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Zine Issue 1, Volume 1
Cover Art: Niki Waters
Book Design: Maria Bolaños
PDF | 6 x 9 | 28 pages
Publication Date: March 26, 2022
Letter from the Editor
To my fellow readers,
Asian grocery stores hit different. Growing up, I had a conflicting relationship with food. I understand it as a necessity for survival — energy for work or studying. Despite listing every meal I enjoyed eating, it took me a long time to understand how food impacts life and culture. Places like Uwajimaya and H Mart capture excitement and nostalgia. Grazing aisles of noodles, Calpico, Pocky, and every shrimp snack that you can’t find in Safeway is like being home.
Sobbing in Seafood City was born out of a conversation with incredible writers during Sampaguita Press’s 2021 writing retreat. On the last day of our retreat (a celebration of our newly established small press), we gushed about how much we all loved Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner when someone asked, “What if we make a zine based on the book, but in Seafood City?”
Through the retreat and reading every submission, I’ve learned how food can mean so much to us, to me. Seafood City, Uwajimaya, and H Mart are more than what’s on TikTok. They harbor what’s left from our culture after immigration. Wanting to blend into Western lifestyles but quietly keeping pieces of food to remember who we are. We live in a diaspora, but with the food we grew up with and the words of our people, culture never goes away.
Thank you to the Sampaguita Press team—Keana Aguila Labra, Maria Bolaños, Dina Klarisse, Nashira de la Rosa, Noreen Ocampo, and Kelly Ritter—for helping the process of creating our first BuliLit. Thank you to our contributors for bringing Sobbing in Seafood City to life and celebrating our lives through food and grocery stores. Thank you to folx who currently work in grocery stores, especially during a pandemic. Thank YOU for picking and reading our wonderful zine.
— Asela Lee Kemper, BuliLit Zine Director