Re-thinking Panel Questions for Writing Our Way Home: Shaping Tradition, History and Culture” at SFPL this coming Saturday, October 19, 3-4pm.

With only hours away, the questions are being finalized, some of them reconsidered for audience and accessibility thanks to a heads up from Lysley Tenorio about audience.
Proving once again that a writer’s work is never done, below are the revised questions, which will probably be tweaked and re-tweaked a few more times before put to the panel which includes Luisa A. Igloria (poetry), Jon Pineda (poetry, memoir, fiction), and Lysley Tenorio (fiction).
Fil Am Book Fest II is going to be an impressive and inspiring literary love fest. Here’s hoping to do the writers justice!
  • How do you start? When do you know you’ve come to the end?
  • Luisa Igloria’s newest collection The Saints of Streets (UST Publishing house, 2013) are comprised mainly of narrative poems. Can we talk about genre and shuttling among forms since Pineda has written a memoir, poetry, and a novel, Lysley moving from short fiction to a novel and Luisa focusing most recently on narrative within poetry?
  • How has family shaped you as a writer? What memories or experiences in childhood and with family serve as foundational in terms of what inspires you to write and what you write about?
  • Currently reading Pineda’s Apology, so his novel is forefront in my mind and specifically this quote: “It was not a dream, though it felt like one. A beautiful piece of memory that could make him cry. Exequiel woke now, feverish. Out of his head. He summoned it from the faint scar woven in the bottom of his foot. A story hidden in the flesh.” So many of the tales interwoven in this novel are told through the body. I’m curious to know how does the flesh experience–since this is such a visceral and at times violent set of interlocked stories–how does flesh dictate the telling of the novel as opposed to chronology? I’d love to hear the panelists discuss how the body dictates their work.
  • In Tenorio’s story “Felix Starro” the narrator contemplates age, time, and space, “I had turned nineteen three weeks before, on the plane to America. But I didn’t know exactly when it happened–that whole time in the sky I wasn’t sure if it was today or tomorrow, which country was ahead or behind and by how many hours or days…” Can you talk about geography and place. Is there as the title of the panel and conference suggests, a way to write home?
  • In D.R.M. Irving’s book on musical history of the Philippines, Colonial Counterpoint: Music in Early Modern Manila, (Oxford University Press, 2010) he posits that Manila during the 16th and 17th centuries became the first truly cosmopolitan city, linking the East with the West, the old world of Spain with the new world of New Spain in Mexico. Since each of your works are arguably transnational, do you feel that you speak to a new cosmopolitanism or that you might be  cosmopolitan yourself?
  • In the collection of essays Not Home But Here: Writing from the Filipino Diaspora, Luisa Igloria writes in her introduction of the “academic residence.” Might the panelists speak on multi-residences, be they academic, artistic, personal, familial, etc. and how they inform or influence your writing or shape the different self/selves as academic, writer, Filipino?
  • Who are you reading now?
  • What is the best dish or meal to sit down to after a day of writing?

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