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Photo by Julian Sambrano.

By TSW Editor Joyce Chen

To say that our personhood isn’t meant to fit neatly into a box, or even a series of boxes, is not a new thought. It has arguably been around since there have been forces — most times, pressure from those in positions of power — who seek to limit our identities to a single, flattening label. For sociologist and author Anthony Ocampo, Ph.D., understanding the constraints of these social categories has helped him to then trace fault lines in the foundation of how we’ve come to understand one another across racial, gender, and sexual spectrums.

Ocampo, who is the author of 2016’s The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race and the forthcoming To Be Brown and Gay in L.A.: Race and Sexuality in the Immigrant City, has long been a champion of deconstructing the categories that we’ve grown used to in order to make sense of our place in a complex society. In particular, he notes in his book that though Filipino Americans are often categorized as Asian Americans, they actually bear a lot of resemblance to the Latinx American community — a fact that can be traced back to Spanish colonialism and seen, still, in modern contexts like in Ocampo’s native Los Angeles. …


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Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is a pillar of America’s queer, anti-establishment, gender expansive, and utterly lyrical literary landscape. Her work includes multiple volumes of fiction, memoir, and anthology, including the Lambda Literary Award-winning memoir The End of San Francisco (City Lights, 2013); one of NPR’s Best Books of the Year, her novel Sketchstasy (Arsenal Pulp, 2018); and the excellent anthology Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity (Seal Press, 2006). She’s also a staple in the Seattle creative community and a curious, luminous soul who I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time in 2019 at Elliott Bay Book Company, where she read with a mutual friend, Carley Moore, who was doing an event for her book The Not Wives (Feminist Press, 2019). …


Interviewed by Avi-Yona Israel, Director of Advocacy

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Photo credit: Nuria Serene

This is the third in a series of interviews (conversations) I have done for The Seventh Wave this year; each began with a grand plan for interviewing lots of strangers (all with Zoom fatigue) across the spectrum of every relevant industry (that is likely crumbling), before ending on the phone with a long-time loved one, haranguing them about their chosen career and denying any and all assertions of impostor syndrome. The last of these occurred between myself and the best friend that I left (though only corporeally) in Philadelphia. Joel, otherwise known as Sephy, is an absolutely brilliant musician, composer, and piano teacher, the smart and funny son of two smart and funny South American immigrants. He is a community activist, formidable cyclist, and my moral bellwether. There are few people who have witnessed more of my ups and downs over the past decade (and even fewer cruel and clever enough to help me sort which is which). …


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Back in the late spring of 2020, a time that seems so distant now, we at The Seventh Wave brainstormed ideas for interviews. Among the ideas was to strike up a month-long correspondence with some poets, a once-a-week note with a question that they each could respond to in the moment. The idea was that it would act as a time capsule, adjacent to our Mind Capsule project, but also adjacent to everything that is talked about/created/happening right now, in this time that feels extra potent, extra life-and-death. How are a few poets, who have new or recent books, experiencing the world right now? …


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Photo credit: Meryl Schenker

Seattle-based fiction writer Donna Miscolta has an impressive roster of publications and awards under her belt. Her debut novel, When the de la Cruz Family Danced (Signal 8 Press), was published in 2011, and her 2016 collection of linked stories, Hola and Goodbye (Carolina Wren Press), received a large amount national attention and won three awards, including the Doris Bakwin Award for Writing by a Woman. Her writing also appears in such heavy-hitting lit mags as McSweeney’s — and, this year, in the anthology Alone Together: Love, Grief, and Comfort in the Time of Covid-19 (Central Avenue Publishing), which was edited by another Seattle literary mainstay, Jennifer Haupt, and includes several writing luminaries from the Cascadia region and far beyond. …


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Photo courtesy of Cynthia Brothers

By TSW Editor, Brett Rawson

Four years ago when Inay’s — a Filipino restaurant on Beacon Hill known for “its storied recipes, sense of community and beyond-friendly chef, Uncle Ernie,” and described as “one of the city’s most magical outposts” — vanished from Seattle, it was a last straw for Cynthia Brothers, who was there that final night, watching her friend, Atasha Manila, perform one last night of drag, celebrating the community this restaurant had created. …


A conversation with Corinne Manning

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When I first read Corinne Manning’s debut short story collection, We Had No Rules, I was struck by the way in which they were able to render characters who were so messy, who made some terrible choices sometimes, but who were all trying to love as much as they could. Manning struck a note between queer ideals and an uglier reality, and put their characters right into it.

The in-between is a place Manning is always pushing on in their work as a writer, teacher, and multidisciplinary artist. I spoke with them on the phone about the false dichotomy of before/after, queerness and complicity, and collective memory (or, in the case of George W. …


Interviewed by Avi-Yona Israel, Director of Advocacy

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My tenure as Director of Advocacy for The Seventh Wave has largely coincided with the coronavirus pandemic, and consequently, most of my contributions this year have involved family and friends, the only people with whom I can connect without social or respiratory reprisal. I lay this truth bare, not to revel in my laziness, but to hesitantly propose the following idea: my loved ones are the absolutely-most-perfect interview subjects. I respect their boundaries and they respect mine. We speak the same language, and we do it with equal fluency, even as the effort required in any one situation may ebb and flow. In that spirit, and with the utmost honor and privilege, I’ve collected some words shared between myself and Sia Serafina, my sister in all but blood. Sia is a Midwestern-born, NYC-living dancer, artist, and photographer, among other things. …


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Jarvis Subia, photo by Nicholas Jimenez

Before this summer of disaster and unrest, Jarvis Subia was already on fire. As a staple of the Bay Area poetry community, he was performing and winning awards at slams from California to New York. His spoken word is electric and hot like blood, tender and vulnerable, bright and verdant. Artfully traversing the landscapes of queerness, masculinity, the natural world, love, fear, resilience, and the complexities of this place called America, Subia’s voice and craft are a gift. …


An Intimate Conversation with Scientists-in-Quarantine (also known as my roommates) by TSW Director of Advocacy, Avi-Yona Israel

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Garth Fisher, Hannah Horton, Andrew Montequin, and Emilie Lozier are all Ph.D. candidates at Northwestern University. Garth is in the Driskill Graduate Program, researching bacterial biofilms (communities of collaborating single-celled organisms) and their development. In his spare time, he likes to make things out of trash, and is my dear partner, sufferer of all my moods, washer of my laundry. We live with Hannah and Andrew; Andrew has advisors in the Molecular Biosciences and Applied Math departments, studying the embryonic development and patterning of vertebrates. Hannah works in the lab of Dr. Sadie Wignall, focusing on the division of female reproductive cells, a process that is essential for properly passing genetic information from mother to child. Emilie, a Ph.D. candidate in Physical Chemistry, works with nonlinear optical spectroscopy (a.k.a. lasers!) to study the structure of solid/liquid interfaces in environmental systems, and loves the three of us enough to play with our pet lizard and share our company for regular dinners. I trust all four of these radiant oracles with my life, and they keep me from drowning in my breakfast cereal. …

About

The Seventh Wave

Art in the space of social issues. info@seventhwavemag.com

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