Philippine-born and LA-raised, Elsa Valmidiano is a writer and poet who calls Oakland home. For several years, Elsa was a women’s reproductive rights activist, and incorporates much of that activism into her writing. Her works have appeared or are forthcoming in various literary journals such as TAYO, make/shift, Burner, As/Us, Literature for Life, Mud Season Review, Yes Poetry, Northridge Review, Memoir Magazine, Cosmonauts Avenue, Anomaly, and Cherry Tree, as well as various anthologies such as Field of Mirrors, Walang Hiya, Circe’s Lament, Precipice, Loon Magic and Other Night Sounds, and What God Is Honored Here. Elsa is an alum of the DISQUIET International Literary Program in Lisbon and Summer Literary Seminars hosted in Tbilisi. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College and has performed numerous readings such as at Artists Against Rape, Kearny Street Workshop’s APATURE, Scriptorium, Litquake, Lark Poetry Series, and has been a poetry guest speaker and panelist at several NorCal colleges and universities. She is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee.
A recipient of the Editors’ Choice selection from the 2018 Many Voices Project competition in Prose sponsored by New Rivers Press at Minnesota State University Moorhead, Elsa’s debut essay collection, We Are No Longer Babaylan, is slated for publication in Fall 2020/Spring 2021.
Last, but not least, she would really like it if you pronounced her last name as her ancestors intended: /väl-mĭ-jänō/.