Today in Advanced Poetry Class: Poeta en San Francisco Revisited

A big thank you to Brian Komei Dempster, whose Advanced Poetry course at USF I will be visiting today, to discuss Poeta en San Francisco. I am always honored when educators adopt my books for their courses, and I am more honored when those educators have served as my role models and mentors, which Brian has.

This morning I have been turning over in my head the things I want to talk about, as the book is about seven years old now, and I am about a decade older than I was when I began writing it. Continue reading “Today in Advanced Poetry Class: Poeta en San Francisco Revisited”



I know that promoting my existing books is still very important. I love that as recently as this past summer, I was still doing a Poeta en San Francisco book talk, and will most likely be doing more. I love that that book’s got legs, that it’s still being taught, that there’s continued interest and enthusiasm about it. I keep meeting grad students whose professors are recommending or assigning my books, and I have to think this means I am doing something right.

I am also preparing for two Skype sessions for Diwata in the next couple of months. As I am also preparing for next semester, and teach Filipina Lit at USF, and Filipino American Lit at SFSU, I have decided to teach Diwata and Poeta respectively. I’d been encouraged by a friend and professor to do so; she’d argued the students would really benefit from their access to my work and to me. The point is — more book talks, managing two books in my brain, and that I love doing this.

OK, this here is a brain dump. I just received a comment on one of my recent Filipino American community posts, and to be clear, the commenter is also a Filipino American. This person tells me (I paraphrase) she would hate to see me limited, pigeonholed in my art because of my ethnic identification. If I identify as a Filipino American poet, as opposed to a poet (or Poet), then I am cutting off all kinds of folks from finding and reading my work.

I am terribly refreshed by this comment today.

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