In the Dictator’s Aftermath: Conversation and Book Launch

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Saturday July 18, 2020 05:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada) / Sunday July 19, 2020 08:00 AM Philippine Time

Via FB Live

Autographed copies of PAGPAG are available for purchase at the special discounted price of $10. Please email editor at or galateaten at to place an order.

In the Dictator’s Aftermath: Conversation and Book Launch for PAGPAG by Eileen R. Tabios

Eileen Tabios has released over 60 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in ten countries and cyberspace. Recent releases include a short story collection, PAGPAG: The Dictator’s Aftermath in the Diaspora and a poetry collection, The In(ter)vention of the Hay(na)ku: Selected Tercets 1996-2019. Forthcoming soon is her third bilingual edition (English/Thai), INCULPATORY EVIDENCE: Covid-19 Poems. Her award-winning body of work includes invention of the hay(na)ku, a 21st century diasporic poetic form, and the MDR Poetry Generator that can create poems totaling theoretical infinity, as well as a first poetry book, Beyond Life Sentences, which received the Philippines’ National Book Award for Poetry. Translated into 11 languages, she has edited, co-edited or conceptualized 15 anthologies of poetry, fiction and essays. More information is available at

Joi Barrios-Leblanc serves as a Lecturer at UC Berkeley after working as Associate Professor at the University of the Philippines. She is the author of several books, among them, To Be a Woman is to Live at a Time of War, and From the Theater Wings: Grounding and Flight of Filipino Women Playwrights. She has won national literary awards, and was among the 100 women Weavers of History chosen for the Philippine Centennial, 1998. She received the TOWNS (Ten Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service) Award, 2004 and the Balagtas Lifetime Achievement Award for Filipino Poetry, 2016.

Albert Alejo (“Paring Bert”) is a Filipino Jesuit priest, educator, poet, peace negotiator, humanitarian and human rights advocate. He holds a Master’s degree in Philosophy, a Master’s in Theology, and Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Social Anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is founder of “Ehem! Anti-corruption Initiative” and author of “Tao Po! Tuloy!: Isang Landas ng Pag-Unawa sa Loob ng Tao,” “Generating Energies In Mount Apo: Cultural Politics In A Contested Enviroment,” “Nabighani: Mga Saling Tula ng Kapwa Nilikha,” and other works. He teaches at the Ateneo de Manila University, and his areas of specialization include Christian Social Ethics: Corruption and Violence and the Formation of Social Conscience, Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue, and Methods of Research for Doctor of Ministry.

Maria Nerissa Balce is an Associate professor of Asian American studies at SUNY Stony Brook. Her research focuses on race, gender, state violence and popular culture in the U.S. and the Philippines. She is co-curator of the online art project, Dark Lens / Lente ng Karimlan: The Filipino Camera in Duterte’s Republic, an online exhibition of Philippine photographs of the drug war featuring commissioned poems and captions by 40 scholars and artists from the Philippines and North America. Dark Lens is currently on view at SUNY Stony Brook’s Center for the Study of Inequalities, Social Justice and Policy website. Balce is the author of the book, Body Parts of Empire: Visual Abjection, Filipino Images and the American Archive, winner of the 2018 Best Book award in Cultural Studies from the Filipino Section of the Association for Asian American Studies. The book was also a finalist for the best book in the social sciences for the 2018 Philippine National Book Awards. She was born and raised in Manila, Philippines.

Renato Redentor Constantino (“Red”) is the Executive Director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities and the author of The Poverty of Memory: Essays on History and Empire. He is anthologized in Letters to the Earth (HarperCollins, 2019) with Yoko Ono, Mary Oliver, Emma Thompson and Mark Rylance, Humanity (Paloma Press, 2018) with Eileen Tabios, Laura Mullen, and Murzban F. Shroff, Literary Encounters: A Comprehensive Worktext in 21st Century Literature from the Philippines (University of San Carlos Press, 2016), and the Japanese publication The World Can be Changed: An Anthology for Posterity (TUP/Seven Forest Bookstore, Tokyo: 2004), along with Ariel Dorfman, Jane Goodall, Chalmers Johnson, and Sami Ramadani. As head of ICSC, he published and contributed to the anthology, Agam: Filipino Narratives on Uncertainty and Climate Change (ICSC, 2014), which was awarded three national book awards. He writes for several publications, and his essays on history, memory, environment and development have been translated into several languages. Red also manages the Constantino Foundation which is dedicated to advancing the idea of a usable history, where lessons from the past become active elements of the present.

