December 28, 2020
We Are No Longer Babaylan lands on the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses’ (CLMP) year-end roundup of nonfiction books published in 2020 by small literary publishers! The complete list of CLMP’s Year-End Roundup in Nonfiction of 2020 can be found here.
December 10, 2020
November 2, 2020
Yesterday was the official publication date of We Are No Longer Babaylan. Happy Book Birthday!
Book sales are fully shifting over to Small Press Distribution (SPD) versus the MSUM Ticket site, so if you visit the New Rivers Press shop site and order a book, you should be automatically directed to the SPD site to complete your order. SPD, my preferred bookseller over all others, will gladly keep up with the demand.
You can also order signed author copies from me if you’re not feeling shy. You can leave me a message on the Contact page for payment and shipping details. I am selling them through Venmo or PayPal at $24 which includes book and shipping. I am only taking US orders at this time. Please note that my supply of signed author copies is limited.
Thank you to everyone who has preordered and already received copies, and posted your beautiful pictures on your social media platforms. I have been deeply moved by your responses on how the book moved you in some way. Despite this pandemic, I’m honored to connect with readers even though it has to be virtual. Know I appreciate your kind words and am listening.
Last, thank you to Marías at Sampaguitas, particularly Noreen Ocampo, for this thoughtful review. There’s a fear of being misunderstood when putting work out there that is vulnerable, so I greatly appreciate the tenderness and care put into this response. The review can be accessed here.
October 2, 2020
What a beautiful way to welcome Filipino American History Month. Please find this thoughtful interview conducted by James Diaz, Editor-in-Chief of Anti-Heroin Chic, a literary journal that I had the honor of having two experimental prose pieces published back in 2017—“Diversion” and “The Lover That Never Was”—of which both will reappear in my debut essay collection, We Are No Longer Babaylan.
To be interviewed by James who holds a compassionate ear and who never fails to be attentive when reading through any submission that passes through his journal, I was touched by his questions that I know he assiduously took the time to think of in response to the collection. James asks some pretty thought-provoking questions. They weren’t easy, which made me all the more eager to respond as thoroughly as I know how. Also, please support Anti-Heroin Chic by reading and following this journal, especially this most recent issue. You will not be disappointed by the beautiful words and images that make their home there.
The interview can be accessed here.
We have a finished front and back cover. For those of you who haven’t preordered yet, preorders are still available directly from New Rivers Press whose home is at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Preorder links are also available here. Despite the four booksellers taking preorders as provided on my site, I do prefer readers support the press directly.
The first set of books should be available by mid-October, so for those who prefer to preorder through Small Press Distribution (SPD), it should be available for purchase then before official launch on November 1st.
I will also be selling, signing, and mailing books for any interested readers where information and payment arrangement to me through PayPal or Venmo will be posted in the next few weeks on my Instagram page where you can follow me @elsavalmidiano.
Thank you to everyone who has shown so much interest and support for this book. My gratitude feels immeasurable where words simply won’t suffice. Know my heart is overflowing.
September 5, 2020
TWO BIG NEWS UPDATES. PLEASE READ BELOW.
FIRST BIG NEWS: We Are No Longer Babaylan is NOW available for preorder on the Minnesota State University Moorhead site. Please order here.
When you visit the site, it states “Ticket Options” when preordering the book. This is the default text as it is the same system the university uses to sell theatre and sporting event tickets, but rest assured that WANLB has not hit the theatre stage. Another important note: registration as “General Public” is required so the press can send your receipt and notify you of any changes to the book release. I’ve gone ahead and tested the site myself and it’s fairly easy.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me on my Contact page. With regard to my Canadian readers, there shouldn’t be any problem preordering the book, but if you experience any difficulty ordering, I will let my Managing Editor know. Preorder is also available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, though I prefer staying away from Amazon particularly when it comes to books for various reasons. Minnesota State University Moorhead is home to New Rivers Press, so I prefer readers support the press directly.
SECOND BIG NEWS: On September 16, at 6:00-7:00 PM PDT, I will be reading at the Daly City Public Library Virtual Bookfest alongside authors Veronica Montes, Alan Chazaro, and Ricco Villanueva Siasoco, to celebrate the launch of Veronica’s beautiful chapbook, The Conquered Sits at the Bus Stop, Waiting. The event will be hosted by Aileen Cassinetto, Poet Laureate of San Mateo County.
I’ll be reading an excerpt from We Are No Longer Babaylan, possibly reading a stanza of an Ilocano prayer, which originally appeared in Virgil Apostol’s Way of the Ancient Healer. Yes, you’ll hear some Ilocano vocal stylings.
Daly City Library has created Zoom invitations as a precaution against Zoom bombing. This event will also be streamed on the Daly City Public Library Facebook page, but for those who wish to join via Zoom, the library is asking that they register via the LibCal events page here.
August 11, 2020
Honored to have my work included in Canthius, Issue 8, a Canadian literary journal celebrating poetry and prose by women, transgender men, nonbinary, Two-Spirit, and genderqueer/gender non-conforming writers. The work included is a flash CNF piece about the Manananggal. Yes, folks, you read that right: nonfiction. The Manananggal is real, and this flash essay proves it. I won’t say more as I don’t want to ruin it. You’ll just have to read it to find out. Issue 8 can be purchased here.
Sample image of a Manananggal above, courtesy of cartoonist Trinidad Escobar.
July 26, 2020
Cover reveal for my new book, We Are No Longer Babaylan, scheduled for release in November by New Rivers Press. For more information about the book, please click here.
With regards to the cover and the specific title, I felt it important that a Pinay artist provide the image on the front cover, especially since “Babaylan” (and a vanishing one at that) could only be authentically and properly conveyed by a Pinay artist. I made these concerns clear to my editor who was on my side from the very beginning, and I am forever grateful having that kind of support. I’ve heard horror stories, particularly from published writers of color whose vision for their book cover was forcibly surrendered, feeling at the mercy of their press because what an honor to be finally published, only for their design team to take absolute control without offering to receive input from them and then whitewashing their cover. I won’t get into how this racist microaggression leaves writers of color feeling disempowered, or how this practice continues to persist in the American publishing industry, but after learning some valuable lessons from these authors, I was told not to hesitate when fighting for my cover as the forced relinquishment of theirs still bothers them to this day. As a long-time avid follower of Isobel Francisco’s art, her piece, Engine, really hit home as the piece that would ultimately grace the cover.
I have to be additionally transparent as my press, New Rivers Press, faces closure in Spring 2022. New Rivers Press is one of the oldest literary presses in the United States and celebrates their 52nd birthday in 2020. As a press that’s been around for as long as they have, they have proven their continued commitment to celebrating a wide range of voices from indigenous writers, writers of color, to LGBTQ writers. Such writers include Natanya Ann Pulley, Artress Bethany White, Philip Bryant, David Haynes, Ed Bok Lee, Jessica Saiki, Sharon Suzuki-Martinez, Purvi Shah, Alvaro Cardona-Hine, Lupe Solis, James Cervantes, Gary Eldon Peter, Michelle Matthees, and Greg Hewett. The list goes on. Recently, Natanya Ann Pulley was on Small Press Distribution’s bestselling list for Fiction while Artress Bethany White was on their list for Nonfiction.
As a first-time author, the NRP staff never failed to put in tireless work and diligence, particularly Managing Editor Nayt Rundquist, who put ample care into my book. In the midst of a global pandemic, that kind of care speaks volumes. Though the future of the press remains uncertain, I hope NRP will bounce back and continue their long-standing tradition to publish and celebrate authors of diverse backgrounds, especially where presses like NRP remain valuable and necessary in lifting up marginalized voices.
Besides my forthcoming book, I hope each of you finds a way to help this press survive by purchasing their amazing titles. You can peruse their books for sale here.
If anyone has any interest in writing up a review for my book, I’d be very much elated. Feel free to send me an email or submit your information on my Contact page.
Thank you to my beautiful readers for your continued support. I greatly appreciate you.
May 7, 2020
Huge thanks to the editorial team at Trampset for giving my poem, “Gingerbread Woman,” a home. This poem isn’t really about cookies, but it’s got something close to gumdrop buttons. You can access the poem here.
February 3, 2020
Cherry Tree, Issue 6, has arrived! The issue will officially release on February 15, 2020. My CNF flash essay, “Giving Birth in a Time of War” will appear in this issue, and is dedicated to my fierce grandmother who literally gave birth in the midst of warfare. Please support this gorgeous journal. Thank you to the editorial team at Cherry Tree for all their diligence in getting this beautiful journal together. Issue 6 can be purchased here.
Maraming Salamat to the editorial team at Marías at Sampaguitas for this thoughtful interview. It covers many thought-provoking questions about the Filipinx-American identity, the writing community, and the writing hustle. You can access the full interview here.