Past events


Upcoming events   |   Upcoming courses

Los Angeles


Breaking Into Book Writing: Pitches and Proposals

3:30-4:45pm Saturday March 19, 2016


Learn what it takes to make the leap from writer to author; how to transform your great idea or long-form piece into a full-length book; and how to structure a book proposal that makes your idea stand out from the crowd. Literary agent Stefanie Von Borstel will share successful pitches that led to books and break down the key elements of a book proposal. Writing coach Minal Hajratwala will guide you through a writing exercise to develop powerful, verb-driven sentences to make your pitch sing. We’ll discuss the specific challenges and opportunities in today’s market, and you’ll leave with a clear picture of how to move forward with the book that’s waiting inside you.


Decolonize Your Writing!

11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, 2016

KP WriteAThon Poster2

A full day of FREE writing workshops with writers of color, organized by The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective and Kaya Press, on the USC campus. Drop in for a half-hour or stay the whole day. Drinks and snacks.



Unchaste Readers Series AWP/LA Hosted by Jenny Forrester

7 – 9 p.m. Friday, April 1, 2016


The Unchaste Readers Series is about creating a community and promoting writing that takes risks, that shows the raw, vulnerable, ecstatic, complicated lives of women — in 7 minutes each. Join us to hear the raw and complex stories of these Unchaste readers. Free & open to all.


Happy Hour
Meet & Mingle with South Asian Writers

5-8 p.m. Saturday, April 2, 2016

We’ll celebrate the launch of new and forthcoming books over food and drink (cheese masala fries anyone?) in the beautiful Cowboys & Turbans beer garden.


AWP Convention
Readings, signings and more!

March 31-April 2, 2016

RebelGirls poster


Rebel Girls reading & panel: 9-10:15 a.m. Friday, April 1, Gold Salon 3, Marriott First Floor. With Minal Hajratwala, M. Evelina Galang, Elmaz Abinader, Deb Busman, and Faith Adiele.

Bookfair: I’ll be hanging out at The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective table, #101, where you can get special deals on my book and check out my beautiful Write Like a Unicorn schwag. Events at the table include:

Desi Writers Meetup: 12:00-12:30pm Thursday, March 31

• Minal Hajratwala book signing: 2:30-3pm Friday, April 1

Poetry Oracle (with free prizes): 3-3:30pm Friday, April 1



Washington, D.C.

Split This Rock Poetry Festival


The Names We Carry: Poetry Inspired by Radical India

4-5:30 pm Thursday, April 14

Vidhu Aggarwal, Minal Hajratwala, Tanuja Jagernauth, Ellen Kombiyil, Shikha Malaviya, and Leeya Mehta read poems reflecting the many names, labels, and categories we use/discard/attach to ourselves and others, throughout our lives. We will share poems exploring issues of exile, imperialism, identity, caste/color discrimination, sexuality, and more. We will encourage audience participation during the reading as well, asking them to fill in words and missing phrases, to help them create and think about the different kinds of dialogues we constantly must create and reinvent in order to highlight different causes.


Revolt: Writing Poetry Inspired by Radical India

4-5:30 pm Friday, April 15

Minal Hajratwala, Ellen Kombiyil, and Shikha Malaviya lead a powerful and engaging workshop, drawing poetic inspiration from activist art from various waves of political movements in India and the diaspora. Using prompts drawn from a variety of poets who have been engaged in activist movements, participants will write deeply into issues of exile, imperialism, identity, caste/color discrimination, sexuality, and more. We’ll explore how verse turns the deeply personal detail into the universal, bringing to light little-known voices from India’s radical political traditions and injecting new energy into American poets wishing to engage with global revolutions. We’ll share all the materials so that participants can take them back and share with their own communities and/or students, diversifying their reading lists to include vibrant contemporary global voices of protest.





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Upcoming Courses   |   Past Events

Washington, D.C.

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center exhibit

Through August 27, 2015


Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation is a groundbreaking exhibition that explores the heritage, daily experience, and contributions of Indian immigrants and Indian Americans. The photograph above, by Preston Merchant, is included.
Where: National Museum of Natural History (NMNH)


AWP Conference

APRIL 8-11, 2015


VONA past & present faculty reading

Faculty alumni of the Voices of Our Nations workshop for writers of color read at Minneapolis’s premiere literary space. With Elmaz Abinader, Faith Adiele, M. Evelina Galang, Achy Obejas, Minal Hajratwala, and many others. Guaranteed to be the don’t-miss party of AWP! Light refreshments; books for sale & signing.

6:00 pm Saturday, April 11
The Loft Literary Center
1011 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55415
Info:This event is open to the public.  612-215-2575; .

For registered conference attendees:

Please come and visit me at The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective/Drunken Boat table at the AWP book fair! I’ll be there on Friday and Saturday, 3-5pm. Booth #1928.

In addition:

Queer Poetics in a Transnational World: Craft, Politics, and Publishing. (Andrew Leong, Kazim Ali, Minal Hajratwala, Nicholas Wong)

How does access to multiple languages and cultures inform a queer poetics? What are the politics of writing in post-colonial societies that are unsafe for queer-identified artists? How do these multiple identities affect access to publishing? Why is it crucial for these voices to be heard both globally and in America? Join poets and translators from Hong Kong, India, and the US as we discuss issues of queerness, cultural displacement, and the mapping of selves across a shifting world.
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm Thursday, April 9
Room M100 D&E, Mezzanine Level

Intimate Communities: How to Form and Keep a Writing Group That Works. (Daisy Hernandez, Minal Hajratwala, Katayoon Zandvakili, Kristin Naca, Lorraine Lopez)

While writing groups are often seen as pit stops on the way to the MFA or as a post-MFA transition experience, they can be challenging to create and sustain. Five authors in poetry, fiction and nonfiction share practical strategies for forming an in-person or online group, dividing time wisely, and critiquing fairly. They discuss how groups were essential in drafting, revising, and publishing their books, and how to create a stellar mini-community even if you live far from a literary epicenter.
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm Thursday, April 9
Room L100 A, Lower Level

Info: The country’s largest literary conference is open to registered attendees only.

Menlo Park, CA

Launch of Bountiful Instructions for Enlightenment



A launch reading and book signing of Minal Hajratwala’s book of poetry and performance work, which advance reviewers have called “stunning” and “explosive.”

Where:  The venerable Kepler’s bookstore, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025.

Info: (650) 324-4321

Featured guest at Hazel Reading Series

5:00-7:00 PM SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2014

Hazel logo

In the Hazel Reading Series, hosted at the California Institute of Integral Studies MFA program, women writers read their writing experiments. Please come and hear the weirdest things I’m writing!

