Claim Ownership


Author: Cristina Querrer

Subscribed: 3Played: 36


This podcast is a place to talk about creativity, learn about some artists and writers. It is a safe place for artists and writers to learn about each other's creative processes and craft.
62 Episodes
This week, I feature Filipinx visual artist, Pam Peacock.  She is the very talented younger sister of Eddie Peacock, a former classmate and neighbor of mine at Clark Air Force Base & Angeles City, Philippines. Listen to us discuss her work, her process, future plans, & how she is holding up during this pandemic. Instagram: @thevoyagerpeacock
I'm back in effect, and this week, I am featuring, Filipinx poet, Ina Cariño.  We discuss her work and her future plans and how she is holding up during this Coronavirus pandemic. Note: I will be discussing how other writers/poets/artists and creatives are dealing with creating during these times. Bio: Born in the Philippines, Ina Cariño is a queer Filipinx-American writer. She holds an MFA in creative writing from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, and is a 2019 Kundiman Fellow. Her work appears in Waxwing, New England Review, The Oxford Review of Books, Tupelo Quarterly, and VIDA Review, among other journals. In 2019, Ina founded a reading series in the Triangle area of NC called Indigena, which centers marginalized voices, including but not limited to those of BIPOC, QTPOC, and people with disabilities. Through her writing, Ina explores the navigation of being American as a brown body, and the deeply impactful effects of living in the diaspora. She hopes to find paths to not just justice, but also to healing of self and community. It Feels Good to Cook Rice by Ina Cariño it feels good to cook rice it feels heavy to cook rice it feels familiar                           good        & heavy                      to cook rice                           when I cook rice                   it is because hunger is not just                              an emptiness but a longing                                          for multo:                                    the dead who no longer linger                   two fingers in water                   I know just when to stop:                   right under the second knuckle in the morning          chew it                                                         with salted egg in the evening          chew it                                                         with salted onion at midnight          eat it                                                         slovenly                 with your peppered hands           licking relishing                         each cloudmorsel                                                       sucking greedy   as if                 there will no longer be any such thing as rice                               good                 is not the idea of pleasure                                           rather                                                it is the way                                                          I once tripped                                             spilled a basket                 of hulls & stones onto soil —                 homely sprinkle of husks                 as if for a sending off —                                 how right it was: palms                                 brushing the chalk of it                                 swirls rising in streaking sun                                 heavy                 is not the same as burden                                             rather it is falling rice                                                   as ghostly footfalls —                                             trickling mounds                                                           scattered on wood —                 my dead lolo in compression socks                 my dead lola in red slippers scuffing                 & a slew of yesterday’s titos & titas                                 their voices traveling to me                                 tinny                                ringing                                  as if from yesterday’s nova familiar just                 what it sounds like family                 blood home                 marrow bone                 grit calcified memories                                 of things that feel good                                                                 & heavy                 calcified                                 as in made stronger by mountain sun                 only to have them crumble                                 after enough time has passed                 (just like the mountain forgot what it used to be)                             still it feels good to cook rice it feels good to eat rice    even by myself & it feels familiar to know                with each grain I swallow I strap myself to my own                                          heavy                             hunger ------------------------------------------------------------ Below are links to her other works: IG: @indigena.collective  / Facebook:
Beverly Parayno is a talented fiction and creative non fiction writer. Learn more about her journey as a writer and her tremendous volunteer & outreach work for arts organizations. Do follow her work.  She is someone to look out for! Bio: Beverly Parayno is from East San Jose. Her fiction, memoir, essays, and author interviews have appeared in Narrative Magazine, Bellingham Review, World Literature, The Rumpus, Warscapes and Huizache, among others. Her work has been translated into Mandarin by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. She is currently working on a memoir entitled RUN, set during her teenage runaway years in upstate New York in the mid-1980s. Parayno earned an MA from University College Cork and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Currently, she serves on the board of PAWA, a nonprofit arts organization and publisher dedicated to supporting and promoting Filipinx writers, and on the executive committee of Litquake. She is a grants consultant for social justice nonprofits in the Bay Area. You can find her at
I open this new year, 2020, with John A. Vanek: a mystery/thriller writer with a sleuthing priest series about Father Jake Austin's life. Listen to him discuss how having a great creative writing teacher in college while going to med school inspired him to write & publish poetry & now a mystery series.   BIO: John A. Vanek graduated from Case  Western Reserve University, where his passion for creative writing took root. He received his M.D. from the University of Rochester and practiced medicine for a quarter century, but his interest in writing never waned. Medicine was his life, but mysteries became his drug of choice.  He began honing his craft in creative writing workshops and college courses and was gratified when his early work won contests and was published widely. He now lives happily as an ink-stained-wretch in Florida with Geni, his wife, fellow writer, and best friend. He teaches a poetry workshop for seniors at a local college, and enjoys swimming, hiking, sunshine, good friends, and red wine. John is an active member of the International Thriller Writers. DEROS (book 1): Father Jake Austin returns home in search of inner peace after a brutal war, but a series of murders force him to confront his own violent past, regrets over lost love, and his doubts about the priesthood.    