Recap of recent Hot Off the Press Readings 5th Filipino American International Book Festival -
The Hot Off the Press Literary Readings at the recent Filipino American International Book Festival were held last Saturday October 12, 2019, at the Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Main Library. Each reading showcased up to 10 authors promoting new books. In less than ten minutes, they talk about or read from their books, giving the audience a sample, so to speak, of their work.
The writers traveled from the UK, the Philippines, Canada, Hawaii, and various parts of the US to let know people about the fruits of their labor: writings about food, about families, about growing up, about fantasy worlds, about knowledge they had gleaned, about anger, pain, but also love.
Walter Ang read from his history of Filipino American Theater. Betty Ann Quirino charmed the audience with the courtship story of her parents that involved rice — this from her cookbook. Also about food, Jacqueline Chio-Lauri, who flew in from the UK, shared an excerpt from her The New Filipino Kitchen anthology.
The poets delighted with their verses and passion: Aileen Cassinetto, Elmer Omar Bascos, Alfred Yuson, Arlene Biala, and Melinda Luisa de Jesus. (Absent, but missed, was Leny Strobel.)
The fiction writers read excerpts from their stories: Cindy Fazzi, Criselda Yabes, Rin Chupeco, Sarge Lacuesta, Ricco Siasoco, Yves Lamson, and yours truly (Cecilia Brainard).
Grace Talusan read from her memoir while Rick Rocamora had his photobook.
As host and moderator of HOTP since 2011, I have to coordinate the events with the writers and in so doing have a closer look at their work and their character. (For example, you know who submit information promptly or who don’t; you get to know who will respect the program guidelines or who don’t.) To me most of these writers are warriors, the thinkers of our Filipino and Filipino American communities. They are the ones who preserve our culture and our stories.
A writer I knew, Emma Gee, gave advice to other writers: Don’t wipe your feet. Leave tracks.
I share this same advice to these writers and others out there:
Don’t wipe your feet. Leave tracks.
This post is also in my travel blog:
This post has the bios of the participants of the HOTP Readings: