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poeta en san francisco. gendered memory & geography. Barbara Jane Reyes. Born in Manila, raised in the Bay Area BA Ethnic Studies UC Berkeley, MFA at SFSU Author of multiple books of poetry, editor of Doveglion Press , board member of PAWA

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Poeta en san francisco

poeta en san francisco

gendered memory & geography


Barbara jane reyes
Barbara Jane Reyes

  • Born in Manila, raised in the Bay Area

  • BA Ethnic Studies UC Berkeley, MFA at SFSU

  • Author of multiple books of poetry, editor of Doveglion Press, board member of PAWA

  • Currently professor at USF in diasporic Filipino/a Lit


Orient dis orient re orient
orient, dis-orient, re-orient

  • What are the multiple meanings of “orient”?

  • Concept (Tropes)

    • “I emphasize in it [my Orientalism] accordingly that neither the term Orient nor the concept of the West has any ontological stability; each is made up of human effort, partly affirmation, partly identification of the Other.” - E. Said

  • Direction and geography (Tropical regions)

    • “Just as none of us is outside or beyond geography, none of us is completely free from the struggle over geography. That struggle is complex and interesting because it is not only about soldiers and cannons but also about ideas, about forms, about images and imaginings.” – E. Said


M ajor themes
major themes

  • Power of language

  • Persistence of the pre-colonial

  • Multiple history of colonization

    • Spanish Catholicism

    • US occupation, militarism and war

  • The global city

  • What does it mean to be Filipina in SF given colonization, militarism, and war?


En esta ciudad
en esta ciudad

we find ourselves retracing the steps of gold hungry arrogant spaniards, walking on knees behind their ghosts, could we ever know how much blood has seeped into the soil – this church, a prison. here, tongues severed and fed to wild animals

en esta ciudad we have forgotten how to speak

  • What city is this?

  • Why have weforgotten how to speak?


The pure products of america
the pure products of America

  • Allusion to William Carlos William’s poem “to Elsie” – masculine control and desire expressed over a woman’s body

  • homeless nam vets vs poetic speaker

  • Subic Bay – major military base from 1885-1992

  • Magandaka – you’re beautiful; mahalkita - I love you; magkanoka – how much are you?

  • walakangpag-asapagdaratingangarawngpahayag – there is no hope for you on judgment day


T he victory prayer
the victory prayer


Consider this procession
Consider this procession

  • First procession = religious celebration

    • Violence of Spanish Catholicism

  • Second procession (25) = Memorial Day parade

    • Violence of US militarism

    • Who gets to count as war veteran?

  • Kumintang = ancient name for province of Batangas, site of anti-American resistance


Why choose pilipinas
why choose pilipinas?

  • Pilipinas – Philippine islands & Filipinas

  • Military occupation of islands parallels patriarchal possession of women

  • Given this legacy, what does it mean to be a Filipina in the US?

    • Coconut vsDiwaKayumanggivshispanic hussy (99)


S ubjective catastrophe
subjective catastrophe

  • What does it mean to view a subjective catastrophe?

  • joey ayala sings 16 lovesongs

    • “Just how many kinds of love are there? In this album there are16...Pop songs usually go for the girl-boy thing, and for good reason. It’s the most obvious form of love and almost everybody knows what it means. If you are tired of all the cliches you will welcome this album; it stretches the imagination and widens the definition of ‘what makes the world go round’”

  • dapatganitoangpag-ibig: / tunay, / tunay.  this is how love should be, real, real