Miracles (book 2): Father Jake Austin’s life is hurled into the vortex of three storms: A dying sister, a bleeding Virgin Mary statue, and a comatose infant in the intensive care unit. What will be left standing after these tempests have passed?  Absolution (book 3): Father Jake Austin must decide whether to turn his back on his biological father, the man who deserted him as a child, or to turn the other cheek and save him from a vengeful drug lord, risking his own life and the lives of those he loves.  Genesis of the Father Jake Austin Mystery Series: Father Jake Austin is a fictional character, but aspects of his personality and struggles are modeled after two Catholic priests who became my close friends and confidants. When I first met them, I expected the usual stereotypes, but when their Roman collars came off, I found that they were simply human. One priest confessed his attraction to a young nun. Call his love unrequited; he called it hell. I watched this righteous man struggle with his commitment to his vows. This became the inspiration for Jake and Emily’s relationship in my novels. Seeing these men wrestle with the same emotions that we all share shattered my preconceived notions. I wanted to portray Father Jake as a spiritual man, but as realistically as possible.  Coffeetown Press in Seattle, WA published DEROS and Miracles in paperback & eBook formats in 2018 & 2019 respectively. Book 3, Absolution, will be released March 15, 2020.  *** Thorndike Press (an imprint of Gale/Cengage, which merged with McGraw Hill in 2019) recently purchased the large-print rights to DEROS and Miracles as part of their Clean Reads selections for libraries and schools. Clean Reads is billed as: "General fiction, mystery and romance titles that do not contain graphic violence, explicit sexuality or strong profanity. Full of encouragement, warmth and humor that you’d be comfortable giving to your grandmother!"    Note: get your  local library to stock John Vanek's large-print editions!   *** In praise of the Father Jake Austin Series:  “Interesting, nuanced characters in a finely wrought setting.” -- Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author of Wilde Lake.  "John Vanek guides the reader through the seldom-seen worlds of both medicine and the priesthood. His years as a physician at a Catholic hospital make him the perfect creator of this literary mystery, but few physicians can manage prose as well as Vanek does." -- Sterling Watson, Professor of Creative Writing at Eckerd College, and author of Suitcase City.  “A riveting tale of mystery and murder. Superb storytelling with a deft touch by this talented author who keeps ratcheting up the tension until the explosive ending. A page-turner, but the characters linger in your memory. File DEROS  under 'good books to read.' ” -- Ann O'Farrell, author of the Norah's Children Trilogy. “John Vanek writes from a place of unusual experience and expertise while bringing the reader into worlds of mystery, medicine, and religion — and the human connections that bridge them all. Father Jake Austin is an intriguing and emotionally compelling character.” - Michael Koryta,  New York Times bestselling author of How It Happened “John A. Vanek deftly takes readers up to the high wire of difficult moral choices. Father Jake Austin’s search for a balance between science and faith will make you a fan of the series, the mystery genre, and physician-writer John Vanek.” - Martin Kohn, PhD, director, Program in Medical Humanities, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine  Buy John A. Vanek's books! Fiction: Order from Amazon! Order from Amazon! Poetry Order from Amazon!
Closing out this year with a sensational guest: poet, Nick Carbó!  Listen to this episode and discover how Nick's Filipino American literature and poetry anthologies helped catapult Filipino-American poetics.  Find out what he's been up to and listen to him read some of his poems!   You can purchase Secret Asian Man here: Some interesting links pertaining to Nick's work! Nick on NPR:   ------------------------------------------------------------- THE BOY IN BLUE SHORTS The screaming woman on the other side Of our tall black gate Would have thrown a rock at me My maid, Rosita, sheltered me from the insults— Something about my being Retarded and full of worms The woman nudged her son forward. Blue shorts, clean t-shirt, rubber slippers. She said her little boy was the one Who should have been adopted, he was healthy. He looked about my age, four or five. We were both silent. “I want to see the Mr. and the Mrs., they are making a big mistake!” Rosita bolted the gate, took me by the hand— “those are bad people, don’t listen to them!” I felt the crisp whiteness of her skirt all the way across The garden back to our house. ------------------ The next poem was recently scrolled on the big screen in the big U2 and Bono's Joshua Tree concert in Manila in December 2019. They might use the poem in some video in the future. DIRECTIONS TO MY IMAGINARY CHILDHOOD If you stand on the corner Of Mabini Street and Legazpi Avenue, Wait for an orchid colored mini-bus With seven oblong doors, Open the fourth door— An oscillating electric fan Will be driving, tell her to proceed To the Escolta diamond district— You will pass Maneng Virays bar, La isla de los ladrones book shop, The Frederick Funston fish sauce factory, And as you turn left into Calle de los recuerdos, You will see Breto, Bataille, and Camus Seated around a card table playing Abecedarian dominoes— Roll down your window and ask Them if Mr. Florante and Miss Laura Are home, if the answer is yes, Then proceed to Noli Me Tangere Park, And wait for a nun named Maria Clara— If the answer is “je ne sais pas!” then turn Right into the parking lot of Sikatuna’s Supermarket to buy a basketful Of lanzones fruit, then get back To Calle de los Recuerdos until you reach The part that’s lined with tungsten-red Juan Tamad trees, on the right will be A house with an acknowledgements page And and index, open the door and enter The page and look me in the eye.   Bio: On the day Nick Carbó (kar-boh) was born on October 10, 1964 in a village beside the sea in the Philippines, the number one song was “Oh Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison. One can imagine that riff (cue in Da-na-na, na-na, da-na-na, na-na) following him the rest of his life after being born to a poor peasant family and quickly improving his lot in life when he was adopted by a well-to-do Spanish/Filipino couple at around fifteen months old. Yes, there would be pretty women walking in and out of his life with the first being his adopted mother Sophie who was half Greek and half Filipino/Spanish.
Courtney LeBlanc is a poet from the Arlington/DC metro area who has a full-length poetry collection out entitled Beautiful & Full of Monsters through Vegetarian Alcoholic Press.  Listen to this episode and learn more about her work and about us discussing self promotion and coordinating your own book tour, among other things!   Preorder your copy here: Bio:  Courtney LeBlanc is the author of Beautiful & Full of Monsters (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, March 2020), The Violence Within (Flutter Press, 2018, currently out of print), and All in the Family (Bottlecap Press, 2016) , and a Pushcart Prize nominee. She has an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. She loves nail polish, wine, and tattoos. She blogs at WordPerv and she can be contacted at Courtney (dot) LeBlanc2015 (at) gmail (dot) com.
