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Alums

Eileen Tabios: From Barnard to hay(na)ku

Early Life and Barnard

Born in Baguio City, Philippines in 1960, Eileen Tabios ’82 spent her early childhood there before moving to California at ten years old. According to her mother Beatriz Tilan Tabios, Tabios was a writer from the age of five, when she made her first book (which she would recreate many years later after switching career paths to become a full-time writer). Her mother was a writer as well, and admired how Tabios’ passion for writing developed and flourished as she grew up: she edited her high school’s newspaper, entered essay contests, and when she came to Barnard she wrote for and was on the production staff of the Bulletin. She also was on the literary staff of the 1982 edition of Mortarboard.

From Barnard to Banking

After receiving her bachelors degree in Political Science from Barnard, Tabios spent a short time working at the New York Times before switching her career path to focus on business. She got a job on Wall Street, and then went back to school to get an M.B.A. in Economics and International Business from New York University’s Stern School of Business. She worked as a banker, stock market analyst, and economist until, at age thirty-five, she decided to resign from her position as vice-president of Union Bank in Switzerland and shift gears back to her lifelong love: writing.

Transcoloniality and hay(na)ku: Becoming a Prolific Writer and Artist

Tabios dove into the literary scene in 1995, publishing one chapbook and three books (one poetry collection and two prose anthologies) by 1999. Since then, she has published over 60 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies. For a full list of her publications, see her website. In addition to her books, she founded and is the editor for GALATEA RESURRECTS (A POETRY ENGAGEMENT), an online poetry review journal, as well as THE HALO-HALO REVIEW/Mangozine. She also runs Meritage Press (and its miniature imprint: Minitage Editions) and is the gallery director of North Folk Arts Projects.

THE HALO-HALO REVIEW/Mangozine and North Folk Arts Projects in particular focus on Filipino artists and authors. Tabios discusses the implications of language and her Filipino-American identity in an interview with Jeffrey Side:

I was born in the Philippines which was colonized by the United States. Through that colonization, English became the widespread language across the archipelago, becoming the language of education, business, politics and so on. As someone educated in English in the Philippines, as well as an emigrant to the U.S. at age 10, English is the only language in which I’m fluent. For me, it’s impossible to write poetry in English without addressing its colonial past. This translates to me wanting to write English poems in non-traditional or non-normative ways, to not limit my poems to English’s role as communication because it was through communication that colonization occurred. This lends itself to my poems turning surrealistic, fragmented, elliptical, visual, abstract, and other ways that transcend the dictionary definition of words. I’ve been called an “experimental poet”, as a result. But I’m really being my own version of transcolonial—not quite the same as postcolonial in that I don’t wish to be bound by the post-ness of colonialism; I also want to transcend or go beyond that past. I believe, and this would be logical if so, I coined that word “transcolonial” for this descriptive purpose.

Tabios’ uses technology to create and translate her transcolonial work. For example, she created the MDR Poetry Generator, which uses a database containing lines of her poetry to create new poems (many of which Tabios has gone on to publish). The inspiration for this project comes from what Tabios calls “‘Babaylan Poetics’—a poetics based on indigenous Filipino practices.” She notes in an essay about the generator:

I wanted to deepen my interrogation (and disruption) of English which had facilitated twentieth-century US colonialism in my birthland, the Philippines. Finally, I wanted to develop a consciously closer link to the Filipino indigenous value of “Kapwa.” “Kapwa” refers to “shared self” or “shared identity” whereby everyone and everything is connected.

Aside from Tabios’ self-started projects, she also curates, edits, and contributes to other journals and projects. Collaboration is a large part of her work, and her influence on the world of writing and art is significant. She even invented her own form of poetry: the hay(na)ku. In an interview on the blog Writing like an Asian, Tabios explains the origins of the name: “The form’s name is a pun off of the Filipino exclamation ‘Hay naku’ which is used in a variety of situations in the same way as the English ‘Oh.'” The hay(na)ku consists of a tercet, in which the first line is one word, the second line is two words, and the third line is three words. Sometimes poets will write “reverse hay(na)ku”s where the order is switched (three words, two words, one word).

However, writing is not Tabios’ only art form. She also has created many visual art pieces, including collages, photographs, and visual poetry installations. She mixes genre and form to create pieces such as ALPHABET: HAY(NA)KU DRAWINGS W/ POEM FOR RIMBAUD, a miniature book with drawings and poetry inside. She also created the poetry exchange Moi Community Bookshelf in 2016, encouraging connection through poetry across the internet.

