Her experience of the Philippines as a society slowly emerging from the shadows of colonialism (first by the Spanish and later by the Americans)—and the memories of those experiences—have had a significant and lasting influence on her poetry. In her series of poems based around the Chicago World´s Fair of 1904, which are included in Juan Luna´s Revolver, Igloria vividly and mercilessly brings to life the fate of over a thousand indigenous Filipinos (but no one knows exactly how many) who were brought to the USA against their will in order to serve as living exhibits for the “civilised” westerners to gawp and point at.
Earlier this year as Egypt stood on the brink of revolution, Luisa was reminded of the events of the 1986 People Power Revolution and inspired to compose her poem Landscape, with an end and a beginning.
Igloria is the mother of four daughters, and a highly-respected poet whose works have received widespread acclaim. She is also an integral member of an academic community at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where she teaches in the MFA program in Creative Writing and is a tremendous source of support and inspiration to her students. She is happy to be seen as a role-model for other working mothers, who still manage to find time to stay in touch with and explore their creativity.
Photo of Luisa A. Igloria by John-Henry Doucette
Juan Luna’s Revolver, published by University of Notre Dame Press, is available now.
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Claire Hart has two great loves: art and communication. She enjoys communicating about art. Breaking down and exploring barriers to communication is how she earns her living. She lives her life partly in German and partly in English, but always in colour.