“nature is only another chimera”

—Julien Torma


Josephine “Ina” Cariño was born in Baguio City in the Philippines. The name “Baguio” is derived from the native Ibaloi word for “moss.” Ina grew up surrounded by nature and indigenous culture, which was tempered, or perhaps augmented, by the sense of cultural chimeras, such as American Saturday morning cartoons dubbed in Tagalog, and YMCA buildings decorated with tribal carvings.

Ina moved to the United States at the age of ten. As an immigrant, she has since struggled with the denial of her dual existence as an Asian and as an American. As a poet, and as the child of a poet—especially in the political climate under the current administration—Ina feels that art is perhaps the only viable tool people like her can use to work against the negation that she and other people of color experience on a daily basis.

She is particularly interested in cultural hybridity, and hopes to work on poetry that integrates stories about the complex and difficult acts of both fracturing and amalgamation that she and other people of color constantly negotiate.

Ina’s work appears or is forthcoming in New England Review, The Oxford Review of Books, Fugue, Tupelo Quarterly, Nat. Brut, Sakura Review, VIDA Review, Raleigh Review, and December Magazine, among others. She holds an MFA in creative writing from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.