Episode 45: Ron Riekki

Episode 45: Ron Riekki


Ron Riekki and I had a great conversation about his work, his life, and our common experiences.  He is a Saami, Karelian, Finn, and Greek writer with many writing credits. He's studied with Anne Beattie, John Casey, Jayne Anne Phillips, Anselm Hollo, and Stuart Dybek, to name a few! He also hung out with actor Sean Penn! Do give a listen and learn about this fascinating writer! You can order "Posttraumatic" here: You can order "My Ancestors Are Reindeer Hers and I am Melting in Extinction" here: "In My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I am Melting in Extinction, Ron Riekki presents a collection of non-fiction, short stories, and poetry about the Karelian- and Saami-American experience. In true nomadic fashion, his writing takes the reader to Kuusamo, Utah, Berkeley, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Lake Mohave, Yosemite, Karelia, and a hazmat facility where all the animals on site have been forgotten. A mix of Anselm Hollo, Gregory Orr, Eric Torgersen, and Nils-Aslak Valkeapää, Riekki’s writing forces the Saami-American voice to be heard, a voice that some might not even realize exists. It does. Furiously." You can order "Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice" here: You can order "The Many Lives of the Evil Dead" here: Bio:  Ron Riekki is a poet and award-winning screenwriter. He is the author of My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting In Extinction: Saami-American Non-Fiction, Fiction, and Poetry, U.P.: A Novel, and Posttraumatic: A Memoir. He edited five anthologies: The Way North (Michigan Notable Book), And Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing, 1917–2017, Here: Women Writing on Michigan's Upper Peninsula (Independent Publisher Book Award), Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice, and The Many Lives of The Evil Dead: Essays on the Cult Film Franchise. He's published his writing in The Threepenny Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Wigleaf, Spillway, Poetry Northwest, and many other literary journals. Riekki is Saami-American, Karelian-American, and Finnish-American. If he ever got a tattoo, it'd say Sisu. His home is the north. The far north. No, farther than that.
This week I am talking to the inaugural Hartford Poet Laureate, Frederick-Douglass Knowles II, whom I've known personally for many years because I also claim Norwich as my "hometown", and as colleagues, we have seen each other "grow up" in the literary scene. Listen to Frederick-Douglass talk about how it was growing up in Norwich and his evolution from spoken word, to the academics, and onto the literary page.  He is prolific with literary and social justice projects literally all over the world while performing his Hartford Poet Laureate duties.  So, listen in. You'll be inspired! You can purchase BlackRoseCity here: Bio:   Frederick-Douglass Knowles II is the inaugural Poet Laureate for Hartford, CT. His collection of poetry, BlackRoseCity, was featured at the 2018 Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP). His works have featured in the Connecticut River Review; Poems on the Road to Peace: A Tribute to Dr. King by Yale UP; Fingernails Across the Chalkboard: Poetry on HIV/AIDS by Third World Press. The Mississippi University for Women nominated his poem “Mason Freeman Cuts Jenkins Down” for a Pushcart Prize. He is the recipient of the 2019 Nutmeg Poetry Award. Frederick-Douglass is an Associate Professor of English at Three Rivers Community College.
Suzanne Frischkorn is a talented and prolific poet living in Connecticut, my home state. Listen to her explain how she got into poetry and the poetry scene and what influenced her work and the many similarities that we shared "growing up" in CT as women writers and poets in our formative years. You can purchase Girl on a Bridge here: Poem from Girl on a Bridge --- Great Lash You wear too much eye makeup. My sister wears too much. People think she's a whore. Our cornfields were paved in asphalt, sulfur lights snuffed our stars. When one of us had no shoes, we went barefoot, walking streets laid with tar. First we coated lashes blackest black from tubes of green and pink, our eyes lined kohl. If it was Thursday we found boyfriends and waited by the liquor store for anyone to buy us Smirnoff. Anyone at all. We were not sweet girls. * We were not sweet girls, yet we wore silver chains with silver hearts & crosses, onyx rings, blush, lipstick, powder. Hair flipped by vent brush before entering a night without stars. Our parents were line dancing, were bank tellers, were absent. We were a family that knew nothing about its members. * We cut school and watched Foxes. We cut school and drank vodka. We cut school and got stoned, did our makeup, walked the streets. One of us got out. One of us ran into our connection working a shoe store, one of us glimpsed another with a baby, one of us marries her Thursday night boyfriend and shatters her image. * We were not sweet girls, no. If there had been corn, or stars? Maybe the deep sweet girlness would have surfaced ― dreamy fresh-faced girls ― petals listening to rain.   You can purchase Lit Windowpane here: Poem from Lit Windowpane-- Window  A damp windowsill means nothing— it’s no bird tapping       on a pane— I am waiting  for the swallow’s stone, the anodyne       to illness brought by sparrow song. This morning rain gathers in still puddles and the songbirds      sing without percussion― loud notes echo  the empty street— they sing and       sing and sing. No owl has brushed its wing against our windowpane and sunlight      overcomes the clouds. Thrush birdsong: lacey throated stars. The April        of our fifth year reeds withered around the pond.  Last summer I painted the porch ceiling       robin’s egg blue. Spring now and the sparrows  weave a nest in our dryer vent.      I watch you ladder your way into their world, lift  bits of twine and sticks and string, yet      you know they will return. How I love you then— how I should have loved you all along.   BIO:  Suzanne Frischkorn is the author of Lit Windowpane (2008), Girl on a Bridge, (2010) and five chapbooks.  Her honors include the Aldrich Poetry Award for her chapbook, Spring Tide, selected by Mary Oliver, an Emerging Writers Fellowship from the Writer’s Center, and an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism. Visit her website:
