…though the body of tales being produced today remains small, the tales themselves are extraordinarily varied.” — Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo
As children, we listened with wonder and terror at the stories of the duwende (trickster dwarves who dwell in the darkest woods), the manananggal (the self-segmenting viscera sucker whose favorite dish is newborn babies) and many, many other forest deities, witches, mermaids, and creatures of the night. For some of us, these were the first stories we encountered.
The Kuwento: Lost Things anthology seeks to spotlight poets and writers’ renderings of Philippine mythology, including creation stories, mythical beings and animals, gods and heroes, folktales, folk sayings and songs, alamat (legend), and epics.
“Editors Cruz and Sipin have called on a new generation of Filipin@ poets, artists and writers to reveal the continuity of the ever-changing super-script of Kuwento—Vision Telling—of what has been passed on from the ancestors in the Now. This is an unprecedented project that, perhaps, marks a new Filipin@ literary Renaissance. Stories, “accessories,” terms and images of “spell-craft” and shamanic awakenings once held in private are now open for all. Cutting through colony, migration, Mestizo-ness, one-side America, these torch-bearers of Bulosan and spirit-ethnographers of Aswang, the shape-shifting woman, notice the workings of culture and power, origins and family, self and transformation with kindness, multi-directional intelligence and a heightened heart.”
— Juan Felipe Herrera
California POET LAUREATE
“This anthology marks a seminal moment in Pilipino diasporic literature. The amazing range of work collected here is a measure of the ways in which the diaspora reaches home and recovers things that are lost and reimagines them, creating a new vocabulary for work that is at once original and new, at once centered in the Philippines but exists globally. A remarkable achievement.”
— Chris Abani
Author of THE SECRET HISTORYOF LAS VEGAS and THE VIRGIN OF FLAMES
“Kuwento: Lost Things reimagines and reinvigorates old myths, while simultaneously inventing new ones. The writers gathered here—some we’ve read for years, some we’re just now discovering—are of the highest order: storytellers for today, mythmakers for tomorrow.”
— Lysley Tenorio
Author of MONSTRESS
“Skillfully collected by Rachelle Cruz and Melissa Sipin, Kuwento nimbly delivers a portentous punch. Forty-four pieces from some of the finest and freshest writers in the field seamlessly split by fourteen haunting images challenging every which way we look – this book is incredible. This tremendous pucker of poem and story smolders between deftly enculturated creases, opening and unfolding faster fumes than guava leaves might smother out. Engaging, exhilarating, evocative, an intermission of artwork lays dead center, allowing the reader visual entrance into surrealistic dreamscape madly awakened here. While stealthily submerging the reader under perilous rising tides, duwende, brujas, and monsters present, and the plunge has just begun—madly beautiful.”
— Allison Hedge Coke
Author of STREAMING and ROCK, GHOST, WILLOW, DEER
Distinguished Writer in Residence, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa
Dean Francis Alfar, Nikki Alfar, Noel Alumit, Anna Alves, Paolo de la Fuente, Raymond Falgui, M. Evelina Galang, Isabel Garcia-Gonzalez, Almira Astudilo Gilles, G. Justin Hulog, Edwin Agustín Lozada, Veronica Montes, Paul Ocampo, Alex G. Paman, Zosimo Quibilan, Catherine Torres, Elaine Castillo, Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor, Melissa R. Sipin, Hari Alluri, David Maduli, Hossanah Asuncion, Rachelle Cruz, Oliver de la Paz, Sarah Gambito, Vince Gotera, Joseph Legaspi, Noel Mariano, Aser Peleg, Barbara Jane Reyes, Mg Roberts, Brian Ascalon Roley, Janice Sapigao, Aimee Suzara, Eileen Tabios, and Nick Carbó.
Rachelle is from Hayward, California. She is the author of the chapbook, Self-Portrait as Rumor and Blood (Dancing Girl Press 2012). Her work is forthcoming or has appeared in New California Writing 2013 (Heyday Books), Yellow Medicine Review, Jet Fuel Review,The Lit Pub, The Bakery, Stone Highway, The Collagist, Bone Bouquet, PANK Magazine, Muzzle Magazine, Splinter Generation, KCET’s Departures Series, Inlandia: A Literary Journey, among others. She hosts The Blood-Jet Writing Hour on Blog Talk Radio. An Emerging Voices Fellow, a Kundiman Fellow and a VONA writer, she lives and writes in Southern California.
Melissa is a writer from Carson, CA. She won First Place in the 2013 Glimmer Train Fiction Open and her writing has been published/forthcoming in Guernica, Glimmer Train Stories, PANK Magazine, Fjords Review, Eleven Eleven Journal, Hyphen Magazine, sPARKLE+bLINK 52, 580 Split, Plural, Locked Horn Press’s Gendered & Written: Forums on Poetics, and Kweli Journal, among others. She cofounded and is editor-in-chief of TAYO Literary Magazine. As a Kundiman Fiction Fellow, VONA/Voices Fellow, and U.S. Navy wife, she teaches at Old Dominion University. She blogs at www.msipin.com and is currently working on a novel.