Come celebrate and support AAPI Heritage Month by joining us for Beverly Parayno’s book launch “WildFlowers.” I’ll be reading with Tamim Ansary, Tony Robles, Olga Zilberbourg, Veronica Montes, and Aileen Cassinetto on Saturday, May 27, 2:30-4:30pm @ Sentro Filipino: The San Francisco Filipino Cultural Center, 814 Mission Street. Let’s congratulate Beverly and PAWA Press as she shares work from her new story collection, available for pre-order at http://www.wildflowersbp.com/page1/
Wildflowers Book description:
In these nine unforgettable stories, spanning several generations and traversing the Philippines, the Bay Area, and Ireland, Parayno illuminates the emotional and psychological journeys of Filipino and Filipino American girls and women experiencing fear, desire, loneliness, and despair. Wildflowers speaks to everyone who has ever had to find a strength and resiliency they never knew they had.
So honored to represent Mineral School at a AWP Off-site event on Friday, March 10, 5-7pm at Seattle University. Can’t wait to reunite with the wonderful peeps of this special writing retreat.
And! At our panel discussion “Impossible Balance” on Saturday, March 11, 3:20-4:35pm (Room 327, Summit Bldg), I’ll finally get to meet one of my Orion writing group members John Messick, who has a new book out Compass Lines by Porphyry Press, which I’ll definitely be picking up at the conference book fair.
Hope to see some friendly faces in the coming days!
The last time I was at AWP, I was still in graduate school, renting an apartment, and unsure about what came next post-MFA. Italy won the World Cup, and Gnarls Barkley was top of the charts with “Crazy.” It’s been more than awhile (17 years–ouch!), so much so, that I’m now a mother, a professor, a homeowner, who still feels just as lost with so much still up in the air only now I get to chat about this lostness and all the many balls in the air with fellow parent-writers. I am both nervous and truly excited to be sharing a panel discussion with fellow writers John Messick, Keema Waterfield, Sean Prentiss, and Ukamaka Olisakwe.
For those attending AWP, I hope you can join us at this panel “Impossible Balance” on Saturday, March 11, 3:20-4:35pm (Room 327, Summit Bldg), where we attempt to put into our words the crazy-making, acrobatic experiences of parenting [small children] and writing [during the pandemic]. I would love to catch up and meet fellow writers, readers, and lovers of word in Seattle, so please drop me a line and see you there!
I’m honored to be a part of the return of the Filipino International Book Festival this weekend, October 15-16 at the San Francisco Main Public Library, where I’ll be hosting Ink Storm #3 with luminaries:
Marianne Chan Liza Gino jxtheo Alan Samson Manalo Veronica Montes Vicente Rafael Lara Stapleton Kenneth Tan Host: Rashaan Alexis Meneses Koret Auditorium, Basement
The 6th Filipino American International Book Festival returns to the San Francisco Main Library on Oct 15-16 after a three year hiatus. It is a spectacular lineup of writers and publishers from around the US, the Philippines, and Europe, celebrating the theme of “Hiraya/Emergence.”
The festival will open with a live performance from “Larry the Musical,” a much anticipated production about labor activist Larry Itliong. It will feature headliners Gina Apostol, Erin Entrada Kelly, and Meredith Talusan, panels, author readings, book signings, a free writing workshop, and a books + comics marketplace. We’ll close with a pre-recorded interview with Nobel laureate Maria Ressa and journalist Ben Pimentel.
For the families and teachers, we’re offering a Kids + Teen program. We’ll offer slime-making, a zine workshop, author readings and signings, a puppet show, a giveaway of 80 book bundles, and more for all ages. And if you love YA and MG, catch our authors in discussion with National Book Award finalist Randy Ribay.
Help us by spreading the word, or volunteering with us. Share this email with a teacher, bring a friend, bring your kids, bring yourself! All events are 100% free.
Counting down for the return of the the Filipino American International Book Festival, happening Saturday and Sunday, October 15 & 16 at the San Francisco Main Public Library. This year brings a stellar roster of authors, artists, and panelists, listed below, and yours truly will be hosting one of the events on Sunday, October 16, so please mark your calendars. There’s plenty for readers of all ages, including special events for kids & teens. Can’t wait!
