Maria Bolaños

ISBN: 979-8-9857712-0-6
Library of Congress Control Number: TBD
Cover Art: Francesca Alarcon
Book Design: Maria Bolaños
Paper | 6 x 9 | 57 Pages
Publication Date: April 9, 2022
Distributors:, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books Inc., Sampaguita Press, and select bookstores
Price: $20


I emerge myself from jungle leaves.

I am a yellow head with horns.

I open my one thousand eyes.

The debut chapbook by poet Maria Bolaños.

SANA sings of the ways in which myth becomes life: how we invent our own selves, our memories of home, our relationship with family, our understanding of love. These poems are at once stories of migration and diaspora, and prayers seeking refuge in community. We journey with Maria Bolaños to worlds of expansive imagination; we sit with her in small and intimate tenderness. The heroes and monsters in these pages call across oceans of longing and loss, asking us to listen.

Advance Words:

I’ve been whispering, “wow,” exclaiming, tearing up, smiling it to myself all through this book: Sana. I’ve turned my eyes inward to nod or shake my head in recognition, pushed back from the table and shouted, “yes!” At energy and syntax fresh and ancient. At how Maria Bolaños has crafted poems who turn future from an unreachable past—“that nothing is how I remember”—and greet into a present where “the hills conspire with us.” These are poems who know what shapes they needed to be. Salamat. This is language in the work of making a needed language. In it I feel the tectonics and genders and violences of longing, the ways this poet teaches us how they can be shifted. And I couldn’t be more grateful. Sana is a book to read and read again. Bolaños is a poet to seek out and invite.

Hari Alluri, The Flayed City

Bolaños’ poems give soundscape and shelter to flowers expanding, to clouds migrating, to pressing pacing onto earth, and to Filipina women whose experiences are lived and more than tsismis. Sana is a pedagogy of locating origin stories that name the roots and flowers of familial, historical, and epistemological pain.

Janice Lobo Sapigao, like a solid to a shadow

These quiet, anticolonial first histories demonstrate the expansive intimacies of Filipina mythos — ghosts of a black market imaginary, and the small threats of tomorrow.

Jason Magabo Perez, This is for the mostless

Maria Bolaños (she/her/they) is a Filipina American poet, co-Editor in Chief for Marías at Sampaguitas magazine, and co-Founder & -Publisher of Sampaguita Press. She is committed to building spaces to nurture and showcase Filipinxao literature as well as Black, Indigenous, and POC literature. 

Maria studied English Literature, Media Studies, and Creative Writing at UC Berkeley. She was nominated for the 2021-2022 Best of the Net Anthology, and their poems are featured in US-based publications and organizations such as Touchstone Literary Magazine, Cut Fruit Collective’s Cut Fruit Stories, and decomp journal, among others; as well as international publications such as South Africa-based Antigone and Singapore-based Yuzu Press. Maria also writes reviews for the Seattle-based pan-Asian Pacific American publication, International Examiner, and runs a bookstagram account, @mariabeewrites.

Born in Manila, with family roots from the provinces of Pangasinan, Bulacan, Sorsogon, and Quezon, Maria immigrated to the United States in childhood and has lived on both the East and West Coasts. She currently lives with her husband in Tovaangar, the unceded Gabrielino, Tongva, and Kizh land also known as Los Angeles, California.