Kandila – bilingual poetry book

My friend ephemere is taking pre-orders for a calligraphy poembook. Here’s her description of the project:

calligraphy poembook

Kandila will be a little book rendered completely, from the title page to the very last leaf, in calligraphy. It will feature three of my (rather long!) bilingual love poems to my country, the Philippines, rendered in different calligraphic styles, as well as a few pages of baybayin calligraphy and “playing around with letters” calligraphy art. I estimate the approximate length at fifty to sixty calligraphed pages. Each book will be signed.

A .pdf of the entire book will be available for free online. Please note that there will be parts of this book rendered in Filipino, but the translation will not be calligraphed; instead it will be available as a printed sheet accompanying the book, and will also be freely viewable online.

Kandila will be sent out by mid-November. All funds raised will go toward supporting me in the wake of my being terminated from my job, which I lost due to my unwillingness to remain silent about my marginalized identity and beliefs.Details here.

ink and pen drawing of a woman in a lace head scarf
Please support her, buy the book, order her beautiful art, and pass this on if you can!

Recently published poems

At some point this spring while I was sick in bed for weeks I sent out a big batch of poems and this time tracked what I sent to what magazine. I guess about a third of what I sent out got accepted. I should do it more often! Plus Aqueduct Press is going to put out my new book, Unruly Islands; I’ll talk more about that later!

Here are some links to the recently published poems and the journals they’re in, with snippets of the poetry,

cover of stone telling journal

Mother Frankenstein, in Stone Telling, a really great online magazine that publishes “literary speculative poetry with a strong emotional core. I like the other work in this magazine quite a lot and am incredibly honored to have a poem in it, especially this poem which I wrote many years ago and still love. For a while I was reading this dense, ranty poem at open mics and people would just clutch their heads and go WTF!!! Stop it! Too much! Where did that come from! So I’m glad it’s out there; no one ever seemed to want it; too long, too odd, doesn’t fit, etc. Stone telling is the perfect home! Read the rest of their poetry and you’ll see what I mean — and you will probably get sucked into their archives.

stitches straining to burst with the bowling ball weight of the guilt
of futile miscarriages tumbling in cataracts, stochastic tapestry,
I would leap into the night, iridium flash, verso of the meteor’s flight,
unintentional handful of nothing and words and the workbench of memory,
Mary mother of Frankenstein you give me your blackened tooth’s unwatched star,
your handfuls of stigmata, your soldier ants slicing the moon’s andalusian eye,
your body’s machinery in the bonefrost of lost desire and a kiss of loving betrayal,
the memory of your pellucid eggshell trembling in the corpus luteum of my fists

A poem in Our of Our volume 11. I like their magazine, which is kind of old school City Lights-ish. They published “Hard use”, a poem I wrote about how much I loved my pickup truck which sounds like it will be about hound dogs and railroad tracks but is not. I think I have one other poem in there (but cannot remember and the magazine is not in front of me) Here is a little bit of “Hard use”:

rattle up wood-stake spade and rake
shoot that agave smack to the gas can

radio: ay! cumbia!

pop into the dust groove
needle in the cinderblock
gas cap, hubcap, rope
loud hot in the truck bed

I think it is not yet actually printed but I had some translations of fantastic poems by Carmen Berenguer accepted by specs journal for their Fall 2011 issue. I’m so excited about that! I love her work, and some of these were supposed to be in Five Finger Review but the journal sadly folded for lack of funds (or something) before the issue was published. This issue — themed “kaleidoscopic” — sounds well worth reading. Check this out, this was their call for submissions, you could not get more perfect for Berenguer’s work:

specs journal call for subs

This year, specs is working in collaboration with the Florida Studies Initiative at Rollins to support the Alfred J. Hanna Symposium on Florida. The symposium shares the theme of kaleidoscopic point and celebrates critical inquiries that consider the people, places, and events rooted in Florida’s cross-cultural past and transnational reality.