Honors, awards, and how to read more!

Tabios has received recognition for her talent and creativity, in the form of the PEN Open Book Award, the Potrero Nuevo Fund Prize, the PEN Oakland–Josephine Miles National Literary Award, the Philippines’ Manila Critics Circle National Book Award for Poetry, and a Witter Bynner Poetry Grant.

For more on Tabios’ writing, projects, and/or her interest in miniature books, check out her blog and website.

-Sarah Barlow-Ochshorn ’20 and Jenna Jaquez ’20

Sources

Barnard Bulletin. Barnard College Archives. http://digitalcollections.barnard.edu/collections/barnard-bulletin?cq=catch_all_fields_mt%3A%28%22tabios%22%29&display=grid&islandora_solr_search_navigation=0. Accessed 23 May 2020.

Barnard College. Mortarboard. New York, NY, 1995. Barnard College Archives. http://digitalcollections.barnard.edu/islandora/object/bc:yearbook-1982#page/1/mode/2up. Accessed 23 May 2020.

“Eileen Tabios – Eileen Tabios Biography.” Poem Hunter. http://www.poemhunter.com/eileen-tabios/biography/. Accessed 9 April 2020.

“Eileen Tabios.” Gale Literature: Contemporary Authors, Gale, 2006. Gale In Context: Biography, https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.cul.columbia.edu/apps/doc/H1000167880/BIC?u=columbiau&sid=BIC&xid=4eadf853. Accessed 23 May 2020.

“Eileen R. Tabios.” Poetry Foundation. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/eileen-r-tabios. Accessed 23 May 2020.
Tabios, Beatriz Tilan. “My Daughter Eileen: A Story of Respect.” Our Own Voice: Beyond Homeland. January 2015. http://www.oovrag.com/oovnew/daughter-eileen-story-respect/.
Tabios, Eileen R. Eileen R. Tabios. https://eileenrtabios.com/. Accessed 23 May 2020.
Tabios, Eileen R. Interview by Jeffrey Side. The Argotist Online. https://www.argotistonline.co.uk/Tabios%20interview.htm. Accessed 9 April 2020.
Tabios, Eileen R. Interview “Feature: Five Qs with Eileen R. Tabios.”  Writing like an Asian. January 2014. http://writinglikeanasian.blogspot.com/2014/01/five-qs-with-eileen-tabios.html. Accessed 23 May 2020. 
Tabios, Eileen R. “My First Book.” Marsh Hawk Press. https://marshhawkpress.org/eileen-r-tabios-my-first-book/. Accessed 23 May 2020.
Tabios, Eileen R. “Murder death resurrection: Another way for poetry.” Jacket 2. 20 June 2019, http://jacket2.org/poems/murder-death-resurrection. Accessed 23 May 2019.
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Alums Biography Uncategorized

Maria Hinojosa ’84

Hinojosa’s Early Years: From Barnard to CNN

Born in Mexico City in 1961, Maria de Lourdes Hinojosa was the youngest of four children. When she was one year old, her father moved her family to the United States, and Hinojosa spent her childhood in the south side of Chicago. While attending Barnard as an undergraduate, Hinojosa lived in Washington Heights. 

During her freshman year, Hinojosa participated in the Barnard dance department’s Program of Dance Works in Progress, in which she choreographed and danced in a piece called “Intrusion” with one of her peers. Hinojosa first became seriously invested in journalism while part of Barnard’s community. During her sophomore year, she spent her slot at WKCR celebrating her roots through having conversations with Spanish-speaking activists and sharing Latin American protest music in her show Nueva canción y De Más, which gained popularity as one of two national radio broadcasts highlighting the music genre la nuevo canión. Hinojosa spent six months traveling through Latin America, collecting music and conversations. In her junior year Fall, Hinojosa traveled to Cuba to record the Nueva Trova music festival on a trip funded by Columbia. The next summer, Hinojosa spent two weeks in Nicaragua and reflected on the experience in her article “Nicaragua: Reflections of A War-Torn Country,” which was published in the Barnard Bulletin. Hinojosa earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin American studies with minors in Political Science and Women’s Studies, graduating magna cum laude with the class of 1984.

