Dear Brown Girl: If you want to know what and why I am writing in 2022

Dear Brown Girl, It’s a new year, and I arrive again at questions of writing. This morning, it occurred to me that I have expended a lot of energy trying to explain the “how” piece, elaborating on craft and construction. I used to think this was what students and readers wanted to hear — how …

The beginnings of a book project

This is an ongoing outline/list of ideas, reading materials, et al, as I am thinking about my next next book project. On social media, I noted: in so many of the Filipino American community events I participate in as a poet, the same question in different iterations always arises: “Why poetry?” “Why do you write …

Is This Diasporic Pinay Mythopoetics

With the permission of author and publisher Christina Newhard, who sent me these questions, I am posting my responses here: Name: Barbara Jane Reyes Where you live: Oakland, CA Descriptor: Author and Educator What are your works of / about Philippine mythology (books/ podcast/ art /classes, organizations)? Please list them: Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish …

What happens when a group of young Pinoy and Pinay writers, artists, and students — Flips — take the means of production into their own hands.

What follows is my introduction to the reprint/re-issue of Liwanag, the 1975 Filipino American arts anthology, which I am just so honored to have written. I. What happens when a group of young Pinoy and Pinay writers, artists, and students — Flips — take the means of production into their own hands.  They create a …

How does one become a poet? Any Goddamn way they like.

There’s a story that Jason Bayani tells often; I read it in his author interviews. In the late-1990s, he attended a spoken word event in a community center in Oakland. There, he saw me perform. And this is where it was clarified for him that that’s what he wanted to do. Perform spoken word.  That …