Tara Betts reviewed Barbara Jane Reyes' poetry collection, Diwata, with hopeful and inspiring words. Diwata, published by BOA Editions, mixes the creation narrative of Adam and Eve with traditional Filipino stories. Her poetry features women with strength and agency who not only play a major role in creation narratives but are creators themselves. The mythical creatures of Diwatas, Duyong, and Aswangs weave together a narrative of female empowerment and creativity.
Betts' review presents Reyes' collection as a beautiful tapestry of blessings and curses, blame and power. She suggests that each female character "develops [Diwata] into a story of home that can never be reclaimed as it once was, but its vestiges can be retrieved." Through the narrative of aquatic creatures attacked by fishermen and the curses or blessings of the Diwatas, Reyes reveals the female experience of fighting "the repercussions of past repression while attempting to preserve the culture that shapes them." Betts' glowing review presents Diwata as compelling and insightful poetry that unlocks deeper mysteries of culture, empowerment, and home.
To read the full review click the link here.
[caption id="attachment_977" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Barbara Jane Reyes. BOA poet."][/caption]