Monthly Archives: June 2010

What I learned at Kundiman

Phew!  Back in L.A. after an incredible week at the Kundiman Retreat at Fordham University in the Bronx, NY.

I’ve heard Kundiman referred as a family many times in the past by former fellows.  Aaah, now I understand.

What I’ve learned and some highlights:

-“Equal weight, equal volume’ as taught by Tan Lin via Gertrude Stein.  “Equal weight, equal feeling” as taught by Regie Cabico.

-Community cultivates the courage to share a “draft-y” poem composed 30 minutes before a reading.  Love & trust equal unattachment to a poem.  Hence, many poet eyes while it’s still being written.

-Staying up late for: (time for the mini-list!)

*Stories about grandfather monks

*Domino’s pizza as an excuse to write more poems

*Regie reading Jennifer Knox’s poem “Chicken Bucket”

*Dance parties with Tan Lin and Paisley Rekdal!

*Late night powerpoint presentations on Jose Garcia Villa given by Tim Yu

-Recognizing the diversity of styles and forms, especially in a place that draws poets of similar backgrounds.

-Writing in little time and no sleep.

-Being focused, even in New York humidity.

I’m realizing now that this list is doing little to actually convey what Kundiman means to me.

Hopefully, this photo and poem work better.

Left to Right: Me, Tiana Nobile, Ed Menchavez,Tamiko Beyer, Dan Lau and a few unidentified heads, surrounding Sarah Gambito in all her light.


This poem was inspired by our patron poets given to us by Kundiman.

For Patron Poets

In the Country of Doveglion,

there are two animals fighting,

bringing out the ink, the sigh:

volupt, volupt, volupt.

Gacela and her stamped forehead

murumurs a snow drift.

We aren’t sleeping. Good. Li-Young Lee,

with a shrimp-phone in his mouth.

O Brenda, O Poets, here we went into

the secret rooms and lounged and lay on your beds.

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Filed under influences, Kundiman

Published in Lantern Review’s inaugural issue!

An ekphrasis poem I wrote a few months ago, entitled I Am Still Alive, in response to On Kawara’s conceptual art was published in Lantern Review’s First Issue.  yay!

Check it out here.


From the Lantern Review blog:

At long last, the inaugural issue of Lantern Review is now live on our web site!

We’re thrilled to be able to present a volume of more than 30 extraordinary pieces, in a wide range of styles, and by poets of multiple generations.  Contributors to this issue include Eileen Tabios, Jon Pineda, Barbara Jane Reyes, Luisa Igloria, Angela Veronica Wong, Changming Yuan, Melissa Roxas, Sankar Roy, Subhashini Kaligotla, Vanni Taing, Rachelle Cruz, Jai Arun Ravine, Craig Santos Perez, as well as many others.  The issue also includes a special feature devoted to work created in the context of Kundiman’s vibrant community, in the form of our Community Voices section.  Before entering the issue, you might want to take a moment to check out our recommendations for optimum viewing, located here.  If you want to proceed to the issue right away, click here or on the cover image at the top left of this post.

We are still very much learners when it comes to producing and supporting a web-hosted magazine, so we’d appreciate any feedback or questions you might have about readability and navigation issues. (Feel free to drop us a line via email).

Thank you so much to all of you for your continued support, enthusiasm, and patience as we’ve wrestled with the process of making our dream become a reality.  We are honored to have the opportunity to present such a stellar body of work in our very first issue, and hope that you will enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed putting it together.

Many thanks again,
Iris & Mia
LR Editorial Board

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Crazy June

Dang, this month is going to be packed!

The short list:

-heading to NYC twice this month (once for leisure, the second time for KUNDIMAN (!) at Fordham University)

-my second job is ending with the school year, which means another frantic job search

-deadlines for grants

-looking for housing in Riverside

-and my birthday!

I’m also revisiting the aswang poems I wrote last year and revising them for the first time.  Last night, I couldn’t sleep and dug through xeroxed pages from books about the St. Louis World’s Fair.  I’m pumped about getting back into the groove of writing more aswang poems.

I’m also excited about reading more this summer.

The long list (a mix of crime fiction, poetry and non-fiction):

-A BAD DAY FOR SORRY by Sophie Littlefield

-SEVERANCE PACKAGE by Duane Swierczynski


-DAWN LIGHT by Diane Ackerman



-TOXIC FLORA by Kimiko Hahn

-I-HOTEL by Karen Yamashita


Yeah! Bring it on!

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Filed under travel, writing process