Dayo: a Tagalog word referring to someone who exists in a place not their own. A wanderer, migrant worker, exile or simply a stranger. At its core, the poems in Dayo interrogate whether belonging can exist in a society suffused with violence. Here, the poet, as a stranger, confronts the politics of recognition by offering his vision. Reflexive and lyrical, this collection embodies the true curiosity and tenacious spirit of a dayo seeking a place to replant, tend, and grow delicate roots.
Praise for Dayo:
“…Great poetry re-creates the world, and Perez’s world is here, built from the fleeting moments you don’t always notice, built beautifully, built to last.”
—Wayde Compton, author of The Outer Harbour and The Blue Road: A Fable of Migration
“By the end of all the belovedness catalogued in this book, you too will be heavier with the weight of all that is most gorgeous about this world.“
— Ed Bok Lee, author of Mithocondrial Night and Whorled
“One of the things that most impresses me about this lush, lyrical and soulful collection is its ability to hold hope alongside melancholy and despair…With incredible empathy and insight, he writes for “the fragments of ourselves, pieced together by grief.“
— Jen Currin, author of Trinity Street
“…At once cinematic and elegiac, this book is an unforgettable contribution and a remarkable achievement.
—Adrian De Leon, author of barangay: an offshore poem