We are in a time of tremendous social and cultural transformation. What lies ahead for the literary arts? Maps to the Next World, a project by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation, seeks to chart new paths forward for a field in flux. Through a series of commissioned essays published online in a range of journals, Maps seeks to inspire wide-ranging reflections on challenges facing the many sectors of the literary arts and the role the field plays in public life. Maps provides a forum for bold ideas and actionable steps towards a more just, accessible, and financially viable literary arts ecosystem.

Coming Soon

Stay tuned for the first commissioned essays, arriving in summer/fall 2023!
For more information, please contact us at davisLM@si.edu.

Advisory Group
Ching-In Chen, poet and professor, Bothell, WA
Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, poet and professor, Riverside, CA
Tope Folarin, writer, Washington, DC
Katie Freeman, book publicist, Brooklyn, NY
Kelly Harris-DeBerry, poet, writer, and arts consultant, LA
Gerald Maa, writer, editor, and translator, Athens, GA
Tyler Meier, poet and arts administrator, Tucson, AZ
Craig Santos Perez, poet, Honolulu, HI
Viniyanka Prasad, arts nonprofit director and lawyer, Denver, CO
Ruben Quesada, editor and poet, Chicago, IL

Core Collaborators
Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis, curator, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center
Amy Stolls, Literary Arts Director, National Endowment for the Arts
Jessica Flynn, Literary Arts Specialist, National Endowment for the Arts
Fred Sasaki, Creative Director, Poetry Foundation

Managing Editor (and also Core Collaborator)
Jenna Peng

About the Title
“You must make your own map.”

So ends Joy Harjo’s poem “A Map to the Next World,” the inspiration for this project’s title. We invite you to take a moment to experience the poem. Both the poem and Joy Harjo herself embody a spirit to which our project aspires. If mapping has historically been a colonial enterprise, we might, following the former US Poet Laureate’s lead, approach mapping as a process open to many ways of knowing, committed to justice for all living beings, all lands and waters. We hope you join us in creating new maps.