The Opening Chapter of my Unpublished Novel, People We Trust, is in the latest issue of anmly/anomalous press
The opening chapter of my unpublished novel, People We Trust, is in the latest issue of ANMLY! Entitled "An Unexplained Kindness", this chapter takes place during the EDSA People Power Revolution of 1986 that ousted the Marcoses from power, and shows how the revolution unfolded in my hometown of Baguio City. Despite its many disappointments, I still feel that the EDSA Revolution of 1986 was a pivotal moment in Philippine history, which is why I chose it for my novel's opening. I am currently seeking representation for this novel about the Marcos dictatorship's impact on the lives of two brothers and a woman they love, and I welcome interested literary agents to read this opening chapter. More here.
I am pleased to share that my words have finally appeared in Vol.1 Brooklyn, one of my dream publications. My essay, "The Power of a Vacant House", is about class and American colonialism in my hometown of Baguio, referencing my friendship with a classmate in high school and an unsettling encounter I had with his aunt at his mother's wake. You can read the full essay here. To give you an idea of what the essay is about, here's a quote:
"I knew, of course, that Gene was a Muller, and that his family had once owned the grand colonial-era mansion facing Burnham Park that had filled me with awe as a child. Painted a tasteful shade of old rose, it seemed to have come straight out of an album of photographs from the American South, though the presence of the American colonial government in our city, and the arrival of American gold prospectors eager to make their fortunes in the nearby mines, made it completely possible for houses like these to occupy their own unique niche in our city’s landscape."
two essays by francis c. macansantos, "nashville" (nominated for the pushcart Prize) and "my trilingual career" are now available online
I am excited to share that two essays by my late father, Francis C. Macansantos, are now available online. The first essay, "Nashville", written in 2012, chronicles my father's grapplings with the American Dream and America's legacy of colonialism in the Philippines and elsewhere when he and my mother lived in Nashville, Tennessee for five months in 2012. It was published in the Shanghai Literary Review's third issue (2018) and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize that same year, and after being available only in print, it has finally been made available online. You can read the essay for free here.
The second essay, "My Trilingual Career", is a speech he delivered at the Cordillera Writers Workshop in which he spoke about his journey as a writer from Zamboanga who began writing in his second language, English, and transitioned to writing in Chabacano, his first language, later in life. He talks about the difficulties of writing in Chabacano, which hardly has a literary tradition, and he also touches upon his struggles to learn Tagalog at an early age while "being ostracized in class by the arrogance of Tagalog teachers and classmates who made the rest of us feel like second-class citizens." I would like to thank Katitikan, a literary journal of the Philippine South, for helping us release my father's essay into the world, and for also asking my mother to write an introduction to my father's life and world. You can read the full essay here.
I am pleased to share that my scholarly article, "Historical Amnesia, Colonial Trauma, and Self-Immolation in Ninotchka Rosca's State of War" was published in the latest issue of Journal of English Studies and Comparative Literature, the official academic journal of the University of the Philippines Diliman's Department of English and Comparative Literature. This is a revised and shortened version of a chapter from the critical component of my creative writing PhD thesis. The full PDF of the article is available here: www.journals.upd.edu.ph/index.php/jescl/article/view/7053/6138
I have joined the staff of The VIDA Review, the new literary journal of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, as a fiction reader. I have long been in awe of everything VIDA has done in fighting for gender equality in the publishing world, and I look forward to contributing my talents to this organization as a reader for The VIDA Review. More information on the journal is available here.
(My Zumba class at the Victoria University of Wellington's Recreation Centre. Guess where I am here!)
I wrote about how taking a Zumba class at the Victoria University of Wellington helped me recover from the trauma of being hit by a car, while also allowing me to discover my love for dancing, for SBS Voices. Looking back, I can see how moving to New Zealand made me a dancer, and this particular Zumba class taught by Carolina and Maddy was where it all began. You can read the full piece here.
"To Resist Being Unseen", my essay about institutional racism in new zealand, featured in the rumpus "This week in essays"
I am happy to share that "To Resist Being Unseen", my essay about a traumatic experience with the New Zealand Police during my first year as a PhD student, was featured in The Rumpus's This Week in Essays. I struggled to place this essay, but thankfully Another Chicago Magazine, which was one of my dream journals since I was a high school student in the Philippines, stepped in to run the essay. It only goes to show that if you have a story that matters, don't stop believing in it, even if others think it's too risky or outrageous to be publishable. Let's not stop raising our voices against those who seek to erase us!
"To resist being unseen," an essay about institutional racism in new zealand, published in another chicago magazine
In 2015, when I was beginning my PhD in New Zealand, I was hit by a car while crossing the street. Instead of receiving any reparations, the police mangled my statement to show that I was equally at fault for what happened, ignoring key parts of my testimony (like the fact that I the driver stopped when I held up my hands and screamed, only to drive straight into me). I used this experience to write about institutional racism in New Zealand, and how people of colour carry a lingering trauma from having their rights routinely ignored in white settler states. This essay was rejected several times before finding a home with Another Chicago Magazine, thanks to Sandi Wisenberg, who helped me make this essay the best it could be with her astute edits. Read the full essay here.
I would like to thank The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi for recognizing my academic and artistic achievements with a Love of Learning Award. I was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi after graduating magna cum laude from the University of the Philippines in 2007, and I am thankful for the ongoing support they have provided for my career, which includes my recent Love of Learning Award. More information about my award can be found here. As a recipient of one of their rewards, they also made me a Merit Page, which is pretty rad.
A full list of 2019 recipients can be found here. It's nice to see two of my alma maters (University of the Philippines, University of Texas at Austin) represented in this list.
For Father's Day in Australia and New Zealand, I wrote a short essay about how I forced myself to write through my grief after my poet-father passed away, and how writing helped me maintain a relationship with him despite his physical absence. I did not expect to receive as many touching responses to this piece as I did, and I'm glad that it resonated with many. You can read the full essay here.
"By continuing to write through my grief, I was honouring that part of myself that was deeply connected to him."