#GetLit: On Workers & Indie Bookstores

Still reeling from the energy of the May Day mobilization in Oakland, and incredibly inspired and hopeful by the continued global resistance.

Oakland May Day, holding the flag with Rachel from Third World Resistance and my kasama Irma from GABRIELA USA.

How did folks around the world celebrated May Day? Here’s an article + photos. Last year, I compiled a list of I thought of Carlos Bulosan and the first migrant farmers in the U.S. while I was holding that banner. I guess it was no coincidence that I read Claudia Salazar Jimenez’s Blood of the Dawn right after. Next book on this series: On Tyranny.

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I don’t remember when I signed up for the TUT – Notes from the Universe emails, but they have been really refreshing in the sea of emails in my inbox. Here’s one from May 3rd:

Every burden bears a gift, every challenge brings a treasure, and every setback hides a blessing.

Is it just me, or does time and space sometimes seem far too good to be true?

The Universe

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Yesterday, I dropped by Arkipelago Books and one of the owners, Lily Prijoles just came back from the Philippiness which means tons of new books from Filipino publishers, specially titles which have been selling out! Check out my interview with Lily here, and holla if you know of other similar bookstores.

Latest book recommendation from Lily: “The Kissing” by Merlinda Bobis, a Fil-Aussie writer. 

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If you support places like Arkipelago, consider donating to Duende District, an up and coming bookstore in Washington D.C. owned, operated and managed by a majority of people of color.

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Lastly, the best things come in three’s:

Ramen Parlor (San Mateo, CA)
Mangonada from La Torta Sabrosa (South San Francisco, CA) 

#GetLit: Bay Area Lit Festivals

Literary heads in the Bay Area, rejoice!

I know most of us would rather curl up with a book on the weekend, avoid the crowds, be content with the company of a warm cup of coffee, a book in hand. Or maybe that’s just me. Weekend plans aside, the Bay has been blessed with some serious lit action happening soon (as in this month!) that I personally choose not to miss.

Oakland Book Festival (May 22, 2016)


On its second year, the Oakland Book Festival aims to “serve the reading public, to encourage debate and celebrate the City of Oakland.” The festival program features panels on incarceration, workers’ issues, struggles of farm workers, on #BlackLivesMatter and many others that I’m looking forward to participating in. For the full program lineup, click here.

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Bay Area Book Festival (June 4 & 5, 2016)


The Bay Area Book Festival is an indoor and outdoor festival to be held at downtown Berkeley in June. With the San Francisco Chronicle, the festival features a whopping 120 literary sessions (panels, interviews, etc.) – it’s almost like a literary Coachella! Spoken word artist Saul Williams will also open the festival with a performance on June 2nd, with Black Spirituals and Chinaka Hodge. For the full schedule, click here.

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Litquake (October 7-15, 2016)


Ah, Litquake. Even though I’ve been living in the Bay Area for about 10 years now, I haven’t been able to participate because of, well, life. This year will be different though, because I’ve got my eyes (and reading glasses!) on the week-long event. Litquake “seeks to foster interest in literature for people of all ages, perpetuate a sense of literary community, and provide a vibrant forum for writing from the Bay Area and beyond as a complement to the city’s music, film, and cultural festivals.” Full lineup here.

Hope to see you in one, or all!