Poetry. Asian American Studies. Barbara Jane Reyes's POETA EN SAN FRANCISCO (Tinfish Press) is a linguistic tour de force, incorporating English, Spanish, and Tagalog in a book-length poem at once lush and experimentally rigorous. From the vantage of San Francisco, Reyes looks outward to the Philippines, Vietnam, and other colonized places with violent histories. As she said in a recent interview, "It's almost a cliché, the phrase, 'the personal is political,' but certainly, this is a strong consideration in my work." And yet, it is not only violence that concerns Reyes: "I am interested in how we come to love in this world, despite the historical circumstances, the conquests, the wars, which have created us as a diasporic people, as exiles, and refugees." This is an ambitious, sweeping and necessary work. Reyes has won the James Laughlin Award for a second book from the Academy of American Poets for this volume.
Author City: OAKLAND, CA USA
Barbara Jane Reyes is the author of Diwata (BOA Editions, Ltd., 2010), recently noted as a finalist for the California Book Award. She was born in Manila, Philippines, raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is the author of two previous collections of poetry, Gravities of Center (Arkipelago Books, 2003) and POETA EN SAN FRANCISCO (Tinfish Press, 2006), which received the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets. Her chapbooks, Easter Sunday (2008) and Cherry (2008), are published by Ypolita Press and Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs respectively. Her latest chapbook is FOR THE CITY THAT NEARLY BROKE ME, published by Aztlan Libre Press IN 2012. Her poems, essays, and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Arroyo Literary Review, Asian Pacific American Journal, CHAIN, Filipinas Magazine, HAMBONE, Hyphen, Interlope, Kartika Review, Lantern Review, Latino Poetry Review, among others. A Mellon Foundation Fellow, she received her B.A. in Ethnic Studies at U.C. Berkeley and her M.F.A. at San Francisco State University. She is an adjunct professor at University of San Francisco's Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program, where she teaches Filipino/a Literature in Diaspora, and Filipina Lives and Voices in Literature. She lives with her husband, poet Oscar Bermeo, in Oakland, where she is co-editor of Doveglion Press.
Reviews and Other Links
Craig Santos Perez @ Rain Taxi
Joyelle McSweeney @ Zoland Poetry
Nicole Cartwright Denison @ Blue Fifth Review