September 22, 2023

Application to Join Fall/Winter Queer Asian Writing Circle


"Poetic Responses to the Archive" at Word Vancouver Festival 2023

UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections, in partnership with Word Vancouver, is proud to facilitate a session with two poets whose work responds to archival materials in our holdings. Rina Garcia Chua will perform three poems from her upcoming poetry chapbook, “A Geography of (Un)Natural Hazards.” 

These pieces are poetic responses to the Jim Wong-Chu fonds and the Chinese Canadian Research Collection at the UBC Vancouver’s Rare Books & Special Collections archives. They are visual and aural poems that embody the counternarratives of migrant labour, migration, and environmental extraction that resist and negate Canadian “multiculturalism.” Rina’s work thinks through where and when these counter-narratives emerge. 

It also shows how these are cathartic effects of her time researching in the archives with materials that force her to confront the reality of being and existing in a nation conceptualized through the symbolic and material violence against racialized and minority communities. Carolyn Nakagawa will share a poem sequence inspired by letters from the Joan Gillis fonds, written by teenage Japanese Canadians to their former classmate Joan after their forced uprooting from the British Columbia coast in 1942. Nakagawa both quotes and paraphrases from the archival letters, separating out unique authors’ voices before weaving them together to listen to both the individual and shared experiences of young people yearning for friendship, normalcy, and home. 

Moderator: Krisztina Laszlo Panelists: Rina Garcia Chua, A Geography of (Un)Natural Hazards · Carolyn Nakagawa

ACWW at 2023 Word Vancouver Festival "Complex Relationships"

From Japanese internment to France in WWI to mythological landscapes of ancient China, these three authors contend with the depiction of difficult circumstances. Join them in a discussion around developing complex characters and relationships through the challenging environments they find themselves in.  Featuring Hiro Kanagawa, Forgiveness (Playwrights Canada Press) | Alice Poon, The Heavenly Sword (Earnshaw Books) | Janie Chang, The Porcelain Moon: A Novel of France, the Great War, and Forbidden Love (HarperCollins).


Todd Wong is a mild-mannered library worker by day, and in his spare time, he becomes a cultural activist and literary event organizer. A 5th Generation Vancouverite, Chinese Head Tax descendant, known as "Toddish McWong" creator of the Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner, he navigates the literary and multicultural landscape as president of Asian Canadian Writers Workshop, and founding board member for Historic Joy Kogawa House Society. A co-creator of the former Vancouver International Taiwanese Dragon Boat Festival, Todd has now retired to Stand-Up Paddle Boards, and plays accordion with Chinese music, and Celtic Ceilidh friends, and looks for literary excuses to drink single malt whisky.


Hiro Kanagawa is a Vancouver-based actor and writer. He is best known for his guest appearances and recurring roles on popular television and streaming series such as Star Trek: Discovery, The Good Doctor, Altered Carbon, The X-Files, iZombie, The Man in the High Castle and many more. Also a sought-after script doctor and consultant, he was a story editor on several critically-acclaimed Canadian television series: Da Vinci’s Inquest, Da Vinci’s City Hall, Intelligence and Blackstone. His full-length plays The Tiger of Malaya and The Patron Saint of Stanley Park have been performed across Canada as have many of his shorter works. He received the 2017 Governor-General’s Literary Award for Drama for his play, Indian Arm. His latest play, an adaptation of Mark Sakamoto’s best-selling memoir, Forgiveness, premiered in January 2023 in an Arts Club Theatre / Theatre Calgary co-production directed by acclaimed Japanese Canadian director Stafford Arima.

After a childhood spent devouring Jin Yong’s wuxia (or martial arts heroes) novels, Alice Poon has, over the years, fed herself a steady diet of Chinese history, mythology masterpieces and wuxia/xianxia/historical C-dramas. Since the release of her two historical Chinese novels: The Green Phoenix and Tales of Ming Courtesans, nostalgia for the magical world of wuxia has spurred her desire to write in the Chinese fantasy genre. With the passing of the wuxia fiction icon Jin Yong in 2018, she has wanted to do her small part in helping to preserve the legacy of this unique genre of literature. Born and raised in multicultural Hong Kong, she developed from an early age a bilingual (English and Chinese) reading and writing habit. Her fiction writing has been influenced by French and Russian realist classics, the wuxia/xianxia media, Chinese mythology classics and period history. She lives in Greater Vancouver, Canada and wishes to indulge in putting her imagination on the page.

Janie Chang writes historical fiction, often with a personal connection, drawing from a family history with 36 generations of recorded genealogy. Her first novel, THREE SOULS, was a finalist for the 2014 BC Book Prizes Fiction Prize; her second novel, DRAGON SPRINGS ROAD, was a Globe and Mail national bestseller. Both were nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award. Her third book, THE LIBRARY OF LEGENDS, released in May 2020, was nominated for the Evergreen Award and is a Globe and Mail national bestseller. THE PORCELAIN MOON, released in February 2023 was a Globe and Mail historical fiction bestseller; THE PHOENIX CROWN, a novel Janie has co-authored with Kate Quinn, will be released in February 2024. A graduate of The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University, Janie was the founder and main organizer of Authors for Indies, a 100% volunteer-staffed event that promoted a national day of support by Canadian authors for Canada's independent bookstores; the event ran from 2015 - 2017 and transitioned to Canadian Independent Bookstore Day which is organized by the Canadian Independent Booksellers Association. Janie was born in Taiwan and has lived in the Philippines, Iran, Thailand, and New Zealand. She now lives with her husband on the beautiful Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada.

September 20, 2023

INVISIBLE NO MORE: FILIPINO WORDS - Prelaunch at Word Vancouver 2023

Magdaragat: An Anthology of Filipino-Canadian Writing (Cormorant Books) is a landmark project — the first anthology of Filipino-Canadian literary writing published by a mainstream press, coming out at a time when the Filipino diasporic population in Canada is fast approaching one million. Join Teodoro Alcuitas, Patria Rivera, and Leah Ranada as they read from their contributions to the book.

Moderator: C.E. Gatchalian Readers: Teodoro Alcuitas | Patria Rivera | Leah Ranada.  This event was held at UBC Robson Square on September 16, 2023

September 9, 2023

Finding Your Audience on Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Joy Kogawa House and Asian Canadian Writers Workshop present Chris Houston from The Idea Shop, a publicist and marketeer with decades of experience with books and authors in Canada.

Moderated by award-winning author Wayne Ng, current writer-in-residence at Joy Kogawa House.

Chris will offer --simple strategies authors can do themselves to promote and market their work
tips on working with and without a publicist

This hour-long masterclass will be presented online on Wed, Sep 27, 2023 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM PDT

September 4, 2023

Passing of our friend and author, Larry Wong

Larry enjoying dimsum with ACWW friends and writers

ACWW lost a wonderful friend. Larry Yung Wong passed away peacefully at age 85. In his retirement years, Larry was active in sharing his memories of Vancouver's Chinatown.  Larry was one of the founding board members of ACWW and was an editor for Ricepaper Magazine when it started off as a newsletter in 1996.  In 2011, at 73 years of age, he published his first book, Dim Sum Stories: A Chinatown Childhood which he writes about growing up in Vancouver's Chinatown in the 1940s and 1950s. In 2012, Larry Wong’s play, Empress of Asia, based on his original one-act play: Siu Yeh – A Midnight Snack was performed at the Firehall Arts Centre. Larry was featured as an author at LiterASIAN Festival 2016. Thank you, Larry, for sharing your friendship, mentorship, and love of stories with our community. We will miss you dearly.