Hinojosa’s career in broadcast journalism began immediately after college, when she took a position as a production assistant for National Public Radio in Washington, D.C. In 1987, she joined the staff of WCBS Radio and produced shows such as “Where We Stand” with Walter Cronkite, “The Osgood File,” and “Newsbreak.” From 1988 to 1989, she was a producer and researcher for CBS’s “This Morning.” Then, from 1990 to 1997, she worked for NPR and WNYC Radio as a general assignment correspondent, covering issues in the New York area and throughout the country. During this period, she also hosted WNYC-TV’s “New York Hotline,” a live, prime-time call-in show that addressed current and public affairs, as well as Visiones, a Latinx-oriented public-affairs talk show on WNBC-TV in New York. In May 1997, she joined the Cable News Network as a New York-based urban affairs correspondent. Throughout her career, she has maintained her affiliation with NPR as the founding anchor for Latino USA. Latino USA is a weekly national program that reports on news and culture in the Latinx community, for which she is now executive producer. Latino USA was one of the first public radio programs dedicated to covering content relevant to the American Latinx community and is now the longest-running radio show with such a focus. 

Among the major events that Hinojosa has covered on-location are the Crown Heights conflicts of 1991 and the 1995 trial of ten accused conspirators in the first attack on the World Trade Center. While covering the latter trial for NPR, Hinojosa received a request from an American literary group to cover the first American book fair ever held in Havana, Cuba. On her last day in Cuba, she traveled to the countryside to visit one of the rural sanatoriums where the Cuban government was quarantining AIDS patients. There, she met a teenage husband and wife named Javier and Mireya, members of the anti-establishment rockero subculture who had deliberately injected themselves with AIDS-tainted blood, hoping to secure a life of comfortable confinement inside a sanatorium. In the fourth chapter of her memoir Raising Raul: Adventures Raising Myself and My Son, Hinojosa describes her interview with the pair:

“We talked for two hours hidden under a tree in the middle of someone’s farm. Javier was afraid that if the police saw him talking to a reporter he might be harassed. They had self-injected, he told me as I listened sadly, because they were tired of being hassled by the police for being antisocial ‘rockeros.’ They explained that they had decided to get AIDS so they could get into the sanatoriums, where they knew they would be allowed to dress how they wanted, listen to the music they wanted, and have air-conditioning and food seven days a week.”

Hinojosa’s intrepid spirit continued to guide her where few other American journalists were prepared to venture, a path that only increased her professional reputation.

Hinojosa has received numerous awards and honors over the course of her career. In 1991, she won the Top Story of the Year Award as well as a Unity Award from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists for her NPR story about gang members, titled “Crews.” That same year, she won an Associated Press award for her coverage of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison for WNYC Radio. In 1993, she received both the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Radio Award and the New York Society of Professional Journalists Deadline Award for her NPR report “Kids and Guns.” In 1999, she received the Ruben Salazar Award from the National Council of La Raza. Named in honor of a journalist killed by a policeman’s tear gas projectile in 1970 while covering a Chicano march in East Los Angeles, the Salazar Award is given each year to an individual who has dedicated his or her life to promoting a positive portrayal of Latinx historical, political, economic, and cultural contributors to American society. The same year, she was named one of the 25 most influential working mothers in America by Working Mother magazine. In 1995, Hispanic Business magazine named her one of the 100 most influential Latinos in the United States, an award which she has since earned twice more, and she received the Robert F. Kennedy Award for “Manhood Behind Bars,” an NPR story that documented how jail time has become a rite of passage for men of all races.

1995 also saw the publication of Hinojosa’s first book, Crews: Gang Members Talk with Maria Hinojosa, which was based on her award-winning NPR report. Her critically acclaimed memoir, Raising Raul, which includes her reflections on life, career, and motherhood, was published in 1999.

In 2005, Hinojosa joined PBS’s NOW as a Senior Correspondent after spending eight years as the Urban Affairs Correspondent for CNN. She then went on to host her own show on PBS, Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One, which garnered two New England Emmy awards as well as an Imagen award for its empowering Latinx representation.

Hinojosa’s New Chapter: Harlem and Barnard Once Again

In 2010, Hinojosa founded the Futuro Media Group based in Harlem, Manhattan. Futuro Media Group’s focus is on sharing marginalized media stories. Their mission statement affirms this goal:

“Futuro Media is an independent nonprofit organization committed to producing ethical journalism from a POC perspective and representing the new American mainstream. Based in Harlem and founded in 2010 by award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa, our multimedia journalism explores and gives a critical voice to the diversity of the American experience. We are dedicated to telling stories from perspectives often overlooked.”

