Kitaab USA REBA Desmond Kon Author PixIt’s unprecedented. Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé has walked away with the gold in four out of the five formal regional categories at this year’s USA Regional Excellence Book Awards.

The winning titles include: Phat Planet Cometh (Glass Lyre Press), The Wrong/Wrung Side of Love (Glass Lyre Press), Singular Acts of Endearment (Grey Sparrow Press), Babel Via Negativa (Ethos Books), I Didn’t Know Mani Was A Conceptualist (Math Paper Press), Sanctus Sanctus Dirgha Sanctus (Red Wheelbarrow Books), and Eye/Feel/Write: Experiments in Ekphrasis (Squircle Line Press). In fact, had the anthology Ars Moriendi won under the category of Anthology (Southeast Region) instead of its placing as a finalist – Clay Stafford’s Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded bagged first place – Desmond would have placed wins in all five territories.

In total, this veritable coup for the author looks at a sweep of seven wins under Adult Fiction, Anthology, Poetry, and Spirituality in four territories (Northeast, West, Midwest, Southwest) at the Awards.

A Southeast Asian-language literary award helps promote diversity and cultural understanding.

On Aug. 30 last year, the halls of the National Taiwan Museum in Taipei were flooded by a sea of color and the sound of many languages speaking at once. The mood was light and the crowd diverse, with a variety of clothing on display, from the elegant, ankle-length ao dai of Vietnam to the Muslim hijab, which can take many forms but is often a headscarf or veil. The visitors to the museum had gathered to attend the second annual Taiwan Literature Award for Migrants. “Anyone who could utter a word of welcome in a Southeast Asian language—whether the Thai sawadee ka or the Indonesian apa kabar—was welcome to take part,” says Chang Cheng (張正), organizer of the award and co-founder of Brilliant Time, a bookstore in New Taipei City that focuses on Southeast Asian-language publications. 

An official circular on reforming China’s art and literature awards said appraisals from ordinary people will be an important parameter.

The circular, made public by the general offices of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council on Monday, said appraisals from the general public, artists and literati should be integrated with commercial indicators such as audience rating, box office and circulation.

the-lives-of-othersPenguin Random House has three titles shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2016 which reflects “the variety and vigour” of South Asian fiction writing and writing about South Asia.

In competition for the $50,000 (£33,000) prize are: R Meera for Hang Woman (Translated by J Devika; Penguin, India); Mirza Waheed for The Book of Gold Leaves (Viking/Penguin India); Neel Mukherjee for The Lives of Others (Vintage/Penguin Random House, UK), along with Akhil Sharma for Family Life (Faber & Faber, UK); Anuradha Roy for Sleeping on Jupiter (Hachette, India); and Raj Kamal Jha for She Will Build Him A City (Bloomsbury, India).