Shortlisted for the Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice * shortlisted for the Reading Women Award for nonfiction * "10 Titles to Pick Up Now," O Magazine * Goodreaders' Favorite Under the Radar Books * Top 10 Summer Reads, Saturday Evening Post * Best of July, Goodreads * Best Memoirs and Biographies of the month, Amazon * Best Books of July, Signature Reads * Best Books of the Month, O Magazine * New and Noteworthy, Poets & Writers, Page One * Best Books of the Year, Christian Science Monitor 

Upcoming Public Events: 

May 25, 2018 - Truman Scholarship, Liberty, Missouri

May 30, 2018 - Collected Works, Santa Fe, 6:30 PM

June 5, 2018 - BookWorks, Albuquerque, 6 PM

June 8, 2018 - Maplewood-South Orange Literary Festival, New Jersey, in conversation with Dale Russakoff, author of THE PRIZE, on education, inequality, and race, Words Bookstore, 11 AM  

June 11, 2018 - Magers and Quinn Booksellers, Minneapolis, 7 PM

June 19, 2018 - Tattered Cover, Denver (Colfax Ave. location), 7 PM  

June 28, 2018 - Brooklyn Historical Society, 6:30 PM (get tickets here

Sept 11, 2018 - Oregon State University, University Day keynote

Sept 29 - 30, 2018 - Taipei, TEDxTaipei 

Oct 22, 2018 - Yale Law School

Oct 23, 2018 - Cambridge Public Library, Dream Big speaker series, in conversation with the Honorable Leslie E. Harris and historian Elizabeth Hinton, author of FROM THE WAR ON POVERTY TO THE WAR ON CRIME, at 7 PM 

Oct 24, 2018 - Yale Prison Education Initiative

Oct 29, 2018 - St. Mary's College, in conjunction with its Justice Studies program

November 4, 2018 - One Community, One Book selection, University of Iowa, lecture

March 29, 2019 - National Undergraduate Literature Conference, Weber State, Utah

May 17, 2019 - Arkansas Literary Councils, keynote

Some media & interviews:

In The Guardian, Claire Messud writes that RWP is the book she gifts. "Never sentimental, profoundly self-aware, inspiring and tragic in equal measure, this book should be required reading for us all." (And I agree that Anna Karenina is the best comfort read, and more people should read Willa Cather.) 

RWP was chosen as the One Community, One Book at the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights. This coming fall, college students at the University of Iowa will go into prison to take a seven-week course, learning alongside inmates. I'll get to see firsthand the work of University of Iowa Liberal Arts Beyond Bars, directed by Kathrina Litchfield, in expanding prisoner education. In Litchfield's words: “[I]f we can make our program sustainable, we will be the largest public Research 1 flagship university in the country to have a college-in-prison program. We really have an opportunity to make an impact nationally, because the model that we create is something that every public university could adopt if we do it right.”

"How to Disobey Your Tiger Parents, in 14 Easy Steps" in the Sunday Review at the New York Times. 

Loved talking to Chinese American Family, which brings diverse aspects of Chinese culture into daily lives. 

The brilliant Emily Bazelon gives a shout-out to READING WITH PATRICK on Slate's Political Gabfest. She talks about how relationships across class and race change our worldview. It's 48 minutes in. 

NPR's Arts & Letters Radio features RWP and lovingly conveys the beauty, history, and humanity of the Delta. 

The New York Times Books recommends RWP in one of my favorite columns, "Dear Match Book." So thrilling to see my book mentioned alongside writers who have inspired me over the years! 

Delighted to be on 2017 Reading Women Award Nonfiction Shortlist! Here's the episode about it. (5:40 in!). And here's our Q & A, where I tackled wonderfully difficult questions, including the realistic expectations that we should have about reading and how the lack of stories of Asian Americans shaped my choices. 

Very cool to be on Goodreaders' Favorite 2017 Under-the-Radar Books, and recommended by a number of staffers & booklovers.  

Interview on New Book Network with African American Studies with Angela Hooks.  

Interview on Memphis Public Library Book Talk with Stephen Usury.  

Interview on Arkansas Public Media with Renea Goddard.  

Interview on Clinton School Podcasts with Nikolai DiPippa, Clinton School Director of Public Programs.

Loved every minute of being in Oxford, Mississippi and speaking at Thacker Mountain Radio, a soul-filling evening with music and stories. I spoke about the transformation that literacy can bring to a human life, especially in a rural county jail. And I talked about leaving behind a place where too many people leave.

Interview in Peacock Plume with Sara Moskowitz. 

Mississippi Public Broadcasting interview here or at Thacker Mountain. With love to Teach For America - Mississippi and Teach For America Arkansas for the work they do to fill huge teacher shortages in the Delta and create permanent Mississippians and Arkansans out of its corps

The Daily Mississippian on RWP. 

Excerpt in The American Scholar.

