To commemorate a tragedy.
This series of poems is a response to the 2012 mass shooting at a block party on Danzig Street, Scarborough (Toronto). The city’s east end becomes a source of poetic inspiration, and the two intersecting subway lines provide the organizing structure. From west to east, and north to south—Kipling to McCowan, Finch to Downsview—the stations on the way inspiring form, voice, and content, meditation, commentary, and geometry. The City is the Poem.
“[In Rouge,] De Leon isn’t the dapper downtown urbanist strolling with amazement through Toronto’s far flung corners. Instead, he rumbles across the city, straining that sprawl through a Scarborough perspective. Rouge practices a critically minded joy that emerges from a clear love for his city, but a love cut through with a sharp critical eye aware of the ways the media represent that city as distant and crime-addled.” —Ryan Fitzpatrick, author of Fortified Castles
Learn more at Mawenzi House Publishers.
Listen to an interview with Matt Galloway on Rouge for CBC Metro Morning.
FEEL WAYS: A Scarborough Anthology
Co-Edited with Téa Mutonji and Natasha Ramoutar
Mawenzi House, 2020
Building on the recent success of writers such as David Chariandy, Catherine Hernandez and Carrianne Leung, FEEL WAYS seeks writing from Scarborough writers on Scarborough. Scarborough is not a monolith - evident from the way Carrianne Leung’s focuses on a pre-amalgamation era to Catherine Hernandez’s very recent, present-day version of the suburb.
From the rush of the Rouge River to teenagers swamping the mall to the signature screech of the RT, there have always been stories here in Scarborough.
This poetry collection explores Filipino kinship through the genealogy of the barangay: an outrigger boat native to the archipelago, and the basic unit of Philippine socio-political life.
Written in two colonial (English, Spanish) and two indigenous (Tagalog, Ilokano) languages of the Philippines, barangay explores what it means for a diaspora to make homes on lands and waters not one’s own, while yearning for reparative justice in the homeland. The poems move through the coasts and slopes of Scarborough's southern coast, and beyond into Spain and the Pacific.
Pinoy John Waynes: A Political History of Filipino Masculinities on the American Frontier
University of Washington Press
This book explores how the Manongs (pre-World War II Filipino migrant men working in American rural industries) collectively articulated their experience of vagrancy and motion on the resource frontiers of the American West. Through myriad case studies, such as photography, creole languages, and diasporic devotional nationalism, Pinoy John Waynes shows how these workers adopted and adapted tropes of the Western to forge collective notions of community by means of a settler masculinity. However, by virtue of adopting the Western, they also absorbed white masculine settler modes of citizenship in America, laying the groundwork for some aspects of migrant conservatism that persists today.