Performing cultural identity & diaspora through spoken word poetry
Every year, CMU's Taiwanese Student Association hosts a Culture Night to celebrate Asian-American identity in the campus community.
For Culture Night 2019, my friend and wonderful poet Hannah Daniel invited me to perform a piece of spoken word. I chose to perform "Typhoon," at the time one of my favorite and most vulnerable poems I had written.
While still incomplete, the poem grapples with stereotypes around Filipino women and beauty, the experience of losing my hair at 17, and the privilege of wrestling with notions of cultural identity while remaining ignorant of life and death in my parents' homeland.
As of March 2020:
To extend this project, I am in the middle of coordinating an event to celebrate the Filipino-American community of Pittsburgh through creative writing, storytelling, and food. It is, inevitably, a long and uncertain process. Depending on innumerable factors — keep an eye out for updates!
Video by the Taiwanese Student Association of Carnegie Mellon University.