Day 1 I had no presentations so was able to mingle and listen to presentations. The keynote talk by Resil Mojares "Where in the World is the Filippino Writer?" was followed by "Writing from the Margins" featuring Pulitzer prize winners Junot Diaz and Edward P. Jones, including short readings of their work. Discussion ranged from similarities between the Philippines and the Dominican Republic, race as an undercurrent in the U.S., the authors' role models, the differences between short stories and novels, and the thinking groundwork for a novel (ten years of thinking for Edward P. Jones's The Known World).
|Edward P. Jones and Junot Diaz|
Following those I attended the lively "Conversation with Junot Diaz." His talk covered his personal background, reading, writing, history and its interplay with writing, and the obligation for every artist to strive to do what no one else is doing. Powerful.
|with Junot Diaz|
|with Tarie Sabido, standing, and book bloggers and friends|
|with Junot Diaz and Gemma Nemenzo, Managing Editor of the U.S. magazine Filipinas|
|with RayVi Sunico, Perpi Alipon-Tiongson and Tarie Sabido|
After lunch I caught part of "Of Folktales, Myths and Legends" featuring authors who have drawn inspiration from the folklore of the Philippines--I wished I'd been able to catch more about the intriguing tales and legends. And after that I presented on a panel "The Many Forms of the Novel" in which I spoke about writing in verse and read an excerpt from Orchards. I was pleased to meet Que Mai, poet from Vietnam and to come home with one of her books of poetry. I expect she'll be coming out with a novel in verse in the future... It was exciting to share the news of Thanhha Lai's National Book Award win with her on the day it was announced.
|with poet Que Mai|
Friday morning I caught up with Nikki Torres, Assistant Regional Advisor of SCBWI Philippines, at an early breakfast meeting--it was so good to meet face to face. Next time I'm in the Philippines I hope to have more time to do an event with the chapter.
|with Dominique (Nikki) Garde Torres|
|Blurry, but a great celebratory moment with Priya Doraswamy and Jayapriya Vasudevan and F. H. Batacan, seated, with NBDB's Andrea Pasion-Flores and Neni Sta. Romana Cruz in the back|
|Ravi Mirchandani (Atlantic U.K.), Rachel Kahan (G. P. Putnam), Priya Doraswamy (Jacaranda Press), Jayapriya Vasudevan (Jacaranda Press) and author Jose Dalisay, Jr.|
|Edward P. Jones signing my books|
|with Andrea Pasion-Flores, Executive Director of the NBDB, and author Carljoe Javier|
|Tarie and Honey pore over the menu at Ilustrado|
|Excellent choices, Tarie!|