Thursday, December 1, 2022


 The Halo-Halo Review is pleased to interview authors in the aftermath of their books’ releases. One of this issue’s featured authors is Cynthia Buiza. 


What is your most recent book? Who published and when was it released?


The Future Is a Country I Do Not Live in is published by Paloma Press, and released on August 31 2022.



What has been the response/what has surprised you about the response?


The blurbs notwithstanding, I deeply appreciate the kind response from friends and people who have read it, including those who posted their reviews online. I’ve  been particularly touched by readers who reached out to me expressing their reactions to the poems, how they felt they could relate to it, including a mom who read it with her daughter and said every poem felt like reading  a story, and a dad who cried at one of the poems called “The Peace of Small Things,” and told me he could not understand why it brought him to tears. That meant the world to me. That meant I connected with a reader. 



What is not obvious or known about the book?


I think that what is of course universal about books, specifically poetry books is how they can have an spiritual impact on people, once that writer-reader connection is forged. What is not known about the book I guess, is how it is actually partly a product of nearly twenty years of travel across 15 countries and the vast terrains of memory and experience encompassing loss, grief, hope and resilience for an immigrant. If I were to distill the book’s essence, I would say it is the essence of exile from home and people and memory.



What are you working on right now?


I’ve actually been working on three simultaneous manuscripts for the last ten years (LOL), but I really need to be better organized at prioritizing them. Since I do not have a working title for the other two— one is a memoir of growing up in the Philippines, living in Thailand and then moving to America, the other is another collection of poems— the one I am really trying to polish is a short story collection tentatively titled: I’ll Be Good, Just Let Me Live.





Cynthia Buiza is the Executive Director of the California Immigrant Policy Center and a California State Commissioner. Her poetry and prose have appeared in various publications and anthologies in the US, including The Philippine Daily Inquirer Sunday Magazine, Our Own Voice, and Tayo Literary Magazine, among others. The Future Is a Country I Do Not Live in is her first poetry collection.



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