like a solid to a shadow is a primer for how to seek in absence and grief the language one needs to get through. “What if there are no records?” the poet asks, wondering if the document is what verifies a lived life. What she discovers, and reveals to us, is that poetry is the record and process, the thing that can handle all the holes and remnants, allowing us to feel and think the fullness of that absence, and to discover there the shadows of what “was is” left unsaid. These poems show us the space both before and “after indigo finishes/its shift.” — Eleni Sikelianos
Janice Sapigao, in this powerful and innovative debut, captures her mother’s traumatic experience as an assembly line worker in Silicon Valley, as well as the larger social, economic, and environmental impacts of the high tech industry. The poems switch between English, Ilokano, and binary code, and between documentary, visual, ethnographic, and lyric modes. In our time of toxic exposure, labor exploitation, and gentrification, Sapigao shows us how poetry can be a site to protest injustice, affirm dignity, and maintain hope. —Craig Santos Perez
ARTICLES / ESSAYS
you don’t know what you don’t know a poetry collection
Sunday Jump open mic series
Where My Name is From, NAMJAI: Bay Area Asian/Pacific Islander American Spoken Word Poets, February 2013.
Alecia, AngryAsianMan.com, September 2012.
sun-shaped face, Kalyani Magazine, September 2012.
exploration, Words Apart Mag, Winter 2012.
ritual for a rainy day, Words Apart Mag, Winter 2012.
A Review of Dear Lemon Lima,: A Letter Towards Understanding, Center for Asian American Media (formerly the San Francisco Asian American International Film Festival), 2010.
Breaking Down Sexualized Stereotypes of Asian Women, BakitWhy.com, 2008.
This poem is actually entitled “Where My Name is From.” I hope to change the video to reflect this title.
Sole Space, Oakland, CA, February 2012.
“Calling Out The Radio.” A retired poem that I wrote at 19 and still, unfortunately, holds true today.
Crema Coffee Roasting, Co., San José, CA, October 2010.
“Unrequited.” Sometimes, this is the only generous response one can muster after being broken up with on the phone or at the airport.
Iguana’s Open Mic, San José, CA, February 2010.
photo by Kirstie Mah