“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…]

“Linmark’s Gift” by John David Zuern

  Ten years ago, in March 2006, Zack Linmark gave a reading at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa to mark the release of his collection of poetry Prime Time Apparitions. On that occasion, I had the privilege of introducing him, and in addition to extolling the remarkable range of styles and tones in Linmark’s [Continue Reading…]

“Rolling the R’s” Forum Response: Kara Hisatake

  Rolling the R’s is near to me personally and professionally as someone born and raised on O‘ahu and currently in the midst of writing a dissertation on the literatures of Hawai‘i and Pidgin. In the so-called “melting pot”—or as R. Zamora Linmark would say, “volcano”—of Hawai‘i’s multi-ethnic communities, the aim of my dissertation has [Continue Reading…]

“Remembering ‘Rolling the R’s'” by Theodore S. Gonzalves

In 1996, I became the first instructor to assign R. Zamora Linmark’s Rolling the R’s for classroom use. The faculty at Pomona College hired me to teach a course with a sufficiently boring title of my choosing: “Asian American Cultural Studies: Reading Nationalism and Life Worlds.” Perfect for an upper division seminar on Asian American [Continue Reading…]

“I Love Chachi: On the 20th Anniversary of ‘Rolling the R’s'” by Joseph O. Legaspi

I’m foggy as to when I first read R. Zamora Linmark’s Rolling the R’s. It’s a book that’s been a part of me, like a good friend. You don’t recall when or where or in what circumstance you met because you seem to have known each other all your lives. Every time I flip through [Continue Reading…]