There is no fruit I love more than the mango.
Taut skin, yellow and red, the blushing cheek
of a maiden, the soft curve, the shy smile
on my girl’s sensuous mouth, a slow tango
smoldering in her eyes. The mango’s sleek
flesh, sweet and fragrant as her bosom. While
Clara’s away these summer nights, the heavens
cloudless and clear, moonlight-filled, where she wheels
in air, she leaves with me her hips, two cheeks
like shapely fruits, the moon’s curvy crescent,
firm mango handfuls.
Note: this poem is part of an ongoing novel-in-poems about two aswang—Philippine mythical monsters—who fall in love and try to live as ordinary humans. Clara is a manananggal, which means that she can split herself at the waist, with the top half flying off to hunt prey, leaving her bottom half, in this case, in the care of her lover Santiago.
Vince Gotera teaches at the University of Northern Iowa, where he served as Editor of the North American Review (2000-2016). He is also former Editor of Star*Line, the print journal of the international Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (2017-2020). His poetry collections include Dragonfly, Ghost Wars, Fighting Kite, The Coolest Month. and the upcoming Pacific Crossing. Recent poems appeared in Altered Reality Magazine, Crab Orchard Review, Dreams & Nightmares, The Ekphrastic Review, Philippines Graphic (Philippines), Rosebud, The Wild Word (Germany) and the anthologies Multiverse (UK), Dear America, and Hay(na)ku 15. He blogs at The Man with the Blue Guitar.
The Niagara County Community College, as part of its Poetry on the Edge Series, successfully hosted a reading featuring Jeanne-Marie Osterman on April 21 in the Dolce Valvo Art Gallery at the Sanborn Campus. Ms. Osterman read from her books Shellback (Kirkus Top 100 Indie Books of 2021) and All Animals Want the Same Thing (Winner of the 2021 Slipstream Poetry Chapbook Contest). The series has been a tradition of the College for 29 years.
Please join us for the long-awaited book launch for Conrad Benedicto's Masalaya's Gift and Leny Strobel's Glimpses. Due to the pandemic, this event had been postponed until we could safely gather outdoors.
The launch will be held at Howarth Park in Santa Rosa, which is right next to Spring Lake and connected by a walking trail. There's also a playground and a train ride at the park, and camping at Spring Lake if you wish to spend the weekend in beautiful Sonoma County. Please bring your own water bottle/cup, a sun hat and lawn chairs.
This event is kindly organized by Karen Pennrich and Brenda Bautista.
Congratulations to Paloma Press author Barbara Jane Reyes on being named the 2022 Winner of Meridians Journal’s Elizabeth Alexander Creative Writing Award!
“The Elizabeth Alexander Creative Writing Award celebrates an author whose work embodies the lyrically powerful and historically engaged nature of Dr. Alexander’s writing. The award aims to highlight different forms of knowledge production that emerge from the artistic, political, and cultural advocacy for transformative change undertaken by women of color nationally, transnationally, and globally. Our goal is to make knowledge production by and about women of color central to contemporary definitions of feminisms in the explorations of women’s economic conditions, cultures, and sexualities, as well as the forms and meanings of resistance and activist strategies. Our award winners’ writings exemplify the spirit and mission of Meridians with their winning pieces.
“The winner of this year’s Elizabeth Alexander Creative Writing Award is Barbara Jane Reyes for her poem “Daughtersong Diaspore.” Barbara Jane Reyes is the author of Letters to a Young Brown Girl (BOA Editions, Ltd.). She was born in Manila, Philippines, raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is also the author of Gravities of Center (Arkipelago Books), Poeta en San Francisco (TinFish Press), Diwata (BOA Editions, Ltd.), To Love as Aswang (Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc.), and Invocation to Daughters (City Lights Publishing). Reyes is an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco.”
It’s our 6th anniversary and a new website is overdue! Please bookmark our new website address: http://www.palomapress.org and new email address: editor at palomapress dot ORG. Also, check out our newest titles:
“This process has created a significant body of multifaceted work addressing the times, lives, and struggles of Pinays in the diaspora.” —Jean Vengua
“A memoir, a bridge, a lyric, a liminality, this book is a gift from that cool rebellious poet friend who never stops reading, learning, writing, reflecting, and sharing, who sees in us our multitudes, and wants for us nothing short of pure self-determination and possibility.” —Jason Magabo Perez
“The real pleasure of this book lies in Stapleton’s irrepressible approach to narrative structure. Long, loose chains of events culminate in volta-like swerves…. these endings refashion early meanderings in thrilling flashes.” —The New York Times
Seven Skirts, a debut poetry collection by Jacki Rigoni (April 2021)
“The poems that stand out more brightly against this backdrop are those that celebrate women breaking silence after abuse, reclaiming their history, helping each other, learning to let go.” —Luisa A. Igloria
“Ultimately, Seven Skirts is a collection rooted in healing. This is a necessary and stunning book.” —Tayve Neese
Shellback, a second poetry collection by Jeanne-Marie Osterman (February 2021)
“Courageous, insightful, and unsettling poems about war and family ties.” —Kirkus Reviews