Where: CIIS, 1453 Mission Street, San Francisco.

Info:  $5 donation welcome

DISMANTLE reading at Howard Zinn Book Fair

1:30-2:30 pm saturday, november 15, 2014

dismantleThis only-in-San-Francisco event is an incredibly diverse and dynamic celebration of subversive books. Dozens of amazing events and readings all day. I’ll be in conversation with other contributors to Dismantle: An Anthology of Writing from the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop, Tara Dorabji, Faith Adiele, Adam Balm, Sharline Chiang.

Where: June Jordan/Amiri Baraka Room, Mission High School, 3750 18th Street, San Francisco




The Names We Carry

poetry workshop, open to all!



Co-sponsored by Kearny Street Workshop and The (Great) Indian Poetry Workshop
“The moment of change is the only poem.” —Adrienne Rich
THE NAMES WE CARRY is a sliding-scale poetry workshop, co-taught by Minal Hajratwala and Shikha Malaviya. In this powerful & engaging workshop, we’ll draw poetic inspiration from activist art from the Rebel Legacy exhibition as well as South Asian poetry to explore the names/labels one carries, contests and lives up to. Using prompts drawn from Indian/South Asian/other ethnic poets who have blasted through stereotypes, exploring issues of exile, identity, discrimination and more, we’ll explore how verse turns the personal into the universal, while creating awareness as well as initiating change.
Where: Asian Resource Center, 310 – 8th Street, Suite 200, Oakland, California
Register: $10-25 sliding scale,

San Francisco

Global Leadership Day



I will be co-leading a session on LGBT issues in India after the Supreme Court ruling of December 2013 (here’s my background article for This session is open only to registered conference attendees.

Info: Registration link here.

San Francisco

SFbannerStanding in the Light: Five Writers and the Spiritual Moment (LitCrawl)

8:30-9:30 pm Saturday, october 18, 2014

Readings about realization woven from the threads of Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, and Buddhist practice. This event is part of the giant San Francisco literary street party where you can see multiple readings all over the city in one day.

I’m so happy the San Francisco Buddhist Center wanted to host this event, which I co-organized with Mary Salome. I’ll be sharing words and wisdom with Shenaaz Janmohamed (curator of Totally Radical Muslims), Meeta Kaur (editor of Her Name Is Kaur: Sikh American Women Write About Love, Courage, and Faith), Freeman Ng, and Acarasiddhi Tony Press.

Where: 37 Bartlett St, San Francisco



100,000 Poets for Change

6:00-8:00 pm saturday, september 20, 2014

Atta Galata presents 100,000 Poets for Change, a gathering of poets, musicians, and performers reading their work about peace and social change. One of a number of Poets for Change events happening around the world, the evening will present the work of both new and established artists to call for serious social, environmental and political change. I will be reading from my new collection, Bountiful Instructions for Enlightenment. 

Where: Atta Galatta bookstore, #134, KHB Colony, 5th Block, Koramangala, Bangalore, India 56009

Info: 080 4160 0677;

Bangalore Lit Fest

Bangalore Lit Fest logo

5:30-6:30 PM sunday, SEPTEMBER 28, 2014

377 Stories: The Queer Lives of the Law. With Nalini Rajan, Vasudhendra, Arvind Narrain and Minal Hajratwala, moderated by Danish Sheikh. (Suragi Pavilion.)

Where: Crowne Plaza at Velankani Park, Electronics City, Bangalore.


Panel: Depiction of Women in Media and Literature

5 p.m. Sunday, April 6, 2014

A discussion on contemporary issues by four diverse writers: Minal Hajratwala, Andaleeb Wajid, Jessu John, and Padmavathi Rao. Moderated by Prashant Sankaran.
Where: Atta Galatta Bookstore, Koramangala
Info: 080 4160 0677;

Poetry Workshop: From Passion to Page

11 a.m.—3 p.m. Sunday, April 27, 2014

Co-taught by Minal Hajratwala, Ellen Kombiyil, Shikha Malaviya
In this fun, engaging workshop, you’ll learn how to take poetic inspiration from anywhere and create intense, well-crafted pieces. Using prompts drawn from successful Indian poets who write in English, we will look at what makes a poem work from the inside out. We’ll allow these masterful examples to inspire rather than intimidate us, and you’ll leave the workshop with at least four new poems-in-progress. You can also choose to have your workshop poems considered for publication on the website of The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective, which publishes innovative and diverse new poetry from India. Who knows — you could write the next great Indian poem!

Where: Atta Galatta Bookstore, Koramangala
Info: 080 4160 0677;;
To register: The workshop fee is Rs1000 and includes lunch. Space is limited, and prepayment is required to guarantee your spot. Register in person at Atta Galatta, or email for bank transfer instructions. Please arrive 10 minutes early so that you don’t miss the beginning of the workshop; late arrivals will lose their place to people on the waitlist. ?
Optional reading: 60 Indian Poets edited by Jeet Thayil and Geography of Tongues by Shikha Malaviya (both available for purchase at Atta Galatta)?.

Book launch: Freelance Journalism

6 p.m. Friday, March 7, 2014



Lekhana Festival

See the Lekhana Facebook page for events including a reading of new poetry and a daylong writing/performance workshop!

San Francisco, April 23, 2013: Journalist-to-Author Panel

Randy Alfred, Katia Noyes, and Minal Hajratwala will talk about what it’s like to develop and produce your own books. Alfred is the former host of “The Gay Life,” a radio show on KSAN-FM, copy editor for and author of “Mad Science.” Noyes is a former dancer, dance critic and and author of “Crashing in America” and “A Partial History of My Delusions.” She also teaches at The Writing Salon. Hajratwala is a writing coach and author of “Leaving India: My Family’s Journey From Five Villages to Five Continents.”

When: 7 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Where: ABC-7 offices, 900 Front St., San Francisco
Info: 415 971 3647. Hosted by the Northern California chapter of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association. Free and open to everyone.
Access: The space is wheelchair-accessible.

San Francisco, April 24, 2013: Poetry at the Museum

Projections Across Waters: An Evening of Poetry and Diasporic Discussion at MOaD

Two poets create a dialogue in poems that range across Africa, Guyana, India, and the mixed legacies of all of their heritages in the United States. Projecting narrative voices from childhood, myth, and history, they celebrate National Poetry Month and the power of the word to encompass and translate the complexities of desire, violence, and identity. The conversation, between Arisa White and Minal Hajratwala, will be moderated by Sarah Ladipo Manyika. This program is co-presented by Museum of the African Diaspora and Hedgebrook: Women Authoring Change, in honor of National Poetry Month.

