Friday, September 11, 2015


Edwin Agustín Lozada introduces an anthology he edited, FIELD OF MIRRORS
(Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc., San Francisco, 2008)

One of the main goals of PAWA is to support Filipino American writers by organizing or co-sponsoring events to showcase their creativity and talents, and through publication. Field of Mirrors is the third in a series of anthologies that Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc. has produced. In the first two anthologies, Reflections: Readings for the Young and Old ( 2002 )and Whisper of the Bamboo (2004), the featured writers were primarily from California. Our goal for this anthology was to break state borders and expand and reach out to the many Filipino American writers, whether established or just beginning to publish, from the Hawaiian coasts to the western and eastern shores of the US. I had to decide whether this volume was going to present a specific theme, whether to feature prose or poetry. In the end, I opted to give more flexibility and options to the contributor and made it thematically non-specific and open to a variety of genres. The result: a total of seventy-one writers selected featuring diverse styles of poetry, short stories, essays, articles, and excerpt from a novel. Although most of the pieces are in English, there are a few pieces in Tagalog, Spanish, and even Ilocano.

Why the title, “Field of Mirrors” ? As individuals of Filipino or Filipino American heritage living in a society in which we are but a piece of a larger quilt, we reflect on our identity and at some time come to an understanding of who we are and the role that our heritage plays in our lives and work. This period of reflection, investigation, and introspection, sometimes life-long, is the “Field of Mirrors.” Literary creations from the “field” include issues of identity—immigrant experiences in which our Filipino idiosyncrasies come face to face with the local culture and traditions which at times, result in difficulty, conflict or humor. Stories and poetry are perfumed and spiced with memories, images and elements relating to the homeland or to the unique experiences of being a Filipino American.

Artistry is in constant evolution and the works of Philippine American writers express various phases of their thoughts and ideas. This may include writing that does not focus, or on the page, have anything to do with being Filipino nor incorporate elements connected with the Filipino/Filipino American experience. And yet the work is unquestionably Filipino/Filipino American, for it is the product of a writer, who, liberated by the awareness and appreciation of his or her identity, pursues his or her imagination with creativity without boundaries. This is also within the “Field of Mirrors.”

Hence, the “Field of Mirrors” is all encompassing and reflects all that with which we come face to face: our most intimate hopes, fears, sorrows, trauma, pain, joy, reflections, obsessions, creations, revelations—all reflecting who we are, defining us and ultimately compelling us to write and share our creations with others with the hope to enlighten or entertain, to enrich.

The community of Philippine American writers has increased tremendously and being able to include 71 is thrilling, but it’s even more inspiring to know that there are many, many more dreaming and creating out there. It is the hope of PAWA that this volume will contribute significantly to the list of previous anthologies that have featured Philippine American writers. The pieces represented in this volume are inspired by personal tragedies, violence, history, cultural conflicts, issues of identity, family, nostalgia, change, travel, displacement, the wonders and beauty of nature, sexuality, faith, love, death, anguish, art—life.


Edwin Agustín Lozada has dedicated 27 years as an educator in the California public school system and for many years was chair and co-chair of the World Languages Department at Woodside High School. Having a passion for the arts, he trained to be a concert pianist during his university years at San Francisco State University, was a company member of Rosa Montoya Bailes Flamencos in San Francisco in the late eighties and early nineties, and is an avid collector of world textiles. E.A. Lozada is a Fullbright-Hayes scholar and a past recipient of an Individual Artist Commisions Grant in Literary Arts from the San Francisco Arts Commission. He is author of two books of poetry, Sueños anónimos/Anonymous Dreams (2001), Bosquejos/Sketches (2003) and has edited two anthologies, Field of Mirrors: An Anthology of Philippine American Writers (2008), Remembering Rizal: Voices from the Diaspora (2011). He is president of Philippine American Writers and Artists (PAWA, Inc.) and currently the executive director of the Filipino American International Book Festival which is held biennially in San Francisco.

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