Desiree Maru


Desiree is a Filipino adoptee residing in Hawaii, United States. She is a creative writer, information professional and mixed media artist. As a Pushcart Nominee (2015) she hails with a Master of Library and Information Science from California, Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Bachelor of Journalism from Northern Arizona University. Her news articles and reviews have been featured in local newspapers like the Daily Sun, Mountain Living Magazine and the Noise. Her mixed media art has been featured in Oyster River Pages, The Tishman Review, Helen Literary Magazine, the Sonder Review, Storm Cellar, and the Healing Muse. Desiree’s fiction stories have been featured in Third Flatiron Anthologies, the Story Shack, On the Rusk, and Gone Lawn Journal. Her creative essays have been featured in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, the Writing Disorder, the Journey Magazine, and Hole in the Donut Blog. Desiree’s adoptee-centered media has been presented at AdopTree Project: Exploring Asian Adoption Narratives (2012); and Desiree has also published the first of its kind autobiographical multimedia thesis with her local university in Northern Arizona in 2015.

Desiree was born in Cebu City, Philippines in the 1980’s in destitute poverty and lived in an orphanage in Cebu until she was adopted at the age of two. Desiree grew up in the Midwest, in the United States, where she had a mixed adoptee experience that shaped her into who she is today. She moved to Arizona when she was 15 with her adoptive family, went to college in Northern Arizona and moved to Hawaii in 2018. As an adult adoptee in her mid-thirties, Desiree carries a unique “full-circle” intercountry adoption experience, complete with a family reunion with her birth mother in 2012 back in her old orphanage in the Philippines.

You can follow Desiree’s Instagram junk journaling and penpal art @starwoodletters.