Tony Remington is a photographer and painter who practices many other art forms. Listen to us discuss his humanistic photojournalist style and portraiture, his vision and desire to continue to create in many genres such as cartooning. Article on the Al Robles Express, 2019, by Lisa Suguitan Melnick: Article on Tony Remington's exhibit by Carlos Zialcita: Bio: Tony Remington grew up in San Francisco's Haight/Ashbury and has lived in many parts of San Francisco such as Daly City and West Oakland. Although he had experience many Balikbayan trips to the Philippines with his parents, in 2005 he began a series of extended visits to the Philippines that accumulated to more than seven years. In 1970 he began his life as a photographer, became involved in Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State College, and developed an interest in Eastern Philosophy. Upon leaving college and after completing his first major photographic essay in the Philippines, he began his work in the post-International Hotel community of San Francisco with poet/activist Al Robles and poet/social worker Presco Tabios. It was here working as food delivery person for home-bound seniors in a makeshift re-established post "Manilatown" he photographed the "Manongs" from 1977 to 1981. The bulk of his economic life span included odd jobs such as handyman carpentry, but most notably to commericial photography, working 15 years as a commercial digital product photographer for two prepress/printing companies. The mainstay of Tony Remington's vision is rooted in his ongoing body of work as a social realist photographer. This influence formally began to transfer into his paintings in 2017 as the official artist of the Manilatown Heritage Foundation's 50th Anniversary of the International Hotel Eviction of August 4. In his own words "I believe in a deeper indigenous sense of continued spiritual evolution." Manong Wilfred Ventura, post Manilatown era, Amparo Hotel, San Francisco, CA, 1979, by Tony Remington   Ocean Beach, San Francisco, CA, 1975, by Tony Remington   Ondoy Flood, Philippines, 2009, by Tony Remington   "Greetings from an Old Soul", Artex Compound Barangay, Panhulo, Malabon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, 2009, by Tony Remington Laga Festival, Kalinga Apayao, Cordilleras of Luzon, Philippines, 2019, by Tony Remington Juanita Tamayo Lott at the 5th Annual Filipino American International Book Fest, San Francisco Public Library, October 2019, by Tony Remington
John Davis Jr. is a Floridian poet residing in the Tampa Bay area. He has been writing and publishing for about 20 years.  Listen to us discuss how the Florida landscape and his love for travel influences his work and about his future projects. You can purchase "Hard Inheritance" here: You can order "Middle Class American Proverb here: Bio:  John Davis Jr. is a Florida poet. His books include Hard Inheritance (Five Oaks Press, 2016), Middle Class American Proverb (Negative Capability Press, 2014), and two other collections. His poems have been published internationally, with appearances in magazines like Nashville Review, Barren magazine, The American Journal of Poetry, The Common online, and Steel Toe Review, among many others. He holds an MFA from University of Tampa in addition to a master's in education. He presently serves as associate dean of academic affairs for Keiser University in Clearwater.     Typewriter Thief Silver keys drew me in – neatly lettered and numbered circles the size of my fingers. If only I could hear those hammers, smell ink pressed free. Taken by its store display, I sought a rhythm of permanence: the striking discharge of my name. Once cops found the Remington in my neighbor’s shed, they said That boy, as if nobody else would want black applause from a curious carriage’s well-oiled melody played on paper and ended with a single bell – done. Police returned it to Mister Howard, who let it sit because his name was already on too many buildings. They booked me in, had me hold a sign with Courier numbers – white holes of zeroes captured by print’s hard impact.     Creek Wading with a Young Son Arriving by bike, we know to whisper like the woods: This stream’s soft trill and the wind’s slow travel through pines drown the drone of highway lanes beyond the palmetto-frond hands opening toward water. Predator, provider: This anonymous tributary takes and gives alike as our four bare feet bring clouds from its white sand bottom – swirling rising residue stirs south, settles back beneath water. Your passage here disproves ancient philosophy: I am the nameless man who stepped in the same time twice thanks to your smaller, faster-filling tracks. My deeper plunges do not slow this aging water. In sunlit pockets along the dark-patched course, shadow fish dart like memories – there, gone. But we have neither hooks nor bread today, so black scales brush our foreign ankles underwater. Your sunken toes discover some animal’s rib and like a tribesman, you lift it, fling it forward. It skips, ripples holes in two distant points before rocking and sinking in new familiar water.
Listen to my interview with Elmer Omar Bascos Pizo, currently residing in Hawai‘i, an amazing poet with raw insight and stories. I had the chance to meet him out in San Francisco in October at the 5th Annual Filipino American International Book Festival where I learned of his work and found out that we also share some interesting parallels and intersections. Listen to him read and discuss his poems from his debut full-length poetry collection, "Leaving Our Shadows Behind Us" published by Bamboo Ridge Press in 2019.   Me & Elmer at the 5th Annual Filipino American International Book Festival in San Francisco, October 2019, organized by PAWA, Inc. & San Francisco Public Library. You can order his book here at: Bamboo Ridge Press -------------------------------------------------- SIBULAN Negros Oriental, Philippines At the mouth of the sea where the Ocoy River ends, brown bodies of naked boys pop in and out of the swirling water, like fish gasping for air. Foaming soapsuds stained with dirt from clothing women scrub on the river banks dissolve in the green water, like this half spoonful of sugar I just dropped into my cup of tea.   AFTER THE LOVE-MAKING Be honest, you insist, catching your breath. I want you to describe how I made love to you. Do you really care? I ask. You nod. All right then, I say, swiping my wet lips with my tongue.  You're a half-ripe tangerine, somewhat sweet, a bit sour, even after dipped in salt. BIO: Elmer Omar Bascos Pizo is an emerging voice in local literature, who translates his feelings into his poetry, reinterpreting his life experiences and working diligently to maintain authenticity. His poems are uniquely provocative, often sad in depicting his journey from an abusive childhood in the Philippines, through the trials of an overseas Filipino worker enduring and witnessing injustice and torture in the Middle East, to the challenges of a hard-working immigrant in 21st-century Hawai‘i. This is an important collection that offers a glimpse into a life of laboring to survive. Sometimes self-deprecating and occasionally humorous, Pizo’s distinctive poetry affirms the redemption found in the small sparks of humanity.  