Excerpt in Arkansas Life

Briefly Noted, New Yorker. 

Celebrated librarian and writer Nancy Pearl recommends Reading With Patrick! 17 minutes in. 

"Tell Us Five Things About Your Book," with John Williams at the New York Times. On contrition as a source of writing, how quickly literacy skills can grow, and how Jeremy Lin gave Asian Americans permission to be visible. 

Interview with One Day Magazine at Teach for America. I was moved by my conversation with Arkansas native Eric Dailey, teacher and former principal. We talked about being teachers of color, the challenges facing the Delta, and the errors we make in the classroom when we don't engage in self-interrogation. 

"Between the Lines: Reading with Patrick," interview with WMUK 102.1, NPR. On making connections in the classroom and outside. 

Interview with The Editorial (audio and print). On the mystical aspect of poetry, the "violent offender" as comprising 50 percent of our state prison population, and why the book isn't a savior narrative.

Interview with NPR in Michigan, Stateside. On language as a source of meditation, the criminal justice system, and the brain drain in rural areas. 

"A Canon of Our Own," an interview at On growing up without much Asian American literature, and the difficulty of trying to find a place in the black-white dichotomy. 

Interview with BookPage, cover story. On when we feel most loved, teaching in Arkansas, and how the experiences described in Reading with Patrick continue to resonate. 

Interview with the Harvard Advocate. On writing, choosing not to write, and the absence of critiques of Teach for America that are grounded in knowledge of rural areas. 

Some questions with Shelf Awareness, including the five books I'd take with me to a desert island. 

Loved talking to Huffington Post's podcast So That Happened. Some topics: rural county jails, the danger of assuming that "rural" means "white," and reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in jail. (Interview starts at 18 minutes.)

Books Riot's All the Books podcast, on READING WITH PATRICK: "Books are political, reading has always been political ... This is an inspiring, important, timely book not just about the relationship between one teacher and one student, but about education, race, justice in the rural South. [It's] about the politicizing role of books and literature, the ways that books wake us up in the world." (Catch the discussion at 27:10.) 

Interview with Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships. On reading Frederick Douglass in jail, negotiating with immigrant parents, and the difficulty of forging a truly equal relationship in an unequal society. 

Past Events, select list

July 20, 2017 - Cambridge Public Library, Cambridge, Massachusetts at 6:30 PM 

Aug 1, 2017 - Bookbug, Kalamazoo, Michigan (my hometown!), at 6 PM 

Aug 3, 2017 - Literati, Ann Arbor, Michigan at 7 PM

Aug 7, 2017 - University Press Books, Berkeley, at 12:30 PM

Aug 14, 2017 - Vroman's, Pasadena, California, at 7 PM

Sept 25, 2017 - University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Multicultural Center, Arkansas Union, Room 503, at 12:30 PM 

Sept 26, 2017 - Little Rock, Arkansas, Clinton School of Public Service, 1200 Sturgis Hall, noon (red-brick Clinton School building by Heifer International and the Clinton Library). 

Sept 27, 2017 - Turnrow Books, Greenwood, Mississippi, at 5:30 PM

Sept 28, 2017 - Off Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi, at 6 PM (this will be recorded on Thacker Mountain Radio Hour!)

October 24, 2017 - Harvard School of Education, at noon 

October 25, 2017 - Harvard Law School, Criminal Justice Policy Program, Pound Hall 101, at noon

October 26, 2017 - "The Words to Say it: Teaching, Writing, and Incarceration," panel at Mahindra Humanities Center with novelist and screenwriter Richard Price, author of CLOCKERS, and prison reform educator Edyson Julio, moderated by Claire Messud, at 6 PM 

October 27, 2017 - Conversation with Asian American Pacific American law students, Harvard Law 

NOTE: the Powells event, originally scheduled on Nov 1, is being rescheduled for a different time. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Oct 30, 2017 - Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Nov 2, 2017 - The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, at 7 PM 

Nov 7, 2017 - American University of Paris, joint book celebration with Albert Wu, at 6:30 PM

Dec 13, 2017 - Cheng-jheng High School and National Experimental High School, Hsinchu

Dec 16, 2017 - Taipei, Taiwan, at 3 PM, Eslite Bookstore, in conversation with Anting Liu, director of Teach for Taiwan, celebrating the translation and release in Taiwan

Dec 17, 2017 - Tainan, Taiwan, at 4:30 PM, details here

Jan 13, 2018 - Taiwanese American Professionals, keynote

Feb 2, 2018 - Phillips Exeter Academy, guest speaker

March 22, 2018 - Social Studies Program, Harvard University

April 25, 2018 - Queens County Women's Bar Association, Queens

April 28, 2018 (Saturday) - Arkansas Literary Festival, Little Rock, 10 AM, in conversation with Kory Stamper, author of WORD BY WORD, moderated by Sara Drew, director of Literacy Action of Central Arkansas, at the Ron Robinson Theater