“A++++: Zack Linmark’s ‘F For Book Report’” by Micah Perks

For the 100th year anniversary of Rolling The R’s I wanted to talk about my “bestest bestest” part, “F For Book Report,” the part I’ve taught over a dozen times in classes at UCSC. “F For Book Report” begins with the teacher’s directions to the students about how to write a book report, which includes [Continue Reading…]

“Kalihi in Farrah/Farrah in Kalihi: Marginalization and Appropriation in ‘Rolling the R’s'” by John Charles Goshert

you remember your voice / because you are American because you are a dark Pilipino-American / and that they will balisong your tongue because they can tell you speak / unlearned English. —Michael Melo Undoubtedly, the United States has long exploited the lack of basic historical literacy among its people, especially among those who tend [Continue Reading…]

“Teaching ‘Rolling the R’s’ at SFSU” by Wei Ming Dariotis

I started teaching Rolling the R’s when I first taught the Pilipino Literature class (AAS 363) at San Francisco State University in 1999, and continued to teach it over the next decade in AAS 206: Introduction to Asian American Literature, and in AAS 214: Second Year Composition, when I taught the course focused on queer [Continue Reading…]

“Taking Them to Our Lady of Kalihi” by Brian Ascalon Roley

Over the years, I have taught (and continue to teach) Rolling the R’s in creative writing classes for the same reason I assign As I Lay Dying. As with all of my favorite books, when I share it what I actually want to share with people is that initial reading experience—the excitement, the enchantment, the [Continue Reading…]

“Philomena, Kuya Bongbong of Magsaysay Street” by L.M.S.P. Burns

Katrina, Edgar, and Vicente had the “Purple Man and his disciples” at the Kam Shopping Center. We—Gerlie, Totoy, and Baby—had Philomena on Magsaysay Street. Philomena talked to herself, swatted insects with powers of invisibility flying around her head. Though she did not come to Red Cross every day, where my mother worked, she came regularly [Continue Reading…]

“Reflections on 20 Years of ‘Rolling the R’s'” by Wilma B. Consul

My introduction to Rolling the R’s happened in 1996, when R. Zamora Linmark read “They Like You Because You Eat Dog.” It’s a poem so entertainingly honest, it angers and empowers at the same time. Rolling the R’s introduces characters rarely seen in American literature. They are Filipinos rooted in a place to which no [Continue Reading…]

“Rolling the R’s” Forum Response: Gem P. Daus

Listening to ‘70s Dance Party Playlist on Amazon Prime for get me in the mood to write about Rolling the R’s. I have a hardback copy with an Autographed Copy sticker marring the cover. Ah ah freak out. I bought it at the now defunct Lambda Rising Bookstore in DC. A mini-easel holding a gauzy [Continue Reading…]

“Rolling the R’s” Forum Response: Oliver de la Paz

I was living in Upstate New York back in 2003 when I got the call from Zach. He was apparently in New York City and bored out of his mind. I had never met Zach. In fact, knew very little about him then. The writer Evelina Galang had given him my number because she knew [Continue Reading…]

“Not Quite Nostalgia” by Loraine Kanervisto

Reading Rolling the R’s and revisiting Kalihi during college for our AAAS photo essay was a very strange experience. I grew up in Chinatown and attended kindergarten through the eighth grade in Kalihi, swimming in the pool at Palama Settlement or haunting the Fun Factory in Kam Shopping Center when I cut class. Nostalgia wasn’t [Continue Reading…]

from “Photographing Queer Kalihi” (2009) by Loraine Kanervisto & Keir McCoy

R. Zamora Linmark’s Rolling the R’s frames the tense development of queer and multiethnic youth in Kalihi Valley during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The spirit of Linmark’s O‘ahu can still be found in parts of present-day Kalihi. As photographers, we sought to capture the frames of mind prevalent in Linmark’s locales, places with [Continue Reading…]