Eileen R. Tabios is a poet working in multiple genres and in-between. She also loves books by writing, reading, publishing, critiquing, romancing and advocating for them. This blog will feature her bibliophilic activities with posts on current book engagements and links to her books and projects related to books.

Thursday, July 20, 2017


And another poem is published from "The Ashbery Riff-offs"--
"Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: Raging Against the Dying Light"
over at Indolent Books' ROUGH BEAST series.

And I'll be looking forward to reading the new biography of Ashbery's early years, The Songs We Know Best by Karin Roffman.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


Got copies today of my and Albert Alejo's and Paloma Press' fundraiser for relief efforts in Marawi where about 253,000 folks have been displaced by armed conflicts in the regions. MARAWI is also a bilingual (Filipino and English) chapbook, and some of you may have a use for that. My poem in it is also (cough) accessible and some of you may be relieved by that. All for $5.00. Here's link TO ORDER -- and notice a different cover from the first edition. All niftily done by Paloma's nonprofit arm, the charmingly titled Mi-Go Zine!

Monday, July 17, 2017


Woot! I just received my first offer for a chapbook or book for/from my series "The Ashbery Riff-Offs"! More details later, but, meanwhile ...

... a grouping I particularly like is up at the just-released June/July issue of DISPATCHES! They are:
Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: Civilization and Inheritance 
Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: Sun Rises Over Battle 
Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: Though She Should Have Known Better Than to Play An Asian Superpower, This Poem is for Scarlet Johannsen 
Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: Reflected Noise 
Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: The Absent Flowers

If you like these poems, you're bound to like an entire book of them!

Gratitude again to John Ashbery for his compelling work.  RAIN TAXI will be celebrating his 90th birthday HERE.  Happy Birthday, indeed!

Friday, July 14, 2017


(Photo by Laura Billingham)

Poet, healer and martial artist Rene Navarro ( considered an expert in and therefore qualified to teach acupuncture, dragon-well qigong, Xing shen Zhuang rehabilitative therapy, tai chi chuan Dao Ren and related forms, internal alchemy and spiritual practice, Chi Nei Tsang internal organs massage, Taoist philosophy, Shaolin kung fu or wushu, and arnis de mano--got that?) sent over the above photo of the "Fairy Child" pose that had inspired a poem--a different type of ekphrasis. I share both--Happy Friday. It's always fun to share this poem in a reading because I always end with the Kung Fu movement I learned from Rene (my weak attempt to be a bad-ass):

The poem is from my first U.S.-published book, REPRODUCTIONS OF THE EMPTY FLAGPOLE

and later reprinted in the Selected Prose Poems collection, THE THORN ROSARY

Thursday, July 13, 2017


Right. I've written 85 of the estimated-to-be-300 poems that will make up my in-progress series, "The Ashbery Riff-Offs." Here's one of them just published at Indolent Books' ROUGH BEAST project: "Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: Eco Echo."

Speaking of John Ashbery, Yale University's The Digital Humanities Lab at Yale University has come out with an interesting -- and gorgeous -- presentation of the poet's home: "John Ashbery's NEST." I recommend a visit! And what a great idea!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


In my 2004 book Menage a Trois With the 21st Century, I "resuscitate" the Philippines' first woman general Gabriela Silang into a 21st century life. Thus, the poems all have subtitles like "As Gabriela Reconsiders Everything," "As Gabriela Stares Down An Empty Boulevard" and even "As Gabriela Masters the Washing Machine." Then there's the poem with the subtitle "As Gabriela Falls In Love With John Olson"--a poem that reflected how, just prior to writing that poem, I'd read the brilliant poetry collection that introduced me to its author: ECHO REGIME by John Olson (Black Square Editions, 2000).

Over the years, I'd come to read other works by John Olson and they always had tremendous resonance--I read his most recent, DADA BUDAPEST, and if you read my Galatea Resurrects review, you'll see how his prose poetry impacted me like dynamite et al. I think, frankly, that he's one of the best contemporary writers today (to understate the matter), and his contribution to the prose poem form is and will remain historically significant. Yes, he's one of my rare picks as to those writers whose words actually will live forever.

And he blogs--over at the Tillala Chronicles. So to get to another of my points -- I am HONORED (no other way to put it) that an excerpt from AMNESIA: Somebody's Memoir was cited in his post today, "Foolish Fire." Here's the excerpt:
     Who, or what, weaves the narratives of our lives? Is it one big sweeping novel or a collection of short stories with no particular theme holding it together other than our own privately weeping selves?
     “I Forgot Ars Poetica,” writes Eileen Tabios in her memoir titled (with exquisite irony) Amnesia: Somebody’s Memoir. “I forgot my poetry is going to change the world. I forgot my words are healing. I forgot my words are apples infused with cheerful cinnamon. I forgot my words are holy. I forgot my words are going to lift you  -  all of you!  -  towards joy.” 
     And those, my friend, are words to live by.

I can't really describe the jolt I got to see my words end up in one of John Olson's posts...

But I certainly want to file this moment (and we all know, right, that I use this blog as a file cabinet too). I want to share that when you've followed an author for nearly 20 years now, to end up in one of his writings like the above is nothing less than ... a joy. Thank you, John Olson -- my heart is full. (And it's always interesting to feel a life-circle turning ...)

Anyway, read John Olson. If you haven't yet, start with any of Backscatter: New and Collected Poems, Larynx Galaxy, or DADA BUDAPEST. If with the latter, you'll gladly be a changed person after you close the book on its 401 pages.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


If you haven't heard, poet and cultural activist Nick Carbo recently had to have his right foot amputated on an emergency basis--a month before his insurance coverage would have kicked in! There's a GoFundMe fundraiser to help with his daunting health costs. Recent donations helped him get a wheelchair and a shower chair. I'm grateful that Paloma Press is running a Book-Match program for donations. Basically, donations of at least $25 will garner 3 publications worth more than double that amount:

MANHATTAN: An Archipelago by Eileen Tabios
BLUE by Wesley St. Jo and Reme Grefalda
MARAWI by Eileen Tabios and Albert Alejo

Thank you, Paloma Press!

For the same $25 donation, you can receive a copy of Nick Carbo's edited anthology PINOY POETICS from Meritage Press (contact me if you wish to avail yourself of this offer). Let's help a poet who's helped many poets.