KL Contributors


DEAN FRANCIS ALFAR is a Filipino playwright and fictionist whose works have been staged or published in various venues in his native country as well as abroad. His short stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror, Rabid Transit: Menagerie, The Apex Book of World SF and the Exotic Gothic series, among others. He is the author of the novel Salamanca and the collections The Kite of Stars and other Stories and How to Traverse Terra Incognita. An advocate of the literature of the imagination, he is the publisher of the Philippine Speculative Fiction anthologies, an annual showcasing Filipino fictionists that he began in 2005. He is the recipient of multiple Don Carlos Palanca Awards for Literature, as well as the Manila Critics Circle National Book Award, Philippines Free Press Award and Gintong Aklat Award. He lives in Manila with his wife, Nikki, and their two daughters, Sage and Rowan.

NIKKI ALFAR has fought fire 7,000 feet in midair and killed a snake with a flip-flop. Confoundingly, she has found it much harder to earn a National Book Award and some Palanca and Mariner awards, but she perseveres, getting published nationally and internationally (There’s a bibliography on her Facebook timeline).

HARI MALAGAYO ALLURI believes in movement and craft. Arriving in South Vancouver, Coast Salish Territory since the age of 12, he works at poetry, community, facilitation and filmmaking. His first book is Carving Ashes (CiCAC Press).

NOEL ALUMIT wrote the novels Letters to Montgomery Clift and Talking to the Moon. He was appointed to the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander America Affairs in 2012, and is a Masters in Divinity student at the University of the West. His website: www.noelalumit.com.

ANNA ALVES was born in Elmhurst, Queens, NYC, raised in South Sacramento, CA, and got her BA in English and History and MA in Asian American Studies at UCLA. She was a PEN Center USA West Emerging Voices Fellow and has attended writing residencies at Hedgebrook (Cedar Cottage), Voices of Our Nation‘s Arts (VONA) and Las Dos Brujas Workshop (Ghost Ranch, New Mexico). Her writing has appeared in Amerasia Journal, disOrient, Tilting the Continent: Southeast Asian American Writing, Our Own Voice: Filipinos in the Diaspora, Strange Cargo: The Emerging Voices Anthology, Kartika Review and The VONA Alumni Anthology, Dismantle. She graduated from the Rutgers University at Newark MFA Creative Writing Program, lives and creates in Jersey City, New Jersey, while working on her first novel.

HOSSANNAH ASUNCION grew up near the 710 and 105 freeways in Los Angeles and currently lives near an F/G stop in Brooklyn. She is a Kundiman fellow and a graduate of the Sarah Lawrence College writing program. Her work has been published by The Poetry Society of America, Tuesday; An Art Project, The Collagist, and other fine places.

ELAINE CASTILLO was born in the San Francisco Bay Area and currently lives in southeast London. Her writing can be found or is forthcoming at make/shift magazine, The Rumpus, [PANK] Magazine, and Feminist Review, among others. She is also a board member of Digital Desperados, a Glasgow-based film collective for women of color. At the end of March, one of her short films was screened at The Future Weird, a Brooklyn-based film series run by Derica Shields and Megan Eardly, devoted to films exploring non-Western futurisms. She is currently at work on a novel and a book of essays.

PAOLO DE LA FUENTE was born and raised in the Philippines. He received his BA and MA in English at Cal State Northridge and received an MFA in Creative Writing at UC Riverside. He is at work on a collection of short stories set in his hometown of Quezon City where, as a child, an angry tree spirit threatened to take him to the netherworld. True story.

RAYMOND G. FALGUI teaches English Literature at the University of the Philippines. His fiction has appeared in magazines such as Philippines Free Press, Philippines Graphic, and Playboy Philippines; his interest in mythology is reflected in short stories that have been published in The Mythic Circle, Innsmouth Free Press, Digest of Philippine Genre Stories, Philippine Speculative Fiction III and V, and Alternative Alamat (the last three are currently available in e-book format on Amazon).

M. EVELINA GALANG authored Her Wild American Self (Coffee House Press, ’96), the novel One Tribe (New Issues Press, ’06), and Angel de la Luna and the 5th Glorious Mystery (Coffee House Press 2013). She teaches in and directs the Creative Writing Program at the University of Miami and is core faculty and a board member for VONA/Voices. Galang is the recipient of the 2004 Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Awards Advancing Human Rights, the 2004 AWP Prize in the Novel, and the 2007 Global Filipino Award in Literature. She has been researching the lives of the women of Liga ng mga Lolang Pilipina (LILA Pilipina), surviving Filipina “Comfort Women” of WWII endearingly called the Lolas (grandmother), since 1998. In 2002, she was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in the Philippines where she continued her work with survivors. She has edited the anthology, Screaming Monkeys: Critiques Of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, ‘03), finished penning Lolas’ House: Women Living With War, a nonfiction book of essays, and is at work on a new novel, Beautiful Sorrow, Beautiful Sky.

SARAH GAMBITO is the author of the poetry collections Delivered and Matadora. She is Assistant Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Fordham University and cofounder of Kundiman, a non-profit organization serving Asian American poets.

