in storyboard, by melanie h. manuel-Print Books-Bottlecap Press

in storyboard, by melanie h. manuel

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melanie h. manuel
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Poetry, chapbook, 36 pages, from Bottlecap Features.

melanie h. manuel’s debut chapbook, in storyboard, is a collection of poems that are elegiac by nature. It is about understanding life experiences—such as falling in love, the loss of a loved one, the acceptance of that kind of loss, and heartbreak, to name a few—through the act of watching. The use of film, television, and Philippine mythology serves as lenses for better understanding these themes of grief, love, loss, and vulnerability. 
From Wong Kar-wai’s classic film, Fallen Angels (1995) to Marlon Fuentes’s docudrama, Bontoc Eulogy (released in the same year), we are asked to embody the scenes of the films; where one ruminates on loving from afar and being loved from afar and what that all means as an observer and actor, the other ruminates on the horrors unfolding during the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair as the persona of the camera. This sort of retelling falls in line with the other thread of this collection—Philippine myth, by drawing on childhood superstitions and the misunderstood story about the manananggal as its own way of mythmaking. 

in storyboard culminates into a journey toward understanding what it means to reconcile with loss, its unpredictable journey—how even in grief, clarity can be found.

Melanie H. Manuel is a Filipina American poet. She attends SDSU for her MFA in poetry. She is a recipient of the Prebys Creative Writing Scholarship, the Master’s Research Fellowship, and most recently, the Sarah B. Marsh-Rebelo Scholarship. She teaches in the Rhetoric and Writing Studies and English and Comparative Literature departments. Her work has been published by Third Iris Zine, North American Review, Grist: A Literary Journal of Arts, boats against the current, Los Angeles Review, and The Shore. She also has forthcoming work with minnesota review, Porkbelly Press, Quillkeepers Press, and Zone 3 Press.