Lambda Litfest 2019

The 2019 Celebrating the Asian American LGBTQ+ Experience raised over $300 for Lambda Literary, CAPE, and the Trevor Project respectively. The event itself featured an innovative structure which combined the articulated exhibits of the Chinese American Museum and their 2019 exhibit Lightscapes: Re-envisioning the Shanshuiha with readings, poetry and interactive art performances, followed by a panel discussion.

Nick Dong, CB Lee, Kay Ulanday Barrett, Addie Tsai, Muriel Leung and Henry Lien at the 2019 Celebrating the Asian American LGBTQ+ Experience.

Event photography by Daniel Nguyen.

September 27, 2019

Chinese American Museum
425 N Los Angeles StLos Angeles, CA 90012USA


6:00 PM 
Doors Open

6:30 PM – 7:30 PM 
Articulated Exhibits and Performances

7:30 PM – 8:00 PM 
Discussion Panel

8:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Networking Reception

Attendees listen as Kay Ulanday Barrett read from his new poetry collection in the Journeys exhibit.
Muriel Leung discusses the impact of her Asian American identity and her queer identity on her creative work during the discussion panel.

This event brings together Asian American artists, writers, and creative industry professionals in the LGBTQ+ community in historic downtown Los Angeles at the Chinese American Museum for Lambda Literary’s LitFest 2019 for an evening of community and celebrating art and creativity. CAM’s current exhibit, “Lightscapes: Reenvisioning the Shanshuihua,” reimagines the philosophies of Chinese landscape paintings with new media and immersive light-based installations. The masters of Chinese landscape art would often retreat to nature to examine the themes of harmony and balance in the cosmos, as well as find sanctuary in nature. For the LGBTQ+ community, finding balance and safety to express ourselves is one of the challenges of everyday life. Where do we go as a community to retreat and how do we find balance in our lives? Lambda Literary and CAM invite you to join us for an evening of special performances, poetry readings and activities articulated with CAM’s current exhibits and “Lightscapes: Reenvisioning the Shanshuihua.” Followed by a panel discussion and networking reception, this multimedia event celebrates art and creativity at the intersection of Asian American identity and the LGBTQ+ community.

About the 2019 Guests


Kay Ulunday Barrett (Photo by Jess X. Chen and Pixie Ruth)

Kay Ulanday Barrett aka @brownroundboi is a poet, performer, and cultural strategist. K. has featured at The Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Princeton University, Tucson Poetry Festival, NY Poetry Festival, The Poetry Project, The Dodge Poetry Foundation, The Hemispheric Institute, & Brooklyn Museum to name a few. They are a 2x Pushcart Prize nominee and received fellowships from Lambda Literary Review, VONA/Voices, The Home School, Pink Door, and Macondo. They’ve previously served as Guest Faculty for The Poetry Foundation & Crescendo Literary, as well as Guest Editor for Nat.Brut. Their contributions are found in Academy of American Poets, The New York Times, Asian American Literary Review, PBS News Hour, Poets House, F(r)iction, VIDA Review, NYLON, The Huffington Post, Them., & Bitch Magazine. Their first book, When The Chant Comes was published by Topside Press in 2016. Their second collection More Than Organs, will be published by Sibling Rivalry Press, Spring 2020. 


Henry Lien was born in Taiwan, and currently lives in Hollywood. He is a 2012 graduate of Clarion West. He is the author of the award-winning and critically-acclaimed Peasprout Chen middle grade fantasy series, on which he was mentored by George R.R. Martin, Chuck Palahniuk, and Kelly Link at Clarion West. His work has received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist and acclaim in the New York Times, and been a finalist for three Nebula awards. Publishers Weekly, Logo Network, and Book Riot also included the Peasprout Chen books in their lists of top LGBTQ books. Henry has worked as an attorney, fine art dealer, and college instructor. Hobbies include writing and performing campy science fiction/fantasy anthems, and losing Nebula awards.


Addie Tsai teaches courses in literature, creative writing, dance, and humanities at Houston Community College. She collaborated with Dominic Walsh Dance Theater on Victor Frankenstein and Camille Claudel, among others. Addie holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and a PhD in Dance from Texas Woman’s University. Her writing has been published in Banango Street, The Offing, The Collagist, The Feminist Wire, Nat. Brut., and elsewhere. Her queer Asian young adult novel, Dear Twin, is forthcoming from Metonymy Press in November 2019. She is the Nonfiction Editor at The Grief Diaries, Senior Associate Editor in Poetry at The Flexible Persona, Assistant Fiction Editor at Anomaly, and Senior Editor of Culture and Interviews at Raising Mothers. Addie Tsai’s photo credits: Cut Loose Salon


Nick Dong 董承濂 is a conceptual metalsmith, mixed-media sculptor, and socio-commodity engineer who ignites experiential moments. He was born in 1973 in Taipei, Taiwan and lives and works in Oakland, California. After completing his BFA at Tunghai University in Taiwan, Dong obtained his MFA at the University of Oregon. In 2012 he exhibited a site-specific installation at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and he presented immersive installations at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art in 2016. As the founder of studioDONG, he leads a team to produce experiential mixed-media sculptures, objects, and installations that combine an advanced knowledge of materials and techniques with the goal of engaging an audience’s experience beyond the optical.   


CB Lee (Photo by Caroline Tran)

CB Lee is a bisexual Chinese-Vietnamese American writer whose novels include the Sidekick Squad series, a young adult science fiction adventure that follow queer teens who take on a corrupt government superhero agency, and also the fantasy Seven Tears At High Tide. Lee’s work has been featured in Teen Vogue, Wired Magazine, and Hypable. Not Your Sidekick was a 2017 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist in YA/Children’s Fiction and a 2017 Bisexual Book Awards Finalist in Speculative Fiction. Seven Tears at High Tide was the recipient of a Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Fantasy Romance and also a finalist for the 2016 Bisexual Book Awards in the YA and Speculative Fiction categories.


Muriel Leung is the author of Bone Confettiwinner of the 2015 Noemi Press Book Award. A Pushcart Prize nominated writer, her writing can be found in The BafflerCream City ReviewGulf Coast, The Collagist, Fairy Tale Review, and others. She is a recipient of fellowships to Kundiman, VONA/Voices Workshop and the Community of Writers. She is the Poetry Co-Editor of Apogee Journal and host of The Blood-Jet Writing Hour podcast with Rachelle Cruz and MT Vallarta. She is a member of Miresa Collective, a feminist speakers bureau. Currently, she is a Dornsife Fellow in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Southern California. She is from Queens, NY. For more information about her work, please visit

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