AUTHOR OF THE MONTH
January 8, 2016 – Happy New Year! Shirley is thrilled to kick off 2016 as Turnstone Press’ Author of the Month! You can learn more about her writing process here.
ASIAN AMERICAN LITERATURE FANS REVIEWS MOTHS
November 24, 2015 – Shirley is thrilled at yet another beautiful review, this one courtesy of Stephen Hong Sohn. THANK YOU!
You can find his review here or below.
… most readers will find The Significance of Moths to exist in that rare intersection of sophistication and accessibility that so many poetry collections cannot sustain.
I’ve been a little remiss in the reviewing of poetry, and I can see my general oversight is much cause for concern, as I relished the understated lyricism of Shirley Camia’s The Significance of Moths. Camia is intent to employ a minimalist form of poetry that evokes concrete images often at the expense of a specific sense of time and place and more narratively grounded lyrics. In this sense, these poems certainly derive some inspiration from modernist aesthetics. At the same time, Camia’s collection derives a general coherence over a trajectory that seems to operate from the perspective of migration. Camia’s collection is no doubt influenced by an autobiographical impulse, registering the lush, tropical landscape of the Philippines against the displacement the newly arrived migrant feels in another country. Much of the collection deals with these conceptions of loss, especially in the form of the death of loved ones or the desperate desire to recover a sense of home. These desertions, absences, and unrequited yearnings are perceived even in later generations, among the children of these migrants, even if the routes of intergenerational communication do not always seem open. The most compelling aspect of this collection appears when Camia is able to call on ethnopoetics, a term coined by Shirley Geok-lin Lim, in order to provide the basis for the melancholia that inhabits all of the lyric personages. Figures and images such as carabao and duwendes are deployed not as markers of ethnic authenticity or what Frank Chin has occasionally called a form of ethnic pornography but as a way into the complicated (yet beautiful) landscape of the Philippines that haunts migrants after their arrival. If there is a critique to be made of this taut and precise set of poems, it might appear in the more abstracted nature of the new world so to speak. While the Philippines resonates ever ephemerally and effervescently for the collection, as it well should given its primacy as the site of a post-lapserian poetic psyche, a spatial concrete-ness of this new (more barren) world drops out of the picture that would further generate a stronger dissonance that Camia is so elegantly constructing. To be sure, Camia’s lyrics are attentive to certain contexts that make migration and transnational movement so difficult. Indeed, the set of poems focusing on women’s labor, domestic service, and the physical exhaustion so apparent in caring for others is certainly some of the strongest in the entire collection. And most readers will find The Significance of Moths to exist in that rare intersection of sophistication and accessibility that so many poetry collections cannot sustain. Additionally, Camia is part of a notable set of Filipino North American poets who have been producing amazing work. The Significance of Moths would be wonderful to teach alongside other new publications such as Aimee Suzara’s Souvenir, Kristina Naca’s Bird Eating Bird, Barbara Jane Reyes’s poeta en San Francisco, and Luisa A. Igloria’s Juan Luna’s Revolver.
Buy the Book Here:
BOOK OF THE DAY!
November 6, 2015 – Happy Friday! Shirley is very flattered that Moths is today’s book of poetry on poet Michael Dennis’ blog! A big THANK YOU to Michael Dennis and his team for the love! Find his review of Moths here.
Always powerfully understated and delicately fierce, these poems had Today’s book of poetry convinced that they are both a lament and a proud celebration. These poems are front line reports about what people will do for the love of family, for hope.
This is brave, bright poetry distilled and pure.
literASIAN IN VANCOUVER
October 18, 2015 – A great big thank you to all who came out to hear Shirley read during the Vancouver launch of The Significance of Moths! She was honoured that the event kicked off the third annual Asian-Canadian literary festival, literASIAN, and she was thrilled to be one of the fest’s featured guests. A great big thank you especially to literASIAN organizers Jim Wong-Chu and Allan Cho, and Filipino journalist Ted Alcuitas for inviting Shirley to come on board. Thank you as well to Ted for the lovely write up of Shirley’s launch on Philippine Canadian News. You can find the article here. Photo credit: Laksa Media Groups
BRANDON WORKS IN PROGRESS CABARET
October 5, 2015 – Thank you to everyone who attended the October 2015 edition of the Brandon Works in Progress Cabaret! And a special thank you to Di Brandt for the invitation!
