Victoria Bañales holds a Ph.D. in Literature and Feminist Studies from the UCSC. A Chicanx writer, mother, and activist, she teaches English at Cabrillo College, is editor of Journal X, and a member of the Hive Poetry Collective. Her writing has appeared in Beyond the Frame: Women of Color and Visual Representations, Translocalities/Translocalidades: Feminist Politics of Translation in the Latin/a Américas, North Dakota Quarterly, Acentos Review, Cloud Women’s Quarterly Journal, and more. She is the recipient of the 2020 Porter Gulch Review Best Poetry Award. Victoria is currently writing her first novel, titled Candelaria.

Hourglass
By Victoria Bañales

Sometimes
When I am loose and free
She sneaks up on me
Behind a guava bush
Springs forth and sways
Like a freshly loose spring


Sometimes
When I am feeling blue
And the sickness spreads
like algae blooms
She glides toward me
Dips her fingers in an inkwell
Infuses lavender and aquamarine


Sometimes
When the elements are roused
And sheets of rain pound the earth
And mangroves moan and sway
Like flutes and tambourines


That’s when she arrives
Filling my mouth with
Fine sands of a desert storm
Filling my ears with
Song of a nightingale
Filling my belly with
Voice of an ancient woman
Copper skin crinkling with laughter
Blinding and white like a sun


That’s when she arrives
Extends and guides
With delicate hands
Sits me down, gently
In front of a dancing fire
Crackling branches
Release the sweet
Burning smell of mesquite,
Incense, and ground maiz
But when I stare
Stone faced at the screen
Immobilized and stiff
Caught in the hurricane’s
Eye of Medusa’s glare


When my orbs are like fish
When not even Dali’s crutches
Can hold my lids in place
When I scramble in search of the
Grinds to deal with the grind


When the hourglass breaks
And desert storms turn
To quicksand
And fine white particles
Blind and burn


That’s when she departs
In dramatic fashion
Like a power outage
—one minute she’s here,
Next minute she’s gone—
And I can hear nothing
But the early morning
Cries of sirens and alarms

--Victoria Bañales
© Copyright Victoria Bañales













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Members' Page

Vivian Vargas

Founder of the Heidelberg Writers Group in Heidelberg, Germany, Vivian has been writing for many years. Her short story, A Desert Tale, was published in the Porter Gulch Review. Her latest work is a collection of ten short stories of a Latinx family in the 1960s living in the Florence Community of Los Angeles. Each story takes on the ambiguity of one of the Ten Commandments. In an effort to support writers of color in Santa Cruz County, Vivian hopes to create a forum to bring our stories forward.

Amanda Linh Vong

Vong was born in Port Arthur, Texas. She is a first-generation, queer, Vietnamese/Chinese poet, sound artist, and filmmaker. She is the recipient of the 2019 Idstrom Family Prize for Creative Writing in Poetry. She designed, printed, and handbound her chapbook Body of Water at the Creative Writing program at UCSC. Her work has appeared in such publications as Matchbox Magazine, Chinquapin Literary Magazine, A3 Review & Press, Aurora Poetry Anthology, and more.

Tiffany Lynn Wong

Poetry! Non-Fiction.
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Victoria Banales

Victoria Bañales holds a Ph.D. in Literature and Feminist Studies from the UCSC. A Chicanx writer, mother, and activist, she teaches English at Cabrillo College, is editor of Journal X, and a member of the Hive Poetry Collective. Her writing has appeared in Beyond the Frame: Women of Color and Visual Representations, Translocalities/Translocalidades: Feminist Politics of Translation in the Latin/a Américas, North Dakota Quarterly, Acentos Review, Cloud Women’s Quarterly Journal, and more. She is the recipient of the 2020 Porter Gulch Review Best Poetry Award. Victoria is currently writing her first novel, titled Candelaria.

Shirley Ancheta

Shirley Ancheta co-edited the Filipino American poetry collection Without Names (Kearny Street Workshop Press, San Francisco), one of the first of its kind in Asian American literature. She grew up in Watsonville. While attending SFSU she was a part of the student movement and became a Third World community activist in San Francisco. She fought against eviction for the elderly at the International Hotel. Shirley was one of the original members of Kearny Street Workshop and founding member of the Bay Area Pilipino Writers Group. She received her BA from UCSC in American Literature. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, including Premonitions (Kaya Press) Bamboo Ridge, Quarry West and Babaylan. She recently retired from Cabrillo Community College where she worked as an English lab instructor and tutor. She is the widow of poet Jeff Tagami and makes her home in Santa Cruz, CA. She has two sons, Miles and Travis Tagami.

Chloe Gentile-Montgomery

Poetry and non-fiction Raised in Santa Cruz, Chloe is a recent graduate of Santa Clara University where she studied Ethnic Studies and Environmental Science. She recently published her first poetry book, Rustlings of the Spirit, which covers topics of grief, healing, and self-acceptance. Winner of Hoefer Undergraduate Writing Prize, 2021, for her essay entitled Wellbeing and Self-care of Women and Nonbinary Student of Color Activists: 'Taking care of you means taking care of me.'

Christopher Soriano-Palma

Genres: Fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and screenwriting. Christopher Soriano-Palma was born and raised in Watsonville, CA to Mexican-American immigrants. He holds an MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco alongside a double BA in English and Philosophy from UC Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to Reclamation Magazine and has had his work appear in numerous publications. He continues to live in Watsonville, CA. He is currently at work on his first novel.

Sonya Pendrey

Sonya mostly writes short stories, prose, and poetry. She dedicates her work to her loved ones and fellow strong-minded women.

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News

An exploration of heritage: Author links Santa Cruz, Japan through art, catastrophe in new novel

Local writer Andrew Kumasaka is a third-generation Japanese American who used the events of the 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, which even affected Santa Cruz, as a key part of his plot line in “All Gone Awry.”
By Wallace Baine.   

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