When: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm, Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Where: Museum of the African Diaspora, 685 Mission Street (at Third), San Francisco, California 94105. Map/directions/parking info.
Info: 415.358.7200. Free with museum admission.
Link to event details.
Access: The museum is wheelchair-accessible.

Stanford, May 2, 2013: Celebrating Out!

The Stanford University Libraries is pleased to invite you to attend a book party to celebrate a new publication edited by Minal Hajratwala, Out! Stories from the New Queer India. With introductions by Thomas Hansen, professor of anthropology, and Dr. Sangeeta Mediratta, associate director of Stanford’s Center for South Asia.

Where: Cecil H. Green Library, Bing Wing, Albert M. Bender Room, Fifth Floor, Stanford University
When: 4:30 to 6:00 pm, Thursday, May 2, 2013
Info: . Free and open to the public. Seating is limited; rsvp requested to, 650-736-9538.
Access: The library is wheelchair-accessible.

Boston, March 7-9: Speed Coaching at AWP

Take time out from the convention to focus on *your* writing: craft, doubts, process, career, and anything else that’s on your writerly mind. Enjoy a free 20-minute session with an experienced author, editor, and writing coach.

When: By appointment Friday & Saturday, 2-4 pm, March 8-9, 2013
Where: Hynes Convention Center & Sheraton Boston Hotel, at the Hedgebrook table in the Bookfair
Info/RSVP: .
Click here to sign up or learn more.

3/7/13: Fulbright panel at AWP

The Fulbright Program funds undergraduate students, graduate students, and graduates to study, conduct research, teach, or pursue creative activities abroad. Past Creative Writing Fulbright fellows and scholars will describe the application process, the experience, and the benefits of this award. They spent their Fulbright years in Panama, India, the Netherlands, Chile, and the Dominican Republic writing poetry, novels, and creative nonfiction as well as editing anthologies and translating literature. With Summer Hess, Gail Dottin, Minal Hajratwala, Meg Petersen, Patrick Phillips.

When: 12-1:15pm Thursday, March 7
Where: AWP Convention, Room 103, Plaza Level (R159).
Info/RSVP: This event is open only to registered attendees of the AWP convention.
Not at AWP? Click here for helpful information about applying for a Fulbright.

3/8/13: Boston Reading

With other authors from the VONA/Voices and Las Dos Brujas Writing Communities. Open to all, no RSVP necessary — but do come early, space is limited and the crowd will be large and enthusiastic!

When: 6:30-8:30pm Saturday, March 9, 2013
Where: Make Shift Boston, 549 Columbus Ave. Boston, MA
Cost: $2-$4 suggested donation

New York: 3/17 & 3/19 The Creative Art of Proposals

How to Write Kick-Ass Language That Gets Your Work Funded, Shown, and All Loved Up

Whether for grants or gigs, personal statements or crowdsource appeals, today’s artist has to master the parallel art of describing her work in writing. This three-hour workshop will put you on the path to crafting successful, authentic language that brings your art the support you deserve. Through fun, simple exercises, you’ll get to the heart of what you want to say, quickly and efficiently—so that you can spend more time making art and less time agonizing over (or avoiding) your important career documents. You will define your own strong “personal brand” and learn creative, practical methods to illuminate your work in words. You will leave the workshop energized and empowered, with persuasive new language that you can deploy across platforms to sell yourself, without selling your soul. This workshop is open to artists of all disciplines and genres, including visual artists, filmmakers, writers, etc. There are a limited number of slots available, and advance registration is required.

When: 1:30-4:30pm, Sunday, March 17; and 6:30-9:30pm Tuesday, March 19
Where: Asian American Writers Workshop, 110-112 W. 27 Street, Ste. 600, New York, NY 10001, Tel: 212-494-0061
Info/pre-registration:$25 pre-paid registration fee. Please email to register and for payment instructions. .

3/23 Rainbow Dragon Fund: Writing Our Desire Workshop, Washington DC

This workshop will help you find your voice, overcome inhibitions, and secrete your hottest, wettest inner visions onto the page. Through easy, short exercises and an intimidation-free process, we will break through conventional ideas of what’s “allowed” to be written —and what’s allowed to be sexy. The workshop is fully inclusive of all genders and sensitive to triggers. Whether your style is sensual or studly, whether your intended audience is one person or thousands or merely an exploration for yourself — get ready to w(h)et your words.

When: 2pm-5pm Saturday, March 23
Where: 1710 Rhode Island Ave NW, 11th Floor, Washington, DC
Info/registration: Payment accepted at the door or online at . Suggested donation*: $35 Regular (if you are moved to go above and beyond to support the local queer AAPI community, please consider giving $50). $15 Student/Low-income. *Half of the proceeds go to the Rainbow Dragon Fund, a giving circle that supports queer Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in the DC metropolitan area, half to Minal Hajratwala as an honorarium. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

3/24 KhushDC: Open Mic Lounge, Celebrating South Asian Queer Femininity in Body and Spirit!

This open mic celebrating Women’s History Month will be headlined by readings from Out! Stories from the New Queer India. Following these readings, we will open the floor to storytelling of and about South Asian queer women/trans and genderqueer folks via film, dance, music and/or other offerings. Minal will sign books during our very own Queer Women’s History Month reception/”mini Jalwa” where you can enjoy the delicious cocktails and locally sourced, ethically produced dishes on offer at CauseDC!

When: Sunday, March 24
Where: CauseDC, 1926 9th Street NW, Washington DC 20001, phone 202 588 5220

Jan-Feb 2013: Out! Stories from the New Queer India Book Tour

With editor Minal Hajratwala and contributors to  Out! Stories from the New Queer India. 
Mumbai: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, at Crossword Kemps Corner with chief guest Nandita Das. RSVP/info:

Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012: Mumbai
Literature Live: The Mumbai Lit Festival

Panel discussion

With author Minal Hajratwala, editor of Out! Stories from the New Queer India; Benjamin Law, author of Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East; and Parmesh Shahani, author of Gay Bombay: Globalization, Love and Belonging in Contemporary India.

When: 4:30-5:30 p.m. Sunday, November 4, 2012
Where: National Centre for Performing Arts, Mumbai

Monday, Nov. 5: Mumbai
Godrej Culture Lab

Special Book Reading and Discussion with Minal Hajratwala, editor of OUT! Stories from the New Queer India.