In May, an online zine called O Sweet Flowery Roses published “2 pelican poems”, short funny bits of language about, well, fucking pelicans, what do you expect? Their permalinks are not working so to get to my stuff you need to click on Archives in the sidebar and then May 2011. I submitted to them because I like their taste and their rapid publishing pace. These poems are what I always think of when I look at pelicans flying over the ocean, it’s as if I just summed up all the thoughts about them and can’t really go any further. Notable if you like alchemy and for the funny word “icthyo-athanor”.




A poem I wrote a very long time ago in Blue Lake Review.

I’m missing something here — there was at least one translation published in the summer but I would have to go through my email laboriously to figure it out. I would like to complain that no one ever wants my absolutely kickass translations of Nestor Perlongher; however I have gotten a few nice emails from grad students writing about his work and was happy to hear about their projects & give them some reading recommendations. Annoyingly years ago I sent a batch of them to some dude on the East Coast at his request who did not publish them but then went on to publish his own! So it goes.

My backlog of unpublished work is very very clogged full of translations of Juana de Ibarbourou which I was in theory supposed to publish with Green Integer but somehow that never happened. I should send those out again or re-contact green integer if they’re still around.

I also wish I could “place” my translations of work by David Rosenmann-Taub and a bunch of other interesting, odd, philosophical poets.

Meanwhile I also put out a 3rd tiny book from Burn This Press, moon landing, but that will need to have its own separate post. I’m gearing up to print at least one more Burn This Press book for 2011, plus a reprint of Composite #1, the Baudelaire issue.

Belladonna readings in NYC

The Belladonna collective has some kick ass poetry events and I really wish I could go to their upcoming one:

Our Material Lives: Feminism and Poetry at Various Ages

Our 2011-2012 season will call to attention the material life of the artist, as person, who, in addition to being creator/conspirator to a body of work, possesses a physical body, and real financial, medical and social needs. To inaugurate this season, we’ll begin with an unique event focusing on feminism and writing in the many stages of our poetic lives.

The evening will include an exclusive screening of The Poetry Deal, Melanie La Rosa’s film about legendary poet Diane di Prima, readings by internationally acclaimed poets Ana Bozicević and Caroline Crumpacker, with Hannah Zeavin and an opportunity for conversation among presenters and audience.

If I could I would also subscribe to their entire series of printed books and go to their readings which all sound great.

While it is the people I haven’t heard of who I really want to hear…. still it would be kickass to be there for Anne Waldman‘s performance. She’s so weird and screechy, uncomfortable in a good way.

I’m going to listen to some of the Belladonna reading series mp3 archive today while I work. 20 minutes of Maureen Owen, fuck yeah! I’m downloading them now and making a playlist. Will blog anything particularly great.

It’s been too long since I’ve gone to readings regularly! I need a little poet community feeling! There’s so many readings in SF and regular open mics every day of the week. I’m thinking of trying to go to Word Party at Viracocha, or Smack Dab. I love to go to an open mic and take notes… and blog about it!

belladonna logo

Asking for access

This week I noticed a great post by lightgetsin on asking for accessibiilty improvements in which she records the results of asking a couple of dozen sites to fix inaccessible content.

It was a familiar story to me, very similar to what happens when I ask for accessibility accommodations off the web. Sometimes no response at all; sometimes a few reasons why the person or company can’t be bothered; very often, outright hostility, fear, and defensiveness.

Lightgetsin’s post became very popular over the past few days and the responses were quite interesting.

The reactions on Hacker News, Asking for accessibility gets you nothing but grief, were often faily but in complicated ways, worth reading and sometimes worth arguing with. You can see from many of the responses that it is the norm for developers to think that it’s not worth it to make software or sites accessible. Their reasons vary. There are also excellent and positive comments in the Hacker News thread.

Bryant Park accessibility sign

Naomi Black from Google responded to the post in a more helpful way, pointing to Google’s accessibility page.

I’m glad that lightgetsin’s post has sparked such widely ranging discussion.

It’s always hilarious to me when people ask me for help or advice with web accessibility or want me to be on web accessibility panels at conferences. I’m a wheelchair + crutches user; I don’t surf the web with my legs! And while I want to be a good ally, frankly, I am not always, and don’t have particularly special knowledge about web accessibility. You could boil down what I know into “use alt tags on images”, “don’t autoplay stuff”, “transcribe videos”, “make the text in hyperlinks meaningful”. So I try to refer people to actual experts in the field, when I get asked.

