Dear Bea & Harvey,
So much of Asian culture is rooted in fate and synchronicity. When I first met you at Eastwind Books many years ago, I was unconsciously searching for community, and found it in many unexpected ways.
Our history goes further back than your incredible support of Paloma Press. As a new immigrant from the Philippines over two decades ago, I knew virtually nothing about Asian American history other than my family’s immigration story from the early 1900s and 1970s. So much of what I know now about the AAPI community, I learned from books you’ve supported (including those by writers who mentored me) and the example you have set forth. On a more personal note, my husband Paul and I officially became a couple after attending a reading at your bookstore featuring Eileen Tabios back in 2007!
You were the first brick and mortar store to have displayed and carried Paloma Press books six years ago. As a small press publisher, you cannot imagine how validating that was for me, and how very grateful I was each time you agreed to host readings and book signings to promote our new releases, not to mention my own work as poet laureate.
While it saddens me that Eastwind Books has closed, I join the rest of the Asian American community in thanking you for over four decades of service. Thank you for creating a space that amplified the community’s voice, for standing up for senior residents at the I-Hotel, for mentoring a new generation of writers and educators, and for building this incredible community that shows up whenever and wherever they are needed. We are so much stronger and greater, thanks to the work you have started.
May the next chapter be as fruitful and rewarding as the last 40 years!
We'll be seeing you, Aileen Cassinetto