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Rainbow Bookfest

Voices of color continue to struggle to be heard and recognized as equal and important in the evolving American story. A group of volunteers is aiming to change this lopsided aspect of the literary arts through the Seattle Rainbow Bookfest. It's the first organized effort in the country to bring writers of color together with the public to engage the community in a gathering that entertains and engages readers, offers diverse perspectives and celebrates authors of color.

At the sixth annual Rainbow Bookfest, held at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, attendees participated in a literary smorgasbord of readings, workshops and panel discussions on topics ranging from self-publishing to diversity in online journalism.

The bookfest featured the work of 28 writers of color, including Indian author Indu Sundaresan's exploration of ancient India's influence on the country's contemporary culture, and Kim-An Lieberman's first poetry collection examining her personal experience as an American of mixed Vietnamese and Jewish descent.

"Receiving the [city] grant was critical in making the event possible," said Rainbow Bookfest Chair Belinda Chin. "The grant helped validate and legitimize the event, helping to leverage sponsors."