We just released The Romance of Siam: A Pocket Guide by Jai Arun Ravine! The event was amazing. The night started with a performance by ieumsae, a Korean poongmul (풍물) group. Then Jai Arun Ravine and Miriam Ching Yoon Louie opened the space by burning rice paper and saying a blessing. This was followed by a reading by Arisa White. Miriam Ching Yoon Louie read from her new book, Not Contagious—Only Cancer, and then Jai Arun Ravine read from The Romance of Siam!
Together, the audience and the performers collaborated to create a shrine to honor the 49 queer and latinx people who were recently killed in the shooting at the Pulse Club in Orlando, as well as to remember the 9 black people who were killed in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston last year.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this night so wonderful. Also thank you to Small Press Traffic, who co-sponsored the book release, and to Poets & Writers and all the individuals who supported our Indiegogo campaign to bring Jai Arun Ravine to Oakland for the book release! You made this possible.
One last thing—for those of you who weren't able to make it—we're really regretting we didn't take any photos of the event.