Come and read between the lines at the Godrej Book Club! It’s time for you to get hooked, cooked and of course, booked, with the brilliant minds, finger-licking food and stimulating discussion we have lined up for you. Out! Stories from the New Queer India offers a glimpse beyond the closet doors — and into the lives and dreams of India’s most misunderstood minority. The book has been published by Queer Ink and edited by Minal Hajratwala, the author of the multiple award winning Leaving India: My Family’s Journey From Five Villages to Five Continents (2009). This is a special event and not to be missed. Minal will be in conversation with Parmesh Shahani, head of the Godrej India Culture Lab.

When: 6 p.m. Monday, November 5, 2012
Where: Auditorium (Above canteen), Gate 2, Godrej Industries, Vikhroli (E). (Entry from Eastern Express Highway.) See for map to venue.

Saturday, Nov. 10: Bangalore
Bookwallah Travelling Writers Festival

“Thinking Queer, Writing Literature”
A conversation with authors Minal Hajratwala, editor of Out! Stories from the New Queer India; and Benjamin Law, author of Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East. Moderated by Danish Sheikh of the Alternative Law Forum. Sponsored by the Bangalore Literature Festival.  Free and open to the public.
When: 7-8 p.m. Saturday, November 10, 2012
Where: Bangalore International Centre Auditorium, TERI Complex, 4th Main, 2nd Cross, Domlur II Stage, Bangalore
RSVP/info: 98865 99675

Saturday, Nov. 17: Bangalore
Free Your Words Writing Workshop

Presented by Bengaluru Pride and Karnataka Queer Habba 2012
This fun, relaxed writing workshop is designed to help you free your voice and write your story, even if you’ve never written before.  We’ll do some fast, accessible writing exercises and games that will help you dive deep quickly and access what you most want to say. This workshop is suitable for beginners, blocked writers, or experienced writers looking to refresh their creative energy and meet a new writing community.  People who attend this workshop are invited to present their work at Queer Words, the open mic lit event to be held on Dec 1st at Atta Galatta. The workshop will be facilitated in English, but you are welcome to write in whatever language is most comfortable for you.  Free and open to the LGBT community and allies.  There will be an opportunity to make a donation to the Bengularu Pride and Queer Habba 2012 fund.
When: 3-6 p.m. Saturday, November 17, 2012
Where: Swabhava office, Bangalore

Sunday, May 6, Bangalore
Free Your Words* Writing Workshop

This fun, relaxed writing workshop is designed to help you free your voice and write your story, even if you’ve never written before. We’ll do some fast, accessible writing exercises and games that will help you dive deep quickly and access what you most want to say. This workshop is suitable for beginners, blocked writers, or experienced writers looking to refresh their creative energy and meet a new writing community. If there is interest, a local writers’ group may form from this workshop. (The workshop will be facilitated in English, but you are welcome to write in whatever language is most comfortable for you.) This event is organized and hosted by the Professional Women’s Group of the Overseas Women’s Club of Bangalore.
By reservation only. RSVP to .
When: Sunday, May 6, 2012. Brunch 12-1:30pm. Free Your Words 1:30-3pm.
Where: Whitefield, Bangalore. The address will be emailed to you after you RSVP.
Fee (payable at the door): Rs 1,500 (includes food and drinks).

Friday, Jan. 13, 2012:
PageTurners Reading, Bangalore

An evening of poetry and prose by two queer, diasporic South Asians — Minal Hajratwala and poet Kazim Ali.

Where: PageTurners Bookstore, MG Road, near Metro station, Bangalore
When: 6pm Friday, 13 January 2012

Friday, Jan. 20, 2012:
Jaipur Literary Festival

Whistling in the Dark: Writing Gender
A conversation with Hoshang Merchant and R Raj Rao moderated by Minal Hajratwala

India’s gay culture finds articulation in a new wave of unsparing writing. R Raj Rao, professor of English and author of cult gay fiction including The Boyfriend and BomGay, and poet and Professor Hoshang Merchant celebrate the queer with Minal Hajratwala.

When: 2:30pm, Friday, 20 January 2012
Where: Jaipur Literature Festival, Diggi Palace, Jaipur. (Baithak Tent.)

9/10 San Francisco: SupaStah!

Vixen Noir presents… A Performance Spectacular
Burlesque! Striptease! Performance Art! Comedy! Spoken Word! Poetry! Music! Drama and more Drama! This event is a fundraiser for Vixen Noir’s first and forthcoming CD, “Long Time Comin,” and a reunion celebration of the groundbreaking liquidFIRE queer women of color performance project.
When: Doors open 8pm, show starts 9pm, Saturday, September 10, 2011
Where: The Center for Sex & Culture, 1349 Mission Street (between 9th and 10th Streets), San Francisco, CA 94103
Info: $10-$100, sliding scale. For tickets and show details, including a list of the other fabulous performers, please click on Ages 18 and older only.

9/4 Livermore: Ravenswood Poetry Series
The Unicorn & The Seeker: readings from new work

As part of the Ravenswood Poetry Series, Minal Hajratwala will read along with poets Gerald Fleming and David Alpaugh. Ms. Hajratwala — San Francisco-based poet, performer, and author — will share selections of fresh-off-the-jumbo-jet work created during her recent Fulbright fellowship in India. This body of writing includes novelistic ecstasy, chimaeric poetry, explosions at the India-Pakistan border, and more.
When: 2-4 pm Sunday, September 4, 2011
Where: Ravenswood Historic Site , Livermore.

8/28 San Francisco:
3rd I’s Queer Eye
The Unicorn & The Seeker: readings from new work

Minal Hajratwala — San Francisco-based poet, performer, and author — will share selections of fresh-off-the-jumbo-jet work created during her recent Fulbright fellowship in India. This body of writing includes novelistic ecstasy, chimaeric poetry, explosions at the India-Pakistan border, and more… A thrill-filled afternoon as part of 3rd I’s annual South Asian queer film and performance festival.
When: 5:00 pm Sunday, August 28, 2011
Where: Women’s Building, 3543 18th St (at Valencia Street), San Francisco, CA 94110-1697. Near 16th/Mission BART station.

8/25 San Francisco: Commonwealth Club speech

India and Her Fragments: Migrations from Old to New Worlds

The story of India’s 30-million-and-growing worldwide diaspora is reshaping trade, identity and culture all around the globe. Fresh from a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship in India, Hajratwala will speak on what Americans need to know today about the rapidly changing country to which nearly 2 million Americans trace their roots. Hajratwala will draw from the seven years of research that led to her nonfiction book, Leaving India, winner of a California Book Award (Silver) and three other literary awards.
When: 6:00 pm Thursday, August 25, 2011
Where: Gold Room, The Commonwealth Club of California, 595 Market Street, San Francisco, California. Near Montgomery Street BART station.
Info: $20 standard tickets, $8 Commonwealth Club members, $7 students with ID. Click here to purchase tickets online. For further information, please contact (415) 597-6700 or .

8/12 Detroit: AAJA Authors Showcase
How to Write and Publish Your First Book

What does it take to write that first chapter, complete the proposal, get an agent, then finish the manuscript? Meet journalists who have thrived by transforming themselves into authors. They have each faced the hurdles of balancing the creative process with the business side of things. Learn how to let go of a steady paycheck and become the sole driver of your writing career.
Panelists: Minal Hajratwala, author, LEAVING INDIA: My Family’s Journey from Five Villages to Five Continents; Mei-Ling Hopgood, author, Lucky Girl and How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm; Monte Reel, author, The Last of the Tribe; Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, author, A Tiger in the Kitchen. Moderator: Judy Chia Hui Hsu, journalist.
Authors’ books will be available for sale and signing immediately following the panel.
When: 3:30-5:00pm Friday, August 12
Where: Cobo Hall Convention Center, Detroit, Michigan
Info: This panel is open to attendees of the Asian American Journalists Association convention. To register, please go to the convention website.

8/14 Chicago:
Writing from the Chakras

A Sage Community Health Collective workshop
with Rachael Hudak & Minal Hajratwala

This fun, relaxed 2.5 hour workshop is designed to open up your chakras through asanas (yoga postures) and breath awareness, which will lead you to unleash your creativity onto paper. No experience in yoga or writing is necessary, and the workshop is accessible for all bodies, regardless of age, experience, or physical ability. We will be exploring asanas as tools for developing a body-based approach to writing and using writing exercises for personal and reflective expression. We will explore and look into the specific energies of each chakra and discover what kind of writing comes from each one. Creative writing doesn’t have to be any more complicated than breathing. So if you can breathe from your core, then you can also write from your core, revealing your truth and creativity.

When:5:00-7:30 pm Sunday, August 14, 2011
Where: Sage Community Health Collective, 2514 W. Armitage Avenue #205, Chicago, IL, 60647. This space is elevator accessible.
Cost: $20-80 sliding scale. Limited work study options available.
Info: To register for this exciting and unique workshop, please call or email Tanuja Jagernauth: 773.749.9101, by August 12, 2011.

8/17 San Francisco: Commonwealth Club forum

Being LGBT & Indian

Growing up gay and lesbian in India imbues a broad world view consistent with the multi-culturalism of secular India and the pluralistic religions of the subcontinent. At the same time, Asian family pressures drive conformity amid strong expectations of an individual born to be part of a collective. Our speakers have each forged powerful identities as accomplished LGBT activists, authors and builders of a new class of LGBT world citizens equally at home in India and the United States.

Panelists: Devesh Khatu, Dipti Ghosh, Rakesh Modi, Minal Hajratwala.
When: 5-6pm reception, 6-7pm panel; Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Where: Gold Room, The Commonwealth Club of California, 595 Market Street, San Francisco, California. Near Montgomery Street BART station.
Info: $20 standard tickets, free for Commonwealth Club members, $7 students with ID. Click here to purchase tickets online. For further information, please contact (415) 597-6700 or .

April 13 Delhi: Indivisible Poetry Reading

When: 6:30 pm Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Where: Conference Room 1, India International Centre, 40 Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi, India (map)
Info: 011 – 24619431,

Poets read from the groundbreaking anthology Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry. This will be a beautiful, diverse set of readings by anthology poets Maya Khosla, Sudeep Sen, Subhashini Kaligotla, Minal Hajratwala, and co-editor Neelanjana Banerjee. The event is organized by the India International Centre in collaboration with the Poetry Society of India, and chaired by Keki Daruwalla.


April 9 PEN@Prithvi: Queer Lit Dialogue

Queer Literature, Queer Rights: Textuality & Sexuality At the End of 377

When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 9, 2011
Where: Prithvi Theatre, Janki Kutir, Juhu Church Road, Juhu, Mumbai, India (map)
Info: +91 (22) 26149546

Two writers and a bookseller from Mumbai’s LGBT community discuss the
state of queer literature and the dynamic, fast-changing stories of queer
people living in India today. Minal Hajratwala is the editor of The Queer Ink Anthology: Contemporary LGBT Stories of India, forthcoming in 2012, which will be the first anthology of queer writing in India since the decriminalization of homosexuality. Parmesh Shahani is the author of Gay Bombay: Globalization, Love and (Be)Longing in Contemporary India and head of the Godrej India Culture Lab, a new think tank dedicated to probing the textured nature of modernity in contemporary India. Shobhna S. Kumar is the director of Queer Ink, India’s online bookstore for all things Queer. Sponsored by PEN India, part of the international human rights organization.


Feb. 8 Reading at Oxford Book Store, Mumbai

When: 6pm Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Where: Oxford Book Store, Dinshaw Vacha Road, Churchgate, Mumbai, India (map)
Info: email or call 022 66364488

Reading, q&a, and book-signing by Minal Hajratwala at Oxford Book Store from her award-winning nonfiction epic Leaving India: My Family’s Journey From Five Villages to Five Continents. This event is kindly co-sponsored by the United States-India Educational Foundation.

Feb. 9 Queer Literature Panel at
Kala Ghoda Arts Festival

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Where: Prince of Wales Museum Gardens, Mumbai, India (map)
Info: email

A panel discussion with me, Queer Ink founder Shobhna S. Kumar, and authors Parmesh Shahani (Gay Bombay) and Arun Mirchandani (You Are Not Alone), on the state of queer literature in India. I will be discussing diaspora work as well as the new anthology of contemporary LGBT literature that I’m editing (queries: email


Jan. 28 Voices of Pride, Mumbai

When: 8-9:30 p.m. Friday, January 28, 2011
Where: Coppergate, next to Candies, Pali Hill, Bandra West, Mumbai, India
Info: Email, call 98217 30721, or rsvp via Facebook

I will be emceeing this exciting open mic event featuring tons of talented LGBT singers, poets, & writers! Hosted by Queer Ink, India’s online retailer of queer books, as part of a full week of Queer Azaadi Mumbai events.