S. Lily Mendoza (she, her, hers) is a native of San Fernando, Pampanga in Central Luzon, Philippines, the traditional homeland of the Ayta peoples. She is a Professor of Culture and Communication at Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan and the current Director of the Center for Babaylan Studies (CfBS), a non-profit organization on Turtle Island (North America) offering educational programming aimed at facilitating decolonization and pagbabalik-loob (recovery of an indigenous way of being in the world) among Filipinos in the diaspora. She is the author of Between the Homeland and the Diaspora: The Politics of Theorizing Filipino and Filipino American Identities and lead editor of Back from the Crocodile’s Belly: Philippine Babaylan Studies and the Struggle for Indigenous Memory and has also published widely in various cultural and native studies journals and anthologies on questions of identity and subjectivity, cultural politics in national, post- and trans- national contexts, discourses of indigenization, race, and ethnicity, and, more recently, civilization and climate change.

Aileen Cassinetto
Michelle Bautista

“Pagpag” is the practice of scavenging through trash heaps for discarded food that the poor then attempts to clean and re-cook for new meals. Pagpag heart-wrenchingly symbolizes the effects of a corrupt government unable to take care of—indeed, abusing—its people. PAGPAG’s stories, while not overtly addressing this radical torture of cuisine, relate to what lurks within the stew created by a dictator’s actions. The aftermath is not always obvious like the imprisoned, the tortured, or the salvaged (murdered); the aftermath goes deep to affect even future generations in a diaspora facilitated by corruption, incompetence, and venality.

Eileen R. Tabios wrote “protest stories” from 1995-2001 against Ferdinand Marcos’ martial law in the Philippines, including “Tapey” which was read for Hawai’i Public Radio. These stories, except for a 2019 story written as a coda, form her new short story collection, PAGPAG. As indicated by its subtitle The Dictator’s Aftermath in the Diaspora, the collection presents stories from the points of view of children brought out of the Philippines by their parents (or other adults) in response to the Marcos dictatorship—children who grew up watching and listening to adults remember the homeland they left behind and who, as adults, can more fully articulate the effect of their histories.

Power to the Poets: Uproar!

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Please join us on Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 5pm Pacific/7pm Central/8pm Eastern for POWER TO THE POETS: UPROAR!

Via Facebook Live

Amos White & Aileen Cassinetto


curates and hosts the Latinx reading series SPEAKING AXOLOTL in Oakland which happens every third Thursday of the month at Nomadic Press Studios. His first book of poems, Baby Axolotls y Old Pochos, is forthcoming from Black Freighter Press.

is a South Carolina-based poet, voice-over narrator, and entrepreneur. The author of the poetry collection, A Glass Mirror, April is also the radio/TV host of Your Oral Diktion at Black Love Poetry Series.

is a visual artist and faculty member at Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia. He is also a spoken word artist whose humorous style hearkens back to the “Toasting” traditions of African American culture seen in poems like the “Signifying Monkey” or “Shine.”

is the youngest United States Youth Poet Laureate appointed in the history of the country. She is also the first U.S. Poet Laureate to have been appointed from New York (as well as the Northeastern region) and the first Asian-American youth poet laureate of the United States. Youth Poet Laureate is a program of Urban Word.

has toured internationally and is known for both opening and featuring on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam alongside Jill Scott. She has also shared the stage with artists such as Talib Kweli, Nas, Dave Chapelle, and more. Shanelle was spotlighted on the Rachael Ray Show, and was named one of “8 Millennial Feminist Poets That Deserve Recognition” by and a “Powerful Indie Artist Activist You Should Know” by She was selected to curate a series of poems for Fast Company Magazine’s 2019 European Innovation Festival at the Gucci Hub in Milan, Italy, and was the subject of a mini-documentary on the Lifetime Network regarding her battle with Lupus. She presently resides in Brooklyn.

is a poet, workshop instructor, entrepreneur, and author of From the Tongue of a Foster Child. He lives in Sicklerville, New Jersey.

is an East Palo Alto native and PhD student in Modern Thought and Literature at Stanford University. He holds degrees in African American Studies and Modern Middle Eastern Studies from Duke University and the University of Oxford. His debut collection, Gentefication, won the 2019 Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry, and is set to be published fall of 2021.

is the author of the internationally-acclaimed, Geography of Tongues, former Poet Laureate of San Ramon, co-founder of The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective, Sangam Arts Mosaic Fellow, TEDx speaker, and 2020 poetry judge of AWP’s Kurt Brown Prize. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in PLUME, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

is a Story Medicine Woman, award winning poet and performance artist. She was a featured poet/storyteller at the National Association of Black Storytellers, Lawrence Hall and Golden Gate Academy of Sciences, Museum of the African Diaspora, Randall and Oakland Museums, The Black Panther’s 50th Anniversary, Octavia Butler’s 70th Birthday, Eth-Noh-Tec Nu Wa in Beijing, China, and at the de Young Museum’s Soul of a Nation. Her book, Synchronicity: The Oracle of Sun Medicine, was published by Nomadic Press in February 2020.

