UPDATE: This morning I was looking for two Pinay poets to add to my panel/round table discussion for the forthcoming KAPWA Conference 2009, which takes place at the SF State University campus on June 27, 2009. I am quite happy that I have found my poets.
Information on the conference and on the concept of Kapwa is here:
I recently submitted a proposal for a panel/round table discussion on Pinay Poetics. I am happy to report that my proposal has been accepted. I have extended invitations to a few poets. Confirmed are the following:
- Aimee Suzara
- Maiana Minahal
- Karen Llagas
- Niki Escobar
- Irene Faye Duller
- Elsa Valmidiano
Here is an excerpt from my proposal:
I am interested in discussing the wholeness of poetic craft together with political/cultural/historical subject matter and engagement. Frequently, we who study poetic craft seriously and professionally are unfairly dismissed by our own communities as participating in “whiting” programs, revoking our community membership. But learning to write effectively is to sharpen a tool to be used for personal and community empowerment.
In this presentation, Pinay poets will introduce and perform/read selections of their work, then discuss crafting and constructing the poetry, the importance of culture, history, politics, and community in determining subject matter, and in the process of editing, revision, publication, and performance; we will direct our presentations toward teaching artists and educators at the college level, in order to demystify the many technical, critical, instinctive, and spiritual ways in which the Pinay poet comes to her poem.
We know the importance of multidisciplinary approaches to teaching our multicultural histories and political movements. Indeed, art and cultural production play great and crucial parts of these historical and political movements, and are effective educational tools. Whereas legalese, academic and other professional terminology and jargon can alienate the people who live our lives outside of institutional spaces, art serves our movements by stirring emotions and imaginations, affirming and challenging via word, image, and movement what the people know intuitively and experientially about our social conditions. In our art, we need not lecture nor prove our authenticity, our “down-ness.” Art is the mirror we hold up, so that all of us may see ourselves and become inspired to act.
In many indigenous communities, the storyteller, the holder of community memory and wisdom, is the one around whom the people gather, upon whom they rely for her lifetime of learned skills in keeping, meticulously crafting, and sharing story. Poetry is a specific and distilled, concentrated use of language. As poets, drawing from our linguistic, cultural, mythological, spiritual/religious, historical wells, we tell our personal and community stories using figurative language, metered, musical lines, litany and anaphora, alliteration and assonance. We work with nuances of tone and timbre. In contemporary times, informed by traditional poetic and musical forms of various diverse cultures, and by vers libre, we are free to subvert and rearticulate traditions and to invent new ways of composing the poem. We craft poems with page and stage as our canvases, as polyglot, polyvocal, multidisciplinary productions. We work with fractured form, fractured language, stitching, weaving, remixing, Hip-Hop, found and appropriated text.
My proposed presentation places contemporary Pinay poets within the above contexts of wholeness and invites them to speak for themselves.