Episode 39: Nick Flynn

Episode 39: Nick Flynn


Nick Flynn agreed to come on YourArtsyGirlPodcast, so I got a chance to pick his brains a little! We talk about his upbringing, the production of his film, "Being Flynn" that was based on his famed memoir "Another Bullshit Night in Suck City", some of his writing process, his new work, as well as hear him answer a question posed by one of my listeners, P.K. Harmon out in Guam. You can order Nick Flynn's new collection of poetry here: Bio:  Nick Flynn has worked as a ship's captain, an electrician, and as a case-worker with homeless adults.  He is the author of twelve books, including the New York Times best-selling memoir "Another Bullshit Night in Suck City".  His most recent book is "I Will Destroy You" (Graywolf, 2019).  He has received fellowships from (among other organizations): The Guggenheim Foundation, The Fine Arts Work Center, and The Library of Congress.  His work has won two PEN prizes, been a finalist for France's Prix Femina, and has been translated into fifteen languages. Some of the venues his poems, essays, and non-fiction have appeared in include The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and the National Public Radio's "this American Life".  Since 2004, he has spent each spring in residence at the University of Houston, where is a professor on the Creative Writing faculty.
Dr. Melinda Luisa de Jesús is definitely a Renaissance woman! She is a scholar, a classical singer, a poet, & a visual artist. Listen to her discuss her journey into creativity through her earlier beginnings as a classically trained mezzo-soprano. As a feminist scholar, it wasn't until she found her voice in poetry with various publications to her first poetry collection "peminology", did her world open up even more to include visual arts in her artistic and intellectual repertoire. Order "peminology" here: PEMINOLOGY by Melinda Luisa de Jesús Published by Paloma Press Release Date: March 2018 ISBN: 9781387483686 Pages: 80, full-color Available on Lulu and at select bookshops In honor of International Women’s Day, Paloma Press is proud to announce the release of PEMINOLOGY, a first poetry collection by Melinda Luisa de Jesus, a feminist of color who teaches and writes about critical race theory, girlhood and monsters, and believes, “as did the ancients, that a poem can change the world.” Excerpt: Jealousy 1. Wanting to be blonde-haired, blue-eyed, small-boned and delicate ivory-complexioned, sweet and ladylike a fairy princess, or green-eyed and red-haired like a mermaid Anything but brown-skinned brown-eyed black-haired loud big fat different. 2. I love your poems I hate your poems I want to lick them, chew the paper they’re on savor each line then swallow them whole make them mine. 3. Wishing I felt more connection Planted in American soil wilting bleached I long to be coconut, carabao brown.   Advance words: “Melinda Luisa de Jesús’ debut collection of poems comes from a space of longing, rebellion, grief, love, poetics and politics. Bold, unafraid and uncompromising, peminology carves out a space for de Jesús’ vision and her generation of Filipinas in immigrant America. She speaks in multiple voices and registers, as a daughter, to a daughter, as a mother, to a mother, as a storyteller, dredging up a past and confronting fiercely the present. peminology is poetic auto ethnography. It must be read. It must be heard. It must be listened to. This is Asian-America. This is post-Trump’s America. This is the America we live in.” —Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt, author of The Postcolonial Citizen: The Intellectual Migrant “peminology is bold, raw, and honest. Weaving between past and present, de Jesús creates a narrative of traumas that connect girlhood to womanhood. Charting the intersections of racial and feminist awakenings, these poems offer avenues for shame and rage to become strength and resistance. “The Tractor,” “Patriarchy,” and “Imagine That” are but a few examples of the timely critiques—anthems, even—that de Jesús situates amidst her chronology of oppression and opposition. Her experimentation with form, including the hay(na)ku, the hay(na)ku sentence, and the pantoum, interrupts Western poetic conventions as much as the language and imagery itself. The stand out poem—“Bellies”— followed by “Pantoum for Eloisa,” explores the heartbreaking complexities of brown women negotiating motherhood and white imperialism. This collection will leave you simultaneously heartbroken and empowered, ready to rise out of your seat to demand recognition, and sit down with your child to nurture self-love. A must-read for 2018.” —Linda Pierce Allen, co-editor of Global Crossroads: A World Literature Reader and Questions of Identity: Complicating Race in American Literary History   Bio: Melinda Luisa de Jesús is Associate Professor and former Chair of Diversity Studies at California College of the Arts. She writes and teaches about Filipinx/American cultural production, girl culture, monsters, and race/ethnicity in the United States. She edited Pinay Power: Peminist Critical Theory, the first anthology of Filipina/American feminisms (Routledge 2005). Her academic writing has appeared in Mothering in East Asian Communities: Politics and Practices; Completely Mixed Up: Mixed Heritage Asian North American Writing and Art; Approaches to Teaching Multicultural Comics; Ethnic Literary Traditions in Children’s Literature; Challenging Homophobia; Radical Teacher; The Lion and the Unicorn; Ano Ba Magazine; Rigorous; Konch Magazine; Rabbit and Rose; MELUS; Meridians; The Journal of Asian American Studies, and Delinquents and Debutantes: TwentiethCentury American Girls’ Cultures. She is also a poet and her chapbooks, Humpty Drumpfty and Other Poems; Petty Poetry for SCROTUS Girls’ with poems for Elizabeth Warren and Michelle Obama; Defying Trumplandia; Adios Trumplandia!; James Brown’sWig and Other Poems; and Vagenda of Manicide and Other Poems were published by Locofo Chaps in 2017. Her first collection of poetry, peminology, was published by Paloma Press in 2018. In Spring 2019 Melinda was the Muriel Gold Senior Visiting Professor at the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada where she organized the Pinay Power II: Celebrating Peminisms in the Diaspora conference (see for more info). She is a mezzo-soprano, a mom, an Aquarian, and admits an obsession with Hello Kitty. More info: Twitter: @peminology 