Featured Interview Maria Ressa
Featured Keynote Speakers and Authors Gina Apostol Erin Entrada Kelly Meredith Talusan
Philippines Ani Rosa Almario Gideon Lasco Ian “Taipan” Lucero, panelist
United Kingdom Candy Gourlay
France Reine Arcache Melvin
USA California Ramon Abad Cyra Africa and Fae the Waray Puppet Erina Alejo Marielle Atanancio Tracy Badua MIchael Caylo-Baradi Joi Barrios Jason Bayani, moderator Debra Belali, moderator Steve Belali, panelist Conrad Benedicto Bayani Books mg burns, panelist Jaena Rae Cabrera, moderator Melissa Chadburn Catherine Ceniza Choy Dara Del Rosario, moderator Diwata Komiks Zoe Dorado Troy Espera, moderator Laurel Flores Fantauzzo Liza Gino Kristian Kabuay, panelist Karen Llagas, moderator Edwin Lozada, moderator, host Zach Lewis Maravilla Alan Samson Manalo Earl Matito, moderator Lisa Melnick, moderator Rashaan Alexis Meneses, Inkstorm host Veronica Montes Michelle Peñalosa Ben Pimentel, moderator Maxie Villavicencio Pulliam Mae Respicio Barbara Jane Reyes Randy Ribay, moderator Dr. Robyn Rodriguez Renee Macalino Rutledge Luna Salaver, panelist Sampaguita Press Ricco Siasoco, moderator Janet Stickmon, host Allysson Tintiangco-Cubales, panelist Angela Narciso Torres jxtheo Lorna Velasco, panelist Dr. Lily Ann Villaraza, moderator
Florida Cynthia Salaysay
Illinois Mia P. Manansala
Maryland Lysley Tenorio
Massachussetts Bren Bataclan Sabina Murray
New York Sophia N. Lee Lara Stapleton Isabel Roxas
Ohio Marianne Chan
Oregon Jason Tanamor
Washington Cookie Hiponia Ube Books Vicente Rafael
On the second day in senior seminar we speak about Kafka’s Metamorphosis, and I can’t help but nudge them to the subject of illness. We wonder who is truly sick, Gregor or his family? Who is truly human? What does it mean to be healthy? How does time pass differently when healthy or ill?
As a mother of a six-year-old, I’ve spent the last four years catching every cold and flu on a near-monthly basis. Sickness became routine, and time paced differently from one illness to the next. I hold onto their questions and insights as if they are keys to unlocking some truth. No one mentions Covid-19. That illness all too present on everyone’s mind.
What seems like a lifetime ago, back in February, I traveled to Bainbridge Island, WA as a 2020 Resident at the Bloedel Bunkhouse with Seventh Wave Magazine. There, nestled among cedar trees and ferns, an essay I’d been mulling over for a couple years got lovingly nurtured. No one among the fellow residents and editors thought the idea of braiding together themes on language, identity, and eucalyptus trees was too crazy. No one thought it wouldn’t fly.
At Bainbridge, co-founders of Seventh Wave, Joyce Chen and Brett Rawson along with Featured ArtistMalaka Gharib (yes! I got to chat and collaborate with this talented genius and author of I Was Their American Dream. *Swoon*), co-created a community of deep intention and loving purpose. The Bainbridge Residency, and the experience of working with Seventh Wave has been nourishing and eye-opening in so many ways. During this time of lockdown, of uncertainty, of rage, the fellow residents and brilliant writers, Anne Liu Kellor, Frances Lee, Kofi Opam provided not just shining light but imaginative and meaningful ways of creating, ways of knowing, and ways of being. They’ve all taught me how to take risks creatively and politically.
You can experience the risks they’ve taken, the challenges they pose for us, as readers and active agents in our communities, by peeping out their work:
I’m honored and inspired to be a part of this fellowship. So very grateful for the experience of writing and dialoguing with Seventh Wave, which helped bring to light my latest essay, “Foreign Domestic”. The piece started as a hazy attempt to reflect on language and my mixed race experiences. Written when shelter-in-place was enacted statewide in California, when the college classes I was teaching were suddenly shifted online, and when our four year-old’s preschool closed, Seventh Wave and my fellow Bainbridge residents pulled me through the chaos, the vertigo, the mad hustle, and kept me writing.
