Toronto writers turn to social media for anthology of Fil-Can literature

Community News & Features Oct 25, 2013 at 2:46 pm

TORONTO—Last September, a call for submissions for a collection of Filipino-Canadian literary was launched online. Akdaan claims to be the first anthology of a group of established and emerging writers that will be published in Toronto.

Conceptually, Akdaan Anthology responds to the puzzling invisibility of Filipino-Canadians particularly in the textual form. Its crowdfunding campaign at describes Toronto as “often thought of as a literary city due to the fact that it has been written about by authors such as Nobel laureate Alice Munro, Michael Ondaatje, Margaret Atwood, and Dionne Brand; but not many authors of Philippine descent have been published to capture the culture of the growing migrant population from the archipelago.”

The purpose of Akdaan is “to provide a venue where writers can be honed, and develop and polish their work,” said Lui Queano, who together with PEN Canada member Petronila Cleto conceived the formation of a local collective of creative writers in 2011.

What are the issues of migrants?  What would be “genuine” Filipino language and literature in diaspora? and ultimately, for whome does one write? These are the questions mulled over by Akdaan. Hence, the anthology has several stories on migrants tales, human rights, social commentaries and love poems in different Philippine languages.

Contributors include poets and artists from the GTA, Edmonton, and Vancouver covering a wide spectrum of issues on the Filipino diaspora in Canada. For the first volume, the editors opted to also feature pieces written by authors based in the Philippines with the aim to give the recognition aspiring writers deserve.

“This collection will show that Philippine literature is fertile.  The new explorations of the intertwining of form and content will not fail to dazzle you,“ added Cleto.

There will be a writers night set on November 23, on the International Day to End Impunity. The book is scheduled for a release later this year. In the meantime, the editors are asking the public for pre-order through donations in their online campaign:

For more details you can also email