A Recording: The Woman of Water Dreams

A couple of days ago, a student at the University of Sheffield sent me this very nice note:


I am writing about the above poem in an essay for a studying poetry module, I do English Literature and Philosophy at the University of Sheffield and I’m writing on the question “Is gender insignificant”. I would love to hear a recording of you reading it so I can understand the poem more fully.”

So, I figured this was as good a time as any to start recording some of my work. This it what I ended up recording.  Looks like a good step toward an audio book, maybe?

<3 Ryka

In Whose Image: Trans and Genderqueer Writers on Magic, Spirituality, and (the Bodies of) G-d: My AWP Talk on Magical Realism Magic, and Trans Identity

(Delivered at the 2016 AWP, 4/1/2016. Please note that it was written for speaking, not publication, so I’ve not completely cleaned up grammar and formatting.)

Thank you everyone for coming! Gosh, it’s the last day of the AWP. I kind of have a love-hate relationship with the AWP. I think I feel that way with a lot of things that purport to have a purpose, but are often chaotic, huge, and relentless.

One realizes this is self-selected space–a place away from places. In this hermetically sealed oversized glass terrarium next to Hooters, we’re not really seeing the full everywhere glory of Los Angeles. This space was carefully edited to serve a purpose. For that purpose we paid to enter, both with our talents, ambitions, and either departmental funding or our own hard-earned cash (which is still tax-deductable).

And so we come in here, with lanyards and tote bags and thoughts about being writers and seeing some panels and readings and BOOM!

[Read more...]

Trans Day of Visibililty 2016–”The Woman of Water Dreams” from Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul

Thank you to Media Diversified for letting me share some of my poetry on this Trans Day of Visibility. 

“Media Diversified is a young and growing non-profit organisation which seeks to cultivate and promote skilled writers of colour by providing advice and contacts and by promoting content online through its own platform. Live since July 2013, the initiative is already diversifying the UK’s media landscape, providing important, challenging and new content which contributes to global as well as domestic discussion on issues of issues of social justice, equality, gender, politics, economics and pop culture. In March 2015 Media Diversified launched its Experts Directory, a searchable resource for media organisations of all sizes to subscribe to.. “

At the AWP! 4/2/2016 Los Angeles Convention Center

I am really looking forward to this event. The AWP is the big creative writing shindig–and if you can make it down, please come by!

3/21 Seasonal Velocities Temporarily Sold Out

Right now, the only way to get Seasonal Velocities is to email me directly or come to a reading (or, if you are lucky, an independent queer bookstore may have one). Trans-Genre actually ran out of stock–BUT I sent 25 copies of my own to Amazon to take up the slack. Trans-Genre is working to switch printing methods so this does not happen in the future.

On one hand I feel badly the book is sold out. But then again–the book is sold out! This is already the fourth printing, I believe! I am so grateful to everyone who has read, or wants to read, Seasonal Velocities. We all worked so hard, from publisher to designer (AJ and AJ/me), to cover artist (Jack Dandy), to writer (me), to give Seasonal Velocities life. It has allowed me to meet so many people, make so many new friends. It has also given my other books have an easier path to publication.

And I still love Jack Dandy’s cover.  More on hys work here!

Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul–Lambda Finalist (Reading May 24)

I found out recently that Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul has been recognized as a Lambda Finalist this year in the all-new category of Transgender Poetry. That is an amazing honor! Thank you, Lambda Literary. I will be reading at the Lambda Finalist reading on May 24 at the West Hollywood City Hall.

Los Angeles, CA May 24th
West Hollywood Public Library
Council Chambers – Lower Level
625 N San Vicente Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Reading will be in the evening with exact time to be determined.

I found out about all of this via Twitter. Three big takeaways: First, dear new writers, consider naming your book something a LOT shorter than Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul for ease of Twitter… Ugh! Second: Wow!  Holy crap!  I have some fantastic company. Third: the wonderful part about these sorts of days is you get to look out and see people you care about creating work that is finding readers. Thank you! <3 <3 <3


Asterisk Trans Conference 2/27-28 UC Riverside

I was given the chance to close the Trans Asterisk Conference at UC Riverside. It was such an amazing warm and emotional experience. Not only did I run into Kay Barrett and Jade Phoenix and Jade Hambaro, I made a lot of new friends. I read. I sold books, I talked to folks, I had chips. I listened to some excellent scholars and artist.  It was a lot of good times. Super thankful to Alix and nancyjean and everyone who organized an amazing weekend.

I also got to mix modes–I led a self-defense seminar with my students from Supernova! It was packed, SRO, and we distributed all of our flyers–plus, I feel we gave out some good info, too. Grant, Angel, Frank, Trey, and Byron–thank you for driving out to Riverside for the demo.


Friends at UCSD!!

I was needing mental space, so I went to SD to write. I knew these folks had invited me to chill with them,. so I just asked–and Boom! Instant fun and connection. Thank you to  Oscar , Alex, Kailiokaōhialehua, and especially Shane and Sandra!

THANK YOU!!!10955330_1320357177981265_6251349987708307201_n



Reading 3/22 Laguna Hills! 1pm :)

Hope folks can come by. :) I know a lot of folks in Laguna Hills. A lot of amazing writers and people and friends, and I am so honored to be reading with them.  I’ll be reading from my latest book, Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul.

“The Spoken Word Club will feature Ryka Aoki at the March 22 meeting. Ryka Aoki is the author of Seasonal Velocities, He Mele a Hilo (A Hilo Song) and Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul. She has been honored by the California State Senate for her “extraordinary commitment to free speech and artistic expression, as well as the visibility and well-being of Transgender people.” Ryka was the 2015 Mandel Grant author at John Carroll University, and in April will be the Fred Ewing and Lola Austin Case Writer-in-Residence at Central Illinois University. Ryka has MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University and is the recipient of a University Award from the Academy of American Poets. She is a former national judo champion, the founder of the International Transgender Martial Artists Alliance, and is a professor of English at Santa Monica College. Meeting starts at 1pm in the Redwoods Room in the Community Center. Open readers will have an opportunity to read up to 3 minutes. Membership is $10/year. Refreshments. Guests are welcomed to listen or join in ($2/mtg). For more information: contact Charlie Redner at 520-400-5955 or charlesredner@gmail.com”

Thank you Wind-Up Books Chronicle!

I am stunned. Really just feel so happy and blessed that He Mele A Hilo continues to reach readers. It’s as if I put my best stories  (and my recipe book) into a bottle and sent it into the sea. Suddenly, it has come back–with new readers and new friends.  Thank you so much!

Here is this wonderful review from The Wind-Up Books Chronicle. 

MAHALO!!! <3 <3 <3