All the recent talk about the new Marvel superhero being Filipino or FilAm or Filipinx—Specifically, Captain America, following up on the premise delivered at the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame as the shield is given to Sam Wilson. Furor, though, over the name this character is given—Ari Agbayani, private school scholarship girl, hair bobbed & uniform-skirted. Short, too, if you look closely at the sketches. She's bent on justice for her best friend, but does it really kick audiences in the face if they can associate "labia, genitalia," with "Ari?" I'd like to know more about her: like, does she know how to use a tabo? need to eat rice at nearly every meal? This ordinary girl— does she know anything about the People Power revolution that toppled Marcos, quelling the old corruptions at least for a while? Remember that other guy who draped stars & stripes over his shoulders, held a walis tambó affixed to a shield to join the January 6 uprising in the Capitol? Since Ari's described as vigilante-like, would she have swept this wannabe Captain America into the Potomac? Xenic cultures of rabid flag-smashers, yelling deranged slogans— A world that teeters on zombification, desperate to replicate heroes.
Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) was recently appointed Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia (2020-2022). She is Co-Winner of the 2019 Crab Orchard Open Competition in Poetry for Maps for Migrants and Ghosts (Southern Illinois University Press, September 2020). She is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015; she also teaches classes at The Muse Writers’ Center in Norfolk. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.