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Literary Reading

Pinoy Word Expressed Kultura Arts


"Ang Iyong Boses"

(Your Own Voice)

The 2024 Pagdiriwang Festival Literary Reading

Seattle Center

Saturday, June 1, 2024

1:00 to 2:30 PM


Joel Barroquiel Tan, Gerie Ventura,

Devin Cabanilla, Ebo Barton, Oscar Peñaranda

Funder and Co-sponsors:

Pinoy Words Expressed Kultura Arts (PWEKA)

Filipino Cultural Heritage Society of Washington

Seattle City of Literature

Filipino American National Historical Society

Pinoy Brown Box

Poets and Writers, Inc.

Pagdiriwang 2024 Readers


Joël Barraquiel Tan (siya/he/all pronouns) is the Executive Director at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. He is the author of “Type O Negative” (Red Hen), and various works on identity, AIDS, & queer politics appear in academic and commercial venues.  Joël co-founded LA's Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team Health Center and was the Director of Community Engagement at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts from 2004-2015. Before coming to the Wing Luke Museum, he lived on Hawai'i Island. He helped develop Vibrant Hawai'i, a network of cross-sector leadership working together to connect Hawai'i citizens to needed resources. 


He is an award-winning author of two collection of poetry, Monster (Noice, 2002) and Type O Negative (Red Hen, 2009) and editor of three collection of short fiction.  His works  appear in Rattle and other publications. He has a BA in Comparative Ethic Studies from UC Berkeley and an MFA in Literature and Creative Writing from Antioch University.

Gerie Ventura is a writer, poet, and the Library Director at Highline College. Her poems were featured in Seattle’s Poetry on Buses program in 2014 and 2016. She contributed to the first encyclopedia focused on Filipino Americans, The SAGE Encyclopedia of Filipina/x/o American Studies and a new book coming out in 2023, Building Our Own: Critiques, Narratives, and Practices from BIPOC Community College Workers in Library Information Services. Her Filipino immigrant ancestors inspire her. Gerie enjoys gallivanting all over the world, researching her family genealogy, and writing about growing up brown in Tacoma, Washington. 



Devin Israel Cabanilla is an advocate for inclusive history and community equity in Seattle.  He is a founding partner of Mam’s Bookstore, the only Asian American focused bookstore in the Pacific Northwest. Recent reading events he has organized are “Brown Memoirs”, “Books & Beat”, and his newest poetry piece is “Manong’s Mission…”. Additionally he is a contributing columnist with media outlets like the Seattle Globalist and the International Examiner. 


He is also a senior project manager of academics at Seattle Public Schools, and an officer in the Filipino American National Historical Society Greater Seattle Chapter. Devin is a frequent speaker on Asian Pacific American issues and organizes public events around ethnic history and social justice. His graduate work was around International Community Development and Business Administration.


Ebo Barton comes from salt— from the moment before worlds converge. In this world, we are still trying to articulate that mixed Black and Filipino, Transgender and Non-Binary, Queer, Artists and Educators not only matter but are precious. Ebo's work appeared in Natasha Marin's Black Imagination and the audiobook read by Grammy and Tony award winner, Daveed Diggs. Ebo's work online on Write About Now, Button Poetry, and All Def Poetry channels. In 2016, they placed 5th in the World at Individual World Poetry Slam. In 2017, they co-wrote and co-produced the award-winning play, "Rising Up". Ebo debuted his first published collection of poetry, Insubordinate in 2020, a Washington State Book Award Finalist and Finalist in the Creative Non-Fiction Category. A 2020 Jack Straw Writing Fellow, Ebo Barton's written, performative, and community work demand societal reckoning.


Oscar Peñaranda left the Philippines at 12 and lived in Vancouver B C until, at 17, his family moved to San Francisco where he has remained till now. An educator for forty years and counting, and a writer for many more, thus he has chronicled lives of everyday ordinary Filipinos in U.S., Canada, and the Philippines through fiction non fiction and poetry. He received his B.A. in Literature and M.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State and was part of forming that first school of ethnic studies in the nation. His works are anthologized internationally. He has three books: Full Deck, Jokers Playing, a collection of poems, Seasons by the Bay, a collection of interrelated stories and Followers of the Seasons is a collection of his life's work. 


Robert is a Seattle native raised in the city’s Central Area and Rainier Valley. Robert graduated from Seattle University where he earned a B.A. (1966) and M.A. in Education (1975). In 1978, he received his doctorate at the University of Oregon in Higher Education and Public Policy.   

His poems have been published in the Soundings Review, Four Cornered Universe, 4 and 20 Journal, the Wanderlust Journal, the Tamafyhr Mountain Poetry Review, Poets Against the War, Raven Chronicles and the Seattle Post Intelligencer (2005) and the Field of Mirrors anthology (2008). Caryan Press published his chapbook “Alaskero Memories” in 2018.


A member of Theater Puget Sound, Rain City Writers, Seattle Playwrights Circle, Playwright Center San Francisco and the Dramatist Guild, he co-chairs Pinoy Words Expressed Kultura Arts. His plays “The Injury” (2013), “Pinoy Hill” (2014) and “Pinakbet” (2015) were performed in the Eclectic Theatre. "Mabuhay Majesty" (2017) was produced at the Rainer Arts Center. The Eagle’s Curse was performed at Bindlestiff Studios in 2021. He’s developing several plays including Adama and the Demons, Salamanca Returns, Pinoys Play Ball and The Christmas Snow Globe. Radio plays Mara Hukluban – First Kill, Mara – Assassin of Souls, The Human Zoo and A Christmas in the Cordilleras are in progress. He has been awarded a 2023 Jack Straw Residency.

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