A Poetic Memoir
(Through the MDR Generator)
Leny Mendoza Strobel
Paloma Press is delighted to announce the release of GLIMPSES: A Poetic Memoir (Through the MDR Generator) by Leny Mendoza Strobel, which began as a daily meditation practice of reading a poetic line from Eileen Tabios’ Murder, Death, Resurrection, and then allowing the heart’s response to flow without censorship. The meditations offer us a glimpse of Leny’s life-long reflections on love, history, decolonization, healing trauma, finding belonging and purpose, and building community. 20% of book sales from today (July 27, 2019) through December 31st will go to the Center for Babaylan Studies. Get your copy now!
Leny Mendoza Strobel has created diary tracks in which the warm luminosity of her words emerges at the fertile intersection of the intimately personal and our historical and cultural stories. Her poetic sentences catalyze disturbances in our habits of perception and thought that open doors to healing in surprising ways and places. Hers is a voice urgently needed in our polarized times.
—Jurgen W. Kremer, Ph.D., author of Ethnoautobiography: Stories and Practices for Unlearning Whiteness, Decolonization, Uncovering Ethnicities
In her innovative memoir, Glimpses: A Poetic Memoir (through the MDR Generator), Leny Strobel reveals connections that run deep in our collective memories in a collage of personal narratives. Through an intimate conversation between the author’s experiences with lines from poet Eileen Tabios’ Murder Death Resurrection (MDR), Strobel assembles a complex montage of a woman’s life, fully lived. This inventive form challenges conventional approaches to memoir writing as it is born of a collaborative act that is at once as courageous and vulnerable as it is inventive and beautiful.
—M. Evelina Galang, author of Lolas’ House: Filipino Women Living with War
Leny Mendoza Strobel writes as she lives, with fierce, heartfelt inquiry and an ethic of generosity. In this precious collection, her wisdom is a spiraling dance, owing within, between, and beyond mundane and sacred, self and kapwa, prosaic and poetic. Leny continues to feed us all — ancestors, spirits, and kindred — at this altar of the word, powerful and vulnerable offerings.
—M.Rako Fabionar, Regenerative Entrepreneur and Healer
For three months, before going to bed, Leny Mendoza Strobel made a date with Poetry. Glimpses: A Poetic Memoir, contains what emerged from her listening to “what’s to come in the sacredness of it all.” The root of the word memoir—a kind of record, a memory—is cleverly positioned with poetry lines which begin with, “I forgot…” and which also serve as the catalyst for characteristically deep contemplations [her “holy tunganga” (gaze)], and the emergence of stories between forgetting and remembering again. Many of the pieces muse about learning: “learning that we are energy and consciousness”; “learning to tune in more closely to the scientific fact… that we are made of stars and stardust”—the attunements of a scholar and her deeply beautiful sensitivities toward nature’s rhythms and message.
—Lisa Suguitan Melnick, author of #30 Collantes Street
As soon as I started reading Leny’s journal entries, triggered as she puts it by Eileen Tabios’ poems, I immediately felt I was in for an intimate journey with an old friend who has been a fount of wisdom through her own research, revelations and reflections. Her book, Coming Full Circle, opened my eyes that welled with tears when I realized for the first time why Filipinos believed they were doomed to fail, and how this insidious belief defined our outlook, making us feel small and inferior. Leny’s latest book, Glimpses: A Poetic Memoir, reminds me yet again of the power of “indigenous consciousness,” of recovering our memories, and of remembering and rewriting our stories. In this context, I am able to view past incidents and images in my life with a deeper understanding of my own history and what that means moving forward. Leny’s honest and open evocations of her own truths as she crafts “a new way of being in the world,” profoundly speak to me as I sort through my own encounters and entanglements, particularly as they relate to our shared passion of building community.
—Jon Melegrito, Civil Rights Advocate and Editor-in-Chief of Manila Mail (Washington, D.C.)
GLIMPSES provides an insightful, poetic journey into Leny Mendoza Strobel’s memories, musings, reveries, impressions, perceptions, and inventions as encouraged by Eileen Tabios’s MDR poetry generator. Journal entry for 4.3.18 struck a chord: “I forgot when memory became a colander with generous holes / And perhaps we need those big-holed colanders as sieves for unwanted memories of a broken past / But wait / Why call the past ‘broken’? /…Sure the past reeks of colonial ventures that trampled islands and archipelagos / But we are still here / We have not been made to disappear /…Everything can be reframed / Stories can be edited /…I’ve been pondering this for a while now / I think of Tongva elder, L Frank, saying: They’ve taken nothing from us. We are still stardust / Remember your strength / Remember your Source / How do we tell this to each other?” Maraming salamat for sharing your heart with us. Yes, we are still stardust.
—Abraham Ignacio, Librarian, Filipino American Center, San Francisco Public Library
Liberating. Poetic. So beautiful that each page choked me with different emotions—love, pain, happiness, anger, hatred. She reminds me that wherever we are, our ‘womanity’ and the strength that we have inherited from our ancestors cannot be taken away from us. Through her poetic memoir, Dr. Strobel speaks to us through her beautifully and painfully woven experiences. And we can talk back. She has the answers. Dr. Strobel’s journey mirrors the diaspora of a Filipino woman in search of the self and finding the self that has become stronger in a foreign land despite the struggles and questions. I read her words with my heart.
—Eunice Barbara C. Novio, educator, journalist, and recipient of the 2017 Plaridel Award, Philippine American Press Club
Taking another poet’s lines as her starting points, Leny creates mediations and meditations within which she tells her story and invites her readers to come in and dwell a while to contemplate what she has created: a retreat, a cocoon, a place in which to see oneself and to be seen, from which to spin forward and inspire other poetic awakenings.
—Myriam J. A. Chancy, Guggenheim Fellow, author of The Loneliness of Angels, and HBA Chair in the Humanities, Scripps College
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Leny Mendoza Strobel is Professor Emeritus of American Multicultural Studies at Sonoma State University. She is also one of the Founding Directors of the Center for Babaylan Studies. Her books, journal articles, online media presence reflect her decades-long study and reflections on the process of decolonization and healing of colonial trauma through the lens of indigenous perspectives. She is a grandmother to Noah and she tends a garden and chickens with Cal in Northern California. More information is available at https://www.lenystrobel.com/.