(Sorry that my website is so ugly! At this point I'm going for industrial chic.)
Upcoming Public Events
British Council Paris, December 2019 (details TBA)
St. Lawrence College Writers’ Series, March 2020 (details TBA)
Calvin College, Calvin Festival of Faith and Writing, April 2020 (details TBA)
My TED talk, “The Healing Power of Reading,” is up. Thanks for watching.
Here’s a TV interview with France 24 about RWP.
Floored by the journalist Lisa Ling's shout-out to RWP. She is so courageous and inspiring.
Honored to see RWP as the runner-up for nonfiction in the 2018 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, which recognizes "the power of literature to promote peace and reconciliation."
Kind of went nuts when I heard the amazing Alan Yang talk about Reading with Patrick and its discussion of Asian America on Dave Chang's podcast.
Ah, my Michigan pride is bursting: RWP is the winner of the 2019 Washtenaw Reads, a community initiative of the Ann Arbor District Library to promote reading and civic dialogue through a common book.
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.)
Interview with Fernando Flores's podcast, Attorney Heart. Fernando was my wise & fearless mentor back in my days in Oakland. We shared a little office at Centro Legal de la Raza, a scrappy and fierce nonprofit that fought for the rights of undocumented immigrants.
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 teach two sessions as part of the University of Iowa Liberal Arts Beyond Bars, directed by Kathrina Litchfield. In Litchfield's words: “If 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 RWP on Slate's Political Gabfest. She talks about how relationships across class and race change our worldview. It's 46 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, Nicole Lamy's "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.
Interview with E.B. Bartels at Fiction Advocate. We talk about the ethical discomfort of writing about others, and the difficulty of truly justifying it. I explore why I resisted seeing myself as a writer for so long.
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.
"This Asian American Life." Interview with Evelyn Chien at Hyphen, on Asian American stories.
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 reading poetry in prison, 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 TaiwaneseAmerican.org with Leona Chen. 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. (Middlemarch!)
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
Oct 24, 2017 - Harvard School of Education, at noon
Oct 25, 2017 - Harvard Law School, Criminal Justice Policy Program, Pound Hall 101, at noon
Oct 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
Oct 27, 2017 - Asian American Pacific American law students, Harvard Law
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
Feb 3, 2018 - Asian American Pacific Law Students Conference, Harvard Law School
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
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 30, 2018 - Taiwanese American Next Generation (TANG), keynote speaker
Sept 11, 2018 - Oregon State University, University Day keynote
Sept 29 - 30, 2018 - Taipei, TEDxTaipei
Oct 1, 2018 - "《陪你讀下去》：教育在社會公義之路上的能與不能" (On Reading with Patrick: What Education Can and Cannot Do"), The Center for Teaching and Learning Development, National Taiwan University
Oct 5, 2018 - “Report from the Border: The Crisis that Trump’s Family Separation Order Created,” on volunteering at RAICES, with Albert Wu at the American University of Paris
Oct 22, 2018 - Yale Law School, in conversation with Samuel Moyn, author of NOT ENOUGH: HUMAN RIGHTS IN AN UNEQUAL WORLD
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
Oct 24, 2018 - Yale Prison Education Initiative, in conversation with Pulitzer Prize winner James Forman, Jr., author of LOCKING UP OUR OWN
Oct 26, 2018 - Baker Teacher Leader Center and Building Community Initiative, University of Iowa College of Education
Oct 26, 2018 - Prairie Lights Bookstore
Oct 27, 2018 - Dayton Literary Peace Prize
Oct 29, 2018 - St. Mary's College, in conjunction with its Justice Studies program
Oct 30, 2018 - Coe College
Oct 31, 2018 - University of Iowa Speaker Series at Oakdale Prison, Liberal Arts Beyond Bars
Nov 2, 2018 - Muscatine Community College
Nov 4, 2018 - One Community, One Book, public lecture at University of Iowa
January 16, 2018 - Washtenaw Reads Winner, Ann Arbor District Library
March 29, 2019 - National Undergraduate Literature Conference, Weber State, Utah
April 5, 2019 - Together for Hope, Little Rock, Arkansas
May 28, 2019 - American Library in Paris