5 Pinay Writers You Need to Check Out

This is the last segment I’ll be posting for Womxn’s Herstory Month. The following are 5 amazing Pinays who are not only writers, but educators. Their poems, novels, and short stories have empowered the next generation of Pinays to produce their own works of art as well as contextualize and construct their own personal and political narratives.

1. Joi Barrios was Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at the University of the Philippines and is now a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley. At the age of 21, she was a founding member of GABRIELA (General Assembly Binding Women for Reforms, Integrity, Equality, Leadership, and Action). Her book Bulaklak sa Tubig: Mga Tula ng Pag-ibig at Himagsik (Flowers in Water: Poems of Love and Revolt) won the 2012 Gintong Aklat (Golden Book) Award from the Book Development Association in Manila.

2. M. Evelina Galang is the author of Her Wild American Self, a collection of short stories, and Angel de la Luna and the Fifth Glorious Mystery, a young adult novel. She teaches in and directs the Creative Writing program at the University of Miami and is core faculty for VONA/Voices: Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation. She has also been named one of the 100 most influential Filipinas in the United States by the Filipina Women’s Network.

3. Jessica Hagedorn is a playwright, poet, novelist, and performance artist. She is based in New York City and has published a number of notable books, such as Dogeaters, The Gangster of Love, Dream Jungle, and, most recently, Toxicology. She has taught playwriting at the Yale School of Drama and at the M.F.A. Creative Writing programs of New York University and Columbia.

4. Barbara Jane Reyes is a poet based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her book of poetry, Diwata, received the Global Filipino Literary Award for Poetry and was also a finalist for the California Book Award. She teaches Filipin@/American literature at the University of San Francisco and San Francisco Sate University. She also sits on the board of Philippine American Writers and Artists (PAWA).

5. Eileen Tabios is an award-winning poet and fiction writer. She received the Philippines’ National Book Award for Poetry, the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, the Portero Nuevo Fund Prize, and many more. Her new poetry collection, Sculpting Reproductions of Emptiness, is forthcoming in 2014. She is also the founder of Meritage Press, a multidisciplinary literary and arts press based in St. Helena, CA.

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