Paloma Press is pleased to announce the release of its 20th book, MARCELINA: A meditation on the murder of Cecilia “Celing” Navarro, by Dr. Jean Vengua.

ISBN: 978-1-7344965-0-5
Official Release Date: September 2020
Pages: 34
Price: $16
Available now on Amazon.

*Jean Vengua reads from Marcelina here.


You must sit down to read Jean Vengua’s “Marcelina”—an epic poem for our times. Bringing to light the lived experience of a young Filipina American immigrant woman in the 1920s and 1930s Central California, she captures a powerful event that can no longer remain buried. Vengua’s passionate writing braids history, geography, gender, ethnicity and race to illumine why we must now dig up those discarded in the levees of our past. The silencing forces of history are undone by Jean Vengua’s writing. Through her, we can finally know about and feel Celine Navarro’s life.
Celine Parreñas Shimizu, director of THE CELINE ARCHIVE (2020)

It is an honor to revisit Jean Vengua’s long poem, “Marcelina,” two decades after it was first published in the anthology Babaylan. “Marcelina” is jarring in its quiet, meditative moments, contrasted against voices and acts of historical violence. Vengua asks us to join her, to unearth our buried history and herstory, look hard at the violences we have inflicted upon our own. Vengua resists the insularity, the suffocation of that history, pays back this violence with witness, with gentle words. She pays respect to the woman, Marcelina, by honoring the earth in which she was interred.
Barbara Jane Reyes, author of Invocation to Daughters and Letters to a Young Brown Girl

Jean Vengua is a Filipinx American poet and visual artist, author of Corporeal (Black Radish Books), Prau (Meritage Press), and The Aching Vicinities (Otoliths Press. Chapbook). With Mark Young, Vengua co-edited the First Hay(na)ku Anthology, and The Hay(na)ku Anthology Vol. II. As co-publisher of Tulitos Press with Elizabeth H. Pisares, she published/edited the Debut: The Making of a Filipino American Film by Gene Cajayon and John Manal Castro, and The Flipside, by Rod Pulido. Jean was born in San Francisco, raised in Santa Cruz, and lives in Monterey, CA. Her art and writing can be viewed at

Established in 2016, Paloma Press is a San Francisco Bay Area-based independent literary press publishing poetry, prose, and limited edition books. Paloma Press believes in the power of the literary arts, how it can create empathy, bridge divides, change the world. We actively engage in “bayanihan”—a term which encompasses community strengthening and cooperation, and nourishing connections and shared identities. To this end, we have released fundraising chapbooks such as MARAWI, in support of relief efforts in the Southern Philippines; and AFTER IRMA AFTER HARVEY, in support of hurricane-displaced animals in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. As part of the San Francisco Litquake Festival, we proudly curated the wildly successful literary reading, “THREE SHEETS TO THE WIND,” and raised money for the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund. In 2018, the fundraising anthology, HUMANITY, was released in support of UNICEF’s Emergency Relief campaigns on the borders of the United States and in Syria. Paloma Press continues to donate a portion of its proceeds to non-profits committed to working for racial justice, animal rights, marginalized communities, and climate change.

Paloma books in libraries

You can check these out today! Library of CongressClose Apart by Robert Cowan (poetry)Shellback by Jeanne-Marie Osterman (poetry)*Seven Skirts by Jacki Rigoni (poetry)The Good Mother of Marseille by Christopher X. Shade (novel)Shield the Joyous by Christopher X. Shade (poetry)The Ruin of Everything by Lara Stapleton (short stories)Pagpag: The Dictator’s Aftermath in the Diaspora by EileenContinue reading “Paloma books in libraries”

Jean Vengua in HALO-HALO

What is your most recent book? Marcelina: A meditation on the murder of Cecilia “Celing” Navarro. This is a slightly revised reprint, in chapbook form, of the long poem first published in 2000, in Babaylan: An Anthology of Filipina and Filipina American Writers, and co-edited by Nick Carbo and Eileen Tabios. Continue reading here.

Maileen Hamto reviews MARCELINA

From THE HALO-HALO REVIEW: Whispers of hauntings always bring back stories of near-forgotten suffering, trauma buried deep into a community’s collective memory. Jean Vengua’s chapbook, Marcelina: A Meditation on the Murder of Cecilia “Celing” Navarro,” is the vessel of remembering for a new generation of Filipino-Americans to revisit an agonizing chapter in our history. ContinueContinue reading “Maileen Hamto reviews MARCELINA”

Pushcart Prize Nominees

We’re very pleased to announce our 2021 PUSHCART PRIZE nominees! MARCELINAFrom Marcelina by Jean Vengua (September 2020) WHILE YOU RESTFrom Shield the Joyous by Christopher X. Shade (April 2020) THE LAWNMOWERFrom Shield the Joyous by Christopher X. Shade (April 2020) IN THE ALABAMA TOWN WHERE I GREW UP, THE TOWN SQUARE WASN’T A SQUARE. From Shield theContinue reading “Pushcart Prize Nominees”

Anne with an E & Me

Wesley St. Jo

Copyright © Cecilia Ibardaloza

Release date: January 2018
Paperback, 32 pages
Out of stock

ANNE WITH AN E & ME is a nod to what is true and pure and tween, “I wish to begin / the year / with clarity—/ my favorite word / next to / epiphany…”  It’s about friendships, hopes, goals, boys, hair, big words and birthday stars. It is a tribute to Anne Shirley because if Anne were real and alive today, she’d be a kindred spirit.