is the Poet Laureate of Delaware. He is a community-based social worker deeply rooted in the juvenile justice system. Mills has designed and led organizations that provide services for delinquent youth and their families. As a therapist, he serves New Castle County Delaware’s Multisystemic Therapy Services. Mills is a certified A.R.T. therapist, and takes pride in his efforts to utilize art as a tool for foundational change in youth, families, communities, and our society. A cofounder of G.O.A.L.S., and S.Y.A.-Tutoring and Mentoring Programs in Wilmington, Mills is also an honored army veteran who served in Iraq and speaks about his struggles with PTSD as a result of the war.

is Oakland’s 2020 Youth Poet Laureate. She is going into her junior year at Oakland Technical High School, and represents the Oakland community through poetry, media, and public appearances. Her first chapbook, A Heart Full of Hallways, was published in 2020 with Nomadic Press.

is a Philadelphia poet, lyric baritone, composer, actor, and artivist. He is the author of At the Cornerstone, Feeding the Sparrow, and Second Saturday at Serenity, and has appeared on radio, TV & stage. He has been quoted in print in Newsweek, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Daily News, and others. He credits his true education to five generations of teachers.

is Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at Our Lady of the Lake University and former Poet Laureate of San Antonio, Texas. He is the author of the poetry collection, If I Go Missing. His poetry, fiction, translations, and photography have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Salamander, Poetry Northwest, RHINO, and elsewhere. His visual poems have been exhibited in several galleries, including Presa House Gallery, Equinox Gallery, and at the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, TX. He holds a PhD from the University of North Texas and is the regional editor for Texas Books in Review and poetry editor for The Journal of Latina Critical Feminism & for Voices de la Luna: A Quarterly Literature & Arts Magazine.

(THEY/THEM) is a trans non-binary poet from the Bronx. A 2020 Lyvo Fellow and recipient of The Oluwatoyin Salua Freedom Fighters Grant (2020), Gentle’s work has been featured in NYUnited, Bryant Park Poetry, West 10th, PoetNY, Write About Now Poetry, and more. Gentle is a BA candidate at New York University and most recently the author of their first book, Ultram (KDP 2018).

The Founder and Chief Planter at 100K Trees for Humanity, Amos White is a Climate Mobilization Strategist, Coro Fellow in Public Affairs, author, poet, arts impresario, civil rights activist, father, and husband based in Alameda, California.

POWER TO THE POETS is a live reading series curated by Aileen Cassinetto. We’ll be broadcasting live on the event page. Video will appear as a post under the Discussion tab. The reading will be archived here.

Watch Power to the Poets: Poets of Color for Change.
Watch Power to the Poets: A Juneteenth Special.

Power to the Poets: Juneteenth

Friday, June 19, 2020, 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern



Thank you to everyone who supported last week’s POWER TO THE POETS which featured Josiahluis Alderete, Ina Cariño, Bernard Collins, Melinda Luisa de Jesús, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Cole Larry Eubanks, AmbitionthePoet Harper, Venus Jones, Antonio López, Thea Matthews, Indigo Moor, Elijah B Pringle III, Glenis Redmond, Erika Clay Robinson, Tony Robles, Dena Rod & Raymond Tyler.

Due to the number of requests for an encore, we are proud to present


Friday, June 19, 2020
5:00PM Pacific / 8:00PM Eastern
Facebook Live

Aileen Cassinetto (San Mateo) & Raymond Tyler (Atlantic City, NJ)

Special guest:
Howard Wiley is a protégé of the dynamic Miss Faye Carol and Bay Area great Jules Broussard, and is associated with the Thelonious Monk Institute and GRAMMY All-American Jazz Band. After he visited the notorious Angola Prison in Louisiana in 2005, the “Angola Project” was born—a re-interpretation of prison spirituals, traditional spiritual music, New Orleans-style blues, gospel music, and jazz. Wiley has released a trio of masterful solo recordings, performed SFJAZZ Hotplate tributes to Ornette Coleman and Coleman Hawkins, and featured in the de Young Museum’s Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963–1983.

Featured poets:

Melinda Luisa de Jesús is Associate Professor of Diversity Studies at California College of the Arts. She is the author of numerous books of poetry and feminist critical theory and is also a mezzo soprano.

