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Barbara Jane Reyes Interview in Jacket 2

[caption id="attachment_1038" align="aligncenter" width="241" caption="Barbara Jane Reyes. BOA Poet. Photo by Peter Dressel."]Barbara Jane Reyes. BOA Poet. Photo by Peter Dressel.[/caption] In Craig Santos Perez's recent interview,  Barbara Jane Reyes, author of Diwata,  discusses with her trademark candor and precision the origins of her poems, her relationship with the traditions of story-telling, and her ever expanding vision of poetry. The interview begins with an exploration of Barbara's cultural concerns in which she acknowledges that she is "always looking for someone other than [herself] to 'tell the story,' or to be the speaker," exploring those stories "within the context of these larger cultural and historical narratives." The scope of the interview continues to widen from there, covering a range of Barbara's interests. When asked if she sees her work "bridging between different cultural stories," Barbara poignantly responds:
"Already, poetry is the thing which allows me to translate, understand, participate in this world, to be of this place. That may not be good enough for some; it does sound esoteric. But specific to my poetry, yes I do think of it as an effort to bridge my cultural and diasporic experiences. And really, it’s that neither here nor there, both here and there, not Filipino enough, not American enough feeling, which you may call diasporic or transnational experience, which informs my readings and listenings, and ultimately, my poetics. I am drawn to poems and stories in which the storyteller/poet uses the poem/story to figure out her state of being multiple and hybrid. It’s satisfying to see this worked out elegantly in language and form. I used to write in fracture, but now that doesn’t feel right, to accept an identity and language that is fracture (even using the term, “subtracted bilingual,” feels like acquiescing to fracure). So then “bridge,” could be its opposite."
Read more of Barbara's interview at Jacket 2: Talking with Barbara Jane Reyes


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