Readings by Nita Noveno and Joseph O. Legaspi

November 10, 2018 * 6-9pm * De-Construkt, Red Hook, Brooklyn

Photo credit: Francesca Tirpak

This casual evening featured a special menu of Filipino pulutan (finger foods typically eaten while drinking with friends) and drinks presented on interactive multi-sensory serving stations that experiment with communal dining experiences. The works address culinary histories, intercultural influences, traditions, and memories through food. Readings were given by Nita Noveno and Joseph O. Legaspi.

We are thankful to everyone who came out on a windy night to support the artists, poets, and make this gathering one to remember!


Francis Estrada was born in the Philippines and moved to America in 1988. He is a visual artist with a fine arts degree in painting and drawing from San Jose State University and works as a museum educator, freelance art educator, and traditional Filipino martial arts instructor. By playing with the presentation of allusive (often figural) imagery, Estrada explores how visual cues found in historical photographs, mass media, political propaganda, and personal archives influence or inflect social or cultural narratives. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. See exhibition history here.

Ramyar Vala received his primary education in his native Iran and later Sweden. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in graphic design, he received an MFA from the University of Chicago in 2014. Grounded in design and fabrication, his research tracks the functionality of crafted objects and the stories behind cultural ornamentation. Ramyar’s multi-disciplinary practice explores the inner lives and circulation of traditional motifs— tracing how they travel, transform, are adapted, and are appropriated trans-nationally and trans-culturally — through sculpture, installation, and video work. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. See exhibition history here.

Nita Noveno teaches English Composition and Literature at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. She is the founder/co-host of Sunday Salon, a monthly prose reading in its sixteenth year in NYC. A graduate of the New School MFA Creative Writing Program, she has been published most recently in About Place Journal and the Asian American Writers Workshop’s The Margins. As a child, Nita dreamed of becoming a veterinarian and an Olympic figure skater. Today she is a writer of fragments and run-on sentences. Originally from Southeast Alaska, she calls Astoria, New York home.

Joseph O. Legaspi is the author of the poetry collections Threshold and Imago, both from CavanKerry Press; and three chapbooks: Postcards(Ghost Bird Press), Aviary, Bestiary (Organic Weapon Arts), and Subways (Thrush Press). He cofounded Kundiman (www.kundiman.org), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing generations of writers and readers of Asian American literature. He lives with his husband in Jackson Heights, Queens.


We are grateful to Laura Arena, De-Construkt [projekts] for hosting this event and to Andrew Kennedy and Magda Dejose, Sculpture Space NYC for facilitating the production of ceramics vessels.

DE-CONSTRUKT is a full service design studio and mobile project space, passionate about the convergence of art and technology, communication and concept, located in New York City and sometime in other places.

Sculpture Space NYC is a ceramics and sculpture center founded by artists Andrew Kennedy and Magda Dejose. Sculpture Space NYC’s mission is to stimulate creativity, new ideas and collaboration in ceramics-based investigations. Artists, designers and craftspeople of all backgrounds converge in this center to experiment, learn, make, reflect and grow artistically.


HEKLER HOST brings together 2+ collaborators to create 4 hours of programming featuring a combination of food, music, exhibition, performance, book launch, spoken word or reading that examines a topic of shared concern. The events are hosted by partnering satellite venues provided by HEKLER or collaborators. Upon request and feasibility, the team provide production and networking support in a close dialogue with the proponent. The events can be by invitation only or open to public depending of the proponent’s preference.

HEKLER production team: Joshua Nierodzinski, Jelena Prljević, Nataša Prljević

HEKLER HOST: Francis Estrada and Ramyar Vala

Designed by Jelena Prljević

Click link above for PDF

Click cover for interactive viewing