Cristina Victor, an artist friend of mine, drew this incredible aswang a year or two ago, in response to one of poems.
*The Aswang Manuscript
The aswang manuscript is undergoing some radical revision.
The manuscript is organized by the different creatures the aswang embodies:
3.) Viscera Sucker
I’ve revisited a number of poems to play with form. I want the form to reflect the changing, elusive creatures of the aswang, which means working with the fragment and the image even more. For a long while, I felt tied to the linear narrative of the aswang and her mother, even when it wasn’t working. I’ve cut a bunch of lines and poems, which was liberating. I am also letting go or saving some of the world’s fair poems I’ve written. They just don’t fit right now.
When I sent my manuscript to friends and other poets, the question of my body came up. Where was it?
I’m interweaving the difficult poems I wrote in Chris Abani’s workshop last spring with the aswang poems I already had. Poems of trauma, colonization, violence among families and women, violence committed against the body, the Filipina brown body. Poems of girlhood, motherhood and daughterhood. Some in persona, a few not. For a while, I’ve kept these separate, but it’s fascinating to see them in dialogue. I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere with organizing the manuscript.
During VONA, I spoke with Elmaz Abinader about her thoughts on this project. She suggested playing with the performance of it, which speaks to the persona nature of the project.
This fall, I plan to stage a section of the aswang poems in conjunction with UC Riverside’s Golden Mean Theater Group this fall. If you all know of any Pinay actors, let me know!
*Writings on Filipino Mythology
TAYO founder and fellow VONA attendee, Melissa Sipin and I have been in dialogue about editing an anthology of literature inspired by Filipino mythology.
We found this call for submissions on the PAWA blog, but we want to open it up to other genres, besides fiction, and we want Filipino writers from all over the diaspora to submit. We’re inspired by the work of Barbara Jane Reyes, Aimee Nezuhukumatahil, Ninotchka Rosca, Noel Mariano, Oliver de la Paz, Maina Minahal, Aimee Suzara and more…
We want seasoned and emerging Filipino writers represented in the anthology (which we want in both print and online venues).
Is there something like this out there already? Who are other Filipina/o writers who could fit into this project?