Anthology editors calling for new, unpublished Fil-Canadian writing
The first ever anthology of Filipino Canadian writing is being launched by an editorial team composed of journalist Teodoro “Ted” Alcuitas, playwright and author C.E. “Chris” Gatchalian and poet Patria Rivera.
For Magdaragat: An Anthology of Filipino Canadian Writing, the editors are looking for new, unpublished work in fiction and non-fiction and possibly poetry, along the theme of becoming Filipina/Filpino/Filipinx in Canada.
Contributors should email their work to: [email protected] by January 31, 2022.
To be published by Cormorant Books in the spring of 2023, it is the culmination of a long-time dream of Alcuitas who was first encouraged to do the anthology by the late Jim Wong Chu, founder of the Asian Canadian Writers Workshop and Rice Paper magazine.
Filipinos have been journeying from their island birthplaces since the turn of the 19th century to the far flung corners of the world, first settling in Canada’s Bowen Island, B.C. in 1891. Since that inauspicious beginning, the Filipino population in Canada is estimated to rise to a million by next year, the fastest and largest growing immigrant population.
But while Filipinos are known in other fields like dance and theatre, their literary works have been relatively unknown and there is a dearth of books written by Filipinos in Canada.
It was not until Miguel Syjuco’s epic work Ilustrado’won the Man Prize in 2008 that Filipino writing came into the literary radar in Canada. Catherine Hernandez’s Scarborough (now a movie) followed, winning the Jim Wong Chu Emerging Writer’s Award in 2015. Other books of poetry and prose have been published since then.
This anthology seeks to highlight new, emerging, as well as established writers in the community in the hope that it will give a boost to literary endeavors.
Gatchalian, a queer LGBQ writer who struggled to find his roots growing up, calls this anthology “soul work” and was instrumental in obtaining funding for the project from the Canada Council for the Arts.
Ida Beltran-Lucila, founder and Executive director of Edmonton’s Philippine Arts Council calls this initiative “important and groundbreaking, considering the dearth in Filipino/a/x- Canadian literature.”
“This collection of literary works by Filipino Canadian artists is long overdue,” says Vancouver author of Stumbling Through Paradise Eleanor Guerrero-Campbell.
Cormorant Books of Toronto is an established publisher with a number of publishing awards to its credit. Among authors published by them are Margaret Atwood, Neil Bissoondath and the late Lee Maracle.