Thursday, March 3, 2022 | 4:00PM - 5:00PM | Online | Video Recording

As beautiful and varied as an archipelago, barangay:an offshore poem (Wolsak & Wynn, 2021) is an elegant new collection of poetry from Adrian De Leon that gathers in and arranges difficult pieces of a scattered history. Adrian De Leon, Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity will enter in conversation with Craig Santos Perez, Associate Professor of English and Chair of the Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific Islander Board in the Office of General Education at the University of Hawai'i, Mānoa.

While mourning the loss of his grandmother who "lived, loved and grieved in three languages," De Leon skips his barangay, which is both a boat and an administrative unit in the Philippine government, over the history of both his family and a nation. In these poems De Leon considers the deadly impact of colonialism, the far-reaching effects of the diaspora from the Philippines and the personal loss of his ability to speak Ilokano, his grandmother's native tongue. These are spare, haunting poems, which wash over the reader like the waves of the ocean the barangays navigated long ago and then pull the reader into their current like the rivers De Leon left behind. 


Adrian De Leon is a historian, poet, anthologist, and multimedia educator at the University of Southern California, where he is an Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity. At USC, he serves on the steering committee of the Center for Transpacific Studies, and holds affiliations with the East Asian Studies Center and the Equity Research Institute. He is the author of two poetry collections, including most recently, barangay: an offshore poem (Buckrider Books, 2021), which was named one of 2021’s best Canadian poetry collections by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. With Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Dolly Li, he is the co-host and co-writer of the PBS miniseries, A People’s History of Asian America. His first academic book, An Irreducible Kinship: Native Transits from Philippine Bundok to American Diaspora, is under contract with the University of North Carolina Press. 


Craig Santos Perez is a native Chamoru (Chamorro) from the Pacific Island of Guåhan (Guam). He is a poet, scholar, editor, publisher, essayist, critic, book reviewer, artist, environmentalist, and political activist. Perez is a Professor in the Department of English at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He is the author of two spoken word poetry albums and five books of poetry, including most recently, Habitat Threshold (2020). He has received the Pen Center USA/Poetry Society of America Literary Prize (2011), the American Book Award (2015), the Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship (2016), the Hawai’i Literary Arts Council Award for an Established Artist (2017), and a gold medal Nautilus Book Award (2021). He has also been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (2010) and the Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry (2019), and he was long listed for a PEN America Literary Award (2021). His scholarly monograph, Navigating CHamoru Poetry: Indigeneity, Aesthetics, Decolonization, was published in 2022 by the University of Arizona Press. 

This event is organized and sponsored by the USC East Asian Studies CenterUSC Center for Transpacific Studies and the Creativity, Theory, Politics Research Cluster (Department of American Studies and Ethnicity)

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