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.

Saturday, November 9, 2019


As the year approaches its end, I've had to make the final decision. Galatea Resurrects' sabbatical will become permanent (http://grarchives.blogspot.com)--I think that Galatea R. has had its moment under the sun. And, actually, that project lasted years longer than I anticipated it would. So, I thank all the volunteer reviewers and authors and publishers who've participated in this idealistic endeavor--the reviews will be available for as long as the internet exists at http://galatearesurrects.blogspot.com We are extremely proud of Galatea R.'s unique ability to spotlight independent presses where we personally feel much of the advanced forms of poetry thrive.

As well, stellar editor John Bloomberg-Rissman and I had been preparing an encyclopedia-length Selected version of Galatea Resurrects. We've both agreed to defer the project--a print version simply is antithetical to the freeloading (pun intended) spirit of Galatea who wants open access to its engagements. So let its reviews/engagements/poetry remain in the cloud versus land on land. Let the trees remain on land.

Trees surround the real-life Galatea on earth. And it bears a house stuffed with books of poetry--all of which has been or will be read. May that thought gladden your day.

Thursday, November 7, 2019


I was delighted to write the essay for Miriam Bloom's and Ron Morosan's "IN-TER-WO-VEN" joint retrospective exhibition. If you would like a copy of that catalogue, you can contact Westwood Gallery where the exhibit is ongoing through to Nov. 16, 2019. You also can see exhibit images by clicking on the link, though I'm delighted to present the following art (click on all images to enlarge):

Drawing by Ron Morosan 

"Clouds and Sand" by Miriam Bloom, 50 inches high 

 "Hall of Art" by Ron Morosan, oil and acrylic on canvas, 80 x 70 inches

"The Open," a joint and site-specific installation by Miriam Bloom and Ron Morosan

I'm also delighted to present a poem written by Guggenheim awardee Serge Gavronsky. Serge Gavronsky wrote his poem in response to Miriam's and Ron's exhibition; a bio is presented beneath his poem:
Click on all images to enlarge

Tuesday, November 5, 2019


Today the 8th issue of The Halo-Halo Review is fresh!  I’m happy to share the first review of The In(tervention of the Hay(na)ku by self-described “emerging critical scholar” Maileen Dumelod Hamto. You can see her review HERE but here’s an excerpt that of course makes me sniffle:

“Poetry rules are sometimes made to be broken,” Tabios writes. At its core, the Hay(na)ku is liberatory and emancipatory, similar in magnitude to the genius of Black American inventors and innovators in literature, music and other creative pursuits. By developing the Hay(na)ku, Tabios invited her contemporaries to define FilAm, U.S.-born-and-bred poetry from brown-skinned Filipinos, to cease conformity with white supremacist notions of “goodness” in art and the expectation of appeasing the tyranny of literary gatekeepers in order to be validated. 

As an emerging critical scholar, I ask these questions: who determines the importance and significance of a word? In a literary form where every word counts, who is doing the counting? Poetic constructs are defined by rules established by dead white men. Tabios, as a decolonizing poet, takes self-determination to a whole other level by creating her own, devising a forward-looking FilAm/Pinoy literary identity that is concurrently sophisticated and approachable.

I’m also happy that several of my edited projects got reviews:

HUMANITY, Vol. 1 edited by Eileen R. Tabios,” Review by Marjorie Evasco at The Tambara Journal, June, 2019 (as reprinted online by The Halo Halo Review)

VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA edited by Eileen R. Tabios,” Review by Neil Leadbeater

Evidence of Fetus Diversity edited by Eileen R. Tabios,” Review by Aloy Polintan

Finally, I am mentioned in an anthology review: 
NO TENDER FENCES: An Anthology of Immigrant & First Generation Immigrant American Poetry edited by Carla Sofia Ferreira Kim Sousa & Marina Carreira,” Review by Cristina Querrer 

I’m a cat with cream--or the halo-halo's coconut milk--all over its face. Thank you, Universe.

Do check out the entire issue to see what's up with Filipino-Pilipinz literature. I even review the novel that just won the Philippines' National Book Award, Reine Arcache Melvin's THE BETRAYED.  And so much more! Lots of good reads and eats!

Sunday, November 3, 2019


My book The In(ter)vention of the Hay(na)ku:  Selected Tercets 1996-2019 (Marsh Hawk Press, New York, 2019) soon will be available through SPD and other outlets (like that online one that begins with A). While it technically is released on December 1, 2019, I am running a Holiday Special as its author because that Special involves … a miniature book!

I am delighted to share that The In(ter)vention… has been annotated into a mini-book version—sized at 1-7/8” x 2.5”—that can work as a Christmas Tree ornament! If you don’t traffic in Christmas or Christmas trees, the ribbon used for hanging on a tree can be used as a bookmark!  There are poems within the miniature book, as shown partly by the images below.

