Barbara Jane Reyes
Biography of Barbara Jane Reyes
Barbara Jane Reyes is an American poet whose work "explores the translatable and untranslatable collisions of writing, self and culture."
She was born in Manila, Philippines and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her B.A. in Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. As an undergraduate, "served as editor in chief for maganda magazine, and witnessed the emergence of Filipino American literary figures."
She received her M.F.A. at San Francisco State University. She is the author of Gravities of Center (Arkipelago, 2003), Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish, 2005), for which she received the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets, and Diwata (BOA Editions, Ltd., 2010).
Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous publications, including 2nd Avenue Poetry, Asian Pacific American Journal, Boxcar Poetry Review, Chain, Crate, Interlope, New American Writing, Nocturnes Review, North American Review, Notre Dame Review, Parthenon West Review, as well as in the anthologies Babaylan (Aunt Lute Books, 2000), Eros Pinoy (Anvil, 2001), InvAsian: Asian Sisters Represent (Study Center Press, 2003), Going Home to a Landscape (Calyx, 2003), Coloring Book (Rattlecat, 2003), Not Home But Here (Anvil, 2003), Pinoy Poetics (Meritage, 2004), Asian Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area (Avalon Publishing, 2004), 100 Love Poems: Philippine Love Poetry Since 1905 (University of the Philippines Press, 2004), Red Light: Superheroes, Saints and Sluts (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2005), and Graphic Poetry (Victionary, 2005).
She has taught Creative Writing at Mills College, and Philippine Studies at University of San Francisco. She lives with her husband, poet Oscar Bermeo, in Oakland, CA.
Barbara Jane Reyes Poems
Again, She Tells the First Story
Once, when there was no light, the wind danced with the sea, whose glassy surface became untame funnels and silver crested waves as she leapt and spun. How the wind also spun and let out a mighty roar. You have heard this one before, no? How earth convulsed as if laughing. How seafloor forced her fingertips skyward. How she freed her body from the silent, murky depths.