Vernon Keeve III is a Virginia born writer that California molded into an educator. He lives and teaches in Oakland, CA. His purpose is to teach the next generation the importance of relaying their personal narratives, sharing their experiences, and taking control of their destinies. “Southern Migrant Mixtape” is his first book.

devorah major is San Francisco’s third Poet Laureate. She is an award- winning poet and fiction writer, creative non-fiction writer, performer, editor, and part-time senior adjunct professor at California College of the Arts. She is also poet-in-residence of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Elijah B Pringle III is a Philadelphia poet, lyric baritone, composer, actor, and artivist. He is the author of At the Cornerstone, Feeding the Sparrow, and Second Saturday at Serenity, and has appeared on Radio, TV & Stage. He has been quoted in print in Newsweek, The New York Times, and The Philadelphia Daily News. He credits his true education to 5 generations of teachers.

Kim Shuck is the 7th Poet Laureate of San Francisco. She belongs to the northern California Cherokee diaspora and has taught American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University. In 2019, Kim was awarded an inaugural National Laureate Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets, a PEN Oakland Censorship Award, and a Golden Poppy Award in Poetry.

McTate Stroman II is a poet, spoken-word artist, and motivational speaker. He has featured at The World Stage in L.A., The Comedy Store, The Knitting Factory in Hollywood, UCLA, and more. McTate is the host and founder of the long-running monthly open mic series, First Thursday’s at De Anza College.

Raymond Tyler is a poet, producer, publisher, radio show host, and founder of The Arts and Media Think Tank based in Atlantic City, NJ.

Maw Shein Win (El Cerrito, CA) is an educator and the first Poet Laureate of El Cerrito. Her books include “Ruins of a glittering palace,” “Score and Bone” and “Invisible Gifts: Poems”. Her newest book, “Storage Unit for the Spirit House” will be published by Omnidawn in Fall 2020.

Angelique N. Zobitz is a poet raised on the Southside of Chicago, and is a recent transplant to the intersection of agriculture and academia in Indiana. She is the author of the chapbook “Love Letters to the Revolution” forthcoming Fall 2020 from American Poetry Journal. She is a Spring 2019 Black River Chapbook Competition Finalist, 2020 Best New Poets nominee and a two-time 2019 Best of the Net nominee.


***Please note that this event will be streamed live and will appear as a post on the event page, under the DISCUSSION tab.

Power to the Poets

Poets of Color for Change

“This felt like a Harlem Renaissance moment.”—Elijah Pringle III

Josiah Luis Alderete (Oakland, CA)
Aileen Cassinetto (San Mateo County, CA)
Ina Cariño (Raleigh, NC)
Bernard Collins (Philadelphia, PA)
Melinda Luisa de Jesús (Oakland, CA)
Tongo Eisen-Martin (San Francisco, CA)
Cole Larry Eubanks (Mays Landing, NJ)
Ambition The Poet Harper (Sicklerville, NJ)
Venus Jones (San Jose, CA)
Antonio López (East Palo Alto, CA)
Thea Matthews (San Francisco, CA)
Indigo Moor (Sacramento, CA)
Elijah Pringle III (Philadelphia, PA)
Glenis Redmond (Greenville, SC)
Erika Clay Robinson (Orange County, CA)
Tony Robles (Hendersonville, NC)
Dena Rod (Berkeley, CA)
Raymond Tyler (Atlantic City, NJ)

Hosted by Aileen Cassinetto & Raymond Tyler

If you were moved by the power of our poets and if you believe that #blacklivesmatter please buy their books, fund their projects, or consider supporting the movement by donating to progressive, nonprofit Black-led organizations such as the Oakland-based Color of Change which seeks to strengthen the political voice of black people by leading campaigns and designing strategies to fight racism and injustice. I also would like to remind everyone to please vote in November. —Aileen Cassinetto, Curator

A historic gathering of poets of color from the East Coast & West Coast


Please join us for a historic virtual gathering of poets of color from the East Coast & West Coast, organized by Aileen Cassinetto.

Poets of Color for Change

June 11, 2020 05:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada) / 08:00 PM Eastern Time

Via Facebook Live

Josiahluis Alderete (Oakland)
Ina Cariño (Raleigh)
Bernard Collins (Philadelphia)
Melinda Luisa de Jesús (Oakland)
Tongo Eisen-Martin (San Francisco)
Cole Larry Eubanks (Mays Landing)
AmbitionthePoet Harper (Sicklerville)
Venus Jones (San Jose)
Antonio López (East Palo Alto)
Thea Matthews (San Francisco)
Indigo Moor (Sacramento)
Elijah B Pringle III (Philadelphia)
Tony Robles (Hendersonville)
Dena Rod (Oakland)
Raymond Tyler (Atlantic City)

Aileen Cassinetto (San Mateo) & Raymond Tyler (Atlantic City)

We encourage you to power the movement by donating directly to Oakland-based, Black-led nonprofit Color of Change.