1992

 

 

Philippines

Editors Robert Shapard and Frank Stewart
Guest Editor Alfred A. Yuson

The spring 1992 issue features new writing from the Philippines, compiled by writer Alfred A. Yuson. The work of all eight Filipino poets has a sense that Luis Cabalquinto lyrically describes in his poem “Alignment” as a clarity that overtakes the traveler in the world. All of the stories lead us to arresting moments: Jesus begins to argue with us from the Cross, a debutante’s evening dress goes up in flames, the mystery in the forest is revealed, a boy who says nothing sings everything—and a coming eclipse foreshadows the spiritual transformation of an entire city.

Three of the works-in-progress are excerpts from novels—David Michael Kaplan’s “July Nineteen Fifty-nine,” Joyce Carol Oates’s “You Can’t Catch Me,” and Molly Giles’s “Iron Shoes.” One, Edward Smallfield’s “Secret Lives,” is a one-page work of fiction that may develop into a chapbook. Boonie Pike’s “The Homecoming” is a memoir in progress.

Also included are works by American poets—from the Alaskan Range of Ken Waldman to the Cuban memories of Ricardo Pau-Llosa. New poems by Michael McPherson appear here, as well as the work of regular MANOA contributor Walter Pavlich.

The visual art in this issue was created by late Filipino filmmaker Lino Brocka and by photographer Michael Nye. We include stills from Brocka’s movie sets to accompany film critic Augustin Sotto’s note, “Remembering Lino Brocka.” The photos by Nye record the toll that the Persian Gulf War took on the Kurdish people in Kurdistan, Iraq, and are described in his essay “Portraits: Don’t Forget Who We Are.”

About the guest editor: Alfred A. Yuson is the author of two poetry collections, Sea Serpent and Dream of Knives, and a novel, Great Philippine Jungle Energy Cafe. Two other books, a collection of short fiction and a collection of journalistic essays, were published last year. He is also a contributing columnist for the Manila Chronicle and chairman of the Philippine Literary Arts Council, which publishes the poetry quarterly Caracoa.

Extracts

“It isn’t so much that our heritage has seen an opulence of small opportunities, rather that we have remained vulnerable, as a former colony twice over, to an apparently inexhaustible feast of influences. And we have come to believe that our relatively young and mixed-up culture invites some compensation, such as the luxury of a choice between the vernacular and a second language. In this regard, the matter of bilingualism, though often perceived as a problem, is also regarded as a source of strength.”
—from “The Carnival That Leads to Deep Silence” by Alfred A. Yuson

“What I am about to set down consists of three stories I had originally wanted to write separately. How I came to think of weaving them together is not easy to answer. The first two were stories I had heard almost twenty years ago and could not get around to writing for such an unbelievable length of time. One day I understood that I'd never be able to write them and that perhaps this was the story I could write.…When days passed and the terror of the empty, white paper began to grow on me, when I began to suspect that this new story—the story of a writer and the two stories he could not get around to writing for twenty years—was headed for the same fate, the same limbo, I decided to hurl myself into the wilderness. In the confusion I involuntarily recovered two memories—one resplendent and the other shameful.”
—from “Stories” by Cesar Ruiz Aquino

“Knuckles whitened on the railings
as the ship listed, and all they saw
on one side was ocean and on the other sky.
Was this la hora de los mameyes,
the moment of truth? How can one pass
the test of certain doom
when the outcome is determined by chance?”
—from “La Hora de los Mameyes” by Ricardo Pau-Llosa

“The Kurdish portraits appearing here were made in Zakhu and surrounding villages, in Iraq, in May and June of 1991. The reports suggest that after the major fighting in the Persian Gulf War was over, one faction of the Kurds living in Iraq resisted Saddam Hussein’s rule, and declared Kurdish independence. They wanted human rights. The Iraqi army responded by indiscriminately bombing the Kurdish villages. Thousands died. The Kurdish families fled over the mountains into Syria and eastern Turkey. By the time I arrived in Iraq, most of the families had returned to camps in northern Iraq. Outside Zakhu, there were some 40,000 families in in tents. There were no homes to return to.”
—from ““Portraits: Don’t Forget Who We Are” by Michael Nye

Mexico

Editors Robert Shapard and Frank Stewart
Guest Editors Hernán Lara Zavala and
Darlaine Māhealani Dudoit

This issue features fiction and poetry from Mexico guest-edited by Hernán Lara Zavala and Darlaine Māhealani Dudoit. Included in this feature are such writers as Luis Arturo Ramos, Silvia Molina, and Francisco Hernandez.

The subject of a symposium is the relationship between American fiction and poetry and nature writing as a literary genre. Titled “The Rise of Nature Writing: America’s Next Great Genre?” the symposium includes responses by sixteen nature writers such as Edward Hoagland, Barry Lopez, and Nancy Lord.

The American contributors of fiction, poetry, and essays in this issue are Alberto Rios, Diane Wakoski, Shirley Kaufman, and others.

The portfolio of woodblock prints is by Karen Wikström. Wikström was born in Sweden and has been living in California since 1977. She has participated in exhibitions at the San Francisco Art Institute, the Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, and the Los Angeles Craft and Folk Art Museum, among other places.

About the guest editors: Hernán Lara Zavala is a short story writer, novelist, and essayist born in Mexico City in 1946. He has published three books of short stories (De Zitilchen, El mismo cielo, Antologia personal), two books of essays (Las novelas en el Quijote, Contra el angel), and a novel (Charrasa).

Darlaine Māhealani MuiLan Dudoit is the managing editor of MĀNOA. Born and raised in Hawai'i, she is of Chinese-Hawaiian-English-Irish-Portuguese-French ancestry.


Untitled

Woodcut by Karin Wikström, 1992

Extracts

“The abalone, the octopus, the toothless trumpet player who has been playing ‘The Man with the Golden Arm’ for three decades now, the crab, the deaf-mute who advertises being so on a sign hung around his neck, the snail, the blind man begging at the empty tables of La Roca,the oyster, the starving shoeshine boy and his twin dog, the huge shrimp . . . they blend their essences and their juices and save my life.”
—from “Means of Death” by Gonzalo Celorio

“It started as a recollection in Portuguese:
A woman's voice, familiar
Over a collision of dishes. Night

After night, the blending smells of codfish;
Pinto beans followed by the old world
Habits of cigarettes
And pekoe tea sipped from saucers.
     A gone time.

—from “From Saucers” by Sam Pereira

“I hope ‘natural history writing’ really signals a shift in direction for American literature, away from a concern with the pleasures, the pains, and the fates of the self toward a concern for the mysterious web of being in which we are all delicately suspended. And that people will someday say our years saw a renaissance in literature, not the resurgence of a genre; a rediscovery of the resilience, the pertinence, and the scope of natural history as a metaphor to illuminate the joy and the terror of human existence.”
—from the symposium “The Rise of Nature Writing: America’s Next Great Genre?” by Barry Lopez

 

232 pp., spring 1992 (4:1), $20
ISSN 1045-7909

240 pp., fall 1992 (4:2), $20
ISSN 1045-7909