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Guernica at the Asian American Literary Awards

October 21, 2011

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Guernica contributors Amitava Kumar and Oliver de la Paz honored for literary excellence.

Guernica is pleased to give its heartfelt congratulations to contributors Amitava Kumar and Oliver de la Paz, both of whom received recognition for their outstanding literary achievements.

Kumar’s nonfiction work A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb is an inquiry into the cultural repercussions of the global war on terror. In an August 2010 piece for Guernica which excerpted the book, Kumar peels back the mask of righteousness associated with “terrorism” arrests, exposing the deep-seated entrapment and fear lying in wait.

Oliver de la Paz’s work Requiem for the Orchard was named AALW’s First Finalist in Poetry. In the collection, which was excerpted in Guernica in 2009, de la Paz ruminates on the power of memory and the tenderness and “kinetic” spark of boyhood:

    “…despite all discretion, we charged,

      our lips stinging from cinnamon while the open air

                hummed, impossible and kinetic.”

Kumar’s and Paz’s contributions, both to Guernica and elsewhere, bring to light the diverse manifestations of Asian American literature and the incredible impact it has on their worlds. Both Kumar’s reportage and Paz’s lyric prowess investigate the diversity of their experiences—the fierce and the beautiful, unjust and the holy—and highlight the indelible power language has to make sense of it all.

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