Dec. 30 Reading in Kolkata, India

When: 6-9 p.m. Thursday, December 30, 2010
Where: Jibanananda Auditorium, West Bengal Bangla Academy, Kolkata (Calcutta), India
Info:, email, or rsvp via Facebook

The Kaurab International Reading Series presents visiting American poets Neelanjana Banerjee & Minal Hajratwala. Professor Santanu Majumdar will discuss Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry. Later in the evening, Kaurab poets Shankar Lahiri, Barin Ghosal, Subhro Bandopadhyay, and others will read their recent Bengali work. The event will be coordinated by Subhro Bandopadhyay, Sudeshna Majumdar & Aritra Sanyal.


Jan. 7 Reading in Chennai, India

When: 7pm Friday, January 7, 2011
Where: Full Circle bookshop, # 85, Chamiers, Ra Puram, near Hotel Park
Sheraton/Chamiers Road, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600028 – (map)
Info: email or call 044 28574423 / 4131

Reading and book-signing by Minal Hajratwala at Full Circle bookstore. This event is kindly co-sponsored by the United States-India Educational Foundation and the American Center of Chennai.


Nov. 17 Meet the Author in Goa, India

When: 5 p.m. Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Where: Literati Bookshop & Cafe, Goa

Drop-in reading and chat with Minal Hajratwala, author of the award-winning book LEAVING INDIA: My Family’s Journey from Five Villages to Five Continents. Ms. Hajratwala will read from the book, which has been described as “incomparable” by author Alice Walker and “searingly honest” by The Washington Post, as well as sign books and answer questions.

Contact: telephone (0832) 22 777 40, e-mail

Directions: E/1-282 Gaura Vaddo, Calangute, Bardez, Goa- 403516 (in the lane opposite Tarcar Ice Factory, next to ABC farms and La Fenice)

9/25 Oakland: Indivisible Poetry Reading

When: 3:00 p.m. Saturday, September 25, 2010
Where: Oakland Public Library (Main), 125 14th St., Oakland
Info: (510) 238-3134

Poets read from the groundbreaking anthology Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry. Readings by poets Minal Hajratwala, Ravi Chandra, Swati Rana, and co-editor Summi Kaipa.


8/26 Berkeley: Indivisible Poetry Reading

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 26, 2010
WherePegasus Books, 2349 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley

Poets read from the groundbreaking anthology Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry. Readings by Minal Hajratwala, Ravi Chandra, Swati Rana, Summi Kaipa, Pireeni Sundaralingam, and Neelanjana Banerjee.


5/15/10: San Francisco: Writing from the Chakras

I am thrilled to co-teach this workshop with Skeeter Barker, a wonderful Anusara Yoga instructor and originator of the Spiral workhops at Yoga Kula, one of my favorite yoga studios in the city. Skeeter will lead the yoga portion and I will lead writing exercises in this two-hour workshop designed to open up the chakras and unleash your creativity.  No previous yoga or writing experience necessary.

When: 1:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 15
Where: 3030A 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Info: (415) 934-0000. $20; register at

4/28/10: Chicago: Reading at UIC

Reading, slideshow, and q&a at the University of Chicago-Illinois, organized by the Asian and Asian American Studies Department with support from the Chancellor’s Committees for LGBT and Asian American topics.

When: 4:00-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 28
Where: University of Chicago-Illinois: Jane Adams Hull House Museum, 800 S. Halsted Ave., Chicago.
Contact/info: (312) 355-3448.

4/28/10: Chicago: Reading at Women & Children First

Come and hear Minal Hajratwala read from Leaving India, called “incomparable” by Alice Walker and “searingly honest” by the Washington Post, at the fabulous Chicagoland bookstore Women & Children First.

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 28
Where: 5233 N. Clark St., Chicago, Illinois.
Contact/info: (773) 769-9299,

4/22/10: San Francisco: SF Poetry Center Readings

Two events in one day to help launch Indivisible, the first anthology of South Asian American poetry, praised by U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins as “among the best anthologies of poetry.”

Thursday, April 22
3:30pm: Reading and Q&A, Poetry Center, San Francisco State University, Humanities Building Room 512 (fifth floor), 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco. (415) 338-2227.
7:30pm: Reading and Release Party, The Green Arcade, 1680 Market Street @Gough, San Francisco. (415) 431-6800.

4/13/10: San Francisco: Lambda Literary Award Finalists Reading

When: 5:00 p.m. reception, 6:00 p.m. reading, Tuesday, April 13
Where: San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin Street (at Grove). Reception is in the Hormel Center; reading is in the Latino-Hispanic Room.

Featuring Bay Area authors who are finalists for the 2010 Lambda Literary Awards: Rhiannon Argo, Tommi Avicolli-Mecca, Lynnee Breedlove, Matt Dean, Elana Dykewomon, Z Egloff, Dexter Flowers, Jon Ginoli, Minal Hajratwala, Karin Kallmaker, Kevin Killian, Patrick Letellier, Malinda Lo, Randall Mann, Ron Palmer. Hosted by Tony Valenzuela, Katherine Forrest and Karen Sundheim. Come help us celebrate!


4/10/10: Denver: Panel discussion

From Bombs to Bindis:  Trends and Tensions in S. Asian Diaspora Writing
When: 10:30-11:45 a.m. Saturday, April 10
Where: Colorado Convention Center, Street Level Room 111
Contact/info: Registered convention attendees only.

Panel discussion at the annual convention of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs: South Asian American authors discuss the extent to which their own work does or doesn’t fit into trendy tropes, and consider the implications of writing about sex and violence in the current market, and in our politically charged world. Moderated by Mary Anne Mohanraj, with writers Minal Hajratwala, Nawaaz Ahmed, Roohi Choudhry, and Ramola D.


4/9/10: Highlands Ranch Library, Colo.: Reading

When: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, April 9
Where: 9292 Ridgeline Blvd.
Highlands Ranch, CO
Contact/info: (303) 791-7323 or register on website

Discussion and reading with writers Minal Hajratwala, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Summi Kaipa, Roohi Choudhry, and Ramola D. Moderated by Sangeeta Reddy.


2/21/10 Oakland: Mujeres Unidas y Activas benefit

House party in Oakland & reading with three other amazing bicultural women writers to benefit a wonderful immigrant rights organization.

When:  3:00 p.m. Sunday, February 21, 2010

Contact/info: Please bring your checkbook or cash to donate; for more information please see the Mujeres Unidas y Activas website.

2/6/10 Berkeley Library Foundation Authors’ Dinner

I’m an “honored guest author” at this lovely benefit for the Berkeley Public Library. Eat a multi-course dinner IN the library … shhh, don’t tell the librarians!

