Paula Jane Mendoza; Barbara Jane Reyes - Salt Lake City

Oct 5, 2020, 8:00 pm


Paula Jane Mendoza; Barbara Jane Reyes

Book Title

Play for Time; Letters to a Young Brown Girl


Salt Lake City

Wasatch Front Region


Zoom Conference Call
202 W 300 N
Salt Lake City , UT 84103-1108
Map [+]


Filipino American National Historical Society - Utah is excited to host poets Barbara Jane Reyes and Paula Jane Mendoza.

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Barbara Jane Reyes was born in Manila, Philippines, and was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the author of five previous collections of poetry: Gravities of Center (Arkipelago Books, 2003), Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish Press, 2006), which received the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets, Diwata (BOA, 2010), which received the Global Filipino Literary Award for Poetry, To Love as Aswang (PAWA, Inc. Publications, 2015), Invocation to Daughters (City Lights, 2017), and Letters to a Young Brown Girl (BOA, 2020). “Barbara Jane Reyes’s Letters to a Young Brown Girl interprets the song of the broken with a ghostly call and response. There are life-saving questions here that Reyes’s poetry just might have the answers for. The who, the what, the where, and the why breakdown for the brown girl in all of us, uttered through an ancient voice, fragmented autobiography, and a mix-taped, multi-tracked lens. Reyes shows us how to dissolve and reassemble in the presence of our elders; how beauty is scalped and tainted for the sake of our mirrors; how best to arm ourselves. Letters are Reyes’ most potent weapons against imperialism, commoditization, and being single-storied. Make no mistake: this is Barbara Jane Reyes’s duende like you’ve never heard (or read) before.”
―Willie Perdomo, author of The Crazy Bunch and The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon

"In these strange and unsettling poems, Mendoza catalogues how bodies become objects of consumption, voyeurism, and desire, and uses the imagery and politics of climate change to describe the immigrant and female body. This body, threatened with radical alteration and even collapse, reimagines itself through Mendoza's highly inventive language, and turns itself strange, mythic, and new. Mendoza's mordant, playful poems upend the 'conventional' narrative of racial and gender identity and radically rewrite our ideas of syntax to reframe the reader's gaze." --Paisley Rekdal, Utah poet laureate and author of Nightingale

This event was made possible with support from the Filipino American National Historical Society - Utah and Utah Humanities.