Thank you to Bernice Yeung, a San Francisco based journalist; she’s just interviewed me for San Francisco Magazine, and we had a really intense conversation yesterday regarding my growth as a writer, my politics and work, Asian American literature since Any Tan, and many other things. In fact, we had a good conversation about Amy Tan, the icon we have created of her, and why we are still hung up on The Joy Luck Club when Tan has moved on. More on this soon. Thank you to Joseph Legaspi for passing my name along to Bernice, who was looking for Asian American authors to interview.
Thank you to Oliver de la Paz, who will be teaching Diwata this coming fall semester. We’re planning to Skype, his class and me, which ought to be interesting; I’ve never Skyped before, and I certainly appreciate the opportunity to interact with his students. This is really a sorely belated shout out; Oliver has previously taught Poeta en San Francisco, and I’m really grateful that he continues to find my work teachable.
Thank you to Peter and Melissa at BOA Editions, Ltd.; my copies of Diwata will be ready to ship to me BY THE END OF THIS MONTH. W00t! Thas right son, around the end of this month, my books will be in my hot little hands.
Thank you to Anthem Salgado, for his write-up on “The Art of Hustle,” which is his upcoming workshop at KSW. I’ve posted this on the PAWA blog. An excerpt: “Art school is wholly focused on craft and rarely, if ever, on the practical application of this craft in the outside world: in finding gainful employment, developing partnerships and apprenticeships, securing grants and residencies, and strategically promoting, marketing, and showing your work. Instead of giving instruction on this all-important grind, professors enable a lot of damaging fairytales around starving artistry, getting discovered by wealthy benefactors or adopted by the guards of high art, and most harmful, that there is any career to be had in the arts. There isn’t.”
Do read his entire write-up. The hustle is something we’ve been talking about a lot, related to yesterday’s blog post. How can we encourage more Pin@y writers to prioritize their writing, such that they can take concrete actions to make the writing better, and to push it into the world? What are folks waiting for? I’d recently told one emerging Pin@y writer that no one can bestow the title of “writer” upon any of us. We simply have to find a way to claim it; if to be a writer is to be engaged in the act of writing (including generating, revising, and editing in workshops — with community arts orgs, at community colleges and local libraries, and/or in MFA programs), then folks who talk about being writers should indeed be writing, growing their writing, and making it known to the public via publication that they write. Hence, the hustle. (But here is something I can’t understand: folks who hustle, but have little actual work to hustle, or who hustle the same work they’ve been hustling for many years.)
Finally, thank you to a couple of editors for inviting me to submit work for their anthology project. I don’t want to out them by name, because this is something that appears to be in the works, and I don’t think an open call went out, which is fine. The premise of the anthology is great — the poets submit a group of poems and a poetic statement. These go to a literary scholar to do a critical write-up about the poems and the poetics. This is an awesome format; I think of it as a much needed bridge between the artists and scholars, such that bodies of scholarly writing can be generated about new poetic work. I’m thinking of this as a viable format for a future anthology of Filipino American poetry that I’d like to co-edit (or co-curate) with a Pin@y literary scholar. Indeed, enough people have been asking me whether I’d be editing any new Filipino American literary anthologies anytime soon. The answer is yes.