On Teaching Filipino American Poetry and Literature: Some Thoughts

X-posted here.

Again, I've been having e-conversations with various folk regarding teaching the work of Filipino American authors in literature, creative writing, and presumably Ethnic Studies courses of various educational and community institutions — how to go about doing so, what texts are selected and why. One educator's assumption was that text selection is based upon the Filipino American writer and/or his/her work being "nationally recognized," "nationally distributed," and "nationally awarded."

"Nationally recognized" takes on multivalent meanings when many of our literary professional relationships occur or are initiated online, and when relationships with magazine, journal, anthology, and book publishers are not restricted to geography. Even the name of someone as "local" to the San Francisco Filipino American literary scene as Al Robles carries some weight elsewhere not Bay Area. A UCLA publisher is responsible for Rappin With Ten Thousand Carabaos in the Dark, and he is included in such nationally distributed anthologies as Premonitions (NY: Kaya Press) and Returning a Borrowed Tongue (Minneapolis: Coffee House Press).

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