Kundiman (nonprofit organization)

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Kundiman is a nonprofit organization which offers writing retreats, a reading series, and a poetry prize, and is dedicated to providing "a safe yet rigorous space where Asian American poets can explore, through art, the unique challenges that face the new and ever changing diaspora."[1] Kundiman was co-founded in 2002 by Asian American poets Sarah Gambito and Joseph O. Legaspi,[2][3] and has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, University of Virginia, Asian American Arts Alliance’s (SOAR) Program, Philippine American Writers, PAWA, and individuals.[4]

Recently, Kundiman and Fordham University announced that they have formed an affiliation: Kundiman will "enhance the outreach of Fordham’s English Department," and Fordham will host the annual Kundiman Poetry Retreat on Fordham’s Rose Hill campus beginning in 2010, and host Kundiman-sponsored readings and events at the Lincoln Center Campus. Fordham will also provide a total of $60,000 over three years in financial support for Kundiman’s programs.[5]

According to the University of Virginia, which hosted Kundiman's inaugural writing retreat, "The organization’s name refers to a style of Filipino love song that served as veiled patriotism during colonial times."[6] According to Sarah Gambito, "Kundiman Fellows have published poems in The Virginia Quarterly Review,The Colorado Review, Pleiades, Black Warrior Review and Crab Orchard Review" and "Three Kundiman fellows have gone on to publish full-length collections of poetry."[7]

Honors given by Kundiman include The Kundiman Poetry Prize, for a first or second book by an Asian American poet. The prize is being co-sponsored and the winning manuscript published by Alice James Books, and according to Kundiman, "is the only poetry prize dedicated to Asian American poets in the country."[8][9][10]


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