SCARBOROUGH CULTURE DAYS
October 2, 2015 – During the last weekend of September, Shirley was thrilled to be among several poets, including esteemed Toronto Poet Laureate George Elliott Clarke, taking part in an evening of poetry during Scarborough’s Culture Days. Thank you to poetry curator Anna Nieminen for the invitation and for the beautiful words about Moths in her blog post:
I also recalled what I learned about moths from Shirley Camia when she had read from her book The Significance of Moths at the Poetry Readings evening. A moth could be the spirit of the recently deceased, according to a belief in the Filipino culture. I’ll never look at whites and sulphurs or any other types of moths quite the same way again.
YOUNG FILIPINO CANADIAN LEADERS SUMMIT
September 29, 2015 – Shirley was honoured to take part in the Young Filipino Canadian Leaders Summit, which was held this past weekend in Toronto. She was even more honoured to share the stage with a number of powerful Filipino-Canadian women, including Nicole Cajucom, the Executive Director of the Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts and Culture, and multimedia journalist Rachelle Cruz. Photo credit: Patrick de Belen
August 29, 2015 – Happy almost September! After a summer hiatus, Shirley is gearing up for a number of events across Canada. Find her at:
September 25, 2015 – Scarborough Arts’ Culture Days Open Mic, 6-8pm, Bluffs Gallery, 1859 Kingston Road, Scarborough, Ontario
September 26, 2015 – Young Filipino Canadian Leaders Summit, Toronto
Tickets can be purchased here.
October 2, 2015 – Brandon Works in Progress Cabaret, Brandon, Manitoba
October 8-11, 2015 – literASIAN 2015: A Festival of Pacific Rim Asian Canadian Writing, Vancouver
Tickets can be purchased here.
THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW GIVES MOTHS A GLOWING RECOMMENDATION
August 17, 2015 – Thank you to the Midwest Book Review for the beautiful review of The Signficance of Moths:
Synopsis: Against the backdrop of the changing seasons, Shirley Camia’s poetry comprising “The Significance of Moths” offers a graceful exploration of home and memory through the eyes of the migrant and the migrant child. As lives are displaced by new landscapes, where does home exist? In the land or in the mind? For new Canadians and their children there is no easy answer. In the journey to form identity, “The Significance of Moths” confronts the ghosts of “what was” with the here and now.
Critique: ‘The Departure’: the day was full of years / packed in a broken suitcase // as mama’s lip quivered // a violin string / played a sadness / that rang until hollow // a cry for her old life / and the lives she let go. Clearly, Shirley Camia is a poet of impressive abilities to evoke emotion from the written word. “The Significance of Moths” is one of those collections of free verse that will linger in the mind and memory long after the slender volume has been finished and set back upon the shelf. Highly recommended for community and academic library Canadian Contemporary Poetry collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that “The Significance of Moths” is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
MOTHS REVIEWED ON CJOB IN WINNIPEG
July 14, 2015 – Tune into Dahlia Kurtz’ HeSaidSheSaid program on CJOB 680AM at 2:00pm Winnipeg time – Ariel Gordon’s monthly book review will feature The Significance of Moths!
THANKS ART BAR!
June 10, 2015 – A fun-filled evening of poetry. Thanks to Valentino and Margaret with the Art Bar Poetry Series, and to everyone who made it out last night to hear Shirley read. It was a great time – and, as a featured poet, she was honoured to sign the Art Bar lamp!
TONIGHT! ART BAR POETRY SERIES IN TORONTO
June 9, 2015 – Be sure to check out Shirley, Marc di Saverio, Jessica Bebenek and Gein Wong as they share their work at the Art Bar Poetry Series in Toronto. 8pm at the Black Swan (upstairs), 154 Danforth Avenue, near Broadview and Danforth.
