Join us in person for a conversation between Susan Kiyo Ito and Mesa Refuge Program Coordinator Eirinie Carson about Susan’s new book, I Would Meet You Anywhere (Mad Creek Books).
“An intimate, deftly told story illuminating adoption’s complications and losses, I Would Meet You Anywhere is sure to move anyone who has ever felt rootless, questioned their place within their family, or longed for deeper self-understanding.” —Nicole Chung, author of A Living Remedy
“Susan Kiyo Ito is like a surgeon operating on herself. She is delicate, precise, and at times cutting with her words. But it is all in service of her own healing and to encourage us all to be brave enough to do the same in our own stories.” —W. Kamau Bell, author of Do the Work! An Antiracist Activity Book
This free event is presented in partnership with the Mesa Refuge. Registration requested but not required.
About I Would Meet You Anywhere
Growing up with adoptive nisei parents, Susan Kiyo Ito knew only that her birth mother was Japanese American and her father white. But finding and meeting her birth mother in her early twenties was only the beginning of her search for answers, history, and identity. Though the two share a physical likeness, an affinity for ice cream, and a relationship that sometimes even feels familial, there is an ever-present tension between them, as a decades-long tug-of-war pits her birth mother’s desire for anonymity against Ito’s need to know her origins, to see and be seen. Along the way, Ito grapples with her own reproductive choices, the legacy of the Japanese American incarceration experience during World War II, and the true meaning of family. An account of love, what it’s like to feel neither here nor there, and one writer’s quest for the missing pieces that might make her feel whole, I Would Meet You Anywhere is the stirring culmination of Ito’s decision to embrace her right to know and tell her own story.
About the participants
Susan Kiyo Ito is the coeditor of the literary anthology A Ghost at Heart’s Edge: Stories and Poems of Adoption. Her work has appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies. A MacDowell Fellow, she has also been awarded residencies at the Mesa Refuge, Hedgebrook, and BlueMountain Center. She has performed her solo show, The Ice Cream Gene, around the United States and adapted Untold Stories: Life,Love, and Reproduction for the theater. She writes and teaches in the Bay Area.
Eirinie Carson is a writer and author; her first book, The Dead are Gods, was released in April 2023 (Melville House). She is a contributing writer to the online magazine, MOTHER. Eirinie is an activist and community organizer, working in partnership with Petaluma Blacks for Community Development and Petaluma for Reproductive Rights. She spearheaded the effort to organize a march in Petaluma against the overturning of Roe v. Wade, gathering 500 people in 48 hours. She also works with TIDE, the Team for Inclusivity, Diversity and Equity in the Petaluma school system. Eirinie is also a brand ambassador for Doen, a socially conscious clothing company working towards sustainability and equity. She comes to the Mesa Refuge with more than a decade of social media experience, running the accounts of various organizations.