[Archival photo from University of Wisconsin]
Poetas y Diwatas, guest edited by Barbara Jane Reyes. Featuring Joi Barrios, Arlene Biala, Sasha Pimentel Chacon, Rachelle Cruz, Luisa A. Igloria, Karen Llagas, Melissa Roxas, Melissa Sipin, Eileen Tabios, and Jean Vengua
Before I ever had a name for it, I was already engaged in the work of centering Pinay narratives and voices. For the past two decades, I have thought of my poetry as doing just that; I am a Pinay poet and my speakers and/or personae are Pinays thinking about their own lives, telling their own stories. I always thought it was that simple.
But I am frequently asked whether writing about Pinay-ness has limited me.
Being Pinay is a fact of who I am. I was birthed by a Pinay, and raised by Pinays. Pinays have given me my value system. My Pinay-ness is the filter through which the world views and handles me, cross references me against what they (think they) know about people in the world who look like me.