barangay: an offshore poem
Adrian De Leon
October 12, 2021
80 Pages | ISBN 978-1-989496-36-7
As beautiful and varied as an archipelago, barangay is an elegant new collection of poetry from Adrian De Leon that gathers in and arranges the difficult pieces of a scattered history. While mourning the loss of his grandmother who "lived, loved and grieved in three languages," De Leon skips his barangay, which is both a boat and an administrative unit in the Philippine government, over the history of both his family and a nation. In these poems De Leon considers the deadly impact of colonialism, the far-reaching effects of the diaspora from the Philippines and the personal loss of his ability to speak Ilokano, his grandmother's native tongue. These are spare, haunting poems, which wash over the reader like the waves of the ocean the barangays navigated long ago and then pull the reader into their current like the rivers De Leon left behind.
“In barangay, Adrian De Leon traverses continents and oceans and various histories of struggle and forced movement and he does so with immense wisdom and poise. His poetic sensibilities are global and critical and geographical, and so the book amounts to a wondrous feat of both imagination and political solidarity.” – Billy-Ray Belcourt, author of A History of My Brief Body and winner of the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize
"This unforgettable collection journeys into the tributaries and offshore currents of Filipino history, culture and migration. Through multilingual and innovative poetic methods, Adrian De Leon traverses intergenerational, diasporic, archipelagic and transoceanic spaces. Be prepared, reader, to navigate the deepest routes and roots of memory and legend.” – Craig Santos Perez, author of Habitat Threshold and winner of the 2015 American Book Award
About the Author
Adrian De Leon is a writer and educator from Manila by way of Scarborough, Ontario. He is the author of Rouge (2018) and co-editor of FEEL WAYS: A Scarborough Anthology (2021), both published by Mawenzi House. His poetry and nonfiction have appeared in The Puritan, Joyland Magazine and Catapult. His research has been featured in VICE, the Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, ABC Nightline, The Guardian and Rolling Stone. Adrian currently lives in Los Angeles, where he is an Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.