SHIRLEY AT ART BAR POETRY SERIES IN TORONTO
June 3, 2015 – On Tuesday, June 9, 2015, Shirley will be reading at the Art Bar Poetry Series in Toronto, along with Marc di Saverio, Jessica Bebenek and Gein Wong. The event starts at 8pm and it takes place at the Black Swan (upstairs), 154 Danforth Avenue, near Broadview and Danforth. See you there!
NIAGARA LITERARY ARTS FESTIVAL
June 2, 2015 – Two shows, one day, hundreds of kilometres, not to mention several poems. That about sums up Shirley’s readings in St. Catharines and Welland, Ontario. Thank you very much to Jordan Fry, organizer of the Niagara Literary Arts Festival, and to Stan Galloway and the other artists for sharing their words. Also, a warm mention and paw shake to Fred, the door greeter and mascot at Hannelore Headley Old and Fine Books in St. Catharines!
May 27, 2015 – Shirley is excited and gearing up to take part in a few activities in the coming days, including:
May 28 – A guest spot at the Poetry is our Second Language workshop in Toronto.
June 1 – Two events at the Niagara Literary Arts Festival:
1) A reading with Stan Galloway from 4-5pm at Hannelore Headley Old and Fine Books, St. Catharines, Ontario.
2) A reading with BLX, Stan Galloway, Ron Schafrick and Rusty Blackwood at 6pm at Seaway Mall, Welland, Ontario.
Everyone is welcome. For more information, visit the Niagara Literary Arts Festival web site.
SHIRLEY’S POEM, “DETERMINATION,” AMONG ASIAN HERITAGE MONTH FESTIVITIES IN TORONTO
May 26, 2015 – On May 13, 2015, more than 600 elementary school students at St. Margaret’s Catholic School in Toronto were treated to a day of Filipino storytelling, music and dance in honour of Asian Heritage Month. While Shirley could not attend, her poem, “Determination,” was read by Jaisa Sulit as a lesson in practice and patience in order to accomplish one’s goals. Shirley is thrilled her writing was well-received by the students, the majority of whom were Filipino. Thank you to everyone at St. Margaret’s, and to Jaisa for sharing Shirley’s work!
ANG PERYODIKO REVIEWS MOTHS
May 24, 2015 – On new stands in Winnipeg: the latest review of The Signficance of Moths in Filipino newspaper, Ang Peryodiko. The newspaper is available in select stores across the city. Or, the article can be found online here (on page 5). Thank you Ang Peryodiko for the wonderful write up.
A CHARMING REVIEW OF SHIRLEY’S WINNIPEG LAUNCH OF MOTHS
May 2, 2015 – For those of you who missed Shirley’s Winnipeg launch of The Significance of Moths (yes, the Jets were playing!), the evening is beautifully reviewed in the current issue of local Winnipeg newspaper, Pilipino Express. You can find it in select stores across the city. Or, you can see the article online at: http://www.pilipino-express.com/community/2914-poet-shirley-camia-launches-latest-book.html
SHIRLEY ON BESTSELLER LIST TWO WEEKS IN A ROW
May 1, 2015 – Happy Asian Heritage Month! Shirley is ecstatic to be on McNally Robinson’s bestseller list for the second week in a row! Congratulations to fellow Turnstone Press author Martha Brooks for making the list as well.
SHIRLEY ON BESTSELLER LIST
April 24, 2015 – Shirley is thrilled to be on McNally Robinson’s bestseller list this week for paperback fiction. Thank you to everyone who helped put her on the list! Congratulations to the other Turnstone Press authors (circled below) who are bestsellers this week as well.
