Arkipelago Books | The Filipino Bookstore



SAN FRANCISCO, CA, June 2003 - Arkipelago Books Publishing is proud to announce the release of GRAVITIES OF CENTER, a book of poems by Barbara Jane Reyes.

Contained in this collection are poems and prose pieces which exhibit Barbara’s oftentimes eclectic style/sensibilities and willingness to experiment with form and language. With serious and playful poems very much rooted in San Francisco Bay Area urban and suburban cultures, settings, and vernaculars, a geographically faraway Philippines is never absent from this Pilipina American writer’s consciousness. Consistent throughout Gravities of Center are themes of longing, desire, diaspora, postcoloniality, feminism, and coming of age.

" experience Barbara's poems is to learn about the specifics of a Pilipina's experience. And it is also to experience the 'universality' of desire and loss - that is, despite the consistency of losses, the stubbornness of never-ending desire ... by engaging us all in the poetry of Desire, you need to be as present as Barbara is in her poems. So enter these poems, and stay a while." — Eileen Tabios, from her Preface to GRAVITIES

"Always mindful of the terrible past that still haunts her native country today, Reyes writes with urgency, but her poems contain an anger quite tempered by maturity and dignity. That past also haunts her own personal life in America: her poetry offers an acute look of what new ethnic identity means, but again, without sanctimonious complaints. Even when she writes about that other terrible topic, love, she is devastating in conveying loss, but without reaching for sentimental sympathy. At once tender and tough, her precise voice shatters us." — Nguyen Qui Duc, Host/Producer, Pacific Time Public Radio

"Intelligent, energetic, and inventive, Reyes's writing is nourished by the confluence of cultures at which she resides as an urban twenty-first century Pilipina American. Seen as both a post-colonial chronicle and an intimate exploration of self, community, and history, Gravities of Center hovers between conventionalpoetry or prose, bending the genres until what emerges is a work that will illuminate us like 'garnet crystalline fire ... burning, to light the way back home' ." — Jaime Jacinto, author of HEAVEN IS JUST ANOTHER COUNTRY

Arkipelago Books is a specialty bookstore selling Filipino and Filipino American arts, books and crafts. For more information, contact Marie Irving Romero at


SAN FRANCISCO, CA, February 2001 - Arkipelago Books of San Francisco announces the publication of a much anticipated book, COMING FULL CIRCLE: The Process of Decolonization Among Post-1965 Filipino Americans, by Leny Mendoza Strobel. The book, published by Giraffe Books, will be launched on March 17, Saturday, from 5:00-6:30pm, at Arkipelago Books on 953 Mission St (at Mint Mall) in San Francisco.

Written by Leny Mendoza Strobel, Coming Full Circle, is the first book that documents the process of decolonization or undoing colonial mentality among contemporary Filipino Americans. The book is about the recovery and re-imagination of Filipino identity and culture. Strobel describes this process of decolonization as she worked with eight co-researchers/participants in exploring the importance of: (Filipino) language/s, cultural memory, indigenous values, history, emotions, Filipino spirituality, and community institutions. The result is a book that serves as a guide to anyone who wants to experience the wholess of his/her Filipino "Loob" (sense of self) and know the power that comes from the naming and telling of one´s life.

The book launching event on March 17th will be dedicated to the memory of Ver Enriquez, NVM Gonzalez, and BulletX Marasigan - whose lives and works inspired a generation towards `coming full circle´. The author and her co-researchers will read excerpts from the book. The event will also feature a babaylan blessing ritual offered by Evelie Arellano Posch, a martial arts performance by Michelle Bautista, and responses from academic and community leaders.

The event is free and open to the public. The event also coincides with the rallying of support for Arkipelago Books whose presence in the Mission District as a community and cultural institution is being threatened by the proposed redevelopment of this area for hightech businesses.

For more information, call 415/371-8150




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