ILLUMINATION is a literary gathering that broadens the theme of Diwali to reframe what ‘light’ or ‘new beginnings’ mean to us. Diwali marks the beginning of a new year, but more broadly how a new year potentially symbolizes new beginnings and new light. While intended to be a space of celebration and coming together, this event seeks to also challenge the oppressive nature of this holiday that is based in Hindu Brahminical practices have historically and till date threatened the survival of Dalit and Adivasi communities in India and overseas. We invite you to join us to enjoy inspirational readings by local artists Preeti Vangani, Nidhi Jaisoor, Anita Felicelli, and Karthik Sethuraman. The event program is curated by Preeti Vangani and presented in partnership with ARTogether.
The event was held in-person at OACC with simultaneous livestreaming to OACC’s YouTube channel for remote audience viewing. If you are planning to attend in-person, please review OACC’s Onsite Visitor Policy. Donations are greatly appreciated and will support programs. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Preeti Vangani is the author of Mother Tongue Apologize, winner of the RL India Poetry Prize. Her work has been published in The Threepenny Review, Gulf Coast, Cortland Review among other places. A graduate of University of San Francisco’s MFA Program, Preeti has received fellowships and support from UCross, Tin House, Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, Pen America and the California Center for Cultural Innovation. She currently teaches in the MFA (Writing) program at University of San Francisco.
Nidhi Jaisoor writes fiction centered around themes of immigration, cultural identity, trauma, and disability, which are informed by her own experiences. She was raised in Nigeria and India, and moved to the US to attend graduate school. She is based in San Jose and, when not parenting a rambunctious toddler, is working on a collection of short stories. Some of her flash fiction is at onelittlestory.com.
Anita Felicelli is the author of CHIMERICA: A NOVEL and the short story collection LOVE SONGS FOR A LOST CONTINENT. LOVE SONGS won the 2016 Mary Roberts Rinehart Award. She is on the Board of the National Book Critics Circle and serves as its VP of Fundraising. She is an editor for the California Book Club. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives with her spouse and three children.
Karthik Sethuraman is an Indian-American living in California. His works have appeared in The Rumpus, AAWW, Fugue, and Fairy Tale Review. One work, Saramakavi, was performed at the Asian Art Museum where he was a KSW writing fellow. His chapbook, Prayer under eyelids, is available from Nomadic Press.