On a green-blue background, a dark maroon icon of a microphone with the text, Bridges Literary Festival.

Panel: Queer Asian Authors on Writing Chosen & Given Family

Join us at the library for an author panel discussion about queer Asian authors writing about their family – chosen or given. Family can be a loaded term for queer folks, and our panel aims to unpick some of the thorny issues, and provide some insight into the writing process.

The event will be live in person and also livestreamed via Zoom. All registered attendees will receive the Zoom link a few days before the event. It will not be recorded.

About the Panelists

Against a graffitied background, a person with dark, somewhat shaggy hair, looks into the camera and has their hands crossed on a railing in front of themKawika Guillermo  is the award-winning author of Stamped: an anti-travel novelAll Flowers Bloom, and Nimrods: a fake-punk self-hurt anti-memoir. He has also many short stories, and a video game based on his first novel. He has lived in Portland, Las Vegas, Seattle, Gimhae South Korea, Nanjing China, Hong Kong, and currently resides in Vancouver, Canada, where he works as an Associate Professor of Social Justice at the University of British Columbia.

Against a white background, an Asian woman with long dark hair looks toward the camera with a slight smile, her head tilted to the right.


Chinese Canadian author Catherine Lewis (she/her/hers) is a finalist for the Bisexual Book Awards’ Bi Writer of the Year. Her debut chapbook Zipless (845 Press), currently in its third printing, is a finalist for the Bisexual Book Award for Poetry. Her writing has been longlisted for the 2023 CBC Poetry Prize, nominated for a 2024 Pushcart Prize, and published in The FiddleheadPRISM internationalThe Humber Literary Review, Pulp Literature, and Plenitude Magazine.

A graduate of the Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University, Catherine is a two-time Banff Centre Literary Arts alumna. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Canada, she lives in Vancouver on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.

Against a grey background, an Asian person with short spiky dark hair, wearing a grey t shirt, looks into the camera with their head on a slight angle.


Candie Tanaka is a trans writer challenging the binaries continually reconstructed between self and other in literary fiction. Their work explores archive and memory in a futuristic context. They are a creative writing graduate of The Writer’s Studio program at Simon Fraser University, recently completed a MLIS (Master of Library and Information Studies) at the University of Alberta, earned a Certificate of Distinction from BCIT’s New Media Design and Web Development Program and have a BFA in Intermedia from Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design. In 2017, they were awarded a fully funded literary residency at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity that helped them further push the boundaries of their writing practice.

Candie lives in Vancouver, BC and is in the final revision stages of a first novel, working on a second manuscript, as well as penning a suite of poems about working on the waterfront. They have published work with Anvil Press, Guernica Editions and Orca Book Publishers. Their latest YA novel is called Baby Drag Queen and was released on April 11, 2023.

About the Moderator

Against a bright red graphic design background, an Asian woman with mid-length dark hair and wearing a pale shirt looks off to the left.Isabella Wang is the author of the chapbook, On Forgetting a Language, and her full-length debut, Pebble Swing, shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Among other recognitions, she has been shortlisted for Arc’s Poem of the Year Contest, The Malahat Review’s Far Horizons Contest and Long Poem Contest, and was the youngest writer to be shortlisted twice for The New Quarterly’s Edna Staebler Essay Contest. She is in her Masters of Sociology at SFU. An editor on the Room collective, she is also a youth mentor with Vancouver Poetry House, poetry mentor with the UBC Learning Exchange, web coordinator with poetry in canada, and directs her own non-profit editing and mentorship program, 4827 Revise Revision St. 


May 12 2024


2:30 pm - 4:30 pm


Main Branch - Auditorium
716 6th Avenue New Westminster, BC, V3M 2B3

Other Locations

Presentation over Zoom


Adult Programs
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