I will be teaching poetry workshop this coming Thursday at UC Berkeley, for Maganda magazine. Info is here. This is such a last minute thing; I didn’t find out until yesterday evening exactly where on campus workshop would be held, or whether I’d have a co-facilitator. You should drop by, yeah, to liven up the poetics discussion.
On the social network: for a while now there has been a Barbara Jane Reyes Facebook page, which who knows how that happened. It’s always bugged me that I had no control over it. So now I am officially on Facebook. And Diwata is officially on Facebook (please “like” me and Diwata; see, I couldn’t bear not being liked). It’s a strange place there; wasn’t I recently writing about the “interior,” and all kinds of weird social rituals of avoidance and elliptical behaviors. Seriously though, I’ve been following Jane Friedman on Twitter, and in her always insightful “social media” posts, she’s discussed FB as a “living room,” and a space to mobilize and spread word. Oscar also recently pointed to another article discussing FB not as a destination, but as yet another hub, directing traffic this way. One thing I am realizing is that regardless of where I place myself in the social network, the same people will engage in open dialogue with me, and the same people will lurk. But as Oscar says (and he is the optimist in our family), maybe some of the lurkers will be brave and “like” a thing I post. Maybe a former lurker, who’s now become a liker, will eventually get to conversing with me.
Still, I need this space to work out my ideas in substantial ways, to stumble around and think out loud, to begin composing essays and poems, to flesh out the poetic book projects. I have a number of essays and poems (hopefully a growing number of these) published or soon to be, which began as blog posts here. I need for this space to be public for that necessary feedback and perspective which will come from someone not of my cozy coterie, and who will find me here (someone like Lyle Daggett comes to mind). I agree with Jane Friedman, that FB is a “living room,” which is to say, the public space in a sheltered private home. Not everyone gets invited into that private home, and that’s the part that always doesn’t sit well with me.
OK. Work status:
Details for my April reading at University of Texas at El Paso will be available soon. Thank you to Miguel Angel of UTEP for his patience and work. I will be reading with Eduardo C. Corral, whom I’ve known of as Lorcaloca, and who is now a Yale Younger Poets Prize recipient.
As part of the Filipino American International Book Festival, I will be reading with Janet Mendoza Stickmon at the Hercules Public Library in April. This will be a reading and discussion, and I’m looking forward to it. Glad to be included in this festival.
I’ve submitted a draft of my USF Philippine/Filipino American Literature syllabus; I’ll be blogging more about my forays into early 20th century Philippine poetry, and into the short story. I just finished F. Sionil Jose’s “The God Stealer,” which was very finely written. I am onto the very formalistic, high diction, sonnet-heavy poetry of Fernando Ma. Guerrero, Angela C. Manalang-Gloria, Ricaredo Demetillo, Trinidad L. Tarrosa-Subido, and others. Then, I’d like to find a copy of Jessica Zafra’s “Manananggal Terrorizes Manila.” I want to know if I want to teach this as part of my contemporary Philippine fiction unit.
I’ve also just submitted my Mills Graduate Poetry Workshop course description. Course descriptions are hard.
As for my Pinay “we” poetics essay, which I’ll be submitting by the end of the week, thank you to Tina Bartolome, Niki Escobar, and Rachelle Cruz for conversation and inspiration, which helped me finish writing such a difficult thing.
Oh, and thank you to Blog this Rock, for excerpting my recent blog post on Martín Espada‘s The Lover of a Subversive is Also a Subversive. Since I will be back at Poetry Foundation’s Harriet, blogging for National Poetry Month, this is an opportunity to clean up these Espada blog posts and re-post there as some kind of essay/review/shout out.