SHIRLEY’S WINNIPEG LAUNCH OF MOTHS
April 23, 2015 – A big thank you to everyone who came out to Shirley’s Winnipeg launch for The Significance of Moths and made the evening a success! A special thank you as well to Luann Hiebert for sharing her beautiful poetry. Photo credit: Turnstone Press
SHIRLEY AT MCNALLY ROBINSON IN WINNIPEG APRIL 22
April 21, 2015 – Just a reminder that Shirley will hold a launch party for The Significance of Moths tomorrow, at 7:30pm Winnipeg time, at McNally Robinson Grant Park. Everyone is welcome!
In case you missed it, you can catch Shirley’s radio interview on CKJS, with host Chester Pangan, here. Thanks again to Chester for the support!
ALL ABOARD THE POETRAIN!
April 19, 2015 – Shirley was one of the featured poets at the Winnipeg stop of The Great Canadian PoeTrain Tour, a 5-city event celebrating National Poetry Month. Thank you to coordinator David Brydges for the invite.
Here’s Shirley with kulturBOT 3.0, the first-ever poet robot! It writes poems based on the musings of geographer and fur trader, David Thompson.
SHIRLEY ON CKUW IN WINNIPEG
April 19, 2015 – Tune into P.I. New Poetry this afternoon as Shirley discusses her work with host Carmelo Militano. That’s at 4:30pm Winnipeg time, on CKUW 95.9FM.
April 18, 2015 – What a day! Dozens of Filipino high school students spent Friday engaging their creative senses to produce music, poetry, drawings and dance routines at this year’s Philippine Heritage Youth Forum, #EKSPRESYON, presented by ANAK. A big thank you to everyone who bravely shared thoughts and ideas, and to the volunteers who shared their time. Shirley was very honoured to be part of it all, as the keynote speaker and the poetry workshop facilitator. Thank you also to everyone who bought a copy of The Significance of Moths. Photo credit: ANAK.
SHIRLEY ON THE FRONT PAGE OF PILIPINO EXPRESS
April 16, 2015 – Shirley is thrilled to be on the cover of Pilipino Express, a bi-monthly Winnipeg newspaper for Filipino-Canadians. You can find copies at supermarkets across the city, or you can see the article on the web:
SHIRLEY ON CKJS
April 15, 2015 – Be sure to tune in tomorrow morning as Shirley sits down with Good Morning Philippines radio host Chester Pangan to talk about The Significance of Moths. That’s at 8am Winnipeg time, on CKJS 810AM.
SHIRLEY AT #EKSPRESYON 2015
April 14, 2015 – Shirley is very honoured to be the keynote speaker at #EKSPRESYON 2015, a Philippine Heritage Youth Forum organized by Winnipeg-based organization, ANAK. The event will take place this Friday, April 17, 2015 at Canad Inns Polo Park. For more information, go to: http://anakinc.blogspot.ca/2015/03/register-now-ekspresyon-2015-philippine.html
TORONTO LAUNCH OF MOTHS
April 13, 2015 – A big thank you to everyone who attended Shirley’s Toronto launch for The Significance of Moths! And on a sunny, spring Sunday at that! Special thanks to CBC Radio national news hosts Marcia Young and Joe Cummings, as well as Abdominal and the Obliques for taking part. Photos by Slava Zelenin.
SHIRLEY ON THE RADIO
April 8, 2015 – Shirley will be on the airwaves this month in Winnipeg promoting The Significance of Moths. Be sure to tune in!
In case you missed it, you can catch Shirley’s interview with Ismaila Alfa on CBC Radio Manitoba’s afternoon show, Up to Speed, here.
SHIRLEY ON CBC RADIO MANITOBA
April 6, 2015 – Hear Shirley talk about The Significance of Moths today on CBC Radio Manitoba’s afternoon show, Up to Speed with Ismaila Alfa. She talks about her new collection and the inspiration behind it. 3:36pm Winnipeg time, CBC Radio 1 990AM/89.3 FM.
TORONTO AND WINNIPEG LAUNCHES OF MOTHS
March 28, 2015 – Shirley is gearing up to launch The Significance of Moths in both Toronto and Winnipeg. Everyone is welcome!
