A collection of poems exploring themes of identity, culture, and diaspora through the lens of a mixed-race American.
Performance & Poetry by Anthony Principe-Contreras
Presented at the AFJ Annual Showcase 2023
San Francisco Public Library
Words from the Artist:
One of the most important steps, if not the most important, into making art is to be honest with yourself. I found this to be true when facing every blank page I’ve ever encountered. How I would sit there for hours without creating anything into fruition. But I found that the reason why I would do this was because I wasn’t being honest about my own limitations as an artist and also as a person. My imperfections would eat at me and my insecurities would let me down. Nonetheless, it was this realization that inspired me to write. To admit that imperfections were okay and to truly be myself in the face of an imagined judge gives me the courage to say that which cannot be said, as a mentor once defined poetry to me as. Because where would I be if my ancestors weren’t honest about their own limitations in this country—their limitations of language, of resources, of community? They persisted and what they gave me is a language to describe their lived history as I experienced them and our experiences of this country through poetic language.
Poems From a Mestizo is exactly that: an honest depiction of my upbringing as a Filipino-Mexican American and how this connects to the broader American experience through topics such as food, identity, and culture.
THIS WORK DIRECTLY SUPPORTS:
Established on the 30th of November 1998 – the anniversary of Andres Bonifacio and pre-Martial Law organization, Kabataang Makabayan – Anakbayan-USA seeks to unite Filipino youth from different sectors of society to advance the cause of their national democracy. Anakbayan holds the belief that Philippine society today is not truly free nor democratic; by uniting youth workers, farmers, urban poor, students, professionals, women, migrants, Moro and other national minorities to contribute to the advancement of the National Democratic struggle, Anakbayan seeks to realize true national liberation for the country and the realization of the democratic rights of the Filipino people.