Hey friends, community peeps, kababayan, atbp,
Permit me an edited version of this originally very long love letter to community.
Last February 28th I was accepted into the Open Mouth Poetry Retreat
to be in poetic community with Franny Choi, Nate Marshall, old friends, and new colleagues from May 31st to June 3rd. Here are the costs, in order of priority and urgency:
Flight to Open Mouth via XNA airport: $478 (need to book ASAP)
Open Mouth fee (after partial scholarship): $175
Food for childcare workers watching son: $50-100
Optional for stretch goal: Wages lost from 3 days of work: $378Why are you here?
At some point, we have connected. Yes, I’m speaking to you. You found me online: pamelaksantos.com
or Facebook [https://www.facebook.com/poetapamelaksantos
], or Instagram,
You found my art, my Darna poems, my Big Poet Energy on the mic, my “just being real” style as a radio host, my producing of shows like my audio love letter to baseball and “What Does My Food Say About Me?”. You came across the collaborative installation I curated SARI NOT SARI at Third Room. You were one of the 30+ attendees of the Winter Poetry Festival I co-founded. You smile at my ridiculously spirited IG story repping the Blazers. Speaking of Instagram, you also know me as Manta Mom, hype mom to the infinitely talented Autistic artist Manta Jay (https://www.instagram.com/drawnbymantajay
). You may not know me but I am not a stranger to you.Why I am worth investing money in
On the Open Mouth application I was asked what community meant to me. I wrote an accidental manifesto:
Community is an active claiming. It is saying, “I see you,” “I feel you,” “You got this” over and over. Community is knowing who are your people, who do you have an obligation to, who do you want to protect. Community means holding generosity of spirit while also holding boundaries. Community is checking in on each other, especially the most vulnerable, the most marginalized. Conflicts happen in community, which can lead to collective learning.
(Upon rereading, I watched a lot of Naruto and it shows.)
You are my people. All the ways you can be, you are, and I am one of your own. Claim me as I claim you in all love letters to all the identities I inhabit I write in my art.
This, right here, what you are reading is a love letter to the art I make, and the soaring selves who curbstomp imposter syndrome and make whole all what used to be hyphenated.
This, right here, is my love letter to all my creative babies, as I endeavor to print (or as my spirit says, GODDAMN PRINT THE FUCKING BOOK ALREADY SO WE CAN WRITE THE SECOND BOOK, FFS) my first book SECRET LUMPIA. As I prepare my audio perfomances to accompany SECRET LUMPIA on a streaming album. As I keep researching and writing my full-length MANILA MAE LIVESTREAMS THE REBOLUSYON book. As I try to create a new poetry form, no biggie. I could keep telling you about every project but then I’d need to edit in DJ Khaled’s “AND ANOTHER ONE” 5 more times. Show me some love. My love language is Venmo, PayPal, Cash App, and regular old green stacks. <3
PamBio:Pamela K. Santos is a Pinay New Yorker writer and artist creating multilingual narratives on diasporic lineages. Pamela co-founded Portland’s first Winter Poetry Festival, curates the Sari Not Sari Filipinx installation series, and produces art events as Sobra Creative. A 2019 recipient of an Oregon Literary Fellowship , her poetry appears in:Tayo Magazine, Anomaly , Newtown Literary , Stoked Words, and the Unchaste Anthology .
Since much of my later work this year will be focusing on unpacking the Language Baggage I have as a balikbayan Filipina in diaspora, within proximity and distance to identities tied to place like Queens, my three Philippine provinces of origin, current city of Portland, you’re gonna like how I pun up my tiers of support and rewards offered.$5-$10“I See You” Supporter
We nod up at each other, we build in community together, we make familiar what was unfamiliar in a place together, we shared meals together, we communed over music, we rocked the mic together, we look for each other in a crowded event, we connected on something real even for one moment.
That’s you, boo. I see you and you see me. $11-$24“Deadass, You Feel Me” Homie
We cool, we reppin Queens/ the Real New York/ the P.I./ East Coast, we get each other on our levels, we got each other’s backs without even having to ask, we did the workshop/reading/art/everything cool thing, we chill pare/mare/beshie/ate/tol, we know it’s a struggle out here and that’s why we do what we can for each other when we can, we see dreams and we’re always here for it. $25-$49“Wow, Tita, May Kitang Kita” Tita
You the Tita who pulls me aside at the party, takes my hand, and puts a bill in it when no one is looking. You cluck-whisper something barely audible, you put your index finger to your lips and shhh me when I try to thank you. You smile and then playfully push me back into the party.
Redeem: SECRET LUMPIA book *OR* one order of a dozen lumpia in June$50-$99“Keep Up The Good Work” Komrade
Kakampi, kababayan, kasama - the "ka" baybayin letter often connects. It looks like two parallel wavy lines connected by a center line. [http://baybayinalive.com/ka-means-connection
] Two rivers joined at the center, two spirits joined together, the meaning is expansive and intimate at the same time. We are expansive and intimate at the same time, komrade.
Redeem: SECRET LUMPIA book, one order of a dozen lumpia in June$100-250Kataastaasan, The Most High Kakampi (Supporter)
You really gunning for MVP of the community — go on, flex.
Redeem: all above PLUS one video lesson on making my lumpia Shanghai recipe.$500"DAMN, I'm Not Mad At This Level of Flex" Diwata
Congratulations. You've joined the pantheon of diwata. You can't have my one and only firstborn but uh, do you want me to look at your manuscript? You wanna learn how to make my lumpia Shanghai, aka the best lumpia? Donors giving any amount to this fundraiser, Patreon, Ko-Fi, or apps like Venmo/Cash/PayPal will receive updates, readings, & recipes via my "Secret Lumpia Club" newsletter and my maraming salamat sa pagmamahal.