Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Episode 41 - John Davis, Jr.




John Davis Jr. is a Floridian poet residing in the Tampa Bay area. He has been writing and publishing for about 20 years.  Listen to us discuss how the Florida landscape and his love for travel influences his work and about his future projects. 


       


Bio:  John Davis Jr. is a Florida poet. His books include Hard Inheritance (Five Oaks Press, 2016), Middle Class American Proverb (Negative Capability Press, 2014), and two other collections. His poems have been published internationally, with appearances in magazines like Nashville Review, Barren magazine, The American Journal of Poetry, The Common online, and Steel Toe Review, among many others. He holds an MFA from University of Tampa in addition to a master's in education. He presently serves as associate dean of academic affairs for Keiser University in Clearwater. 


Typewriter Thief

Silver keys drew me in – neatly lettered and numbered circles
the size of my fingers. If only I could hear those hammers,
smell ink pressed free. Taken by its store display, I sought
a rhythm of permanence: the striking discharge of my name.

Once cops found the Remington in my neighbor’s shed, they said
That boy, as if nobody else would want black applause
from a curious carriage’s well-oiled melody
played on paper and ended with a single bell – done.

Police returned it to Mister Howard, who let it sit
because his name was already on too many buildings.
They booked me in, had me hold a sign with Courier numbers –
white holes of zeroes captured by print’s hard impact.


Creek Wading with a Young Son

Arriving by bike, we know to whisper like the woods:
This stream’s soft trill and the wind’s slow travel
through pines drown the drone of highway lanes
beyond the palmetto-frond hands opening toward water.

Predator, provider: This anonymous tributary
takes and gives alike as our four bare feet
bring clouds from its white sand bottom – swirling rising
residue stirs south, settles back beneath water.
Your passage here disproves ancient philosophy:
I am the nameless man who stepped in the same time
twice thanks to your smaller, faster-filling tracks.
My deeper plunges do not slow this aging water.

In sunlit pockets along the dark-patched course,
shadow fish dart like memories – there, gone.
But we have neither hooks nor bread today,
so black scales brush our foreign ankles underwater.

Your sunken toes discover some animal’s rib
and like a tribesman, you lift it, fling it forward.
It skips, ripples holes in two distant points
before rocking and sinking in new familiar water.

Check out my first episode!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Episode 40: Elmer Omar Bascos Pizo



Listen to my interview with Elmer Omar Bascos Pizo, currently residing in Hawai‘i, an amazing poet with raw insight and stories. I had the chance to meet him out in San Francisco in October at the 5th Annual Filipino American International Book Festival where I learned of his work and found out that we also share some interesting parallels and intersections. Listen to him read and discuss his poems from his debut full-length poetry collection, "Leaving Our Shadows Behind Us" published by Bamboo Ridge Press in 2019.


Me & Elmer at the Filbook Fest in San Francisco, October 2019Me & Elmer at the 5th Annual Filipino American International Book Festival in San Francisco, October 2019, organized by PAWA, Inc. & San Francisco Public Library.


Leaving Our Shadows Behind Us book coverYou can order his book here at: Bamboo Ridge Press

--------------------------------------------------

SIBULAN
Negros Oriental, Philippines

At the mouth of the sea
where the Ocoy River ends,
brown bodies of naked boys
pop in and out of the swirling
water, like fish gasping for air.

Foaming soapsuds stained
with dirt from clothing
women scrub on the river banks
dissolve in the green water,
like this half spoonful of sugar
I just dropped
into my cup of tea.

AFTER THE LOVE-MAKING

Be honest, you insist,
catching your breath.
I want you to describe
how I made love to you.

Do you really care? I ask.
You nod.
All right then, I say,
swiping my wet lips
with my tongue. 
You're a half-ripe tangerine,
somewhat sweet,
a bit sour,
even after dipped in salt.

BIO:  Elmer Omar Bascos Pizo is an emerging voice in local literature, who translates his feelings into his poetry, reinterpreting his life experiences and working diligently to maintain authenticity. His poems are uniquely provocative, often sad in depicting his journey from an abusive childhood in the Philippines, through the trials of an overseas Filipino worker enduring and witnessing injustice and torture in the Middle East, to the challenges of a hard-working immigrant in 21st-century Hawai‘i. This is an important collection that offers a glimpse into a life of laboring to survive. Sometimes self-deprecating and occasionally humorous, Pizo’s distinctive poetry affirms the redemption found in the small sparks of humanity.

Check out my first episode!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Episode 39: Nick Flynn



Nick Flynn agreed to come on YourArtsyGirlPodcast, so I got a chance to pick his brains a little! We talk about his upbringing, the production of his film, "Being Flynn" that was based on his famed memoir "Another Bullshit Night in Suck City", some of his writing process, his new work, as well as hear him answer a question posed by one of my listeners, P.K. Harmon out in Guam. 



I Will Destroy You book cover
You can order Nick Flynn's new collection of poetry here:

Another Bullshit Night in Suck City book cover

Bio:  Nick Flynn has worked as a ship's captain, an electrician, and as a case-worker with homeless adults.  He is the author of twelve books, including the New York Times best-selling memoir "Another Bullshit Night in Suck City".  His most recent book is "I Will Destroy You" (Graywolf, 2019).  He has received fellowships from (among other organizations): The Guggenheim Foundation, The Fine Arts Work Center, and The Library of Congress.  His work has won two PEN prizes, been a finalist for France's Prix Femina, and has been translated into fifteen languages. Some of the venues his poems, essays, and non-fiction have appeared in include The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and the National Public Radio's "this American Life".  Since 2004, he has spent each spring in residence at the University of Houston, where is a professor on the Creative Writing faculty.

Check out my first episode!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Episode 38: Melinda Luisa de Jesús






Dr. Melinda Luisa de Jesús is definitely a Renaissance woman! She is a scholar, a classical singer, a poet, & a visual artist. Listen to her discuss her journey into creativity through her earlier beginnings as a classically trained mezzo-soprano, and as a feminist scholar, it wasn't until she found her voice in poetry with various publications to her first poetry collection "peminology", did her world open up even more to include visual arts in her artistic and intellectual repertoire.  


Order "peminology" here:

PEMINOLOGY
by Melinda Luisa de Jesús

Published by Paloma Press
Release Date: March 2018
ISBN: 9781387483686
Pages: 80, full-color
Available on Lulu and at select bookshops

In honor of International Women’s Day, Paloma Press is proud to announce the release of PEMINOLOGY, a first poetry collection by Melinda Luisa de Jesús, a feminist of color who teaches and writes about critical race theory, girlhood and monsters, and believes, “as did the ancients, that a poem can change the world.”

Excerpt:

Jealousy
1.
Wanting to be blonde-haired, blue-eyed,
small-boned and delicate
ivory-complexioned, sweet and ladylike
a fairy princess,
or green-eyed and red-haired
like a mermaid
Anything but brown-skinned
brown-eyed
black-haired
loud
big
fat
different.

2.
I love your poems
I hate your poems
I want to lick them,
chew the paper they’re on
savor each line
then
swallow them whole
make them mine.

3.
Wishing I felt more connection
Planted in American soil
wilting
bleached
I long to be coconut, carabao brown.


Advance words:
“Melinda Luisa de Jesús’s debut collection of poems comes from a space of longing, rebellion, grief, love, poetics and politics. Bold, unafraid and uncompromising, peminology carves out a space for de Jesús’ vision and her generation of Filipinas in immigrant America. She speaks in multiple voices and registers, as a daughter, to a daughter, as a mother, to a mother, as a storyteller, dredging up a past and confronting fiercely the present. peminology is poetic auto ethnography. It must be read. It must be heard. It must be listened to. This is Asian-America. This is post-Trump’s America. This is the America we live in.”
—Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt, author of The Postcolonial Citizen: The Intellectual Migrant

peminology is bold, raw, and honest. Weaving between past and present, de Jesús creates a narrative of traumas that connect girlhood to womanhood. Charting the intersections of racial and feminist awakenings, these poems offer avenues for shame and rage to become strength and resistance. “The Tractor,” “Patriarchy,” and “Imagine That” are but a few examples of the timely critiques—anthems, even—that de Jesús situates amidst her chronology of oppression and opposition. Her experimentation with form, including the hay(na)ku, the hay(na)ku sentence, and the pantoum, interrupts Western poetic conventions as much as the language and imagery itself. The stand out poem—“Bellies”— followed by “Pantoum for Eloisa,” explores the heartbreaking complexities of brown women negotiating motherhood and white imperialism. This collection will leave you simultaneously heartbroken and empowered, ready to rise out of your seat to demand recognition, and sit down with your child to nurture self-love. A must-read for 2018.” —Linda Pierce Allen, co-editor of Global Crossroads: A World Literature Reader and Questions of Identity: Complicating Race in American Literary History

Bio:
Melinda Luisa de Jesús is Associate Professor and former Chair of Diversity Studies at California College of the Arts. She writes and teaches about Filipinx/American cultural production, girl culture, monsters, and race/ethnicity in the United States. She edited Pinay Power: Peminist Critical Theory, the first anthology of Filipina/American feminisms (Routledge 2005). Her academic writing has appeared in Mothering in East Asian Communities: Politics and Practices; Completely Mixed Up: Mixed Heritage Asian North American Writing and Art; Approaches to Teaching Multicultural Comics; Ethnic Literary Traditions in Children’s Literature; Challenging Homophobia; Radical Teacher; The Lion and the Unicorn; Ano Ba Magazine; Rigorous; Konch Magazine; Rabbit and Rose; MELUS; Meridians; The Journal of Asian American Studies, and Delinquents and Debutantes: TwentiethCentury American Girls’ Cultures.

She is also a poet and her chapbooks, Humpty Drumpfty and Other Poems; Petty Poetry for SCROTUS Girls’ with poems for Elizabeth Warren and Michelle Obama; Defying Trumplandia; Adios Trumplandia!; James Brown’sWig and Other Poems; and Vagenda of Manicide and Other Poems were published by Locofo Chaps in 2017. Her first collection of poetry, peminology, was published by Paloma Press in 2018.

In Spring 2019 Melinda was the Muriel Gold Senior Visiting Professor at the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada where she organized the Pinay Power II: Celebrating Peminisms in the Diaspora conference (see pinaypower.ca for more info).

She is a mezzo-soprano, a mom, an Aquarian, and admits an obsession with Hello Kitty. More info: http://peminist.com
Twitter: @peminology 

Check out my first episode!

Friday, October 18, 2019

Episode 37: Betty Ann Besa-Quirino



Upon my visit to San Francisco to attend the 5th Annual International Filipino American Book Festival, I had the pleasure to learn about Betty Ann Besa-Quirino's work and her prolific Filipino cookbooks.  However, after interviewing her and learning more about her on YourArtsyGirlPodcast, I found Ms. Betty Ann to be even more fascinating than ever that I wanted to keep on talking to her. For as most authors, she does more than writing Filipino cookbooks and food blogs, she is a journalist, creative writer and an artist as well!



Bio:  Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino, is a journalist, and a multi-award-winner of the Plaridel Writing Awards and has been a winner of the Doreen Gamboa Fernandez Food Writing Awards. She is the author of her newest cookbook “Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Food in a Multicooker Pot”. Other cookbooks she has written are: “My Mother’s Philippine Recipes” and “How To Cook Philippine Desserts, Cakes and Snacks”. She is a correspondent for Positively Filipino online magazine; and blogs about Filipino home cooking on her site AsianInAmericaMag.com

Betty Ann, as she is fondly called, was born in the Philippines and raised in Tarlac province where her way of life was molded early on by her parents’ farming and agricultural business. From the time she was a little girl, Betty Ann learned how to cook traditional Philippine dishes from her mother and has transformed these culinary skills to modern day Filipino cooking in her American kitchen. Based in New Jersey, Betty Ann is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP-New York); the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance; the Association of Culinary Historians of the Philippines.

Instant Filipino Recipes Cookbook: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Food In a Multicooker Pot. (2018; Amazon.com) – This is perhaps the first Filipino cookbook published in America with recipes for the popular kitchen appliance, the Instant Pot or multicooker. The author has put together 36 traditional Philippine recipes, each with full color photos and shares a faster way to cook these classics without losing the soul of mom’s cooking.

My Mother’s Philippine Recipes (2017; Amazon.com) – The author shares a collection of her mother’s recipes from her childhood, often served to family and friends who stopped by their home in Tarlac. The Besa home was known to locals as “the home along the highway”, a stopover of friends and family enroute to Baguio. Friends relished the multi-course meals her mother prepared with produce ingredients harvested from their farm, expertly grown by her father.
Instagram: @bettyannquirino
Twitter: @bettyannquirino
Pintrest: BettyAnnBesa Quirino

Elizabeth Ann Besa- Quirino

Check out my first episode!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Episode 36: Irena Kečkeš



This week, I will take you to the small island of Guam where Dr. Irena Kečkeš works and lives.  She teaches Fine Arts at the University of Guam and is a master printmaker who creates and exhibits internationally.  Listen to her explain her illustrious career and her adventurous journey in keeping true to her art and why it is important for her to connect with her art community all over the world.




photo of exhibit "Bonding"
photo of exhibit "Bonding"
"Bonding" Exhibit - Santander, Spain


ARTIST STATEMENT | Irena Kečkeš

Living and working in diverse artistic and scholarly environments in Europe, Japan, USA, New Zealand, and more recently Guam, has shaped my approach to art making and thinking. My main artistic practice is printmaking. I employ both Eastern and Western print methods, placing an equal importance on concepts and technologies. My art research has been informed by ecologically responsive, and expanded forms of contemporary print, as well aspects of phenomenology, deep ecology, and Buddhist practice and philosophy. While using one of the oldest printmaking methods, woodblock printing, my practice has moved towards what may be called an extended field of print; my large-scale woodcuts are often placed alongside the three-dimensional objects – carved wooden plates. More recently I have been printing on diverse material: from translucent tracing papers (woodcut print installation “Polyphonic”, 2017), to plastic and Mylar sheets, to various fabrics. I also collaborate with other artists in making a print installations, such as was the project “Bonding”, a large print installation made of woodcuts and linocuts on fabric, exhibited in Spain during the Impact 10 international printmaking conference in 2018. Merging intellectual and physical acts of making, exploring embodied ways of knowing, and mind-body interrelations have been key components of my artistic query.

My PhD study, completed in 2015, investigated forms of contemporary printmaking, its relationships with aspects of Buddhism, and more. It explored if and how a Buddhist notion of interconnectedness may inform ecologically mindful printmaking. Likewise, the cycle of my works titled “Black Prints” (2015) explored the process of carving as a meditative practice. This approach remains present in most of my work, today as well. In creating my prints, an equal importance has been placed on concepts, on technologies and on blending art with craft, and body with mind.
Polyphonic 1

      
"Polyphonic" Exhibit
Woodcuts
       
(Woodcuts)

Bio: 

Irena Kečkeš received PhD in Fine Arts from the University of Auckland, New Zealand (2015), MFA in printmaking from Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan (2005) and BA in art education, Academy of Fine Arts, University of Zagreb, Croatia (2000). Integrating theory and practice has been a key element to her research through which she has been exploring connections between eco-Buddhism and printmaking, extended forms of print and art/craft relationship. Her practice involves large-scale monochrome woodcuts and print installations. Irena’s artwork has been exhibited internationally in many group and independent exhibitions. She presented at several international printmaking conferences including IMPACT 10 international printmaking conference in Santander, Spain (2018), SGCI 2016 in Portland USA, IMPACT 9 in China (2015), IMPACT 8 in Scotland (2013), 3rd IMC in Hawaii (2017) and 2nd IMC in Tokyo, Japan (2014). She will next participate in SGCI 2020, in Puerto Rico. Since 2015, Irena is an Associate Professor of Art at College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at University of Guam.

Check out my first episode!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Episode 35: Daniel García Ordaz


Learn about Daniel García Ordaz, his poetry and insights.  He is a poet, songwriter and teacher from McCallen, TX, doing amazing things for his community as the founder of the Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival.





book cover of You Know What I'm Sayin'You can order here: 

book coverYou can order here:

Daniel's Poets & Writers page: 
https://www.pw.org/directory/writers/daniel_garcia_ordaz

Twitter: 

Our Serpent Tongue

Your Pedro Infantecide stops here.
There shall be no mending of the fence.
You set this bridge called my back
yard ablaze with partition, division
labelization, fronterization
y otras pendejadas de
alienization
Yo soy Tejan@
Mexico-American@
Chican@ Chingad@
Pagan@-Christian@
Pelad@ Fregad@
I flick the slit
at the tip of my tongue
con orgullo
knowing
que when a fork drops, es que ¡Ahí viene visita!
a woman is coming
a woman with cunning
a woman sin hombre with a forked tongue is running
her mouth—¡hocicona! ¡fregona!—
a serpent-tongued ¡chingona! with linguistic cunning
a cunning linguist
turning her broken token of your colonization
into healing
y pa’ decir la verdad
You are not my equal
You cannot speak like me
You will not speak for me
My dreams are not your dreams
My voice is not your voice
You yell, “Oh, dear Lord!”
in your dreams.
I scream “A la Chingada!”
in my nightmares
Your Pedro Infantecide stops here.
There shall be no mending of the fence.

Check out my first episode!