Our keynote speakers, Staceyann Chin and Manil Suri, will read tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Auburn Avenue Research Libary, 101 Auburn Ave. There will be an after party at Danneman's Coffee House at 466 Edgewood Ave. following the keynote addresses featuring music by GBmojo and Lucas Mire. It's all free and open to the public!
Staceyann Chin is a fulltime artist. A resident of New York City and a Jamaican National, she has been an “out poet and political activist” since 1998. From the rousing cheers of the Nuyorican Poets' Cafe to one-woman shows Off- Broadway to poetry workshops in Denmark and London to co-writer and performer in the Tony nominated, Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, Chin credits the long list of "things she has done" to her grandmother's hard-working history and the pain of her mother's absence. Her memoir, The Other Side of Paradise, was published earlier this year to great acclaim. NYU, Pace, Willamette, Holy Cross, Harvard, Cornell, University of Illinois, University of New Hampshire, University of Miami, University of California at San Diego, Boston University, Grinnell College, these are only few of the "institutes of higher education" at which she has shared the stories surrounding her coming. Hands Afire, Staceyann's first one-woman show ran for ten weeks at the Bleecker Theater in the Summer of 2000. The same Off-Broadway Theater welcomed the second show, Unspeakable Things, in the summer of 2001 before she took it to Copenhagen for a week long run. London, Helsinki, Sweden and Norway are in the line-up to see the new generation of the show.
Manil Suri was born and raised in Bombay (now Mumbai), India. He came to the United States as a student when he was twenty. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland (when not visiting Mumbai) and is a citizen of both the United States and India. Suri’s first published fiction in English was The Seven Circles, a short story that appeared in The New Yorker on Valentine’s Day, 2000. The Death of Vishnu, his first novel, debuted worldwide in India on January 6, 2001. In addition to being published by W. W. Norton in the United States and Bloomsbury in the UK, the novel has been translated into twenty-two foreign languages. Suri was named by Time magazine as a “Person to Watch” in 2000, and he received a Guggenheim Fellowship for fiction in 2004. In addition to being a writer, Suri is also a mathematician. He obtained his PhD in applied mathematics from Carnegie-Mellon University and is a tenured full professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC).