Two Fil-Ams launch new poetry books at ‘kitakits’ in LA

/ 02:13 AM December 20, 2017

Irene Suico Soriano, reads poetry from her “Primates From an  Archipelago”  to a full room at the Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) in LA Historic Filipinotown. INQUIRER/Florante Ibanez

LOS ANGELES – A poetry reading, visual art, dance and music for the audience heralded two Filipino American writers’ new books of poetry at the Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) “Kitakits” in Historic Filipinotown on Saturday, December 9.

Irene Suico Soriano and R. Zamora Linmark presented their respective books, Primates from an Archipelago and Pop Verite, to a full house, with art on walls and complimentary wine to accompany delicious vegan fusion Pilipino snacks (matcha bibingka, pumpkin puto) by Kabute Catering.


Primates is a haunting and powerful collection of poems that weaves the tormented and violent history of the Filipino people into every poem. Irene Suico Soriano memorializes, pays homage, salvages. She celebrates her many communities by telling their stories, bearing witness to their struggles and sorrows–she adds their dreams and their suffering to the public record,” writes fellow writer Jennifer Tseng.

Writer R. Zamora Linmark, of “Pop Verite” poses for a selfie  with Prof. Christine Balance from University of California at Irvine. INQUIRER/Florante Ibanez

Zamora Linmark, the author of novels Leche and Rolling With the R’s. His collection of poems, “Pop Verite rightly honors our appetites for art, sex, travel, excitement and serenity. Each poem is a celebratory cultural synthesis, an inclusive manifesto of how to live and love as a true global citizen right this minute,” writes poet Amy Gerstler.


Photographer Nica Aquino discussed her art especially drawing attention her multimedia video piece serving as memorial to her brother in the Philippines, an innocent victim to President Duterte’s war on drugs.

Irene Suico Soriano with poetry book cover artist Tala Oliver  Mateo under his inspirational watercolor painting. INQUIRER/Florante Ibanez

The cover of Soriano’s book was taken from a work by Tala Oliver Matero, who also displayed other works at PWC that evening. Tina Ford, dancer, as well as singer Jenny San Angel and musician Jonathan Saxon performed. A portion of the events sales was donated to AT-CHOO Foundation for special needs and aging animals that enter LA shelters.

KITAKITS was co-sponsored by Pilipino Workers Center, UCLA Asian American Studies Department, UCLA English Department, UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies, AAPI Dialogues at UCLA, UCLA LGBT Campus Resource Center, Art for Animals’ Sake, TULA Southern California Poetry Network, KAYA Press, Center for Art & Thought, and PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellowship Program

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TAGS: “Kitakits”, book launch, Filipino American poets, Filipino American writers, Historic Filipinotown, Irene Suico Soriano, Pilipino Workers Center (PWC), poetry, Pop Verite, Primates from an Archipelago, R. Zamora Linmark
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