Meet Our Authors

Author of Sana

Maria Bolaños (she/her/they) is a Filipina American poet, book reviewer, and co-Founder of Sampaguita Press. She is committed to building spaces to nurture and showcase Filipinxao literature as well as Black, Indigenous, and POC literature. She is a 2021 Best of the Net nominee, and her writing has been featured in US publications such as TouchstoneCut Fruit Collective, and the International Examiner; and international publications such as Antigone and Yuzu Press, among others. Her debut chapbook, SANA, was released in April 2022. See more of their work on Instagram @mariabeewrites and Twitter @mariabeewrites.

Author of Handspun Rosaries

Dina Klarisse (she/her) is a writer, poet, editor, and serial procrastinator based in the Bay Area. Poetry is her way of making sense of her experience as a queer Filipina American immigrant and recovering Catholic, as well as her interest in the intersections of history, language, culture, and identity. Her work has been published in ASU’s Canyon VoicesThe Daily Drunk MagChopsticks AlleyKalopsia Literary Journal, among others. Her debut chapbook, HANDSPUN ROSARIES, is forthcoming June 2022. More of her writing can be found on her Instagram @hella_going and blog

Author of Pagong Cannot Climb Trees

Joseph ‘Butch’ Schwarzkopf Jr. (he/him) is a Illawarra (Dharawal Country) based Filipinx poet and filmmaker. He has performed as a poet at events such as Outspoken Poetics, Unspoken Words festival, and The Digital Sala’s Tula for Typhoon Relief. His works have been published in the UTS Writers’ Anthology, UNSWeetened Literary Journal, Australian Poetry Anthology, Mascara literary journal, and Marias at Sampaguitas literary magazine. His short film, ‘Body’, was a finalist in Made in the West, Sydney Lift-Off, and Cebu International Film Festivals. His favorite word is pie. His debut chapbook, PAGONG CANNOT CLIMB TREES, is forthcoming Fall 2022.

Author of The Water We Swim In

Christian Aldana’s (she/they) poetry is a safe space for wicked and sinister femmes who hate imperialism. They are a queer, multiracial Filipinx community organizer based in Chicago. Though she has a soft spot for the Midwest, part of her will always be in South East Asia (Cebu and Saigon) where she grew up. She is the founder and Creative Director of Luya, a poetry organization that centers the voices of people of color. Alongside their comrades at The Digital Sala, Christian is dreaming up alternative visions of what radically flexible, community-centered, revolutionary poetic spaces can be. Her poetry has been published in the Chicago Reader, Injustice Watch and Marias at Sampaguitas. Her performances have been featured at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Stony Island Arts Bank, Young Chicago Authors, on NPR’s Worldview, and more. When they’re not writing poems you can find them in deep discussion about dystopian sci fi, cooking in their pjs, and trying to throw off the shackles of scheduled time. Their debut chapbook, THE WATER WE SWIM IN, is forthcoming Spring 2023.

Author of Pisces Urges

Czaerra Galicinao Ucol (they/she) is a queer Filipino writer from Chicago. A 2020 graduate of the Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program at New York University, their work has appeared in Marías at Sampaguitas, beestung, and Walang Hiya. They are a Best New Poets 2021 and Best of the Net 2021 nominee. They are also the Programs and Communications Director of Luya, a local grassroots poetry organization centering people of color, which was nominated for Best Poetry Organization in Chicago Reader’s Best of 2021 Awards. In their free time, they like cooking new recipes, practicing Filipino Martial Arts, and listening to Lake Michigan’s waves crashing. Their debut chapbook, PISCES URGES, is forthcoming Summer 2023.