Paloma Press is delighted to announce the release of ANNE WITH AN E & ME, an illustrated poetry book by Wesley St. Jo.

St. Jo is also the illustrator and co-author of BLUE, a whimsical poetry collection launched at the Library of Congress in September, and presented at the 4th Filipino American International Book Festival and at LITQUAKE’s Lit Crawl in San Francisco in October.

Advance words:
“When I was growing up, Anne of Green Gables was my heroine and role model. Years later, Wesley St. Jo’s collection of poetry describes the joyful “spirit” of Anne of the 21st century. She gives us an ear to the cadence of what is important to her Anne. Her poems capture the optimism, wit, passion, and intelligence that I loved so much about the Anne who I read when I was a young girl.” —Mary Kasimor, author of silk string arias & The Landfill Dancers

Review by Eileen Tabios
“I recommend ANNE WITH AN E & ME for making the reader smile… and smile about the book long after it’s been read. In the world of these poems, optimism never flags and that is quite a tonic for these days.”

Distributor: Paloma Press

After Irma After Harvey

Paloma Press is pleased to announce the release of “After Irma After Harvey,” a fundraising book project in support of hurricane-displaced animals. With many thanks to Ivy Alvarez, Mary Kasimor, Agnes Marton, Lisa Suguitan Melnick and Eileen Tabios for their immediate response and generosity. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Animal Defense League of Texas and the Jacksonville Humane Society.

We are ever committed to the rescue and care of displaced and shelter animals—before Harvey and long after Irma—“until they all find a home.”

Out of stock.

UPDATE: A big, furry thank you!

Marawi by Albert Alejo & Eileen Tabios

Poems by Albert E. Alejo & Eileen R. Tabios
(text in English and Filipino)
Out of stock

This project was conceived in support of relief efforts in Marawi, Southern Philippines. As of June 9, 2017, a total of 252,638 people have been displaced by the armed conflict in the region (Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center).


On Aug 5, 2017, at 3:11 PM, Gantala Press wrote:

Thank you very much for this! This is one of the biggest pledges we’ve received 🙂 We are so excited to hold Laoanen on the 12th. Yesterday we interviewed one of the speakers, Ms Samira Gutoc, the former assemblywoman who has now been very active in campaigning for the end of Martial Law in Mindanao. She shared really harrowing stories about young women and babies dying and the rise of psychological issues among the evacuees. Also stories of online harassment of her by trolls and followers of the president.

If you need an official receipt Ma’am, kindly advise so I can ask one of our partner organizations/recipients to issue one to Paloma Press.

From: Gantala Press
Date: August 14, 2017 at 12:44:48 AM PDT
Subject: Laoanen: Women Stand for Marawi

Dear Friends,
We are very happy to share that the Laoanen: Women Stand with/for Marawi Information & Fundraising Drive held on August 12 at Fully Booked – Bonifacio Global City was a huge success!

Ninety (90) students, teachers, artists, community workers, and concerned citizens showed up for the film screening and women’s forum, filling the venue to capacity.

We received donations worth Php 76,500.00 from ticket sales and pledges from various individuals and groups here and abroad. The fund will be distributed to the following partner organizations: Modern Nanays of Mindanao, The Moropreneur, Inc., Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (Northern Mindanao Region), and Ranao Rescue Team. The money raised will be used to help:

run a 120-day feeding program for evacuee mothers and/or breastfeeding women;

support the provision of healthy kitchens and safe spaces for women and children evacuees from Marawi;

host volunteers for the distribution of relief goods and other services to evacuation centers in Iligan;

and advocate for the creation of humane and culture- and gender-sensitive evacuation centers for the Maranao people and campaign for the end of Martial Law in Mindanao.

Thank you again for being part of Laoanen and standing with/for women and Marawi! Standing with one, we stand for the other.

Yours in peace,

Babai Women’s Network:
Gantala Press, Inc.
Jovenes Foundation, Inc.
Gabriela Network of Professionals (G-Net)
Filipina Pen & Ink
Feminista PH
Me & My Veg Mouth
Saltwater Cinema
and concerned individuals