What is Aswang Poetics?

How does one become “woke.”

Some continuing thoughts from yesterday’s Aswang Poetics post.

For my own career as an author, I have said this many times, but it always bears repeating. The more I focused on my own political and ethnic specific work, and the more I wrote towards/for my imagined reader — the young Pinay who’s never seen herself in literature, the young Pinay who’s hungry for something she hasn’t yet figured out what it is but it is fierce, affirming, articulate, in your face, full of love — the less I worried about who I (folks who I imagined had more “power” than I) was pissing off, the more “success” I have been able to find.

It feels like Aswang Poetics would be an entire curriculum leading to praxis. Epistemology. Decolonization (discussing Internalized Oppression, for example). Pedagogy. Indigeneity (including Filipino Core Values). Pinayism. Feminism and Womanism. Literature. Literary Criticism. Poetics. Rigorous Craft/Writing and Process Workshops. Seminar/Talks on Gender, Patriarchy, White Supremacy, and the Publishing Industry, on confronting, demystifying, and disrupting these things. Actions such as Pinay-centric publications, and Pinay-centric events. Creating these events re-imagining the use of space, the dynamic with the reader and “audience.” Publications that rethink our relationship with gatekeepers, “status” and “prestige,” and the means of production.

Making Kuwento. Kuwentuhan.

This does indeed feel like ongoing work. I keep flashing back to my undergrad years, lectures and seminars on American Imperialism, so many great literature classes, taught by folks like Barbara Christian. Reading and discussing Anzaldúa, Silko, José Rizal, José Martí, Edward Said, Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde, Jessica Hagedorn.

Seriously, how does one become woke, how one works with others in the process of all becoming woke. How can this be just like making kuwento, with hard/intense decolonization happening. And food.

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