While reading the Sunday paper this morning, I was shocked to discover that Maria Fleuette DeGuzman had passed away last week, from "complications of a heart attack," according to the obituary. Here's that article (if you can't read it, click on the image to see it enlarged):
I really like how Maria is described here as "a vibrant, compassionate woman whose infectious (though sometimes excessive) enthusiasm was thoroughly enjoyed by those privileged to know her. An avid artist and writer, her unique creativity spilled into all aspects of her life." I didn't know Maria very well, but as much as I remember, that's her to a T.
I first met Maria at a poetry reading I gave in Cedar Falls
I'm writing about Maria today because I'd like to introduce you to her art and writing. She kept three blogs and they are a wonderful way to get to know her. Check them out. In them you'll enjoy her impassioned personality: fun, effervescent, volcanic, devoted to literature, the arts, and social justice.
First, "The Big Life" at http://lavidagorda.blogspot.com
Second, "theBIGlife Calendars" at http://biglifecalendars.blogspot.com
Third, "DAMN THE MAN!" at http://madasshell.blogspot.com
I'm tempted to say her art and writing resemble the work of Lynda Barry — a Filipino American artist, incidentally, part Filipino — but while there are resemblances, Maria had an interestingly refreshing perspective as a writer and artist that was very much her own.
I won't say any more about Maria's work here. I'd love to hear what you think. Please leave me a comment below. You can also visit Maria's facebook at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1509368934, which has now become a tribute page. (You might have to log in to facebook to see this.)
RIP, Maria Fleuette DeGuzman. You'll be very sorely missed, indeed, Maria.
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