Thanks to Leny Strobel for her welcome on her blog, and a chuckle too - I met Ruth Mabanglo when I lived in Honolulu in 1997-1998. Near as we could tell after sharing dinner with her and my folks, she and my mom are fourth cousins or something, but she made me feel very welcome, taking the time to read and publish my poetry and flash fiction. For the record, my maternal grandfather was Mabanglo, the oldest and only boy in his branch. Mayor is my maiden name, and the bringing together of the two names is a sort of reclamation of my heritage. I legally changed my name to my husband's last name when I married and don't regret it, but I'm finding that to help me with my own mental space with writing, it's good for me to have Mabanglo-Mayor as an identifier to lean on. I sometimes wonder if I 'should' have taken Hidalgo-Agutaya as my writing name, to honor my grandmothers, but I didn't want to negate my mother's experience/impact also. Anyway, I could go round and round about naming and the meaning of names, but suffice it to say that I find it really cool to be associated with the power that is Ruth Mabanglo's poetics.
I'm also /very/ excited to know the name of Leny Strobel's upcoming book and am hopeful for its release. She has other books I hope to latch on to one of these days, but I'm still happily gnawing/devouring/consuming several books I've obtained in the last few weeks. They have all helped abate the hunger for FilAm words and experiences that I did not know was so strong in me.