ISABEL GARCIA-GONZALES is a writer and educator. She teaches writing and interdisciplinary studies in the Bachelor’s Degree Completion Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She was a writer-in-residence at Hedgebrook, an alum of the VONA/Voices Writing Workshops, a 2014 Work-Study Scholar at Bread Loaf, and a finalist for the Poets and Writers’ 2013 California Writers Exchange Award. Her stories have appeared in Our Own Voice: Filipinos in the Diaspora and The Womanist: A Women of Color Journal. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her partner and three young children. “Blessed Fruit” is an excerpt from her novel-in-progress, Vigilance.

ALMIRA ASTUDILLO GILLES has been writing since age six, and is now an award-winning author for children and adults. She has published picture books, poetry, essays, short stories, and has written plays for community theater. Born and raised in the Philippines, she came to the U.S. for her doctorate, after which she taught graduate school and consulted. Now a full-time writer, she enjoys organizing and attending literary and Filipino American community events. She was a recipient of the Pamana ng Pilipino Presidential Award in 2012. Her first novel, The Fire Beneath (Tales of Gold), published in 2012 by PAWA in conjunction with Carayan Press, was a finalist in the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Awards in 2013.

VINCE GOTERA was born and raised in San Francisco and lived in the Philippines for part of his childhood. He is the author of the poetry collections Dragonfly (1994) and Fighting Kite (2007) and the critical volume Visions: Poetry by Vietnam Veterans (1994). He has served as editor for North American Review and Asian America. Gotera’s honors include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, an Academy of American Poets Prize, a Mary Roberts Rinehart Award in Poetry, and a Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry. He has taught at Humboldt State University and the University of Northern Iowa and lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

G. JUSTIN HULOG is a writer from San Francisco, California. He received his M.F.A. in Fiction at SFSU and received by B.A. in Comparative Literature from Columbia University. He has been published in Hyphen Magazine, Remodelista, and Karma Magazine. He blogs at www.thepalay.com.

JOSEPH O. LEGASPI is the author of Imago (CavanKerry Press). He lives in Queens, NY and works at Columbia University. He cofounded Kundiman (www.kundiman.org), a non-profit organization serving Asian American poetry.

EDWIN AGUSTÍN LOZADA teaches Spanish language and literature at Woodside High School in California and is the Co-Chair of its World Languages Department. He writes in Spanish, English and Ilocano and is the author of two books of poetry, Sueños anónimos/Anonymous Dreams, Bosquejos/Sketches and has edited two PAWA anthologies: Field of Mirrors: An Anthology of Philippine American Writers (2008) and Remembering Rizal: Voices from the Diaspora (2011). He is the president of Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc. (PAWA).

DAVID S. MADULI is a writer, veteran public school teacher, active deejay and father. Born in San Francisco, he is a longtime resident of Oakland and winner of the 2011 Joy Harjo Poetry Prize.

VERONICA MONTES lives in the Bay Area with her husband and three daughters. Her short stories have appeared in literary journals and anthologies including Bamboo Ridge, Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America, and Philippine Speculative Fiction V. Strange, but true: she owns a children’s toy shop and art space called Tweedle & Toots.

PAUL OCAMPO earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Arizona State University and an MA in Asian American Studies from UCLA. He helped Maxine Hong Kingston edit the anthology Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace. He has been published in Walang Hiya, Lodestar Quarterly, Cradle Song, and others. He currently works for the Asian Law Caucus, the nation’s first civil rights organization for Asian and Pacific Islander American communities.

ASER PELEG is the author of GAY CAMPS [London, 2009]. He first received Honorable Mention in Fordham University at Lincoln Center’s 1999 Robert Nettleton-Ully Hirsh Poetry Prize for his poem, F.U. Since then, he has worked in the Editorial Departments of A Gathering of the Tribes, The Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Persimmon: Asian Literature, Arts, and Culture, as well as Creative Writing Instructor for Filipino American Human Services, Inc. His previous visitation to the Philippines occurred in ‘00. Worry, AP’s follow-up volume of poems, are forthcoming.

NOEL PABILLO MARIANO is a Ph.D. student in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he also works teaching community studies. He is a Kundiman fellow and a Maxwell H. Gluck Fellowship of the Arts recipient. His poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming in Connotation Press, Redactions, Silverado Quarterly Review, Red Riverstones, and elsewhere. His thoughts on education, media, grassroots activism, and geek culture can be found on www.noelpmariano.com.

ZOSIMO QUIBILAN JR.’s book of short fiction called Pagluwas (UP Press, 2006) won the National Book Award and the 8th Madrigal Gonzalez Best First Book Award in 2008. He occasionally gives talks on Philippine fiction at UCLA when he’s not writing ads for multicultural Asian markets. He lives in South Pasadena, CA with his wife and three kids.

ALEX G. PAMAN was born in the Philippines, but grew up in Sacramento, California. An avid fan of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, he is currently a graphic designer for the State of California. He has two degrees in Fine Arts, and has written four books, all available on Amazon.com.

