An Evening with Oscar Penaranda draws poets, writers to Bindlestiff

Esteemed poet, author, activist and teacher.

Writer Oscar Penaranda was honored on for his larger-than-life presence in the San Francisco community as an esteemed poet, author, activist and teacher.

A Special Evening with Oscar Peñaranda and Friends featured a “chillaxin’ evening” of poetry reading, music and book signing on April 24 at Bindlestiff Studio on 185 Sixth Street.

Oscar, the author of “Seasons of the Bay” and “Full Deck (Jokers Playing),” earned his B.A. (in Literature) and M.A. (Creative Writing) at San Francisco State University. He taught at SFSU for 12 years, Everett Middle School for 10 years, and recently retired from James Logan High School in Union City. He helped found the San Francisco Chapter of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) as its first president and is a FANHS Trustee.

Oscar received the prestigious Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas Award from the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas, an award that has typically gone to Filipino writers based in the Philippines. A few Filipino Americans have been honored, such as Bienvenido Santos. Now, Oscar Penaranda, one of today’s most accomplished Filipino American poets and fiction writers, has joined the list.

“It is a well-deserved honor,” said Eleanore Fernandez, one of the organizers. “The award caps a fascinating journey of a young kid from Leyte where he says he still draws much of his material.”

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