Issue Eight

| ANNUAL ISSUE | 2018–2019 |

Cover Art:  “Depressed Sounds” by J.K. Chukwu

Cover Art: “Depressed Sounds” by J.K. Chukwu


Dear Readers —

2018 was a tough year for us and the Filipinx American community. We are connected to the Filipinx American community in the Bay Area, in California, and in many ways, documenting stories in these and communities around us is our life’s work. As artists, writers, scholars, and editors, we seek to bring our readership work that is reflective of writing that thoughtfully stretches people’s imaginations, that is coping with present reality and offers itself as hope, and offers a fresh or reminding lens of our complex lives. 

Issue Eight is dedicated to Pinay Historian Dr. Dawn Bohulano Mabalon, who passed away in August of 2018. We have, collectively as editors, crossed paths with her in various capacities all over the United States, but particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area—with Pin@y Educational Partnerships, with Bindlestiff Studio, at conferences, and even at hip hop artist Ruby Ibarra’s “Us” music video shoot in February of 2018 at Balboa High School. We have learned from her in classrooms, and in community spaces that she has nurtured throughout her life and career. We are saddened by her absence.

Dr. Mabalon was also a poet and writer whose works have been performed and published in Filipina American-led publications like Our Own Voice Literary E-zine, from where we are re-publishing her 2011 essay “Bohulano Family Binangkal” about the history of a family dessert and her reasons for re-making it. In her moving essay, “Dawn is in the Heart,” our newest editor mgb writes of her grief in making this very recipe of binangkal in Manang Dawn’s memory. She was the catalyst in re-publishing Dr. Mabalon’s work.

Writing and reading are acts of preserving memories and addressing our realities. In 2018 and onwards into 2019, we seek to continue this work:

We published our first digital issue—Issue Seven—and we are continuing with our Issue Eight, where we added a new section called the Editors’ Corner that features stories we each individually wanted to pursue. In August 2018, we hosted a reading with the Pilipinx American Library at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. In Fall 2018, we started plans for an upcoming visual and literary arts show that we hope to curate and premiere in 2019. We are excited to announce our calendar of publication, to create transparency with writers who are interested in publishing with us.

And finally, TAYO and The Feminist Press announced the winner of the second Louise Meriwether First Book Prize to writer Claudia D. Hernández for her memoir, Knitting the Fog. We were honored to interview her for our Issue Eight about the process of writing her moving debut. The Feminist Press will publish Hernández’s book later this year, and you can read an excerpt of it in this issue.

We are excited to announce with The Feminist Press the 3rd winner of the Louise Meriwether First Book Prize in March 2019.

Thank you for building with us, dear reader.


The Editors

I feel strangely proud. When the men find my Agnes, as they do with anyone who is not like them, I have no worries. Each one goes blind as soon as he sends a carnal glance her way. The ones that dare touch her recoil, scalded, palms burnt. I taunt the worst offender, caught trying to sneak into our yard. He has rope and a knife on him. The bandanna he masked his face with now only slightly muffles his sobs. He should be grateful that the last thing he saw was her. I tell him, Here’s something else you will never see: My daughter, afraid.



Table of Contents

VISUAL ARTSTS in issue eighT

Depressed_Sounds_ (1).jpg

“Depressed Sounds”

cover artist —

J.K. Chukwu
is a writer and visual artist from the Midwest. Overall, her writing and art are rooted in examining the strangeness and depravity of everyday life. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in English Language and Literature and Gender and Sexuality Studies. Currently, she is studying at Brown University for her MFA in Fiction Writing. Find her at dollarstoreartist.com.


A Series of Paintings

Allen Forrest is a writer and graphic artist for covers and illustrations of literary publications and books. The winner of the 2015 Leslie Jacoby Honor for Art at San Jose State University's Reed Magazine, he lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada. His Bel Red landscape paintings are part of the Bellevue College Foundation's permanent art collection in Bellevue, WA. To find more of his published works, please visit him online or browse his graphic narrative collection here.

B&W Photography

Verna Zafra-Kasala was born in the Philippines but raised and still resides in the Pacific island of Guam. She is mostly an artist of the pen, but sometimes she picks up a camera. Her photo "The Visit" first appeared in Oyster River Pages, and both “The Visit” and “The Preparation” were showcased in the latest Guam Art Exhibit (GAX).


“Graffiti Collage”

Nelson Lowhim was born in Tanzania and is of Indian, Seychelles, Euro background. He lived in India for a year. At age 10, he moved to the States (all over) and currently lives in Seattle with his wife. He served in served in the US Army and has been published in Red Rock Review, Adbusters, BlazeVox, Talking Writing, Flyway Journal, and Omni, among others.

B&W Photography

Mahsa Sadeqi was born in Ahvaz, Iran. His field is in graphics from Technical University of Vali’asr. He is a member of Paradise Ocean Artistic Team with management by Seyed Morteza Hamidzadeh.


B&W Photography

Sarah Estime is an Aircraft Mechanic in the Air Force. When she is not working at her day job, she is conducting photo shoots for her community. She has been published in Burner Magazine, Words Apart Magazine, and Midwestern Gothic. She was also a recipient for the 2010 Arts For the Future Award with a medium in photography.


A Series of Paintings

Rebecca Pyle’s artwork is also in Hawai’i Review, Emerson Review, and William and Mary Review; Oxford Magazine, Stoneboat Journal, and on the cover of The American Underwater Songbook, published by Underwater New York. Rebecca is a writer, too. She lives east of The Great Salt Lake, and west of and below the mountain mining town which the Sundance Film Festival returns to each winter. See her art portfolio: rebeccapyleartist.com.


A Series of Photography

Jury S. Judge is an internationally published artist, writer, poet, photographer, and political cartoonist. Her “Astronomy Comedy” cartoons are published in Lowell Observatory's publication, The Lowell Observer. Her artwork has been published in literary magazines such as Northwestern Indiana Literary Review, The Tishman Review, Amsterdam Quarterly, Cardinal Sins, and The Raven Chronicles. She has been interviewed on the television news program, NAZ Today, for her work as a political cartoonist. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA from the University of Houston-Clear Lake in 2014. If you are interested in her artwork, email her: jurysjudge [at] gmail [dot] com.