Fordham University has entered into a partnership with Kundiman, Inc., to enhance the outreach to poets by its Department of English, and to provide a new home in New York City for Kundiman’s development of the next generation of Asian American poets.

“This partnership between Kundiman and Fordham University represents an historical undertaking in the mentorship of Asian American writers,” said Sarah Gambito, assistant professor and director of creative writing at Fordham. “With this crucial support, Kundiman will be able to work toward organizational sustainability with an eye toward taking program offerings to the next level of excellence.”

According to the agreement, the Kundiman Poetry Retreat will be held on Fordham’s Rose Hill campus beginning in 2010, and Kundiman-sponsored readings and events will be held at the Lincoln Center Campus. Kundiman was founded in 2004 by poets Gambito and Joseph O. Legaspi, to provide opportunities for Asian American poets to perfect their skills through education and performance and to promote Asian American literature as an undeniable part of American letters.

Sarah Gambito

The annual poetry retreat has provided 68 emerging poets with a distinguished faculty and writing environment. Its public readings bring the work of emerging and established Asian American poets and writers to new audiences. Through presentations at conferences, faculty and fellows raise the visibility of diverse literary voices. The Kundiman Poetry Prize, in partnership with Alice James Books, is the only poetry prize dedicated to Asian American poets in the country.  Kavad, an oral history project based on the stories and poetry of first and second generation Asian American immigrants, captures a critical cultural legacy.

“Following up on Fordham’s hosting of the Future Asian Americas Symposium last June, the affiliation with Kundiman is one more step in the establishment of Fordham as the place for Asian-American letters,” said Nancy A. Busch, Ph.D.,
dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and chief research officer/associate vice-president of academic affairs. “When coupled with Poets Out Loud and the activities of the new Boyd Chair in Poetics and Poetic Imagination, the partnership with Kundiman enhances the University’s reputation as a key participant in the vibrant New York poetry scene.  Through the summer workshop retreat, the brightest future stars in Asian American poetry will be introduced to Fordham, further cementing our deserved reputation for multicultural cosmopolitanism.”

Founded in 1841, Fordham is the Jesuit University of New York, offering exceptional education distinguished by the Jesuit tradition to approximately 14,700 students in its four undergraduate colleges and its six graduate and professional schools. It has residential campuses in the Bronx and Manhattan, a campus in Westchester, and the Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk, N.Y.


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