Filipino Flavors: Tradition + Innovation
EATING OUR WORDS: WRITINGS ABOUT FOOD & FAMILY
Sun May 16 | 1:00–2:30 pm, with light refreshments
Local writers share their poems, fiction and essays about two of the most important facets of life: our families and our food. Barbara Jane Reyes, Rashaan Alexis Meneses, Aileen Suzara, Aimee Suzara, Lizelle Festejo, Yael Villafranca and Lisa Suguitan Melnick read from their books and works-in-progress. Oscar Bermeo emcees.
$5 general admission, $3 students. Ticket sales end May 12! [buy now]
Location: The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of California-San Francisco
1170 Market Street, San Francisco, CA
Join the Asian Culinary Forum in the heart of San Francisco for an exciting, weekend-long celebration of the foods of the Philippines. Information on other weekend events here: http://www.asianculinaryforum.org
LIZELLE FESTEJO is the Assistant Director/Program Manager and Job Readiness Instructor at The Bread Project, a culinary and commercial baking job training program based in the East Bay. She was an organizer of Filipino American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity’s (FACES) first Kain’Na Cooking School fundraiser and also a 2008 Fellow for Robert Mondavi Winery’s Taste3. Lizelle consults for the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon organized by Tastetv.com. As a writer and community worker, her passion is fueled by bringing communities and families together through the multi-faceted and inter-generational powers of cooking, eating and food itself.
LISA SUGUITAN MELNICK’s daily life is a colorful melange of multi-cultural experience. Yes, she eats adobo with chopsticks, serves miso soup alongside pancit, and adds a touch of shoyu to the vinegar sauce for lumpia. Lisa’s work has appeared in Latin Beat Magazine, Philippine News, CATESOL (California Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages), The Advocate, and Filipinas Magazine. A third-generation Filipina/Latina American, she is currently working on Ima Ni Soledad, a memoir of vignettes which present Filipino-American experience in contexts that highlight the reverence for family and generosity of spirit. Lisa shares her life with partner of 27 years, Mark, their son Ryan Akira, and Miss Jazz, a doberman mix diva dog.
RASHAAN ALEXIS MENESES, born and raised in the seismically diverse and fractured landscape of California, earned her MFA from Saint Mary’s College of California’s Creative Writing Program. She was named a 2005-2006 Jacob K. Javits Fellow and awarded the Sor Juana Ines de La Cruz Scholarship for Excellence in Fiction. She received her B.A. in English with a specialization in Fiction, Creative Writing from the University of California, Los Angeles. Recently, A Room of Her Own Foundation named her a Finalist for The 2009 Gift of Freedom Award and her latest short story, “Here in the States” is included in the anthology, Growing Up Filipino II: More Stories for Young Adults.
BARBARA JANE REYES was born in Manila, Philippines, and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her B.A. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and her M.F.A. at San Francisco State University. She is the author of Gravities of Center (Arkipelago Books, 2003) and Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish Press, 2005), which received the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets. Her third book, entitled Diwata, will be released by BOA Editions, Ltd. in September, 2010. Her poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in Latino Poetry Review, New American Writing, North American Review, Notre Dame Review, and XCP: Cross Cultural Poetics. She has taught Creative Writing at Mills College, and Philippine Studies at University of San Francisco. She lives with her husband, poet Oscar Bermeo, in Oakland.
AILEEN SUZARA is a second generation Pinay raised in California and Hawai’i who began exploring the kitchen at childhood. Her passion for social justice led her to the Filipino/American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity and positions as an environmental educator. Aileen now brings that commitment towards sustaining the recipes and rituals of Filipino foodways. Her words appear in Earth Island Journal, The Colors of Nature, Growing Up Filipino, and others. Aileen received a BA from Mount Holyoke College and recently graduated as a Natural Chef from Bauman College.
AIMEE SUZARA completed her M.F.A. at Mills College in 2005 and has been sharing poetic and multidisciplinary work since 1999. Her play, Pagbabalik (Return) in 2007 was selected for several festivals and granted the Zellerbach Community Arts Fund in 2006-7. Her poetry collection, the space between, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2008, and her writing appears in several journals and anthologies, including Check the Rhyme, An Anthology of Female Poets and Emcees (Lit Noire Press), 580 Split (forthcoming issue) and Walang Hiya/No Shame (forthcoming anthology). Currently, she is collaborating on text-dance works with two companies: Amara Tabor-Smith’s Deep Waters Dance Theater for “Our Daily Bread”; and choreographer Frances Sedayao, Aimee Espiritu and Michael Torres for “A History of the Body,” to be hosted by the Oakland Asian Cultural Center. A passionate advocate for arts and literacy, she teaches English at community colleges and leads workshops on poetry and performance.
YAEL VILLAFRANCA is a Kundiman fellow, an organizer with Babae San Francisco/GABRIELA-USA, and a student at the University of San Francisco. She gets emotional when she eats.
OSCAR BERMEO is the author of the poetry chapbooks Anywhere Avenue, Palimpsest and Heaven Below. Born in Ecuador and raised in the Bronx, he now makes his home in Oakland with his wife, poeta Barbara Jane Reyes. Oscar was the founding curator/host of the Acentos Bronx Poetry Showcase, and a founding curator/host of the synonymUS Collaborative Open Mic at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Oscar has been a featured writer at a variety of venues and institutions including the Bowery Poetry Club, Intersection for the Arts, Kearny Street Workshop, Bronx Academy of Letters, Rikers Island Penitentiary, San Quentin Prison, the Loft Literary Center, Sacramento Poetry Center, UC Berkeley, Columbia University, UNC Chapel Hill, NYU and many others.