As beautiful and varied as an archipelago, barangay is an elegant new collection of poetry from Adrian De Leon that gathers in and arranges the difficult pieces of a scattered history. While mourning the loss of his grandmother who "lived, loved and grieved in three languages," De Leon skips his barangay, which is both a boat and an administrative unit in the Philippine government, over the history of both his family and a nation. In these poems De Leon considers the deadly impact of colonialism, the far-reaching effects of the diaspora from the Philippines and the personal loss of his ability to speak Ilokano, his grandmother's native tongue. These are spare, haunting poems, which wash over the reader like the waves of the ocean the barangays navigated long ago and then pull the reader into their current like the rivers De Leon left behind.
Adrian De Leon
Adrian De Leon is a writer and educator from Manila via Scarborough, Ontario. He is the author of Rouge and co-editor of FEEL WAYS: A Scarborough Anthology, both published by Mawenzi House. His poetry and nonfiction have appeared in The Puritan, Joyland Magazine and Catapult. His research has been featured in VICE, National Geographic, The Guardian and more. He lives in Los Angeles, where he is an Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.
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