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Philippine American Writers and Artists blog for lit/arts events, reviews, news, and opportunities.

Filtering by Tag: Janice Lobo Sapigao

Please Consider Sponsoring Janice Lobo Sapigao's microchips for millions (Fall 2016 Release)


Dear friends and community, PAWA is proud to be publishing Janice Lobo Sapigao's full-length debut collection, microchips for millions, which will be released this fall 2016.

Here are poems from this powerful and important collection:

the assembly line

my mother is a fab operator

four days a week
ma gets up at four a.m.
boils hot water in a kettle
showers before it screams
ready for coffee
watches the news as she
pulls on her clothes –

jeans and a simple tee
enough to soak up
twelve-hour sweat resting in
orthopedic shoes that
amplify the need for
health benefits & overtime

ma is always on the frontline
of the silicon valley’s shadow
one of thousands of women
whose nimble fingers and
silenced grumbling spin
microchips for millions
powering laptops and
cell phones that she herself
does not find intuitive enough to use

at the end of every day
she watches the filipino channel
her swollen feet elevated
on the living room couch –
a luxury she buys herself
and her family

in my environmental racism class
professor pellow showed a map
of my neighborhood in san jose, ca:
there were red dots next to the
mcdonald’s grumma worked at,
near my elementary school, one
above the block of ma’s workplace

he said the dots indicated toxic waste sites, said immigrant women were on the front line of exploitation

ma says she’s a fab operator

i know she’s an assembly line worker

the union


my mother’s boss
was fired today
after nineteen years
with the company,
they cited failure
to meet deadlines
and production goals

…and ma doesn’t know
what they’re talking about

because they’ve worked over time
and they’ve scheduled
less workers

and ma asked,
if i were her
would i fight?

…and ma always fights.


her boss told them not to
that speaking out was
risking their jobs
that human resources
doesn’t like questions


the silicon valley is largely anti-union
the long hours,
hiring practices,
and runaway jobs
would be unjust
under labor laws.

my mother sees patterns,
says the new CEO is from intel,
that he hires anyone
who’s worked there.
ma jokes that even her workplace
has intel inside.
ma and her co-workers
come together to raise funds
print flyers and
meet secretly
to throw

their former boss
a pizza party.

Janice Lobo Sapigao is a daughter of Filipina/o immigrants.  Her first book, microchips for millions, critiques the Silicon Valley and its exploitation of immigrant women workers (Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc. 2016). Her second book, like a solid to a shadow, about fatherlessness, grieving, and family lineages is forthcoming from Timeless, Infinite Light. She is author of the chapbook toxic city (tinder tender press, 2015). She is a VONA/Voices Fellow and was awarded a Manuel G. Flores Prize, PAWA Scholarship to the Kundiman Poetry Retreat. The Associate Editor of TAYO Literary Magazine, and a co-founder of Sunday Jump, an open mic in Los Angeles’s Historic Filipinotown; her work has also been published in numerous publications including Jacket2, The Volta,, and Action, Yes! as well anthologies such as Talking Back and Looking Forward: Poetry and Prose for Social Justice in Education (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015) and Empire of Funk: Hip Hop and Representation in Filipina/o America (Cognella Academic Publishing, 2014). She earned her M.F.A. in Writing from CalArts, and she has a B.A. in Ethnic Studies with Honors from UC San Diego. She teaches English at San José City College and Skyline College. Janice loves playing with stuffed animals, runs races occasionally, and frequents local, small mom + pop coffee shops. If you want, you can learn more at

We are asking for community support, in the form of sponsorship for this title! As you may know, publishing is a costly endeavor, and so anything you are able to contribute will be much appreciated! 

100% of proceeds will go towards production of Janice Lobo Sapigao's first full length book. You will be acknowledged on the publication's Acknowledgments page. 

Maraming salamat po!