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Interview with Barbara Jane Reyes

Jane Reyes BOA poet Barbara Jane Reyes BOA poet Barbara Jane Reyes was recently interviewed in the third issue of TAYO Literary Magazine In it, Reyes discusses her thoughts on what it means to be a Filipina American poet, where her inspiration derives, and even gives advice to young writers who may be struggling with the age-old mantra “write about what you know.” “I write not what I know, but rather what I want to find out. Much of what I write begins with a question, or a problem, or a visual in my mind that I need to unravel, give depth to.” – Reyes Throughout the interview there’s a genuine sense of awareness Reyes has of herself and her work, which is exceedingly rare and equally thought-provoking. This characteristic of Reyes is most apparent when she discusses her process of learning and maturing as a writer, as she has analyzed exactly what she needed from herself and others to grow into the poet she is today. “[…] for all of the anger and outrage in my work, specifically in the poems which became Poeta en San Francisco, I needed to move past my own assumptions, to know how to give specific names to that anger and outrage. I needed to know exactly what/who my personae were angry and outraged about, and to whom my personae should direct their outrage. Ultimately, I needed the space to learn the discipline of refining these poems to be artful, to have form and nuance beyond catharsis and rant. The experience of writing Poeta en San Francisco gave me the discipline to write Diwata, to take a very painful history and write it with a certain amount of focus, concentration, distillation of emotion and language.” Not enough can be said about this interview by TAYO Lit Mag; it’s an insightful piece that any young writer with concerns for their writing future should read, enjoy, and take to heart. So please, give it a gander. Click Here for the full interview and Here for a copy of Diwata
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