Monday, June 12, 2006

Kundiman's Vincent Chin Memorial Chapbook Prize

The Vincent Chin Memorial Chapbook Prize
Deadline: June 30, 2006
Judge: John Yau
Prize: $500, Barrow Street publication, & Full Scholarship to Kundiman Retreat 2007
Fee: $15
Eligbility: Asian American poets who have not published more than one book of forty-eight pages or more.


On June 19, 1982, in Detroit, Vincent Chin was beaten to death with a baseball bat by a man and his stepson. The two laid-off autoworkers mistook Chin for Japanese — an Asian group they blamed for the ailing industry. The assailants never served jail time, and later federalcivil-rights courts acquitted them entirely of the crime.

For many today, this is a rarely remembered footnote in American history.However, the tragedy of Vincent Chin marked an important change in how Asian Americans viewed themselves. It was the first time, according to APAadvocates and academics, that people who traced their ancestry todifferent countries in Asia and the Pacific Islands crossed ethnic andsocioeconomic lines to fight [politically] as a united group of AsianPacific Americans. They were Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Filipino; theywere waiters, lawyers, and grandmothers who were moved to action by whathappened to Vincent Chin.

For the first time, Asian Americans banded together against the discrimination and racism directed toward the APA community. Decades later, the need for Asian Americans to unite as a population and to project a voice into the cultural mainstream is as urgent as ever.

In honor of Vincent Chin and this watershed moment in Asian American history, Kundiman and Barrow Street are sponsoring The Vincent ChinMemorial Chapbook Prize. This annual prize is an opportunity for bothKundiman and Barrow Street to support and spotlight the talent of anemerging Asian American poet, a new voice in the landscape of AsianAmerican _expression and power.

Winner will receive:
• $500 cash prize
• Chapbook publication in Barrow Street:
• Full scholarship to the 2007 Kundiman Summer Retreat

Applicant Eligibility
Asian American poets who have not published more than one book of forty-eight pages or more.

Entry Fee
Check for $15.00 payable to The New York Foundation for the Arts

John Yau will judge this year’s contest.For guidelines and more information on The Vincent Chin Memorial Chapbook Prize, please go to: