December 30, 2022
Deep gratitude to the lovely Meghan King, Blog Curator at Querencia Press, for requesting me to write a guest blog post. Read “Saying Goodbye To One’s Writing Ghost” here.
I’ll have important announcements coming up in 2023 which involves a lot about Querencia Press. STAY TUNED, but in the meantime, support this indie press and its diverse catalogue of authors!
December 29, 2022
Along with authors Marisa Silva-Dunbar and Stephanie Parent, I blurbed Emily Perkovich’s thought-provoking poetry collection, baby, sweetheart, honey:
In unapologetic screams and whispers, Emily Perkovich in baby, sweetheart, honey delivers a provocative poetic memoir where a woman must maneuver through her own adolescent trauma so long unnamed, and maneuver her way into womanhood where desecration of the female body serves as mentor, traitor, and awakening. In the retellings of the violations committed against the female body, Perkovich achieves something greater than forgiveness—not in the saccharine way of forgetting or even redemption—but that there is a malleability, evolving adaptability, and unflinching epiphany of power that women ultimately possess even after what they suffer, tolerate, and defy time and time again. Perkovich spares no one from the uncensored weight of her story, which is not told in traditional linear narrative, but shatters long-held silences through a maze of a woman who fights her way to not just survive but ultimately live.
In Emily’s own words, this collection contains a huge amount of CONTENT WARNINGS and should be read with extreme care.
baby, sweetheart, honey is now available for purchase on Amazon. The book will also be available wherever books are sold come January 2023. Request it at your local bookstore today. Please read and support!
December 28, 2022
Hitting more high notes to end 2022! New Rivers Press’ Unbound: Composing Home anthology makes it on CLMP’s Roundup of 2022 Nonfiction Books under Nonfiction Anthologies! My lyrical CNF flash piece, “First Home” appears in Unbound.
Huge gratitude to NRP’s Managing Editor Nayt Rundquist for organizing and gathering us NRP siblings together and making all of us part of this stellar anthology of poignant stories about Home. Big collective win! Check out the whole roundup list of nonfiction books here.
December 18, 2022
So grateful to Pat Macsata for organizing and inviting me to speak at a luncheon hosted by the Hayward-Castro Valley branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), where I got to read a few excerpts from We Are No Longer Babaylan in front of an engaging and thoughtful audience who had their own stories to share. I got so caught up in the moment that I didn’t get to take any pics except with the wonderful Pat who organized the event. I also got to sell and sign a few books! So grateful for community and getting to read and share space with awesome people. My last public reading of 2022. What a joy it has been!
December 16, 2022
Querencia Press’ Volume I of the Women, Queer, Trans, & Enby Anthology, Not Ghosts, But Spirits, is now available for preorder! There is over 300 pages from 92 contributors. QP also has a hardcover version available that is for sale and will ship immediately from Amazon, however, Amazon has not stocked the paperback preorder yet. You can find the paperback preorders on Barnes & Noble, and QP will update their social media platforms once they see availability elsewhere. Preorder sales links below:
- Barnes & Noble (Paperback)
- Amazon (Kindle & Hardcover)
- Bookshop (forthcoming, please check back at Querencia Press’ social media platforms for updates)
Proceeds will be donated to Saving Our Sisters (SOS), a nonprofit that provides education and information regarding adoption that adoption agencies and other legal professionals may not be necessarily forthcoming about. SOS provides detailed facts, explaining possible risks, and providing assistance, allowing biological parents to make a truly informed decision when surrendering their child for adoption. They additionally focus on family preservation, the rights of biological parents, and the stories of adoptees. They also work to expose the pitfalls of the adoption industry so rarely discussed in our society which particularly affects low-income and marginalized women, especially in the post-Roe world we live in. Please consider supporting this holiday season.
December 10, 2022
Sharing some photos of the New Rivers Press celebration that took place on December 1, 2 & 3, for its newest anthology, Unbound: Composing Home.
My heart is still overflowing from the wonderful community of authors whom I had the pleasure and honor of sharing the most gorgeous reading spaces at The Rourke Art Gallery + Museum and MSUM’s Roland Dille Center for the Arts in Moorhead, and Zandbroz Variety in Fargo. The authors who made an appearance and read their fantastic work from the anthology as well as their New Rivers Press titles were: Kevin Carollo, Rachel Coyne, Travis Dolence, Julie Gard, Michelle Matthees, Elizabeth Mosier, Beaudelaine Pierre, Tracy Robert, Nayt Rundquist, Erin Slaughter, me, Artress Bethany White, and Mandy-Suzanne Wong.
Infinite gratitude to Managing Editor Nayt Rundquist for always making each NRP author feel so valued and seen. After nearly three years of not being able to physically gather due to COVID restrictions, it felt so special to finally read once again, especially in the spectacular venues Nayt chose and organized. What a tremendous honor to be part of this anthology and this NRP community.
Enjoy the photos! Most importantly, look us up! Read our books!
November 27, 2022
COVER REVEAL! Look at this amazing book cover! Five of my poems will appear in Querencia Press’ anthology, Not Ghosts, But Spirits: Volume I, an Anthology of Women, Queer, Trans, & Enby Issues, where proceeds will go to Saving Our Sisters (SOS), a nonprofit that provides education and information regarding adoption that adoption agencies and other legal professionals may not be necessarily forthcoming about. SOS provides detailed facts, explaining possible risks, and providing assistance, allowing biological parents to make a truly informed decision when surrendering their child for adoption.
As a reproductive justice advocate, we usually focus on the right to end a pregnancy, but it’s important to also highlight the three core values of reproductive justice, which, according to SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, the first organization founded to build a reproductive justice movement, includes (1) the right to have a child, (2) the right to not have a child, and (3) the right to parent a child or children in safe and healthy environments. The framework moves women’s reproductive rights past a legal and political debate to incorporate the economic, social, and health factors that impact women’s reproductive choices and decision-making ability. SOS focuses on family preservation, the rights of biological parents, and the stories of adoptees. They also work to expose the pitfalls of the adoption industry so rarely discussed in our society which particularly affects low-income and marginalized women, especially in the post-Roe world we live in.
I’m supportive of Querencia Press’ relationship with SOS, which SOS is also a proud proponent of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) whose fate currently hangs in the balance at SCOTUS in Haaland v. Brackeen.
Please read and support. Preorder and order links will be posted once available on the Querencia Press website.
November 23, 2022
In celebration of New Rivers Press’ newest anthology, Unbound: Composing Home, NRP is hosting four events on December 1, 2 & 3, 2022, in Moorhead and Fargo! If you’re in town and enjoy awesome literature (and might be in need of some stellar holiday gifts), please stop by, hear some amazing readings, and meet some fantastic people.
- Thurs, Dec 1 | 5:30–7:30 | Reading at The Rourke Art Gallery + Museum
- Fri, Dec 2 | 7:30–9:30 | Reading at MSUM’s Winter Celebration of the Arts at the Roland Dille Center for the Arts
- Sat, Dec 3 | 12:00–1:00 | Book Signing at Zandbroz Variety
- Sat, Dec 3 | 4:00–6:00 | Reading at Zandbroz Variety
- Kevin Carollo
- Rachel Coyne
- Travis Dolence
- Julie Gard
- Michelle Matthees
- Elizabeth Mosier
- Joel Peckham
- Gary Eldon Peter
- Beaudelaine Pierre
- Tracy Robert
- Nayt Rundquist
- Erin Slaughter
- Elsa Valmidiano
- Artress Bethany White
- Mandy-Suzanne Wong
October 31, 2022
On the last day of Filipino American History Month and another Ilocano creature to top off Halloween today! My first flash horror piece, “Marmarna,” finds a home at the magical Mythos.
Passed down in Ilocano folklore, my flash piece pays homage to the Marmarna, a malignant spirit from the Ilocos who infamously lives in the baliti tree, an ancient tree in the Philippines. Thank you to my Auntie Maggie for introducing me to the Marmarna, who shared some fantastic stories about this very terrifying spirit in her childhood barangay Labnig.
I also wanted to wish my gorgeous kasinsin, Andrea Guerrero, the warmest fuzziest congratulations for winning the 2nd prize in Literature at Mythos for her poem, “Fruit,” which pays homage to our beloved Manananggal. So so so incredibly proud. Please visit the Mythos site to find her freaking scary-ass and beautifully rendered stunning poem about our gorgeous ancestor.
I hope y’all get to read all the pieces in Issue 7: Something Spooky 2022, hand-picked by EIC and founder Jordan Nishkian. This is by far her most exquisite and diverse selection of literary horror.
Happy Halloween, lovely starlings!
October 30, 2022
Grateful that my speculative CNF flash piece, “Ansisit,” has found a home at the lovely Pearl Press. Seeing that we are in the last few days of Filipino American History Month and Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and it’s Halloween season, “Ansisit” found its way to Pearl Press. “Ansisit” can be read here.
Passed down in Ilocano folklore, my flash piece pays homage to the Ansisit, a mystical unseen little being who lives in the baliti tree, an ancient tree in the Philippines. Told in epistolary form, the ancient ancestral spirit signs their two letters as “O”—a symbol for completion and emptiness at the same time.
CW: in step with Pearl Press’ theme of “grayscale,” a pregnancy loss neither equals the loss of a person, nor is it just the loss of a thing but rather a being no matter how temporary they might exist. The Ansisit similarly falls within the grayscale: the unseen and yet there. The Ansisit and I send infinite thanks to Pearl Press and to EIC and founder Delilah Twersky.
My kasinsin, Morgan Hoffman, also shares pub space with me for the first time together. Check out her poem, “When We Fight.” Poeta pamilya.
Agyamanac unay for reading.
October 7, 2022
We Are No Longer Babaylan makes it on CLMP’s Reading List for Filipino American History Month 2022 for Nonfiction. For the complete list of poets and writers on this month’s list, please visit here.
October 5, 2022
The newest New Rivers Press anthology, Unbound: Composing Home, is now available for purchase, where 21 writers reflect on the concept of home and the multifaceted ways it can be interpreted. “First Home,” my lyrical flash CNF piece, appears in this anthology. Please read and support!
October 2, 2022
Sharing a close-up shot of this art piece as it hits something deep. Now featured on NiftyLit for their OUR BODIES, OUR RIGHTS: SPECIAL ISSUE, this was a tough exhumation of a poem from long ago, “Upon the Disclosure of an Old Secret,” paired with art by fellow Asian American artist Emma Yamamoto.
Proceeds from the sale of these literary and art NFTs go to support the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project, a non-partisan, nonprofit organization assisting women and birthing folks who are financially unable to pay for safe, legal abortions or emergency contraceptives.
For some background on my poem, the reality is that some of us will go our entire lives not telling one single person about our abortion experience. With Roe overturned, that may be the case even more so. For those of us who have had an abortion, and in the very rare and off chance we have chosen to confide in you, we chose you for good reason. Please, listen.
The full issue of OUR BODIES, OUR RIGHTS is out now. If you need help learning how to purchase these pieces, please reach out to NiftyLit. Please support and let’s make abortion safe and accessible for all.
September 27, 2022
Mythos’ Anthologie Vol. I is now available for purchase! Along with folklore and fairy tales from around the world, my Philippine and Irish folkloric/fairy tales appear here: “Birth of the Manananggal” and “Kiss of the Fae Prince and the Dragon Midwife Manggagamod.”
* Digital issue
Agyamanac unay, Mythos! Swooning over all the magicalness and ethereal beauty. Please read and support!
September 26, 2022
New CNF flash piece, “Lucky Star,” is now available to read and purchase at NiftyLit. Each piece at NiftyLit is available for purchase, and for this particular OUR BODIES, OUR RIGHTS: SPECIAL ISSUE, proceeds from the sale of these literary and art NFTs go to support the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project. WRRAP, established in 1991, is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization assisting women and birthing folks who are financially unable to pay for safe, legal abortions or emergency contraceptives.
With the recent Roe reversal and now the threat of a federal abortion ban sweeping the nation that would put the lives of millions of women and pregnant people at risk of injury or death, these pieces have become a call-to-arms.
If you need help learning how to purchase these pieces, please reach out to NiftyLit! Full issue of OUR BODIES, OUR RIGHTS is being released the week of September 26. Please support and let’s make abortion safe and accessible for all.
September 1, 2022
My book review of Trinidad Escobar’s Arrive In My Hands from Black Josei Press finds a home in Issue 4 at Honey Literary. The full review can be accessed here.
In this 120-page collection of Queer erotica poetry comics, the literary and visual talents of award-winning poet and cartoonist, Trinidad Escobar, exist simultaneously in this collection, where the poetry cannot exist without the image, and the image cannot exist without the poetry. Order a copy of Arrive In My Hands from Black Josei Press and see all of the amazingness!
It is also Honey Lit’s 2nd birthday! Submissions for Issue 5 have opened today at Honey Literary. The Hive is ready to hear from you.
I hope everyone enjoys all of the new yummy amazing pieces in Issue 4.
August 16, 2022
New piece up in Issue VI, “Fae Folk” at Mythos. Some fairy tale light during these trying times, “Kiss of the Fae Prince and the Dragon Midwife Manggagamod” is a fairy tale of interracial and intermagical love between an Irish Fae prince and an Ilocano witch. You will also find gender-fluid and same-sex love between an Irish Fae queen and her gender-fluid Fae trickster spouse.
This fairy tale reimagines the powerful Ilocano witches and dragons of Philippine folklore, now finding themselves refugees in the Irish Fae kingdom of Canibri where the love between a Fae prince and an Ilocano witch is threatened in the midst of a world war against all things magical.
This fairy tale is inspired by my own interracial and intermagical marriage with my husband who is of Irish descent while I am of Ilocano descent where I wanted to honor both of our heritages. Who knew that this subject matter would be relevant to the current threat concerning a few of our “settled freedoms” today.
Pixies and dragons also make an appearance. Get intoxicated with some magic.
COVER REVEAL! Stay tuned for details on Mythos’ upcoming Anthologie: Volume 1.
My reimagined tellings: “Birth of the Manananggal” and “Kiss of the Fae Prince and the Dragon Midwife Manggagamod” will be published in this fairytale anthology come SEPTEMBER which you can physically hold in your hands!
June 15, 2022
Very pleased to share this book review I did of Maria Bolaños’ debut poetry chapbook, Sana, from Sampaguita Press. Thank you, South 85 Journal, for the space. The complete review can be accessed here.
As the title of Bolaños’ Sana indicates an expression of hope and wishing, i.e. “if only,” her poems shape a complex love song to her Motherland, the Philippines, as well as to her own diasporic body no matter where that body ultimately resides. It is in this love song that Bolaños breaks open her collection where we see how the very conditions in which we live can either lead us to apathy or longing in the Diaspora.
Sana is Sampaguita Press’ inaugural publication. The press has stellar poetry collections in their catalogue being released very soon. Stay tuned by following their account.
June 13, 2022
Presenting the cover of the newest New Rivers Press anthology, Unbound: Composing Home, which will be available for purchase this Fall, where 21 writers reflect on the concept of home and the multifaceted ways it can be interpreted. “First Home,” my lyrical flash CNF piece will appear.
From Managing Editor Nayt Rundquist’s introduction:
As my obsession with narratives bloomed & I shifted into my role as managing editor at New Rivers, I realize that I built another family here—a new home in the narratives & works of my writing friends & family—in their words, in their minds, in their lives. That’s what this anthology amounts to: an assemblage, a gallery, a collage of a few members of my writerly found family. A tribute to how they grapple with their own understanding of home—juxtapositions palimpsestic, vibrant, & polyvalent. Beautiful & resonant in the ways they are themselves. Reading their homes has helped me understand my knowing of the word too.
May 21, 2022
Very honored to present this book review I did for Tales of an Inland Empire Girl by Juanita E. Mantz that has been published in Atticus Review. The book review can be accessed here.
Juanita E. Mantz, Riverside County Public Defender and USC Law graduate, chronicles her childhood and adolescence in this deeply moving memoir told in short vignettes and poetry with humor and grace, where each piece can be read independently through the innocent voice of a child and teenager. Filled with vulnerability, innocence, compassion, and forgiveness, Tales of an Inland Empire Girl allows us to see the groundwork of what can shape and drive us to the success stories we choose to be.
If you haven’t picked up this book yet, I hope this review inspires you to do so!
Thank you, Atticus Review, for giving space to this book review.
May 10, 2022
We Are No Longer Babaylan makes it again on CLMP’s Reading List for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month 2022 for Nonfiction. For the complete list of poets and writers on this month’s list, please visit here.
May 1, 2022
New piece up in Issue V, Spring 2022: “Your Lore” at Mythos in honor of our Manananggal, our genealogical maternal ancestor, who defied and was enraged and was always there to take the blame for so many unexplained tragedies, so women wouldn’t have to blame themselves or their bodies for the things we cannot control.
In honor of our beloved viscera-sucking creature, this short folkloric tale, “Birth of the Manananggal” is a feminist reimagining of the Manananggal’s origin story, an origin story that remains shrouded in mystery even among native Filipinos. This story also reimagines the origin of the mangkukulam, the Tagalog witches of the Philippines who continue to thrive and are feared as much as they are respected today.
Thank you, Mythos for giving space to this reimagined tale. As you can see, I adore our beloved viscera-sucking creature.
February 16, 2022
Winner of the 2021 Variant Lit Microchap Contest, Noreen Ocampo’s Not Flowers is now available for preorder, shipping March 22nd. I blurbed this beautiful book along with incomparable authors Lannie Stabile, Jennifer Co, and Janice Lobo Sapigao. You will not want to miss this gorgeous body of work.
The preorder link for Noreen’s book can be found here.
February 1, 2022
New essay, “When the Body Speaks,” prefaced by a poem conjuring ancestral mothers, is up at MUTHA Magazine about how the pervasiveness of white supremacist work culture not only is hostile to female employees desiring pregnancy, but how these same systemic conditions in the workplace can affect a woman’s overall health and well-being. Thank you to MUTHA editor Cheryl Klein who patiently sat with me while I unpacked this essay. You can access the article here.
New book review at Up The Staircase Quarterly of Eileen R. Tabios’ DoveLion: A Fairy Tale for Our Times. My little sum up of the book: From acclaimed poet, Eileen R. Tabios, comes her epic first novel, a novel of erotic encounters, political intrigue, meta literary references, and ancestral/indigenous exhumation. You can access the full book review here.