Did I Tell Y’all That I Have a Book Review Column?

Graphic by Quynh-Mai Nguyen
Graphic by Quynh-Mai Nguyen

Click here to read my review of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

Silicon Valley De-Bug comes through! I love their work around media justice, youth advocacy, and support for a justice-centered City of San José. I hope to contribute by writing reviews of books that middle school to community college students, parents, guardians, and youth workers might want to read and share if they, too, believe in working towards a critically engaged world & hood.

Like DJs, this reviewer takes no requests! 🙅🏻


2 New Interviews: Olivia Cole’s #WomenOfWednesday & KQED Arts’ 2017 “Women To Watch” Series

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“When hella headlines, policies, presidents, and laws tell women of color, in the sneakiest sneak diss of ways to shut up, I work harder.” Click here to read the rest.

w2w-janice-edited-1180x664” In the Philippines, especially under martial law, writing was the way you could save your life and risk your life at the same time. A journalist is the closest thing to describing what it is that I do. I don’t know how else to say it, because my Americanness is seeping into everything, and maybe the words in English are not enough to say what she knows and I understand. That’s what my poetry looks like: the pieces of a puzzle trying to come together.” Click here to read the rest!





Live//Tell: Return//Saturn is Live!


photo by Anjelica Jardiel

My 30th birthday came.

“I wanted to honor my thirty years by writing about thirty moments, art pieces, books, and thirty photos that have served me. Some will stay in the twenties (where they belong, haha), and some will help me fill in the rooms that will house my thirties. Every year before my birthday, I go to an Angel Card reader to help guide me in my next year of life. This year, she encouraged me to really celebrate and really reflect on what memories and lessons I’ll take with me, and which ones I’ll leave behind.”

Also, I don’t really want anything for my birthday. I’m opting for the narrative of giving things away for my birthday.

Read about them by clicking on the image above. Side note: I made this whole website happen in 5-6 days. I’m tired.



An Interview I Did for ENDPAIN

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Click on the image above to see a link to an interview I did with fellow CalArts alum Clay Kerrigan.

Here’s an excerpt:

“CY: Is putting this kind of work into the world a form of healing from these kinds of traumas, physical and emotional and cultural?

JLS: The making of this text has helped me to heal from memories that I had from when I was younger when my mom would go to work in the middle of the night. I understand now—or at least the adult speaker in the text understands—why that was so necessary.”

Summer ’17 in N.Y.C.

It escapes me not that I haven’t blogged in a while. The first six months of this year have been, to say the very least, busy. I’ve spent a lot of the year reflecting alone, or in therapy, or with close, close friends about so many things: the blues of being a first-time author, the blues of becoming a second-time author, writing, the business of writing, teaching, the rationing of energy that thins and renews itself with teaching, creating and building my future one moment at a time, and learning how, as a woman committed to my own growth, to stand up for myself every single day.

This shit is hard, y’all. But maybe you knew that already.

It’s a process, yes, but process, for me, necessitates action.


This past week, I spent a week in New York City for my sixth time. I have a lot and nothing to say at the same time. I’m thankful to have spent a lot of time with students and colleagues in a city that felt unlike home every time I visited.

Here are some snapshots of the trip – one I’ll be thinking about for a very, very long time.
Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 11.02.14 PMwith the crew at the Big L mural


with the crew at the Biggie, King of NY mural

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And I just love your flashy ways.

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with my student, Webster


with my student, Kyle (he’s transferring to CalArts this year!)


with my sister in CIPHER, Kim.


with my small group, the Mad Transit Artists (MTA).


at the 9/11 Memorial


from the 9/11 Museum


performing at the Nuyorican Poets Café Open Mic w/ Kim & our students