• Tribute to poet-prof Luis Francia • Human rights lawyer Len Weinglass, 77 • Visita Iglesia around Broadway

Luis Francia; Photo: Asia Society

In this special 20th anniversary workshop reading, the Asian American Writers Workshop honors on April 8 Luis H. Francia, poet, journalist, professor, and former board member of the AAWW. Francia will read selections from his works, including from the just published chapbook “The Beauty of Ghosts,” alongside writer/friends. Linda Faigao Hall, Nita Noveno, Susan Soriano, and R.A. Villanueva will read selections from Francia’s works, as well as from their own works that resonate with his.

Luis teaches at Hunter College and New York University as well as creative writing at the City University of Hong Kong and the University of Iowa summer writing program. Informed by an idiosyncratic sense of personal and collective history, his published writings include the poetry collections “Museum of Absences” and “The Arctic Archipelago and Other Poems;” the memoir “Eye of the Fish: A Personal Archipelago,” winner of both the 2002 PEN Center Open Book and the 2002 Asian American Writers literary awards; Memories of Overdevelopment (1998), a collection of essays and reviews; and A History of the Philippines: From Indios Bravos to Filipinos (2010). He edited “Brown River, White Ocean, an anthology of Philippine literature in English,” and co-edited “Flippin’: Filipinos on America” and “Vestiges of War: The Philippine-American War and the Aftermath of an Imperial Dream, 1899-1999.” His work has appeared in several literary anthologies, including the Library of America’s “Four Centuries of Immigrant Writing” as well as in The Village Voice, The Nation, Far Eastern Economic Review, and Asiaweek. He writes an online column for Manila’s Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The event will be held April 8 at the AAWW, 110-112 West 27th Street, 6th Floor between 6th and 7th avenues. Buzzer 600. There is a $5 suggested donation

Paalam Len, and thank you for your invaluable solidarity and friendship with the Filipino people. You will be sorely missed. May your selfless example as a people’s lawyer and activist inspire others to continue in the same path.’

With these words, Bayan USA bids goodbye to human rights lawyer Leonard Weinglass who died March 23 in his sleep due to complications with pancreatic cancer. He was 77.

Weinglass was known to take on unpopular clients. He defended the likes of Mumia Abu-Jamal, The Cuban Five, Angela Davis, The Chicago Seven, Kathy Boudin of the Weather Underground, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

He was the co-counsel and adviser to Bayan USA member Melissa Roxas, who accused the military establishment under Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of abduction and torture.

“As an international human rights lawyer, Weinglass was a well-respected ally and friend of the Filipino people. Having been a vocal opponent to the martial law of the Marcos dictatorship, Weinglass also participated in a fact-finding mission in 1987 with fellow attorney Ramsey Clark to investigate death squads under the Cory Aquino administration. The mission produced a significant report that conclusively identified the ongoing problem of state repression under the Aquino regime, and particularly the hand of the US Central Intelligence Agency in the Philippine military’s counter-insurgency campaign,” says a Bayan USA statement.

“In 2009, Weinglass joined the core group of the U.S.-based Never Again to Martial Law movement that was formed in response to the Arroyo government’s declaration of a state of martial law in Maguindanao following the Ampatuan Massacre in November 2009.”
Experience a Filipino tradition in New York. As part of the Lenten season, the Catholic Fellowship of Young Filipino Professionals (CFYFP) will be conducting a Visita Iglesia (Visit of the Churches) on April 21.

The Visita Iglesia is when Filipino Catholics visit seven churches in vigil of the Blessed Sacrament and in contemplation of the agony of Christ. The first church in the list is St. Patrick’s Cathedral where participants attend the 5 p.m. mass. Participants will do two Stations of the Cross and pray privately for 5-10 minutes in each of the six churches below:

St. Malachy’s
239 West 49th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue

Holy Cross Church
329 West 42nd Street between 8th and 9th Avenue

Church of Saints Cyril & Methodius and St. Raphael
502 West 41st Street near 10th Avenue

Sacred Heart of Jesus
457 West 51st Street between 9th & 10th Avenue

Church of St. Paul the Apostle
415 West 59th Street (at Columbus Ave)

Church of the Blessed Sacrament
152 West 71st Street between Columbus Avenue and Broadway

Organizers suggest that participants be seated as a group on the left side of the church close to the altar. In keeping with the tradition, participants will be reciting the Holy Rosary as they walk from one church to the next. Please contact Michael Gonzales at 626-664-0345 or Joe Valdez at 917-494-6234 for additional details.

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