In Conversation With
NVM, Hip-Hop, "Born Again Filipinos," and the Strings Attached
Writers Anna Alves and Carl Javier recorded a conversation in the Emmanuel S. Torres Literary Arts Room in the George SK Ty Learning Innovation Wing of Areté last April 13, 2019. Alves read from her own works of fiction and discussed, among other things, studying under NVM Gonzalez, how hip-hop and sports influenced her storytelling, the place of Filipinos in American pop culture, and the structures and institutions that enable and thus affect cultural production. This conversation is part of a series recorded for Areté in collaboration with Kritika Kultura and the Ateneo Department of Fine Arts’s Creative Writing program. These are recorded in the room named in honor of the poet, critic, and literature professor who was also the first and longtime curator of the Ateneo Art Gallery.
Anna Alves was born in Elmhurst, Queens, New York City, and raised in South Sacramento, California, though her heart’s home will always be Los Angeles. A past PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow, she has attended writing residencies at Hedgebrook near Seattle, Voices of Our Nation‘s Arts (VONA) in San Francisco, and the Kundiman Asian American Literary Workshop in New York. A former philanthropy professional at the Ford Foundation in New York and the Asian Pacific Fund in San Francisco, she is also keen about cultural community development. She holds a BA in English and History and an MA. in Asian American Studies from the University of California at Los Angeles, and an MFA in Creative Writing and a pending PhD in American Studies from Rutgers University at Newark. Anna’s current research focuses on transpacific US/Philippines literary relations in Filipino fiction writing in English and its associated cultural politics of craft and aesthetics. She currently lives and creates in Quezon City, Manila, Philippines, while on a US Fulbright for 2018-19, stealing time to work on a novel while pursuing her intellectual passions and mindfully dissertating.
Carl Javier has worked in a number of fields, including journalism, the academe, publishing, development, and social enterprise. He joined the Puma Public team in January 2019 to chase the dream of creating podcasts from and for Filipinos. Prior to that he spent three years at Smarter Good where he provided strategic thinking, writing, and editorial guidance to nonprofits and social enterprises making impact globally. He started writing professionally as a college freshman, and for almost two decades has contributed to various publications and outlets. His writing led to work in the publishing industry, as a Business Manager at the UST Publishing House, the Deputy Director of the University of the Philippines Press, and a number of initiatives in independent publishing. His most recent publishing accomplishments were through his work as Managing Editor of Anino Comics, which he helped to relaunch in 2014. Anino titles have won National Book Awards, Komikon Awards, and other distinctions. His comics work has been nominated for the National Book Award twice, first as co-editor of Abangan: The Best Filipino Comics and as writer of the comic book adaptation of Si Janus Silang at ang Tiyanak ng Tabon.
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