Since it's Father's Day on September 2 in Australia and New Zealand, I wrote about my late father and a teddy bear named Yadi we both loved for SBS Life. It's the second essay I wrote for the emerging Asian-Australian emerging writers series of SBS Life, and it's a piece I'm particularly proud of. Read it here.
I recently had the opportunity to write about my "Get Out" experience with my first landlady in New Zealand for SBS Life in Australia. Many international students in New Zealand are forced to put up with exploitation and racism from their landlords just to keep a roof over their heads, and much of the bullying they experience takes place behind closed doors. Having experienced this first-hand, I felt I had to write this piece, and I'm grateful to have been given the opportunity to do so. I would like to thank Candice Chung for being a great editor to work with, as well as the team behind SBS. You can read the full article here.
I have a new essay/short memoir in the latest volume of Aotearotica, New Zealand's journal of erotic literature and art. Writing this essay, I wanted to explore how being exiled from one's homeland makes every encounter all the more intimate and comforting. This is the very first prose piece I've ever written that's told backwards (from experience to innocence), and would love to know if the structure actually works. This is also my first publication after successfully defending my PhD dissertation in Creative Writing (yay, I'm a Doctor now!) which makes it all the more celebratory for me.
I haven't received my copy in the mail yet, but every volume of Aotearotica that I own is beautiful, with great writing alongside outstanding artwork, and I'm sure this latest volume won't disappoint. It's available New Zealand bookshops (I'm sure VicBooks has it) as well as from their online shop.
The third and final installment of my novella about young Filipinos falling in love in New Zealand, "Leaving Auckland", is finally up on failbetter. I'm particularly proud of this story, and I'm happy that all of it is finally online. In this installment, Paolo contemplates the future while looking back on his past, and wonders where home truly is. Parts 1 and 2 are still available on failbetter's landing page, with Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here. Thanks again to failbetter for giving it a good home, and for being so great to work with!
I'm pleased to share that the second installment of my novella, "Leaving Auckland", is up on failbetter. In this installment, two young Filipinos, Paolo and Maya, agree to meet in Wellington, and Paolo's past with a former flame begins to interfere with the life he wants to build with Maya. If you've enjoyed reading this novella thus far, watch out for the third and final installment which will be released on June 28! In the meantime, you can read the first installment here and the second installment here.
I am the new Branches nonfiction editor of Rambutan Literary, an online and digital literary journal of the global Southeast Asian community. The journal has two sections: ROOTS, focused primarily on mainland and maritime Southeast Asia, and BRANCHES, focused primarily on the Southeast Asian diaspora. Since I'm the nonfiction editor of the BRANCHES section, I will be reading nonfiction from the Southeast Asian diaspora, so if that is you, I would love to read your very best work! We accept nonfiction of up to 2,000 words and pay a small honorarium. The next deadline is June 23.
"Stopover", a story about two Filipinas confronting a dying friendship (and the disappointments of the American Dream) in Austin, Texas, has been given a new life in Hypertrophic Press, after being previously published in Five Quarterly back in 2013. Although you can read the story for free, and read the entire issue for free as well, I recommend buying a print issue of the magazine to support this amazing small press that continues to support some great writers. Besides, the artwork and graphic design is astounding! I'm particularly proud of this piece since it was featured in Longform Fiction and earned an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train's Fiction Open.
Read/buy the entire issue here.
I am thrilled to share that my novella about the Filipino immigrant experience in New Zealand, "Leaving Auckland", is currently being serialized on failbetter.com, with the first of three installments going live today. In this novella, two young Filipino immigrants meet in Auckland, fall in love, and are forced to confront their loneliness as their relationship deepens. This piece was a Top 25 finalist in the Glimmer Train Fiction Open in 2016, and I'm glad it has finally found a good home. Parts two and three are scheduled to go live on June 14 and 28, respectively, so stay tuned for more! In the meantime, you can read Part one here.
("Surprise" by Filippo Spinelli for Aotearotica.)
Laura Borrowdale, editor of Aotearotica, New Zealand's journal of erotica, wrote about our recent reading/performance of erotic fiction and graphic art at Wellington's Litcrawl. Featured in her article are the graphic novelists Dylan Horrocks and Sarah Laing, who also performed at the reading, as well as yours truly. This is what Laura wrote about my own performance, a reading from the story, "Nina":
Monica Macansantos read an explicit description of a threesome that dealt with race, power dynamics and the difference between what can feel good physically and what can feel good emotionally. She shook before she stood up to read, but her voice was clear and loud in a room so silent, you could hear people breathe. It was electrifying. And it felt like the start, the start of a conversation. A conversation that more people should be having, sitting around their kitchen tables or on social media or in performance spaces. Because it’s hard, hilarious, poignant, and necessary.
You can read the full article here. Aotearotica is currently accepting work for their next issue, and you can send them your best and steamiest writing and art by May 15. Please check their website for guidelines on how to submit.
"The Gift of Connection", my essay about tango and longing, and how a fellow Filipino immigrant taught me how to dance and let go, is in the latest issue of Takahe Magazine. It's my love letter to tango, New Zealand, and the city of Auckland. You can read the full essay here, and the issue in which it appears here. You can buy the print issue in good bookshops throughout New Zealand or from their website.