Upon my visit to San Francisco to attend the 5th Annual International Filipino American Book Festival, I had the pleasure to learn about Betty Ann Besa-Quirino's work and her prolific Filipino cookbooks.  However, after interviewing her and learning more about her on YourArtsyGirlPodcast, I found Ms. Betty Ann to be even more fascinating than ever that I wanted to keep on talking to her. For as most authors, she does more than writing Filipino cookbooks and food blogs, she is a journalist, creative writer and an artist as well! Bio:  Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino, is a journalist, and a multi-award-winner of the Plaridel Writing Awards and has been a winner of the Doreen Gamboa Fernandez Food Writing Awards. She is the author of her newest cookbook “Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Food in a Multicooker Pot”. Other cookbooks she has written are: “My Mother’s Philippine Recipes” and “How To Cook Philippine Desserts, Cakes and Snacks”. She is a correspondent for Positively Filipino online magazine; and blogs about Filipino home cooking on her site Betty Ann, as she is fondly called, was born in the Philippines and raised in Tarlac province where her way of life was molded early on by her parents’ farming and agricultural business. From the time she was a little girl, Betty Ann learned how to cook traditional Philippine dishes from her mother and has transformed these culinary skills to modern day Filipino cooking in her American kitchen. Based in New Jersey, Betty Ann is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP-New York); the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance; the Association of Culinary Historians of the Philippines. Instant Filipino Recipes Cookbook: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Food In a Multicooker Pot. (2018; – This is perhaps the first Filipino cookbook published in America with recipes for the popular kitchen appliance, the Instant Pot or multicooker. The author has put together 36 traditional Philippine recipes, each with full color photos and shares a faster way to cook these classics without losing the soul of mom’s cooking. My Mother’s Philippine Recipes (2017; – The author shares a collection of her mother’s recipes from her childhood, often served to family and friends who stopped by their home in Tarlac. The Besa home was known to locals as “the home along the highway”, a stopover of friends and family enroute to Baguio. Friends relished the multi-course meals her mother prepared with produce ingredients harvested from their farm, expertly grown by her father. War & Forgiveness article: Instagram: @bettyannquirino Twitter: @bettyannquirino Pintrest: BettyAnnBesa Quirino Elizabeth Ann Besa- Quirino elizabethannbesaquirino Correspondent, Blog:
This week, I will take you to the small island of Guam where Dr. Irena Kečkeš works and lives.  She teaches Fine Arts at the University of Guam and is a master printmaker who creates and exhibits internationally.  Listen to her explain her illustrious career and her adventurous journey in keeping true to her art and why it is important for her to connect with her art community all over the world. http://irenakeckes.wixsite/irenaart "Bonding" Exhibit - Santander, Spain ARTIST STATEMENT | Irena Kečkeš Living and working in diverse artistic and scholarly environments in Europe, Japan, USA, New Zealand, and more recently Guam, has shaped my approach to art making and thinking. My main artistic practice is printmaking. I employ both Eastern and Western print methods, placing an equal importance on concepts and technologies. My art research has been informed by ecologically responsive, and expanded forms of contemporary print, as well aspects of phenomenology, deep ecology, and Buddhist practice and philosophy. While using one of the oldest printmaking methods, woodblock printing, my practice has moved towards what may be called an extended field of print; my large-scale woodcuts are often placed alongside the three-dimensional objects – carved wooden plates. More recently I have been printing on diverse material: from translucent tracing papers (woodcut print installation “Polyphonic”, 2017), to plastic and Mylar sheets, to various fabrics. I also collaborate with other artists in making a print installations, such as was the project “Bonding”, a large print installation made of woodcuts and linocuts on fabric, exhibited in Spain during the Impact 10 international printmaking conference in 2018. Merging intellectual and physical acts of making, exploring embodied ways of knowing, and mind-body interrelations have been key components of my artistic query. My PhD study, completed in 2015, investigated forms of contemporary printmaking, its relationships with aspects of Buddhism, and more. It explored if and how a Buddhist notion of interconnectedness may inform ecologically mindful printmaking. Likewise, the cycle of my works titled “Black Prints” (2015) explored the process of carving as a meditative practice. This approach remains present in most of my work, today as well. In creating my prints, an equal importance has been placed on concepts, on technologies and on blending art with craft, and body with mind. "Polyphonic" Exhibit    (Woodcuts) Bio:  Irena Kečkeš received PhD in Fine Arts from the University of Auckland, New Zealand (2015), MFA in printmaking from Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan (2005) and BA in art education, Academy of Fine Arts, University of Zagreb, Croatia (2000). Integrating theory and practice has been a key element to her research through which she has been exploring connections between eco-Buddhism and printmaking, extended forms of print and art/craft relationship. Her practice involves large-scale monochrome woodcuts and print installations. Irena’s artwork has been exhibited internationally in many group and independent exhibitions. She presented at several international printmaking conferences including IMPACT 10 international printmaking conference in Santander, Spain (2018), SGCI 2016 in Portland USA, IMPACT 9 in China (2015), IMPACT 8 in Scotland (2013), 3rd IMC in Hawaii (2017) and 2nd IMC in Tokyo, Japan (2014). She will next participate in SGCI 2020, in Puerto Rico. Since 2015, Irena is an Associate Professor of Art at College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at University of Guam.