When:  6:00pm Saturday, February 6, 2010

Where: Berkeley Central Library, 2090 Kittredge (at Shattuck), Berkeley, CA 94704.

Contact/tickets: Berkeley Public Library Foundation,, (510) 931-6115

1/14/10 India: American Center, New Delhi

Reading and Q&A from Leaving India, focused on the India-to-America migration experience. In conversation with Meredith Mcguire, author of “Bollywood Becomes Her.”

When: January 14, 2010
Where: The American Center, 24 Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi, India, 110001 (Connaught Place)
Info/contact: Anne Seshadri,

12/13/09 India: Bombay Dost Sunday High

Bombay Dost, India’s first registered LGBT magazine, hosts writer Minal Hajratwala reading the queer sections from her book Leaving India: My Family’s Journey From Five Villages to Five Continents. She will also read from her earlier writing and answer audience questions. Emcee’d by Bombay Dost editor Vivek Anand.

When: 5:30pm Sunday, December 13
Where: Centre for Excellence (CEFE), Humsafar Trust, Riviera building, Flat no. 2, Grnd floor, 15th Rd, Near RBI Colony, Santacruz (W), Mumbai – 54. On Linking Road, take the lane next to Tommy Hilfiger and Standard Chartered Bank (opposite Benetton), then take the third right. View location at

12/17/09 India: American Center, Mumbai

Reading and Q&A from Leaving India, focused on the India-to-America migration experience.

When: 6:00pm Thursday, December 17, 2009
Where: The American Center, 4 New Marine Lines, Mumbai, India, 400 026 (Churchgate area)
Info/contact: Almitra Kika, Program Manager,, 91-22-22624590 x2257

India: Book launch/tour

Leaving India launches in its homeland on a four-city tour sponsored by the India edition publisher, Tranquebar/Westland.

7pm Monday, Nov 16: India International Centre, New Delhi. In conversation with columnist and literary critic Nilanjana Roy. Drinks afterward. (Conference Room III, Annexe Building, India International Centre, 40 Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi 110003 Tel: 24619431)

7pm Friday, Nov 20: Crossword Bookstore, Mumbai. In conversation with author and journalist Jerry Pinto. (Kemps Corner location)

6:30pm Saturday, Nov 21: Crossword Bookstore, Pune. In conversation with FLAME President Dr. Indira Parikh, a women’s issue scholar. (IIC Towers location)

6pm Sunday, Nov 22: Landmark Bookstore, Ahmedabad. Reading and book signing. (Iskon Mega Mall)

10/20/09 University of Rhode Island

I will be speaking on Women in Indian Society as part of the Fall 2009 Honors Colloquium at the University of Rhode Island, a lecture series on the topic of “Demystifying India.”

When: 7:30pm Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Where: Chafee Auditorium, URI Kingston Campus
Info:  URI event website; 401.874.2381.

10/10-10/11/09 East Bay: The Book Writing & Publishing Blueprint Workshop

Are you ready to transform your ideas, chapter drafts, and research notes into a powerful blueprint for a published book? I am delighted to be offering a two-day intensive book writing workshop. Saturday will be about narrative structure, writing process, and what it takes to hold a book-length story together while sustaining readers’ interest and your own energy. Sunday will be about the book business: establishing a platform for yourself as a writer, developing your pitch, finding an agent/publisher, and writing and submitting a book proposal.  There’s too much great stuff in this workshop to detail here, so please check out the full course description, including a detailed agenda for each day, at  There is still space, but pre-registration is required — please don’t wait till the last minute for this one.

The Writing Process: Saturday, October 10, 2009, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The Business Strategy: Sunday, October 11, 2009, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
(Yes, you can take just one day if you prefer.)
Where: East Bay (details upon registration).
Register: Click here to read the full course description and details.  If you’re interested, please email Meeta Kaur immediately—seriously, like right this second—for further information and to register.

10/8/09 Moraga, CA: Reading, talk, and q&a

Thanks to the sassy pink-gloved dames at the Women’s Studies Program at St Mary’s for inviting me to give this talk. It’s free and open to the public and will be about storytelling, women, diaspora, and overcoming silence.

When:  7 pm Thursday, October 8, 2009
Where: Hagerty Lounge, Saint Mary’s College, 1928 Saint Marys Rd, Moraga, CA 94575
Info: 925-631-4706

10/3—10/4/09 San Francisco: Kearny Street Workshop

Two-day intensive writing workshop, “Lost and Found”

Spend a fun weekend playing the writer’s equivalent of “hide and seek”! At the heart of all writing is the desire to recover what has been lost: a magical talisman, our childhood innocence, the one great love, personal and communal histories. On Day 1 we will write deep into the experience of being and getting “lost,” freewriting with a range of inspirations and prompts from Pablo Neruda to Tracy Chapman and more. On Day 2, we’ll get “found”: We will play with found objects, invent memories, and discover unknown truths. As we write and share work in class, we’ll experience how writing can help us come to terms with what’s lost and find our right to own and tell our stories. This two-day writing intensive is guaranteed to help you generate new work, break through blocks, and excavate new depths of emotion, power, and voice. All levels and genres of writing are welcome; we will work with exercises that you can use in your own ongoing project(s) or to create entirely new pieces.

When: Two days, 10am-2pm, Saturday Oct. 3 and Sunday Oct. 4, 2009
Where:  Kearny Street Workshop, San Francisco
Register:  $80 for the entire weekend. Please register at the Kearny Street Workshop website: .

9/27/09 San Francisco: Bookstore Reading

When:  3:00pm Sunday, September 27, 2009
WhereBird & Beckett Books & Records, 653 Chenery Street, San Francisco; one block from Glen Park BART station. [Map]
Info, (415) 586-3733

9/14/09 San Francisco: Monthly Rumpus

Readings, film, music, performance—you never know what treats will be in store at the Monthly Rumpus.

When:  7:00pm Monday, September 14, 2009
WhereThe Make Out Room, 3225 22nd. St. between Mission and Valencia, San Francisco.
$10 at the door

8/22/09 Oakland: Writing Our Desire

Interactive writing workshop, “Writing Our Desire,” at the first-ever Butch Voices conference.


8/13/09 Boston: Desi Rap panel

A panel discussion focused on two recently published books, Leaving India: My Family’s Journey From Five Villages to Five Continents by Minal Hajratwala, and Desi Rap: Hip Hop and South Asian America, edited by Murali Balaji and Ajay Nair. Panelists: Murali Balaji, Minal Hajratwala, Vijay Prashad, Deepti Hajala, and Deepa Iyer.