Futuro Media Group produces NPR’s Latino USA, as well as PBS’s docuseries America By The Numbers with Maria Hinojosa and Humanizing America, and the political podcast In The Thick. Futuro has received five grants from the prestigious MacArthur Foundation. In 2015, Futuro’s Latino USA won a Peabody Award for its episode “Gangs, Murder and Migration in Honduras” which aired in 2014. 

Maria Hinojosa currently resides in Harlem, New York, with her family. She is a contributor to CBS Sunday Morning and rotating anchor for NPR Need to Know, as well as a recurring guest on MSNBC.

Throughout her wildly impressive and nearly three-decade-long career, Hinojosa has remained close to the Barnard community that so profoundly shaped her. In 1994, she was published in a Barnard College Collection, The Source of the Spring: Mothers Through the Eyes of Women Writers, an anthology that included her work in the company of other notable alumni such as Anna Quindelen and Mary Gordon. Hinojosa has returned to campus to speak on panels numerous times, most recently this past January. In 2008, Hinojosa received a Distinguished Alumna Award from Barnard College to recognize her outstanding achievements as a journalist and public figure. A decade later, in 2018, Hinojosa was the keynote speaker at Barnard’s Convocation ceremony. In August 2019, Maria Hinojosa was named Barnard College’s Inaugural Journalist-in-Residence. She is currently one year into her three year residency as a visiting professor, teaching and empowering current Barnard students through creative and journalistic writing. 

 

— Donald Glassman, updated by Olivia Treynor ‘23

 

Sources

“About.” The Futuro Media Group, 2020, www.futuromediagroup.org/about/.

A Program of Dance Works in Progress (1980); The Mortarboard 1985; and Barnard Honors Supplement 1985 (Barnard College Archives).

“Award-Winning Nonprofit Media Executive and Anchor Maria Hinojosa ’84 Joins Barnard College as Inaugural Journalist-in-Residence.” Barnard College, 28 Aug. 2019, barnard.edu/news/award-winning-nonprofit-media-executive-and-anchor-maria-hinojosa-84-joins-barnard-college.

Baker, Matthew Reed. “Barnard, Winter 2007.” Barnard, Winter 2007 , Barnard Digital Collections, 2007, digitalcollections.barnard.edu/object/16061/barnard-winter-2007#page/16/mode/2up.

Barnard College. “Cuban Travel Ban Lifted; Student Records Festival.” New York, NY: 1984. Barnard College Archives. http://digitalcollections.barnard.edu/islandora/object/bc:bulletin-19821208-1. Accessed 1 May 2020.

Barnard College. “Nicaragua: Observations of A War-Torn Country” New York, NY: 1984. Barnard College Archives. http://digitalcollections.barnard.edu/islandora/object/bc:bulletin-19840926-3. Accessed 1 May 2020.

Barnard College. “Barnard Magazine, Summer 1998.” New York, NY: 1998. Barnard College Archives. http://digitalcollections.barnard.edu/object/13563/barnard-summer-1998#page/32/mode/2up. Accessed 1 May 2020.

Barnard College. “Barnard Magazine, Summer 2009.” New York, NY: 2009. Barnard College Archives, 2009, digitalcollections.barnard.edu/object/16837/barnard-magazine-summer-2009#page/13/mode/2up/search/Hinojosa.

Byrne, Rick, and Carrie v. “Award-Winning Journalist and Author Maria Hinojosa Joins PBS Newsmagazine ‘NOW’ as Senior Correspondent.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 7 Aug. 2005, http://www.pbs.org/about/blogs/news/award-winning-journalist-and-author-maria-hinojosa-joins-pbs-newsmagazine-now-as-senior-correspondent-august-8-2005/.

“Futuro Media Group Grants.” RSS, 2018, http://www.macfound.org/grantees/1656/.

Hinojosa, Maria. Raising Raul: Adventures Raising Myself and My Son. New York: Viking, 1999.

“Latino USA Host Maria Hinojosa Wins NCLR’s Ruben Salazar Award.” Latino USA: Press Release, July 7, 1999. Retrieved October 17, 2001 from the World Wide Web: <http://www.latinousa.org/pressrelease/mhinojosa.html>.

“Maria Hinojosa.” CNN.com: Anchors & Correspondents. Retrieved October 17, 2001 from the World Wide Web: <http://www.cnn.com/CNN/anchors_reporters/hinojosa.maria.html>.

“Maria Hinojosa.” The Futuro Media Group, 2020, http://www.futuromediagroup.org/maria-hinojosa/.

“The Series: Maria Hinojosa NOW on PBS.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 2010, http://www.pbs.org/now/series/hinojosa.html.

