Likhaan UP Institute of Creative Writing’s PAN online discussion series returns with its girl-powered seventh episode, “I Have Something to Say: Women Writers on Political Maturity and Substance in Writing.” The livestream will air at 6PM on December 11, 2020 (Friday).
Despite great progress, it still bears repeating that women have voices that need to be heard. Writing is one way for women to make their experiences known and level the field, and they have indeed come a long way since having to use male pen names just to get their work out there. Now that we can read a good number of their works, another concern now is what informs these materials.
“Write what you know” is something often advised to young writers regardless of sex or gender. In the case of women, is it enough to write only about what they know? Or is there an imperative to connect their experiences to larger struggles?
Only women can truly tell what helps their fellow women speak up, and so for this episode, we will be hearing from five practicing women writers: Anna Sanchez, Marikit Uychoco, Christine Lao, Gen Asenjo, and Daryll Delgado. This discussion will be moderated by Kit Kwe.
Francezca C. Kwe holds an MA in creative writing from the University of the Philippines, where she teaches full-time with the Department of English and Comparative Literature. She has published her short fiction in anthologies such as A Hoard of Thunder: Philippine Short Stories from 1990-2008, Maximum Volume: Best Philippine Fiction, Ghosts of Infinity, A Different Voice: Fiction by Young Filipino Writers, A PEN Anthology, Very Short Stories for Harried Readers (Milflores, 2007), and Philippine Speculative Fiction (Kestrel, 2005), among others. She is a recipient of the Palanca Award and the Nick Joaquin Award for her work.
Christine Veloso Lao is an Assistant Professor of the Department of English and Comparative Literature, College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines Diliman. She is currently working on a Ph.D. in creative writing at the same University. Her collection, Musical Chairs: Stories, was a finalist of the 19th Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First Book Award. She attended the University of the Philippines National Writers’ Workshop as a fellow for poetry, and the Silliman National Writers’ Workshop as a fellow for fiction. Her poems have appeared in Likhaan and Kritika Kultura, and her stories, in the anthologies Maximum Volume: Best New Philippine Fiction 2014, Lauriat: A Filipino-Chinese Speculative Fiction Anthology, and Philippine Speculative Fiction. Her stories have also been published in Anomaly, Expanded Horizons, Philippine Genre Stories, Philippine Graphic, and Philippines Free Press.
Marikit Tara Alto Uychoco graduated from UP Diliman with an undergraduate degree in Creative Writing and a Master’s Degree in Education; she is currently finishing her PhD in Comparative Literature. She has published three textbooks for Rex Bookstore, one of them being 21st Century Literature from the Philippines and the World, and will be publishing two academic articles soon. She wrote a short story that will be published this year in the first issue of the journal, Dx Machina: Philippine Literature in the Time of COVID19.
Genevieve L. Asenjo has three books coming out: the second edition of her novel Lumbay ng Dila (Balangay Books, 2020), Ang Itim na Orkidyas ng Isla Boracay: Mga Kuwento (UP Press, 2021), and Indi Natun Kinahanglan kang Duro nga Tinaga sa Atun Tunga/Hindi Natin Kailangan ng Maraming Salita sa Ating Pagitan: Mga Tula sa Kinaray-a at Filipino (UP Press, 2021) which is one selection in the Likhaan: UP Institute of Creative Writing’s Philippine Writers Series.
Daryll Delgado’s first book, After the Body Displaces Water (USTPH, 2012), won the National Book Award for best book of short fiction in English, and was shortlisted for the 2013 Madrigal-Gonzales First Book Award. Her debut novel, Remains (Ateneo de Naga University Press), came out in 2019. She works for an international NGO, where she heads the research and stakeholder engagement programs for Southeast Asia and writes global reports on labor right issues.
Anna Felicia Sanchez is the author of the fiction collections How to Pacify a Distraught Infant: Stories, a finalist at the 2018 National Book Awards, and the forthcoming Pics or It Didn’t Happen and Actual Stories, both with UP Press. Under the byline Anna Ishikawa, she wrote the chick lit novellas Odd Girl Out, Glamour Games, and Where Your Dreams Come True. She currently writes fiction and nonfiction while teaching literature and creative writing under the Department of English and Comparative Literature in UP Diliman.
We all have something to say. For this year’s last episode of PAN, let us learn how we can enrich our narratives and intersect them with things we may have to say. See you on December 11 at 6PM!