Writing Names and Ancestors: Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint and Orlando White in conversation with Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

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Location: Live on Zoom

Myint White Oloomi

Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint is the author of a novel, The End of Peril, the End of Enmity, the End of Strife, a Haven (Noemi Press, 2018), which won an Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and a book of creative nonfiction, Names for Light: A Family History (Graywolf Press, 2021), which was the winner of the 2018 Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, and was named one of Kirkus Review’s best books of 2021, and was a finalist for the 2022 PEN Open Book Award. A former Fulbright fellow, she holds a BA in literary arts from Brown University, an MFA in prose from the University of Notre Dame, and a PhD in creative writing from the University of Denver. She is an Assistant Professor of English at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Orlando White is from Tółikan, Arizona. He is Diné of the Naaneesht’ézhi Tábaahí and born for the Naakai Diné’e. White is the author of two books of poetry, Bone Light (Red Hen Press, 2009), which Kazim Ali described as a “careful excavation on language and letters and the physical body” and LETTERRS (Nightboat Books, 2015) which received the Poetry Center Book Award. His work has appeared in such journals as Ploughshares, the Kenyon Review, Salt Hill Journal, and elsewhere. White teaches at Diné College and lives in Tsaile, Arizona.

Azareen Van Der Vliet Oloomi is the author of the novels SAVAGE TONGUES (Mariner, 2021) and CALL ME ZEBRA (Mariner, 2018) which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the John Gardner Award, was long listed for the PEN Open Book Award, was an Amazon Best Book of the Year, A Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller and named a Best Book by over twenty publications. It has been translated into Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Turkish and Romanian and was published in the UK by Alma Books, a division of Bloomsbury. She received a 2015 Whiting Writers' Award and was a National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" honoree for her debut novel, FRA KEELER  (Dorothy, a publishing project, 2012). She is the founder of Literatures of Annihilation, Exile & Resistance.

Literatures of Annihilation, Exile, and Resistance, launched by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, is a research collective and lecture series co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, and housed at the newly launched Initiative on Race and Resilience, directed by Mark Sanders, Professor of English and Africana Studies. The series focuses on contemporary literature, film, and visual art that has been shaped by revolutionary and resistance movements, decolonization, migration, class and economic warfare, communal and state-sanctioned violence, and human rights violations. We aim to theorize new modes of contemporary literary and artistic resistance across national borders and to amplify the voices of scholars, artists, and writers of color whose lived experience is instrumental in forging new alliances across formal, linguistic and national boundaries.