I’m spending the morning today checking my blogs with WAVE, a tool to show errors that would break a web site reading experience for users of screen readers. I’m also going to install the WAVE Firefox toolbar, to help remind me to check my blog posts for obvious accessibility errors. I’m looking at this huge list of resources, hoping to learn a bit more: Web Design References: Accessibility.

What guides or tools would you recommend for web developers, bloggers, or software developers, to educate themselves about accessibility?

SXSWi talks I'd love to go to!

Take a look at these suggested SXSWi panels, and please vote them up and comment if they sound good to you! I first spoke at SXSWi in 2006 on a panel organized by BlogHer who were invited by the SXSW folks as part of their effort to diversify the conference and get more women and people of color to speak and attend. As they sustained those efforts over the years SXSWi grew exponentially in size, developed a fairly decent gender balance, and became something more than the same old talking heads who only hear each other’s voices. The talks are good and the scene is amazing as Austin fills up with musicians, geeks, and filmmakers for several weeks.

* How to Be Yourself When Everyone Else is Faking It I’ll be on this panel with Biella Coleman, Zeynep Tufekci, Scott Rosenberg, and Brian Christian and honest to god, that alone would make it amazing no matter what Internet pundit topic we picked. We’re going to talk about identity, names, ethics and internet culture; I predict some fierce synergy. Biella is a hacker anthropologist and FLOSS advocate, Zeynep is a sociologist of net culture and while we haven’t met I’m a huge fan of her blog. Scott Rosenberg is a writer and editor whose work is totally amazing – He wrote Dreaming in Code and Say Everything and is a great tech journalist. Brian wrote The Most Human Human; do you think I can convince him I’m not a sockpuppet ? As for me, I must be on this panel because of Amina et al but I will talk a bit about my ideas from The WisCon Chronicles and my essay there about free speech, internet drama, and feminist safe space; what happens when ethical expectations collide.

I hope to get everyone on the panel on board with my project, The LOLcat Delusion, which will explicate Evgeny Morozov‘s book The Net Delusion entirely through macros and animated gifs.

SxSWi 2010: Viral Video Session

* The Fall of the Geek Triumphant In which Danny O’Brien (Oblomovka, Committee to Protect Journalists) will humorously but brutally explain our cultural mythos to us & the risks of what happens when geeks (us) become the popular kids (i.e. incredibly fucking powerful.) This will extend the talks that I heard Danny do at FooCamp in June and it got everyone there very excited as they saw what we have been doing and believing in a bit of a new light (and ways to fix the problems with it.)

* How to Run a Social Site and Not Get Your Users Killed. Consider activists and journalists who are in danger from governments and law enforcement as use cases when you make a social site (or a blog, or anything really) This is incredibly important! Jillian York from the EFF, Mathew Ingram from GigaOm, Kacem El Ghazzali, Danny O’Brien, and Sam Gregory from WITNESS are going to break it down for us.

* Race: Know When To Hold It And When To Fold It . Adria Richards, Anjuan Simmons, Corvida Raven, Erica Mauter, and Scott Hanselman talking brass tacks, how can we keep diversifying tech conferences and make events better?

* Man Up Ladies or You Don’t Stand a Chance Obnoxious but I love it. Comp Sci profs tell us to Man Up! I wrote to Sue Black and asked if I could be on this panel but if not I’m certainly going to it!

*Digital Sisterhood for Women Entrepreneurs , Ananda Leeke leading a panel on participating in strong communities of entrepreneurial women, how peer support works, and basically Sisterhood as a business model. Good stuff!

* Tech Cooperatives: A Better Way to Make a Living . I have lived in co-operative housing for a long time and love the idea of work co-ops and worker-owned businesses. That’s ideally how I’d like my working life to be organized and so I really want to hear how people set this up in practice. My friend Raeanne from Quilted Coop, a web dev, design, and strategy company that focuses on developing sites and apps for nonprofits and companies that promote social change. They also seem to do a lot of work for artists.

