesotaaaa! The summit experience and family has undeniably been a huge part of my growth and inspiration as an artist. It’s four days of workshops, performance showcases, dancing, partying, connecting and a shitload of eating. On top of it all, it’s become a time to reunite with so many of the homies all across the country. I feel blessed to be part of such a beautiful, inspiring and powerful community.
One thing I REALLY appreciated about the summit this year was the fact that they invited 4 first generation Asian American artists to be recognized and honored: David Mura, Joe Kadis, Brenda Wong Aoki and Lawson Inada. These folks are pioneers in the world of Asian American arts, publishing and performance. The idea of honoring our elders and paying tribute to those who came before us is deeply rooted in Asian cultures and values. Especially in a digital age of self-centered YouTubing, DIY notoriety and self-proclaimed fame, honoring our creative elders was refreshing and humbling. The whole experience reminded me to live for something larger than myself.
Summit was intense in the best and challenging ways, and I’m overwhelmed with so many emotions. My head feels like a fucking thunderstorm, so I need some time to decompress and process it all. I’ll try to share more thoughts and reflections from my trip in short posts to follow. In the mean time, here are some photos:
This restaurant peeled the skin off the shrimp before grilling. I was so thankful.
For more photos and recap, check out the APIA Spoken Word & Poetry Summit PageTweet