SHIRLEY’S NEW COLLECTION OUT SPRING 2015
January 5, 2015 – Happy New Year! Shirley’s second collection of poems, The Significance of Moths, will be released by Turnstone Press on April 15, 2015. You can purchase it in advance on Amazon or Chapters/Indigo.
SHIRLEY A FEATURED GUEST AT PSL
April 16, 2014 – Shirley was honoured to be a guest at this year’s “PSL: Poetry is our Second Language” workshop at the Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts and Culture in Toronto. Thanks to all the participants and workshop facilitator Patrick de Belen for the engaging discussion and the impressive Balagtasan Showdown!
June 11, 2013 – This weekend, Shirley was featured as one of the guest poets at a Clutch program workshop (an arts program for young Filipino-Canadian women) at the Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts and Culture in Toronto. She sat down with workshop facilitator Len Cervantes and discussed the importance of writing and the meanings behind several of her poems. She also shared poetry from her upcoming collection.
A big thank you to all the Clutch participants, Len Cervantes, program coordinator Nicole Cajucom and fellow guest, and spoken word poet extraordinaire, Patrick de Belen, for their kind words and support!
CLUTCH IN TORONTO
June 5, 2013 – Shirley will be one of the featured guests at Clutch, an arts-based program for young Filipino-Canadian women at the Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts and Culture in Toronto. She will share some of her works – both published and soon-to-be-published – during an afternoon workshop on Saturday, June 8.
SHIRLEY IN EASTERN QUÉBEC
April 20, 2013 – Shirley is one of the featured poets at a reading in Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, in the Gaspésie region of Québec. The event begins at 17h, at the Maison de la culture.
EN FRANÇAIS… ET ANGLAIS… IN RIMOUSKI
April 9, 2013 – Shirley will be a guest speaker at a poetry seminar held at the University of Quebec in Rimouski (Université du Québec à Rimouski). She will read some of her new, unpublished works in a lecture led by fellow poet, Viannay Gallant.
WINNIPEG READING AT AQUA BOOKS
May 23, 2012 – A big thank you to everyone who made it out to hear Shirley and Manolis recite from their recent works last night at Aqua Books!
April 16, 2012 – Shirley, along with poet Manolis, will be sharing her poetry in Winnipeg and Toronto this May:
SHIRLEY ON CBC RADIO 1 IN TORONTO
December 4, 2011 – Shirley sat down with CBC Radio host Mary Ito and fellow poet Joe Cummings this weekend to chat about the challenges of writing poetry. In case you missed the interview on Fresh Air, you can check it out here.
CALLIOPE BOOK LAUNCH
December 3, 2011 – Shirley finally held her long overdue book launch for Calliope in Toronto. Thanks to everyone who made it out, and to Lori at Full of Beans Coffee House & Roastery for providing the perfect venue.
… and thank you to Kris Reyes from Global TV’s “The Morning Show” for mentioning the launch on TV!
NINOTCHKA ROSCA PRESENTS SHIRLEY’S POEM, “ATTRACTION” IN TORONTO
November 19, 2011 – Famed Filipino author and human rights activist Ninotchka Rosca recited “Attraction,” one of the poems in Calliope, during her opening speech at the recent “Counterspin: Building a Movement for Social Change” conference in Toronto. Thank you to Ms Rosca for the support!
SHIRLEY ON CKJS IN WINNIPEG
September 6, 2011 – Shirley spoke with CKJS Radio host Chester Pangan this morning on Good Morning Philippines. In case you missed it, you can listen to it here.
SHIRLEY ON CBC RADIO 1 IN NEWFOUNDLAND
September 3, 2011 – Check out Shirley’s interview with CBC’s Carolyn Ray in central Newfoundland about the release of Calliope. You can find it here.
CALLIOPE ON SALE THROUGH AMAZON
June 28, 2011 – You can now purchase Calliope online through Amazon.
LIBROS LIBERTAD PUBLISHES CALLIOPE
June 25, 2011 – British Columbia-based publishing house Libros Libertad has just published Shirley’s debut collection of poetry, Calliope. Click here for more information.