When: 3:30pm – 5:00pm, Thursday, August 13, 2009
WhereSeaport World Trade Center, Commonwealth Complex, 200 Seaport Blvd., Boston. . This event is part of the Asian American Journalists Association convention, but is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

For registered convention participants, I’ll also be on the Authors’ Showcase: Asian American Women panel (10:15am – 11:00am Thursday), with Joann Lee, Mei-Ling Hopgood, and Michelle Yu, and I will be selling/signing books in the Author’s Showcase area inside the convention hall (12:00-1:30pm Thursday). Come by and say hi!


8/5/09 San Carlos: Library Reading

My first appearance on the Peninsula!  Come on up.
When: 7:00pm Wednesday, August 5, 2009
WhereSan Carlos Library. 610 Elm Street, San Carlos CA, 94070.
Contact: 650-591-0341

7/21/09 Oakland: BrownBag on Immigration

I’m excited to be the guest at this lunch-hour discussion series, co-sponsored by the Black Alliance for Just Immigration and the Women of Color Resource Center to engage around current events and issues that are of interest to women of color. Open to the general community. Books will be available for sale and signing thanks to Laurel Bookstore. Don’t forget to bring your lunch!

When: 12:30pm-2:00pm Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Where:  Women of Color Resource Center, 1611 Telegraph Ave., Suite 303, Oakland, CA [map it]; near 19th St BART station

7/11/09 New York: Book Workshop SAJA

Every other desi seems to be writing a book these days – why not you? In this session, you’ll learn what it takes to make the leap from journalist to author; how to transform your great long-form piece or idea into an even better book; and how to structure a nonfiction book proposal that makes your idea stand out from the crowd. We’ll discuss what it’s like to report and research across multiple countries and the specific challenges and opportunities for South Asian American authors in today’s market. You will leave with a sense of how to ask the right questions of your sources – and yourself – to unearth the narrative foundation that a book demands. Co-facilitated with Tom Zoellner.

When: 11:30am-12:30pm Saturday, July 11, 2009
Where: Room 434, CUNY Journalism School, Times Square, Manhattan

7/9/09 New York: Asian American Writers Workshop

Crossing Borders & Genres: Nonfiction writers Minal Hajratwala and Nahid Rachlin read from Leaving India and Persian Girls. Poets Ching-In Chen and Kim-An Lieberman read from their collections The Heart’s Traffic and Breaking The Map.

Where: The Workshop, 16 West 32nd Street, 10th Floor (btwn Broadway & 5th Avenue)
When: 7pm Thursday, July 9, 2009

6/11-6/14/09 Chicago: Kriti Festival

Kriti Festival logo

Thursday, June 11, 7:00 – 10:00 pm: Opening Reception and Rapid-Fire Reading (free)

Saturday, June 13, 6:00 – 6:45 pm: Reading from Leaving India (free)

Sessions for registered conference participants only:
Friday, June 12, 2:00 – 2:50 pm: Workshop: Performance Tips for Writers
Friday, June 12, 4:00 – 4:50 pm: Building the Buzz: Marketing Ourselves as Artists
Saturday, June 13, 1:00 – 1:50 pm: Beginner Writing Workshop

Readings are open to the public. Other sessions are included in registration, which is a great deal, open to all, and gets you an entire weekend of amazing South Asian writers such as Amitava Kumar, Bapsi Sidhwa, Romesh Gunesekera, and more.

Where: West Loop area, Roosevelt University and the University of Illinois at Chicago; please check the conference schedule for specific room numbers
Contact:  Kriti Festival homepage

6/9/09 Chicago area: South Asian Author Night

The Bookstore and The Glen Ellyn Public Library host a South Asian Author Night with featured authors Minal Hajratwala, Mary Anne Mohanraj, and Tania James.

When: 7:00 pm, June 9, 2009
Where: Glen Ellyn Public Library, 400 Duane Street, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137 or 630-469-2891

5/29/09 Oakland: Literary Night at Oakland Asian Cultural Center

Co-presented by Hyphen magazine and the Writing the Lines of Our Handsanthology, this contemporary women writers’ showcase highlights their diverse Asian American heritages and the wide range of literatures—poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and cross-genre work—that are their instruments of expression. Writers include: Diana Ip, Summi Kaipa, Neela Banerjee, Maya Khosla, Aimee Suzara, Mimi Lok, Pireeni Sundaralingam, Minal Hajratwala.

When: Friday, May 29, 2009, 7:30pm – 9:00pm
Where: Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 9th Street, Suite 290, Oakland, CA
Contact: April Kim, (510) 637- 0462,

$5-$20 donation, no one turned away for lack of funds


5/28/09 San Francisco: Modern Times Bookstore

I’m very excited to be invited to San Francisco’s independent collective-owned bookstore. Reading, q&a, and book signing. Please come by!

When: Thursday, May 28, 2009, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Where: Modern Times Bookstore, 888 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
Contact: 415-282-9246,

5/23/09 San Francisco: Kulture Kulcha

Performance at the annual banquet/talent show of Trikone: delectable South Asian food, unforgettable music and spoken word, desi beats DJ dance party.

When: Saturday, May 23rd, 2009. 7:00pm – 1:00am (Performances at 8:00pm)
Where: West Bay Conference Center: 1290 Fillmore St. San Francisco CA, 94115.
Contact: Online ticket purchase

5/3/09 San Francisco: K’Vetsh reading

Featured reader, along with Courtney Trouble, at the K’Vetsh Queer Open Mic, one of the longest running queer open mics in SF, located at the fabulous, scandalous, and intimate EROS Lounge.

When: Sunday, May 3, 2009, 7:30pm – 10:30pm
Where: K’Vetsh at EROS Lounge, 2051 Market at Church, San Francisco, CA
Contact: 415-255-4921
Free. All genders ages 18+ welcome.

5/3/09 New York: “Shabd Star” tv show


If you’re in NY check out my interview with Ashok Vyas of ITV in “Shabd Star,” a literary program (20 minutes).

When: Sunday, May 3, 2009, 3:30pm, AND rebroadcast Friday, May 8, 2009, 2:00pm
Where: In Manhattan/Queens, Time Warner cable channels 77 and 501. In the Bronx, Cablevision.

5/2/09 Berkeley: Queer & Asian conference

Featured reader at the closing event of UC-Berkeley’s Queer & Asian storytelling conference, “Articulation: Animating Our Collective Autobiography.”

When: Saturday, May 2, 2009, 4:45pm-5:30pm
Where: Valley Life Sciences Building, UC Berkeley Campus, off Bancroft Way near Bowditch, Berkeley, CA