Belladonna*: and/with: Litmus: Jai A. Ravine, Myung Mi Kim, and Sawako Nakayasu

Jai Arun Ravine is a mixed race, mixed gender, and mixed genre artist. They write and perform body texts about alienation, identity/tourism, decolonization, and silence that refuse/accept being a tourist to one’s self. Their presentations often utilize video, comics, and performance as modes of communication. They are the author of The Romance of Siam (2017 Lambda Literary Award Finalist), a subverted travel guide that consumes and regurgitates Orientalism, the tourist archive, and white desire; and แล้ว AND THEN ENTWINE: LESSON PLANS, POEMS, KNOTS, which re-imagines immigration history and attempts to transform cultural inheritances of silence. Their short film TOM/TRANS/THAI approaches the silence around female-to-male (FTM) transgender identity in the Thai context and has screened internationally.

Myung Mi Kim is a Professor of English and Director of the Poetics Program at the University at Buffalo. Kim’s books include Penury (Omnidawn), Commons (University of California Press), DURA (Sun & Moon and Nightboat Books), The Bounty (Chax Press), and Under Flag (Kelsey Street Press), winner of The Multicultural Publisher’s Exchange Award of Merit. Her fellowships and honors include awards from the Fund for Poetry, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Gertrude Stein Awards in Innovative North American Poetry, and the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activity. 

Sawako Nakayasu was born in Japan raised in the US, and has also lived in France and China. Her most recent books are The Ants (Les Figues Press, 2014), and Texture Notes (Letter Machine, 2010), and recent translations include The Collected Poems of Sagawa Chika (Canarium Books, 2015), and Tatsumi Hijikata’s Costume en Face (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2015). She has received fellowships from the NEA and PEN, and her own work has been translated into Japanese, Norwegian, Swedish, Arabic, Chinese, and Vietnamese.

Belladonna* Collaborative’s programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.