BARBARA JANE REYES was born in Manila, the Philippines, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. She earned a BA in ethnic studies from the University of California at Berkeley and an MFA from San Francisco State University. She is the author of the poetry collections Gravities of Center (2003), Poeta en San Francisco (2005), winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, and Diwata (2010).

Born in Subic Bay, Philippines, MG ROBERTS teaches writing in the San Francisco Bay area. She is a Kundiman Fellow, Kelsey Street Press member, and MFA graduate of New College of California, where strange tricks were added to her bag. Her work has appeared in the Stanford Journal of Asian American Studies, Bombay Gin, Web Conjunctions, How2, among others. She lives in Oakland with her two daughters, four hens, one puppy, and husband. not so, sea is her first full-length book.

BRIAN ASCALON ROLEY was raised in Los Angeles of multiracial Filipino descent. He is the author of the award-winning novel, American Son (W.W. Norton, 2001; Christian Bourgois Editeur, 2006), which was a Los Angeles Times Best Book, New York Times Notable Book, Kiriyama Pacific Rim Prize finalist, and winner of the 2003 Association of Asian American Studies Prose Book Award, among other honors. Other honors include elected Fellow, Royal Society of Arts (London), a Lawrence Foundation Award, a Ragdale Foundation Residency Fellowship, Virginia Center for the Creative Artists Residency Fellowship, a Djerassi Foundation Residency Fellowship, the Pamana Legacy Arts Award in Literature, Cornell University’s Arthur Lynn Andrews Prize, a Sage Fellowship, and Faulkner Society Prize finalist in the novella category. He has been an Associate Editor at Epoch Magazine and taught creative writing, film and literature at Cornell.

JANICE SAPIGAO is a Pinay poet and writer born and raised in San Jose, CA. She received her M.F.A. in the Critical Studies Writing Program at CalArts. She enjoys playing with stuffed animals, drinking green tea, running and cooking. Her website: www.janicewrites.com.

REBECCA A. SAXTON received her MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific Lutheran University in 2012 and her MA degree in English with honors from Western Washington University in 2003. Publishing under the pen name Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor, her poetry and short fiction have appeared in Katipunan Literary Magazine and the online magazine Haruah. Her short story “Yellow is for Luck” appears in the anthology Growing Up Filipino II: More Stories for Young Adults, edited by Cecilia Brainard. Her poetry chapbook Pause Mid-Flight was released in 2010. She has been performing as a storyteller with the Bellingham Storyteller’s Guild for six years and specializes in stories based on Filipino folktales and Filipino-American history.

Writer-performer AIMEE SUZARA completed an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Mills College. Her publications include the chapbook, the space between (Finishing Line Press 2008), and poems in Kartika Review, Lantern Review, and Hanggang Sa Muli (Tahanan Books 2011). Her current play, A History of the Body, received the East Bay Community Foundation Matching Commission in 2012.

EILEEN TABIOS loves books and has released 27 poetry collections; an art essay collection; a “collected novels” book; a poetry essay/interview anthology; a short story collection; and an experimental autobiography. Her 2014 publications include 147 MILLION ORPHANS (gradient books), 44 RESURRECTIONS (Eratio Post Modery Poetry), and SUN STIG-MATAS: Sculpture Poems (Marsh Hawk Press). With the 2014 anthology VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA: A Storm of Filipino Poets (Meritage Press), she has edited, co-edited and/or conceptualized ten anthologies of poetry, fiction and essays (including three on her invention “hay(na)ku,“ a Filipino diasporic poetic form) while curating thematic online projects such as Eileen Verbs Books, her bibliophilic blog, and LinkedInPoetry Recommendations, an ongoing list of recommended contemporary poetry books.

CATHERINE ROSE TORRES is a Filipino diplomat based in Singapore. She is a Palanca awardee and her works have appeared in The Philippines Graphic, Ceriph, TAYO Literary Magazine, and various anthologies. She won Escape Into Life’s inaugural short fiction prize, and is at work on her first short story collection.



TRINIDAD NIKI ESCOBAR studied creative writing at SFSU. Her poetry and drawings can be found in various literary journals including Rust & Moth, Solo Cafe, The Womanist, Mythium, The Walrus, {M}aganda Magazine, Red Wheelbarrow, and the anthology Walang Hiya. She does work as a disability-rights advocate, and draws and inks comic books. You can find her work at: www.escobar.bigcartel.com.

RACHEL SIPIN ESPANOLA is an artist from Carson, California. She lives in Las Vegas, NV with her husband and two children. You can find her work at: www.raedrawingaday.tumblr.com.

ELISEO ART SILVA studied at Otis College of Art and Design and Maryland Institute College of Art, where he received an M.F.A. He has exhibited his work throughout the United States, Mexico, and the Philippines. He has transformed over a hundred empty walls into a “second classroom”—a journey with murals which began when he received “chalk-board art” commissions at 3rd grade. You can find his work online at: www.eliseoar5.wix.com/eliseoartsilva.