Learn about Daniel García Ordaz, his poetry and insights.  He is a poet, songwriter and teacher from McCallen, TX, doing amazing things for his community as the founder of the Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival. You can order here:   You can order here:   Daniel's Poets & Writers page:   Email: Website: Twitter:  @poetmariachi RSS feed:   Bio:  Daniel García Ordaz is the founder of the Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival and the author of You Know What I’m Sayin’? and Cenzontle/Mockingbird. His focus is on the power of language, which he celebrates in his writings and talks. He defended his thesis, Cenzontle/Mockingbird: Empowerment Through Mimicry, to complete his terminal degree, an MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, and he co-edited Twenty: In Memoriam, a response by poets across the U.S. to the Sandy Hook shootings. García is a teacher and writer, and a recognized voice in Mexican American poetry. His work has appeared in numerous literary journals, academic collections, and anthologies. He was born in Houston and raised in Mission, Texas. His publishing experience including editing and book cover design credits. He appears in the documentary, “ALTAR: Cruzando fronteras/Building bridges" itself an altar offering to the late Chicana scholar and artist Gloria E. Anzaldúa, one of his great influences for this collection. García was one of five authors and the only poet chosen to participate in the Texas Latino Voices project in 2009 by the Texas Center For The Book, the state affiliate of the Library of Congress. He has been a featured reader and guest at numerous literary events, including the Dallas International Book Fair, McAllen Book Festival, Texas Library Association events, TAIR, TABE, and Border Book Bash, among others. García’s work has also appeared in Juventud! Growing up on the Border (VAO Publishing), Poetry of Resistance: Voices For Social Justice (The University of Arizona Press), La Bloga, Left Hand of the Father, Harbinger Asylum, Interstice, Encore: Cultural Arts Source, 100 Thousand Poets For Change, Gallery: A Literary & Arts Magazine (UTRGV), Boundless, and The Mesquite Review, among others. See a videos of him on YouTube and follow him at @poetmariachi.   Cenzontle*   “Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy . . . but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.” ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird And what makes a mockingbird special, anyway? Why it’s the trill from her tongue, the cry from her lungs, the sway of her lips, it’s her dusty, rusty, crusty cries, the trail of tears in her eyes on sheet music playin’, floatin’ and swayin’ to the beat, beat, beating, way-laying, saxopholaying, assaulted, accosted, bushwhacked and busted, cracked open, bruised, banged and accused, flat broke and broken terror bespoken— a token of survivin’, of thrivin’, of juke joint jump jivin’ of death cheaten daily through unwanton wailin’.   Why a mockingbird’s got diamonds at the souls of her blues, whip-lashed back-beats at the edge of her grooves, croons of healing above strangely-fruited plains of grieving. She lets loose veracity with chirps still rising at the edge of a knockabout life, troubled and toiled beat-boxed, embroiled, de-plumed, defaced, ignored, encased, caged and debased ‘cause of the color of her skin. But as the din fades and the cool of eve rolls in, there she stands—chest huff-puffed and proud, unbowed and loud, endowed with the power of flight, under the big dip of night, echoing the ancient Even cry of a lioness defending her pride in that sweet mother tongue: I rise up, and, Adam, I shall not be moved today!   The mockingbird sings what the heart cannot pray. The mockingbird sings what the heart cannot pray.   *Cenzontle is the Nahuatl word for the northern mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos.   Our Serpent Tongue   Your Pedro Infantecide stops here. There shall be no mending of the fence. You set this bridge called my back yard ablaze with partition, division labelization, fronterization y otras pendejadas de alienization Yo soy Tejan@ Mexico-American@ Chican@ Chingad@ Pagan@-Christian@ Pelad@ Fregad@ I flick the slit at the tip of my tongue con orgullo knowing que when a fork drops, es que ¡Ahí viene visita! a woman is coming a woman with cunning a woman sin hombre with a forked tongue is running her mouth—¡hocicona! ¡fregona!— a serpent-tongued ¡chingona! with linguistic cunning a cunning linguist turning her broken token of your colonization into healing y pa’ decir la verdad You are not my equal You cannot speak like me You will not speak for me My dreams are not your dreams My voice is not your voice You yell, “Oh, dear Lord!” in your dreams. I scream “A la Chingada!” in my nightmares Your Pedro Infantecide stops here. There shall be no mending of the fence.    
Check out one of the young mover and shaker of the art world: Heidi Luerra.  She is an art entrepreneur who made it her business to showcase a wide range of artists all across the globe with RAW:natural born artists, the world’s largest independent arts organization. She recently launched her new book to continue on with that vein, helping artists & creatives with the business side of art-making entitled "The Work of Art, A No Nonsense Field Guide for Creative Entrepreneurs".     Order Heidi's book here: "The Work of Art"   Website: Bio: Heidi Luerra is the Founder & CEO of RAW:natural born artists, the world’s largest independent arts organization. For almost 20 years, Heidi has worked with creatives and artists of all types. Originally a Northern California native, Heidi moved to Los Angeles at age eighteen to fulfill her dream of being a fashion designer, in turn, earning her business stripes the hard way as an independent creative entrepreneur. Over the past decade, Heidi has grown RAW to a worldwide operation in over 80 cities with almost 200k artists in the RAW community. She currently oversees a team of sixty from RAW headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. On September 17, 2019 Heidi launched her first book, "The Work of Art, A No Nonsense Field Guide for Creative Entrepreneurs (written by a creative entrepreneur who has endured her share of nonsense)."  
Margo Taft Stever is a prolific poet who has worked with many great poets through the years and through her work founding the Hudson Valley Writers Center and Slapering Hol Press.  Listen to us discuss her two books of poetry that was released this year, her work process and philosophies! You can purchase a copy here:  CavanKerry Press   You can order your copy here: Kattywompus Press.     END OF HORSES   I write to you from the end of the time zone. You must realize that nothing survived after   the horses were slaughtered. We sleep below the hollow burned-out stars.   We look into dust bowls searching for horses. When you walk in the country,   you will be shocked to meet substantial masses on the road. We do not know whom to blame   or where the horses were driven, who slaughtered them, or for what purpose. Had the horses slept   under the linden trees? The generals and engineers pucker and snore on the veranda.   First published in chapbook, Ghost Moose, Margo Taft Stever, Kattywompus Press, 2019. Forthcoming in Canary: A Literary Journal of the Environmental Crisis.   Bio: In 2019, CavanKerry Press published Margo Taft Stever’s book, Cracked Piano, and Kattywompus Press published her chapbook, Ghost Moose. Her four other poetry collections are The Lunatic Ball, 2015; The Hudson Line, 2012; Frozen Spring, 2002; and Reading the Night Sky, 1996. Her poems have appeared widely in journals such as Verse Daily, upstreet; Plume, Blackbird; Salamander; Poem-A-Day, The Academy of American Poets; Cincinnati Review; Salamander; Prairie Schooner; New England Review; Poet Lore; West Branch; Seattle Review; and in numerous anthologies. She co-authored Looking East: William Howard Taft and the 1905 U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Asia (Zhejiang University Press, 2012 and Orange Frazier Press, 2015) and created a traveling exhibition of “Looking East photographs. She is the founder of the Hudson Valley Writers Center and the founding editor of Slapering Hol Press.   Website:      
