I’m inspired, or touched, or feeling warm fuzzies in general about Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor’s and Veronica Montes’s recent blog posts. With Growing Up Filipino II, Bec is now experiencing her first publication in an anthology (as she notes, an actual book), feeling “less a could-be writer and more a in-fact writer.” Inspired by Bec’s post, Veronica, who is reading for the PAWA-sponsored San Francisco book launch, is remembering her own first anthology publication. In both of their cases, Cecilia Brainard was the editor responsible for selecting their work for publication.
I am moved to think back on my own first anthology publication, which was Babaylan (Aunt Lute, 2000), edited by Nick Carbó and Eileen Tabios. Years later, as Eileen came to speak on her work as a poet and editor at SFSU for Justin Chin’s class, I remember her saying that there were some newbie or emerging poets who’d submitted work, and whom she chose to include in the anthology because she believed publication would encourage or propel these poets to continue with their poetic work. Sitting in the lecture hall audience, I thought to myself, “She must mean (poets like) me.”