Word S3 E10: Ecopoetry And Asian And Pacific Islander American Heritage Month — Part 2

By Tom Maxedon
Published: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 11:00am
Updated: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 12:26pm

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Craig Santos Perez
Craig Santos Perez
Craig Santos Perez is a writer and activist who teaches creative writing, ecopoetry and Pacific literature at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.

Before we go on summer break, we close out Season 3 of “Word” by continuing our celebration of Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month with honest conversations about how those communities are coping in the age of COVID-19.

Sue Hyon Bae
Sue Hyon Bae
Sue Hyon Bae is a Valley poet.

Plus, we talk ecopoetry and explore the complexities of navigating life amid the pandemic, while at the same time, the very real tide of global climate change is experienced firsthand by those who live in the Pacific.

We begin with a poet named “Sue,” who is Korean-American and living in the Valley. She works a lot with translations of literature from English into Korean and vice versa.

Sue, who is immunocompromised, offers an unique perspective, witnessing the Phoenix metro region oddly catch up with what she’s been dealing with for a while. Sue shares her work, "Flower Garden."

Plus, Megan Codeno Atencia joins us. She’s Filipina-American and lives in the Valley. Megan is a teacher, writer and creative, graduated from ASU in 2017, who studied global health, literature and Spanish.

We discuss how her wide educational background and experience with racism within her own family and culture has shaped her outreach and creative output. She reads a poem of her own.

Megan Condeno Atencia-Valley poet and teacher
Andrew Atencia
Megan Condeno Atencia is a Valley teacher, writer and creative.

Finally, Craig Santos Perez joins us. He’s a scholar, inimitable writer and activist living in Hawai’i where he teaches creative writing, ecopoetry and Pacific literature at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.

Regular listeners know I lived on the island of Guam in the Western Pacific for many years before coming to the Phoenix metro region in September 2007. And that’s the loose connection to the literary arts in the state and the region.

Craig is Chamorro, the indigenous people of Guåhan, or Guam.

He joins us to discuss the impact of climate change felt by Pacific Islanders and how “pandemic militarism” is shaping part of the historical narrative of COVID-19.

Craig reads his stunning poem entitled, "Memorial Day in the Pacific."

“Word” returns in the fall with more conversations about the literary arts in Arizona and the region.

In the meantime, send us a message via email to [email protected].

We’d love to read your recommendations for future guests or even something you liked about this episode.

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Stay well, and thanks for listening.

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