 

Categories
Alums Biography

Senior Journalist: Herawati Diah

Meet the face of our newest alum pin, Herawati Diah ’41. To pick up a pin, stop by the Barnard Library!

Medium sized JPEG (5)

EARLY LIFE

Siti Latifah Herawati Diah was born on April 3, 1917 in Tanjung Pandan, Belitung. She was born into an upper-class priyayi family, granting her the opportunity of enjoying a high education and privileged, western lifestyle. Diah attended the Europeesche Lagere School in Salemba, Central Jakarta for primary school and later attended high school at the American High School in Tokyo. Influenced by her mother, Diah decided to further her studies in America while other intellectuals had their eyes set on either the Netherlands or Western Europe. Prior to attending Barnard, where “the seeds of her Journalism career take root, ” Diah studied English with a host family for two years. In 1941, Diah graduated from Barnard and became the first Indonesian woman to be academically trained abroad in a respected American university. She also completed a journalism course at Stanford University in the midst of her principal studies of sociology at Barnard and UC Berkley.

BEYOND BARNARD

Diah finally returned home to Indonesia in 1942, which was on the brink of war, and became a freelance reporter for the United Press International (UPI) newswire before taking on a position as announcer for Hosokyoku radio. She later married the legendary journalist Burhanuddin Mohammad “BM” Diah, who was working for the Asia Raya newspaper at the time, in that same year and had three children in 1945.

In 1968, BM Diah gained the role of minister of information, for which Diah quit journalism to pursue the new role by his side and represent Indonesia to the world. In pursuit of guarding her homeland’s culture, Diah led Borobudur Temple to being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and also established foundations, such as Indonesian Cultural Partners to protect treasures and textiles, Indonesian Women’s Association and others, which raised political awareness in women. She persistently continued to shed light on women’s concerns in the 1990s.

RECOGNITION

Diah and her husband were known as the giants of Indonesian journalism of the 1945 Generation, otherwise believe to be the nation’s “Greatest Generation,” along with Rosihan Anwar and Mochtar Lubis. Diah also founded The Indonesian Observer, Indonesia’s only English newspaper (until the 1960s) providing her people with a means to report their struggles, and launched it on the eve of the 1955 Asia-Africa Conference which was held in Bandung. Furthermore, Diah founded the Movement toward Education of Women Voters (Gerakan Perempuan Sadar Pemilu), now the Women’s Voice Empowerment Movement (Gerakan Pemberdayaan Swara Perempuan)–a movement to empower the voice of women,–aiming to provide political education for women to promote the use of their rights to vote according to their consciousness. Diah also earned recognition from then education minister Anies Baswedan for her contribution to promoting United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization programs in Indonesia.

Siti Latifah Herawati Diah passed away on September 30, 2016, at the humble age of 99.

PUBLICATIONS

An Endless Journey: Reflections of an Indonesian Journalist (2005)

QUOTES

“Journalism is a profession which is not only exciting, adventurous and sometimes even dangerous, but most of all satisfying because a journalist not only informs the public what is happening on the national or international level on a daily basis, but also she or he can influence the reader to choose what is best for them.”

“Be strong, eat healthy—but not too much—live well and sleep well with no worries.” – secrets to longevity.

“At most, please regard this book as a record of events in which I was involved.”

Aziza Rahman ’20

SOURCES

Collins, Gale G. “An Endless Journey: Reflections of an Indonesian Journalist.” Indonesiaexpat, Indonesiaexpat.biz, May 20, 2014, accessed July 9, 2018, http://indonesiaexpat.biz/travel/history-culture/an-endless-journey-reflections-of-an-indonesian-journalist/.

Firmanto, Danang. “Senior Journalist Herawati Diah Passes Away at 99.” Tempo.co, Tempo Inti Media Tbk, September 30, 2016, accessed July 9, 2018, https://en.tempo.co/read/news/2016/09/30/240808510/Senior-Journalist-Herawati-Diah-Passes-Away-at-99.

News Desk. “Senior journo Herawati Diah passes away.” The Jakarta Post, PT. Niskala Media Tenggara, September 30, 2016, accessed July 9,2018, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/09/30/senior-journo-herawati-diah-passes-away.html.

Sumayku, Jeannifer Filly. “A Journey of an Inspiring Woman: Herawati Diah.” The President Post,presidentpost.com, June 21, 2010, accessed July 9, 2018, http://en.presidentpost.id/2010/06/21/a-journey-of-an-inspiring-woman-herawati-diah/.