Listen to me and Luisa Kay Reyes discuss how she got into writing, her many other talents such as singing operatic and classical music, playing the piano, and the many languages she speaks.  We also talk about the lost art of letter writing.   Changing Dollars by Luisa Kay Reyes published in Little Rose Magazine, March, 2019 As we walked into the empty breezeway of this Spanish Colonial style building that was set off of the main plaza of a rural village in Michoacan, Mexico, the sole gentleman standing there pulled out a very dusty and rickety small wooden table from the back corner along with an equally flimsy small chair and set it out in the middle of the foyer for my father.  Who promptly set his dark colored cloth bag full of Mexican currency on the top of the table. And as soon as I turned around, what had merely a second before been an empty outside corridor styled with the traditional Spanish archways, was now filled with a long line of working men who were eager to change their U.S. Dollars into Mexican pesos. It was a most exposed way of changing money.  Causing my mother to not unjustly worry about the safety of my brother and me as we were visiting our father during the summer and accompanying him while he conducted his in person money exchanges.  With it being the early 1990s and the use of Western Union, Mejico Express, and other means of electronically transferring money internationally not yet in vogue along with the reticence of the mainstream banks to change dollars in a land where counterfeit movies, music, knock-off purses, and fake sterling silver jewelry could be easily purchased at any weekly street market; there was a great demand for those willing to undergo the inherent dangers and risks of such an enterprise.  And my father happened to be one of them. With our proud to be an American side of the family comprising of teachers and professors who were highly educated but receiving at best average compensation, the mass quantities of U.S. Dollars being changed into pesos that day were a first for my brother and me.  For we had never beheld so many bills even during our periodic long drawn out Monopoly games. Yet, as the line continued increasing with the men continually bringing their dollars to change, it soon became evident that while the U.S. Dollars flowing through that day would never run out, the Mexican pesos that our father had brought with him for the exchanges - might. Once the glamour of seeing so many dollars in one place wore off and the day evidenced that it would be a sizeable one, my brother and I ventured out of the breezeway into the village’s central plaza and looked around for what treats we could find to eat.  We were deep in the heart of Mexico in the region that had once housed the mighty Purepecha empire, but with Michoacan being a primarily agricultural state, the current necessities of making a living had commanded many to go up to “el Norte” and figure out how to send their dollars back home. While every year hundreds of millions and perhaps billions of monarch butterflies migrate up to three-thousand miles from Canada and North America to their winter homes in the oyamel fir trees of Michoacan, over time it became apparent that they weren’t the only entity undergoing such a lengthy journey.  For the next time my brother and I went to visit our father in Michoacan, his money exchange business was now a brick and mortar one with several branches operated by his siblings throughout the area. “Why doesn’t Mexico just use the dollar as their currency once and for all?”  I asked my father. For it certainly seemed like a much simpler option than this continual hassle of changing money back and forth from dollars to pesos and vice versa. “Well, that’s what I’ve always said” was his reply.  “But it is better for me that they don’t.” Then late one night we went to meet with some city officials who were wanting to buy some dollars for the city treasury.  For with the ever present concern of the Mexican peso undergoing further devastating devaluations, even the city was deeming it expedient to have some dollars on hand. And my father’s business was in a position to sell them some dollars at a better price than the banks could offer.     Now that the money exchanging business was more official with its office in the center of the historic colonial era downtown, lots of money orders, cashier’s checks, and IRS refund checks were coming through the teller windows, as well. Often times they weren’t filled out properly and we would have to draw arrows back and forth between the “pay to” and the purchaser fields. There were also some very wrinkled diminutive peasant women covered in their native shawls among the clientele now who were coming through with thousands of dollars worth of money orders, the result of five or more sons sending their earnings back home. The locals informed us that Michoacan had reached the point to where there were more people from Michoacan living in the U.S. than in Michoacan, itself.  And the rural villages that we used to go to with our father, were now devoid of men. Since all of the able-bodied males from the ages of twelve to fifty were in the United States working. We actually missed getting to explore some of the outlying villages like we’d done before, although, sometimes my brother was able to accompany the security guards to some of the more remote branches. Why the banks were so hesitant to enter into the money exchange business was a bit mystifying for my brother and me.  Since after seeing so many dollar bills come through, it was quite easy to spot the counterfeit ones. There was just something a little bit off about the swamp green ink color or the thickness of the paper not feeling quite the same.  Yet, one time, my brother took back a counterfeit bill to the States. And after eating at a restaurant, he decided to see if he could get away with using it. Sure enough, the friendly server accepted the bill without question. And fearing that she might receive a reprimand if her boss were apprised of the fact that she had just accepted a counterfeit, I insisted we tell her to bring it back and let us pay with the real money.   She didn’t want to do so.  She just couldn’t see how the bill was a counterfeit since she swore it looked identical to the real thing.  But, after a while, we convinced her to let us pay with the real money and still a bit puzzled by it all she reluctantly accepted to make the exchange.  Admitting to us that she simply couldn’t tell the difference between it and the real money. Having more employees in the money exchange business meant there was less for us to do during our summer visits.  So my brother and I got to indulge in a lifestyle barred from us in the USA, that of spending the day in the country clubs and fine dining in the evenings.  Yet one time I decided I wanted to save some of my money to buy a new cd player. A notion for which I was quickly called to task, since my father felt the money he gave us to spend during our visits was for us to have a good time.  So, while I still managed to save back some and make my purchase when we went back to the States, I did learn to spend the money freely. A lesson I learned perhaps too well. Then one day while I was in college and driving to my local bank in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to deposit my refund check from the U.S. Treasury, I held it up and stared at it in disbelief.  I knew that getting a refund back was far better than owing money and going on an installment plan to make monthly payments to the IRS. But I couldn’t help but stare at its pale yellow background emblazoned with the statue of liberty on it.  Since I was all too familiar with these checks. They were the ones I’d seen the peasants cash back in my father’s business in Mexico. And somehow it had never occurred to me that I would one day receive one of those, as well. But upon glancing at the amount, it occurred to me that I had a lot more work to do before I could match their sums.  And now I understood first-hand where they came from.
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store