This miniature book, available in a lovely Holiday-red gift bag, is available for $10  (plus $5 shipping). You can purchase just the miniature book or use its purchase for a credit of $10 off of the larger hardback release priced at $29.95!  Yes, this means that for the price of the hardback, you also can get the charming tiny book!

Optionally, if you wish to give either the miniature book or miniature plus large book as a holiday present, I can gift-wrap them both and send them on your behalf to the gift recipient. (Free gift-wrapping.) A perfect gift for introducing poetry to, or sharing new poetry with, a reader!

Naturally, books can be signed!  If interested in this offer, email me at galateaten at gmail dot com   Offer good while supply of miniature books last!

Meanwhile, here are pics:

Thursday, October 31, 2019


Want to be in my Archives? So, further to the ultimate disposition of my literary Archives many years in the future (many years please as I’m only in my 50s), I’m preparing what will be the first batch of papers, books, etc. that I’ll be sending over late next year (I can’t reveal where Archives will be yet but look forward to sharing that info with you) -- and it will be focused on the hay(na)ku!  As reminded by a poet laureate, Zvi A. Sesling, who emailed me a hay(na)ku yesterday, it occurs to me that I can include correspondences containing or related to hay(na)ku! So if you care to, do email me at galateaten at gmail dot com . I prefer emails so I can print such out.

Of course, if you have books, chaps, or anything else related to the hay(na)ku, I’d be very interested (I’ll buy books!) in acquiring them so do let me know!

I’m also so pleased to provide a permanent repository for those who I know have already engaged with the hay(na)ku – from those with single-author hay(na)ku poetry collections to those who’ve participated in the various hay(na)ku anthologies. Thanks to you all! And now, here’s Zvi’s recent hay(na)ku!

Morning brew
Poets talking politics

Mirror-Sculpture featuring Hay(na)ku by Melinda Luisa de Jesus

Monday, October 28, 2019


Gratitude to Elisabetta Moro for her article, "Onore E Rispetto Per Le Donne Filippine, Il Cui Femminismo È Pura Poesia Di Resistenza," in Elle magazine, Italy. I don't know Italian so here below is a Google translation :)

Honor and Respect for Philippine Women, Whose Feminism Is Pure Poetry Of Resistance

Feminism is many things: it is struggle, it is sisterhood, it is questioning oneself, it is telling oneself and communicating. There are a thousand ways to contribute to the cause and creativity is a powerful tool, never to be underestimated. On this we have much to learn from Filipino women because, over the years, their feminism, as well as enriching themselves with battles and political victories, has fed on literature, art, but above all, poetry.

In the Pacific islands women have always actively participated in public life: from the pre-colonial phase, when the female figure of the babalyan (a sort of shaman with healing powers) acted as a spiritual guide for the community, during the period of Spanish domination, when many women have joined the struggle for independence; from the Second World War, which made Filipino women victims of atrocious violence, after the war, which saw them organize themselves into a movement that over the years has become increasingly strong.

Filipino feminism, therefore, is inextricably intertwined with the country's colonial past, as well as the strong tensions and class disparities that characterize it. However, it also has another characteristic: it knows how to amplify women's voices to launch important messages and, to do so, it uses literature and, in particular, has a close connection with poetry. Whether it's talking about independence from colonial rule, stereotypes, violence and patriarchal society or freedom and pursuit of one's own female identity, Filipino women have never pulled back, using their own verses as a tool for social struggle. The landscape is vast: from the mid-1900s poets like Angela Manalang Gloria or Marra Lanot - who have put in the verse the frustration of having to look like a perfect and unreal female model - to contemporaries, like Barbara Jane Reyes and Eileen R. Tabios.

The result is a cultural background that has roots in the past, but continues in the present and that constitutes the soul of the movement, its most intimate part. Precisely for this reason the independent publishing house Gantala has decided to protect this heritage, recognizing its cultural and political value. "We want to promote poetry and essays as research, investigation and documentation tools. We do not want these forms to be exclusive to writers, academics and award-winning artists who have participated in "prestigious" national seminars, "explained co-founder Rae Rival. The project is openly feminist, but it also has a strong link with the rural world according to the principle dear to Rival that "the feminist struggle goes hand in hand with the struggle of the people".

Of course, the road to equality, in the Philippines as in the rest of the world, is still long. Demonstrations, strikes and political battles will be needed, but the value of words should not be forgotten. Poetry can be the means - personal and profound - to express anger and pain, to support each other, to resist, to fight.

Saturday, October 26, 2019


Marsh Hawk Review's Fall/Winter 2019 issue, edited by Thomas Fink, has just been released. You can see it HERE. Here are the participants: