June 1990 ~ My first published book, Cordillera Tales, Retold and Illusrated (in the picture above); I was all of 28, a very young instructor at the University of the Philippines in Baguio. Seven years prior, even younger (and a new mother to boot) I'd entered poems for the first time to the Palanca Literary Awards in the Philippines. To my great shock my entry won first prize. When Cordillera Tales came out, I wasn't even sure what "page proofs" or "royalty" meant.
September 18, 2020 ~ My newest book, Maps for Migrants and Ghosts, is scheduled for release from Southern Illinois University Press. Each book, and every book in between these 2, has been a leaving and a returning: to find and lose and find the self again.
In this strange pandemic time that we inhabit, as forests burn and deltas flood and winter comes to places that never knew it before, we count our daily dead, grieve everyone and everything that has passed too soon, and keep close what's most important (family, friends, community). It's heartbreaking work, this living we must do. And yet we do it, for all we love and hold sacred in the world.
I haven't given a thought to any book launches or readings yet, other than the one in a program shared with the brilliant Rebecca Bengal for the 43rd ODU (Virtual) Literary Festival (Wednesday 7 October at 4:00 PM EST).
But I hope you'll show this book some love—whether it's through personal purchase or through course adoption. Please try to purchase directly from SIU Press so as to keep low the number of books that might get remaindered. (And did you know? For poetry books, writers start earning 5% royalty only after a thousand copies have been sold).
And I look forward to the time, hopefully sooner rather than later, when we can all convene again in person and in the same space to laugh, hug, read and share poems,