Literary Seattle kicks off its 2019 with a big exciting new (hopefully regular) event: the first-ever Tasveer South Asian Literary Festival. Intended to spotlight "an eclectic group of poets, novelists, screenwriters, nonfiction and experimental writers expressing a wide range of South Asian diasporic voices on race, immigration, gender, identity, and publishing," the Tasveer Litfest takes place from Friday, January 11th to the 20th in venues around the city.
The event is put on by Tasveer, a local organization celebrating South Asian arts. They've been putting on the largest South Asian film festival in the United States right here in town for a while now. This literary festival provides an opportunity to highlight one of Seattle's strongest literary communities, and to bring some impressive visiting authors to town.
Authors reading at Tasveer Litfest include Seattle's youth poet laureate (and former Seattle Review of Books poet in residence Azura Tyabji, Seattle journalist and novelist Sonora Jha, Indu Sundaresan, and many more.
The festival kicks off on the 11th with Amitava Kumar reading from his celebrated novel Immigrant Montana at the Seattle Art Museum. Other events include a panel on race and gender in South Asian literature, a poetry reading at Hugo House, a showcase of queer South Asian writers, a memorial for writer Meena Alexander, a writing workshop with Sundaresan, a celebration of South Asian names, and more. (Find an updated schedule here.)
It usually takes a few weeks for Seattle's literary calendar to get fired up after the dawn of a new year. Thanks to the Tasveer Litfest, the year is starting off right: by amplifying voices that need to be heard. If the remaining 50 weeks of 2019 are this lively, we could be in for the best literary year Seattle's ever seen.