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.
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
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org”
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!
MAHALO!!! <3 <3 <3
I am so grateful people are reading this book! Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul was released kind of quietly, but I really worked on this book–and am really happy with the results. It is not an easy book–it was written from a different, darker place than He Mele A Hilo, and even Seasonal Velocities–and it took a lot of time and control to make the poetry come out as it did. I think it’s one of my very best.
Happy that I finally worked out that rough spot in our basic hanbo (half-length staff) pattern. It works so much more like I intended it to. A little overbuilt to compensate for size differentials, with deflections, misdirections, targeted strikes to weak points. All key to what we do. We really are becoming our own school, and I have the best students in the world.