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A space to encourage writing of Filipino American literature and the arts




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

Filtering by Tag: R- Zamora Linmark

11/11/2011: Manila! Manila! R. Zamora Linmark Reads and Jet Leyco Screens


Manila! Manila! R. Zamora Linmark Reads and Jet Leyco Screens Fri, Nov 11, 7pm • Screening Room Pre-reception at 6:15pm • YAAW Lounge [Yerba Buena Center for the Arts]

[A]s cheeky a novel as you’ll encounter. . . . the book’s nonstop energy and nonstop attitude are addictive….A lively satiric return to early ‘90s Manila, seen from both sides of the Filipino American divide. —Kirkus Reviews

Manila, Honolulu and San Francisco collide during this evening’s literary and filmic meditations on contemporary Filipino and Filipino-American life. Celebrated author R. Zamora Linmark reads from his latest novel Leche and poems from his two collections, Prime Time Apparitions and The Evolution of a Sigh. Preceding the reading is a screening of Jet Leyco’s harrowing short film Patlang, which was screened at the 4th annual MOV International Film Music & Literature Festival in Manila this past Summer.

Born in Manila and educated in Honolulu, R. Zamora Linmark is the author of two collections of poetry, Prime Time Apparitions and The Evolution of a Sigh, both from Hanging Loose Press, and Rolling The R’s (Kaya Press), a novel, which he’s adapted for the stage. A recipient of numerous grants and fellowships and published in journals and anthologies in both the U.S. and the Philippines, he currently divides his time between the Philippines and Hawaii. He is currently working on several projects, including But Beautiful, a full-length play, and another poetry collection, The Filipino Exiled Poet.

10/22/2011: Queens Poet Lore presents Ebolusyon Finale: Jessica Hagedorn & R. Zamora Linmark


With great enthusiasm, we invite you to a very special reading by distinguished novelists Jessica Hagedorn and R. Zamora Linmark on Saturday, October 22, 630 pm, in the historic neighborhood of Sunnyside, Queens. Hagedorn and Linmark’s experimental novels Dogeaters (Penguin) and Rolling the Rs (Kaya Press) are landmarks in American literature, and continue to blaze a trail for Philippine American writers. Both authors will read from their critically acclaimed new novels, Toxicology (Viking, 2011) and Leche (Coffee House Press, 2011), which will be available for sale at the event. A brief Q&A, book-signing, and reception will follow the reading. This event marks the finale to Ebolusyon: A Gathering of Philippine American Artists in Queens, presented in recognition of October's Philippine Heritage Month by Queens Poet Laureate Paolo Javier. The program consists of a pair of art residencies and openings, digital film screenings, readings, and talks by some of today's innovative Fil Am artists and writers, including celebrated poet/novelists Jessica Hagedorn and R. Zamora Linmark; Astoria painter/collagist Marietta Ganapin and Brooklyn painter Ernest Concepcion; University of Washington historian Vicente L. Rafael; and Elmhurst's own Guggenheim recipient for filmmaking, Lav Diaz. Seating is limited at the space, and guests are encouraged to rsvp to

Queens Poet Lore presents Ebolusyon: A Gathering of Philippine American Artists in Queens Finale featuring Jessica Hagedorn and R. Zamora Linmark Bliss on Bliss Art Projects 41-49 45th Street (at 43rd Avenue), ground floor* Sunnyside, New York 11104

DIRECTIONS: At the 46th Street stop of the 7 train, walk northwest (TMobile side of Queens Blvd) towards 43rd avenue. The space is just off the northeast corner of 43rd Avenue (across from Rite Aid), with entrance at the black gate of the driveway on 45th Street. Please note possible service changes to the 7 train on the weekend.

Jessica Hagedorn, a novelist, poet, and playwright, was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to the United States in her teens. Her books include the novels Dogeaters (a finalist for the National Book Award and the recipient of an American Book Award) The Gangster of Love, Dream Jungle (a New York Times Notable Book), and Danger and Beauty, a collection of selected poetry and short fiction. Hagedorn was the editor of the Asian American fiction anthology Charlie Chan is Dead. She lives in New York City.

Poet, novelist, and playwright R. Zamora Linmark is the author of two novels, Leche (May 2011, Coffee House Press), and the best-selling novel Rolling the R’s (Kaya Press), as well as three collections of poetry, Prime Time Apparitions, The Evolution of a Sigh, and the forthcoming Drive By Vigils, all from Hanging Loose Press. A recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including two from the Fulbright Foundation, a Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a U.S.–Japan Friendship Commission, he has published in numerous journals and anthologies in the U.S. and the Philippines. His stage adaptation of Rolling the R’s premiered in Honolulu in 2008 to critical and commercial success. Linmark divides his time between Manila and Honolulu.

Praise for Hagedorn's Toxicology (Viking, 2011):

“As the brilliant chronicler of the Filipino-American experience, Jessica Hagedorn has tackled in the past large themes such as the tragic consequences of colonialism, and the destructive structures of corruption it legates to the colonized. With Toxicology, her best, and most daring, novel so far, she has broken new ground by writing with naked brutality, but also with piercing humor and great wisdom, about what it means to be a New Yorker at the beginning of the 21st century. Toxicology is an indelible portrait of how we live today.” –Jaime Manrique

“…An eclectic mix of differing voices, dream sequences, interviews, and snippets of memoir, as well as straight narrative all overlaid with Hagedorn’s darkly humorous perspective. Her characters are complex and sympathetic, and each has a distinctive voice full of pain, longing, and love.” —Library Journal

Praise for Linmark's Leche (Coffee House Press, 2011):