* LiberationTech – how geeks overthrow governments. Hacktivists!

* Binary Bitches: Keeping open source open to women Another “Man Up” but from a different angle — talking about gendered communication and communication styles. Can’t tell if they’re going to be all like “be pushy! toot your horn! don’t be so egalitarian!” or tell dudes to join our Modest Workers’ Commune Circles or what. Probably both. Should be a great discussion!

liza, nesting

* Open-Web, Open-News: Reporters & Developers Remix . Dan Sinker – Mozilla Foundation (Also from @mayoremmanuel !), Mohamed Nanabhay from Al Jazeera English, Emily Bell from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and Andrew Leimdorfer are going to unleash a world of fabulousness in this panel about the future of journalism and I think there will be a lot said on developer-journalist collaboration. This sounds very NewsFoo so I look forward to it greatly!

* Trekkies, geeks and furries oh my! Covering fandom Obviously I want to go to this panel since I edited an entire anthology on a feminist science fiction conference and its culture and am part of stuff like the Organization for Transformative Works. SXSWi has fandom running through it like a weird secret system of pneumatic tubes but no one talks about it as part of geekdom — for one thing I think the ethics and policies developed in fandom are quite influential in geek culture and for Internet social practices.

sxswi parties - sunday night

There are so many more I have left out!! And there are more here than I can possibly attend at once conference. If I left your panel out and should not have, or if you just want to court my thumbs-up vote for the panel picker, please tell me in comments!

Women Who Code hack night

The Women Who Code meetup and hack night yesterday was very lively! I look forward to going again and also going to CodeChix events if I can manage it. I think there were about 50 people there, of fairly diverse backgrounds and coding in many languages. I saw several people I knew like Hilz and Adina and Amy, but most were people I’ve never met, not people who show up at conferences or usual techie events, lots of recent comp sci grads with jobs at startups. There were a few people who are company founders and just interested in meeting programmers and hanging out with us, a few people just beginning to learn to code, and several people who told their way-back-when COBOL and BASIC stories. I gave away a huge stack of geekfeminism.org stickers.

photo from the 50s or 60s of woman at computer

The meetup was at the Blazing Cloud office in the Native Sons building which is an amazingly cool building, but not accessible, so I’m glad I managed it on crutches instead of bringing my wheelchair, which even if I’d been able to get it into the building, would not have worked in the tiny crowded office with people sitting all over the floor. Blazing Cloud looked like a company focused on giving programming classes mostly Ruby and other web dev stuff. I talked with a few people at the event who complained about their CS departments only teaching Java and C and being super … well… computer-sciencey, without teaching anything they wanted to know for building web or phone apps. So it was a good match between the host for the event and the people who showed up!

I had some pizza, beer, and cupcakes as I fiddled around with vim, vundle, Supertab, and Gundo (which Oblomovka had been showing me earlier) and setting up things with ExpandDrive so I can work on my VM dev environment *from my Mac* instead of ssh-ing into the VM. I think I’m getting to like folding in vim. Hilz explained her whole emacs setup to me which is similar and I think was called tramp; basically a thing so she can edit her remote files from her normal setup. While I don’t *much* mind hauling my .vimrc after me onto every server, vim bundles look extremely cool and I like the idea that I could keep it all in just one or two places (ie my laptop and maybe my main server in case I don’t have my laptop and want to work from somewhere else.)

Then I got totally distracted talking with Jesse and Judy who were starting to make a fun app with Ruby (which I’ve only tried once at a She’s Geeky workshop). Judy is making something to tag and search Starcraft VODs. Then we got gossiping about Noisebridge which she had just been to for a Ruby class and ended up staying all night learning how to use the Cupcake makerbots.

It was a lot of fun and even if it stays such a short event I recommend it. I think it will inevitably spawn some all day hackmeets though since no one wanted to leave or stop working on their projects 1 hour into it!! Actually, I would like to invite all the Women Who Code and CodeChix people to Noisebridge, which is a fantastic hackerspace open 24/7 (with an accessible bathroom and an elevator) and to the upcoming Hackmeet unconference.