On Saturday, May 13, 2023, in honour of May Asian Heritage Month, JETAABC Yomi-Kai invited emerging writer: Erica H Isomura. The hour begun with a reading of a poem that speaks to relationships with language, environment, history, and Erica’s yon-sei (fourth generation) 四世 Japanese / diasporic Cantonese identity. This was then followed by a work-in-progress piece that integrated different art forms in the presentation and reading of the piece.

With an intimate group of 9, we delved into discussions of various topics: from seeking connections in what are typically perceived as separate themes, to really understanding intersectionality, to sharing thoughts on what it means to see Asian Canadian representation in media, to finding out different ways to support emerging writers, and more. Did you know that by simply requesting a publication to be bought by your local library, the writer receives some support? Of course, we learned more about Erica’s writing process – especially on the heels of last month’s JETAABC Yomi-Kai discussion of their award winning essay, “For the Dreamers,” published by Briarpatch Magazine.

As Erica is currently working towards their MFA at the University of Guelph, we wish Erica the best of luck and we look forward to seeing more of their name in the Canadian literary landscape!

If you are interested in learning more about Erica’s upcoming writing workshops and artist talks, follow them on social media at @ericahiroko on instagram & twitter.

Furthermore, if you are interested in reading Erica’s new writings / comics and other updates on their work, sign up for their newsletter at: https://buttondown.email/ritualistic/

JETAABC Yomi-Kai meets monthly for those who are interested in discussing writings from Japanese authors in translation and Japanese Canadian / American authors. Check out our initiative page, if you are interested to see how you can join our next meeting and find out what we are reading next.