“Linmark delivers a harrowing tale of love, family, and cultural bewilderment, a sardonically funny and vibrant novel about one man’s journey to his past. . . . Linmark’s novel reads like a bittersweet love letter to a vast and perplexing nation. This is a story of heritage, sexuality, and self-discovery that is as riveting as its locale is complex.” —Booklist

“Much like Linmark’s delightful debut novel . . . Leche manages to be at once formally inventive and compulsively readable. With its non-stop action and experimental structure—interspersing postcard correspondence, dream sequences, and, best of all, tongue-in-cheek “Tourist Tips” and entries from “Decolonization for Beginners” that cannily anticipate the book’s own potential misreading as little more than an opportunity for some cross-cultural eavesdropping—Leche educates and entertains in equal measure.” —Lambda Literary

10/23/2011: Kundiman & Verlaine present R. Zamora Linmark, Sasha Pimentel Chacon & Hanalei Ramos


Kundiman & Verlaine present

An evening of poetry & libation

Featuring: R. Zamora Linmark, Sasha Pimentel Chacon & Hanalei Ramos

Sunday, Oct. 23 Reading begins at 5 p.m. Open Bar from 4-5 p.m. At Verlaine: 110 Rivington St. b/w Ludlow & Essex Sts. [directions: F to Delancey or V to 2nd Ave.] $5 suggested donation

R. Zamora Linmark has authored three poetry collections, Prime Time Apparitions The Evolution of a Sigh, and Drive-By Vigils, all from Hanging Loose Press, and two novels, the best-selling Rolling The R's, which he's adapted for the stage, and the just-published Leche. He resides in Honolulu and Manila, and is at work on a novel and a play But, Beautiful.

Born in Manila and raised in Atlanta, Saudi Arabia and the NYC-tri state region, Sasha Pimentel Chacón is a Filipina American poet and author of Insides She Swallowed, winner of the 2011 American Book Award. Her work has appeared in journals such as The American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, Colorado Review and Callaloo, and she is the winner of the Ernesto Trejo prize and the Philip Levine fellowship. She is currently an assistant professor of poetics and poetry writing at the University of Texas at El Paso. She lives in El Paso with her husband fiction author Daniel Chacón, on the border of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.

Hanalei Ramos is the author of Letters to Martha and Foiled Stars. Her solo performance work, Guns and Tampons: A History of Violence Against Women I Know, was created through the generosity of the Asian Arts Initiative (Philadelphia), and commissioned by the National Asian-American Theater Festival in New York City. Most recently, she has been awarded residencies and opportunities with Project Rowhouses, The Laundromat Project, and the Asian Womens Giving Circle. Hanalei lives and work in Jersey City, NJ. More about her here.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership wth the City Council.

For more information, go to Kundiman Reading Series

Review: R. Zamora Linmark's LECHE


From the Neworld Review:

Leche is a book about contradiction:  the title, the country it takes place in, and the quest Vince finds himself on without even realizing it. The word leche in Spanish means “milk,” while in the Philippines, it is a curse word, “shit”. Leche both provides nourishment and is filth. Throughout the book, Linmark strategically places lists of tourist tips. They are humorous and interesting, and when the story didn’t quite peak my interest, I would look ahead to see how much further until I reached another set of tourist tips. Having said that, the last two of the book read:

  • Keep tourist tips where they belong: at the International Date Line.
  • Remember: in Manila, contradictions are always welcome, including—and especially—yours.

The culture is open and growing and continuing to change as the country and its people survive, and in this it breaks from the constraints of stereotypes. As for Vince, his journey through Manila and his memories grow more personal and deep through the novel. We finally see what Vince struggles with and hope that he has found his answer, as it wasn’t stated explicitly (for me) in the end. It wasn’t until I reread the introductory quotes that I found some form of understanding. “Resist – a plot is brought home – The tour,” is from Jonathan Swift in Gulliver’s Travels. And “But to draw the lessons of the good that came my way, I will describe the other things I saw,” from Dante’s Inferno. Linmark chose these quotes to bring the reader’s attention to the theme that it is the lessons learned along the journey that show us home.

Read more.

Interview: R. Zamora Linmark at the Honolulu Weekly


From Honolulu Weekly: Did you have fun writing Leche? There’s a sense of fun in it.


Do you disagree?

There has to be pleasure and passion, but did I have fun? Not if it has to take me 12 years to write. It was grueling because the more I went into the history of Vince [the main character], the more research I had to do. And even when we were done editing the manuscript last fall, I was still rewriting and adding sections.

Why did it take so long to write Leche after Rolling the R’s?

Leche. [He laughs after using it as a curse word.] I didn’t want to write another Rolling the R’s. It’s easy to fall in that formulaic pit. I was writing against [it] even though I consider Leche a sequel. The challenge of producing another novel that has the same kind of originality… That took a while.

Read more.

Review: R. Zamora Linmark's LECHE


From KGB Bar Lit Magazine: Linmark makes some excellent points about identity. Vince struggles with a dilemma familiar to many first- and second-generation immigrants: where do I fit in? In Hawaii, he feels Filipino, but in the Philippines he is deemed too American. His exploration of his heritage, in turn, brings even more complications to the matter. It is a culture that has been so deeply affected by colonization and political upheaval that it is difficult to define where, exactly, it fits in to the wider world. Most everyone in Manila uses Spanish words, but their meanings have mutated with time. The “leche” of the title means “milk” to most Spanish speakers, but to Filipinos it means “shit.” It is also the name of a gay club Vince finds in an old church--run by a drag queen, and apparently was the setting for one of Vince’s favorite childhood movies. Vince is a hybrid in a culture that has already been hybridized. Doesn’t that mean he should fit in?

Read more.