So very grateful for this opportunity to mediate on the first lessons my paternal grandma taught me about nature, on eucalyptus trees in California, and how the loss of language doesn’t necessarily equate to loss of identity or culture. Have a taste of “Foreign Domestic”:
We are all nomads here.
Either forced from our ancestral homes or fixing for better breaks, each leaving behind pieces of heart and soul to feed the body and tend to kin. Displaced. Dispossessed. Estranged. Reinvented. Assimilated. Sacrificing the familiar to be marked exotic not just by others, but also turning stranger to family, and foreign to self.
Despite all the struggles and stressors of life in lockdown, from teaching and parenting, cooking and cleaning while home-schooling and working from home, a few surprises have made this shelter-in-place brighter.
The latest, an invite from Veronica Montes and Marianne Villanueva to co-facilitate a workshop with The Digital Sala. “The Spark: history and the filipinx imagination” set for this Sunday 3 May 2020, 5:30 PM (PST) via Zoom includes short reading from Montes, Villanueva, and yours truly, along with activities and discussion to generate new work with some engaging prompts. We ask if you can spread the word and hope to see you this Sunday evening!
The Digital Sala is a virtual Filipinx literary festival happening on various platforms throughout April 2020 and most likely beyond. The Digital Sala is a collaborative, decentralized, and grassroots effort initiated by writers, artists, and organizers committed to supporting each other and our broader communities. The Digital Sala is a radically flexible, build-as-we-go-along, open-ended effort. Thus far, we’ve hosted organizing strategy sessions, readings, an artist conversation, and a pop culture hour; we’ve supported and publicized open mics, workshops, and other aligned events happening in our communities; and we’re looking forward to an expanding calendar of casual, impromptu, formal or informal sessions, readings, workshops, writing groups, panels, and other types of gatherings. The Digital Sala keeps a wide-open and ongoing invitation to you, your ideas, your needs, and your dreams, and we encourage you to show up, gather, co-build, co-create, and hold space for our communities. We’re all here to support each other, and we plan to archive these events and experiences and build resources toward future initiatives and collaborations. The Digital Sala is a peoples’ project, a collective labor of love. We still need as much help as we can get to grow and sustain this already dynamic and crucial space. We recognize and respect everyone’s varying capacities. We welcome your support in all aspects of building and sustaining The Digital Sala: logistics; programming; online security; design; publicity; social media; etc. The Digital Sala is here for all of us!
“A day after the seven Bay Area counties issued a shelter-in-place mandate, I called for poems on “sheltering,” and in less than two weeks, received over 90 poems from 46 poets, on their personal and shared experiences of self-isolation, paying attention to and tracing the mundane and the fantastic that have become our new normal.”
Poet Laureate of San Mateo County, Aileen Casinetto forwarded a call-to-write, gathering words from 46 writers from around the world to share their sheltering on MiGoZine. Yours truly is honored and inspired to be among literary lights such as Ivy Alvarez, Lee Herrick, Luisa A. Igloria, Melinda Luisa de Jesús, Tony Robles, Abigail Licad, and so many more. Please treat yourself and consider sharing to your lovers of lit.
What a difficult year you have been with unexpected challenges, surprising scares (that thankfully turned out to be nothing more), and seemingly endless rejections. You held out until the very end to sneak in two amazing acceptances. How could I have anticipated that 2020 and the new decade would kick off with the honor and opportunity to be a Bainbridge Resident with Seventh Wave and an early summer stint at the Wellspring House Retreat in Massachusetts? But you knew, didn’t you? Oh what a trickster, year you have played.
2019, your lessons were many, some more difficult than others, but I’m grateful to you for once again proving that persistence, commitment to the craft, and being real to my own authentic voice can keep me moving forward, keep my writing growing, and the stories flowing. Thanks for strengthening the will and renewing my faith.
P.S. Here’s to 2020 and new beginnings:
We’re refueled to connect with writers & artists like our third Bainbridge Resident, @RashaanAlexis. Her urgency, focus, range, voice, and awareness is everything we hope for when we set out creating these calls for conversations. We cannot wait to see her work unfold in Issue 11 pic.twitter.com/VuskQKib5J