September at May Kitchen

You can find me performing tableside throughout the evening at May Kitchen + Bar on select Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. The schedule for September is listed below; there are also details on their facebook page.

Schedule for September 2016

Thursday, September 1

Wednesday, September 7

Wednesday, September 14

Sunday, September 25

Thursday, September 29

August at May Kitchen

You can find me performing tableside throughout the evening at May Kitchen + Bar on select Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. The schedule for August is listed below; there are also details on their facebook page.

Schedule for August 2016

Thursday, August 4

Wednesday, August 10

Wednesday, August 17

Thursday, August 25

Welcome to the Dance

For the 2016 Strawberry Festival, Leah Mann, along with Friends of Mukai, the Vashon Chamber of Commerce, Vashon Center for the Arts, Chautauqua Elementary School, Vashon-Maury Land Trust, and 4culture, organized a Bon Odori dance at the 2016 Strawberry Festival to honor Vashon’s Japanese-American past and to remember the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. To open the dance, she asked me to write and recite a poem, which I’m including below, along with some pictures.

You can read more about the event on the Vashon Beachcomber: http://www.vashonbeachcomber.com/news/386594011.html.

 

Opening Remarks

I’ll have to admit it is both wonderful and a bit strange to see a Bon Odori dance at the four-way stop here on Vashon. Growing up, I only really participated in O Bon, as we called it, on Maui, where my mother was born and raised, and where my mother’s family moved from Okinawa, now part of Japan. My memories of O Bon are of going with my Grandma and Grandpa, and my aunties and uncles, and my cousins and cousins and cousins and cousins, to a cemetery on the ocean just past the town of Paia, where my Great-Grandfather once had a barber shop. We’d go to the family tomb—the haka—hang paper lanterns, and honor our ancestors with incense, water, tea, food, and prayers. Then we’d dance in the Bon dance as the sun set into the sea.

I’ve brought a fan with me that my auntie used to use in dancing, in memory of those dances, and in honor of the continuing practice.

All of this could feel far away from Seattle, where I spent most of my childhood—with the exception of a few times and places. Like the days when our mother took us to Uwajimaya—the old one, with the blue tile roof—and I’d rush up to the gift shop to the explore the aisle with the origami paper, marveling at all the colors and kinds they carried.

In honor of that memory, I also brought a single crane, the first origami figure I learned to fold. It later became a poignant reminder for me of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, the story of a young girl who catches leukemia after the bombing of Hiroshima and decides to attempt folding a thousand paper cranes, believed to help a person to heal. Her plight and determination moved me as a child, and still do.

So these are the memories that were awakened in me as I composed this poem for our own Bon Odori here on Vashon. It’s called “Welcome to the Dance” and takes its form from the syllabic pattern of the Japanese waka, “short poem”: a 5-syllable line, followed by a 7-syllable line, followed by another 5-syllable line and two 7-syllable lines.

Click on the following link to read the poem:

Welcome to the Dance

Photos

You can find more photos of the dance and the festival here:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskEBH16z

C.F. John and Open Wells

Here is a taste of the art created by C.F. John, with whom I wrote Body and Earth.

Body and Earth in the News

The July 2nd book release of Body and Earth was covered widely in India.

In the Times of India on July 3:

 

In the New Indian Express on July 4:

 

In Chandrika (Malayalam) on July 3:

 

In Emerging Kerala (Malayalam) on July 4:

 

In Kerala Kaumudi (Malayalam) on July 4:

 

In Siraj (Malayalam) on July 4:

In Veekshanam (Malayalam) on July 4:

Literary Homecomings

I’ll be interviewing my friend the novelist and poet Pauls Toutonghi at the Vashon Bookshop on Thursday, July 14, at 6:00pm. You can read more about the event in the Vashon Beachcomber and the Vashon Loop. You can also listen to Chris Austin and Anneli Fogt interview us beforehand on the “Mostly True Radio Show!” on Voice of Vashon, KVSH 101.9:

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July at May Kitchen

You can find me performing tableside throughout the evening at May Kitchen + Bar on select Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. The schedule for July is listed below; there are also details on their facebook page.

Schedule for July 2016

Thursday, July 7

Wednesday, July 13

Wednesday, July 20

Thursday, July 28

Body and Earth Book Release in India

June at May Kitchen

You can find me performing tableside throughout the evening at May Kitchen + Bar on select Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. The schedule for June is listed below; there are also details on their facebook page.

Schedule for June 2016

Sunday, June 5

Thursday, June 9

Sunday, June 19

Thursday, June 23

2016 Summer Shows

I’m presenting “The Houdini Magic Show: In Shape for Magic” at the following libraries as part of the King County Library System Summer Reading Program. For more information, visit the King County Library Website: www.kcls.org

 

Greenbridge Library, Tuesday, June 21, 2:00pm

Foster Library, Saturday, June 25, 2:00pm

Kenmore Library, Monday, July 11, 7:00pm

Vashon Library, Tuesday, July 12, 4:00pm

Black Diamond Library, Tuesday, July 19, 1:00pm

Bellevue Library, Saturday, July 23, 2:00pm

Lake Hills Library, Sunday, August 21, 2:00pm

 

May at May Kitchen

You can find me performing tableside throughout the evening at May Kitchen + Bar on select Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. The schedule for May is listed below; there are also details on their facebook page.

Schedule for May 2016

Thursday, May 12

Wednesday, May 18

Wednesday, May 25

Sunday, May 29