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, August 20, 2016


Living in indigenous time means I'm global. So I was up past midnight proofing the pages sent from Romania for my first bilingual edition, I FORGOT ARS POETICA / AM UITAT ARTA POETICĂ. I'm very pleased with the job they're doing--here's my front cover. Design was their decision and they put a grave on it. Perfectly fine with me--I try not to challenge how others read my poems. I'll also share the back cover where they chose to highlight from and old (and lovely) review by the generous Anny Ballardini. Very grateful to the translators from the Univ. of Bucharest -- I shall cherish you always Roxana Doncu, Teodor Panait, Elena Ţăpean, Gabriela Apetrei, and Iulia Andreea Anghel. Good morning and I'm off to bed!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


With much gratitude to Kristy Bowen and her dancing girl press & studio, my first chapbook for 2016 has just been released! I hope you check it out HERE! Here's a brief description:
The Gilded Age of Kickstarters presents a dozen poems inspired by 12 Kickstarter fundraising pages chosen at random. The covered fundraising projects are varied, ranging over gluten-free bakers, a scientist's documentary, a peace plan by zombies, art and children's books, eyebrow wax strips, French boot designers, a dance company, a game of plastic bones, a banjo pick, a Sri Lankan cuisine cookbook and a vegetal cyborg. They all attest to our shared zeitgeist!

(Naturally, I borrowed that zeitgeist reference from you, John!)

Monday, August 15, 2016


... well, not "I" but an excerpt from my forthcoming book-length poem, THE OPPOSITE OF CLAUSTROPHOBIA: Prime's Anti-Autobiography due to be my second book released in the U.K., thanks to Knives, Forks and Spoons Press. Here's the excerpt that will be up in lights as part of the Blackppool Illuminations Festival 2016:

How very exciting! My thanks to Alec Newman for including my poem. My poetry does love to travel!

And thank you Arts Council of England!

Thursday, August 11, 2016


Would you like an advance, signed copy of my book AMNESIA: Somebody's Memoir? You can get it through an online fundraiser for a fabulous organization, the Center for Art and Thought. GO HERE for the fundraising link (scroll down about mid-page). And if you alert me that you've donated/ordered, I will send you another of my forthcoming books for free!

I'm delighted to support the Center for Art and Thought. Here's info about them:
The Center for Art and Thought (CA+T) is a web-based arts and education 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. From our award-winning web platform, we take the Philippines and Filipinos as a point of departure for thinking about culture globally. The Philippines, where global processes like colonialism, migration, and globalization come together, is an ideal starting point for understanding pressing contemporary global issues, from labor migration to environmental crises. CA+T’s virtual platform presents creative and scholarly works exploring these questions through four cornerstone programs: 1) Curated Exhibitions, 2) Commissioned Works, 3) a DIALOGUES series of moderated, thematically-driven conversations, and 4) a one-of-a-kind Artist-in-Residence Virtual Residency program.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


And not just because halo-halo is a refreshing dessert!  I've just released the third issue of THE HALO-HALO REVIEW's Mangozine! Click on link for refreshing takes on Filipin@ literature!  The issue includes--and I'm grateful for--reviews of

THE CONNOISSEUR OF ALLEYS reviewed by Leny M. Strobel; go HERE for review but here's an excerpt
Imagine a string of over a thousand lines offering Beauty and Poet whispering: Do not Forget. 
I accept this gift. Here, the Poet’s elision of her authorial voice (I forgot) offers me, as a reader, the gift of renewing my second sight—where its gifts often hide in alleys sidelined by socially-condoned consensual reality shaped by what we are now willing to admit as the failure of the modern narrative.

THE CHAINED HAY(NA)KU PROJECT reviewed by Chris Mansel; go HERE for review but here's an excerpt:
The first section of the book is a twenty-four-page poem composed by those that curated the book, Ivy Alvarez, John Bloomberg-Rissman, Ernesto Priego & Eileen Tabios. The title of the poem is “Four Skin Confessions” it is separated into six different sections and written in three lines each time. It begins, “The/ body judges/ better than the / mind.” In some way this could describe the entire book. We are all products of or environment. It all seeps in. Towards the very back of the book there is a thirty-one-page conversation between the writers of this poem on the construction of the piece and it by far the biggest reason you should buy this book. It is quite a fortunate thing to be able to eavesdrop on a collaboration such as this.

VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA reviewed by Mary Kasimor; go HERE for review but here's an excerpt:
VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA is about a tragedy and how it affects the human spirit. It is about gathering up the pieces and mourning death and other losses. The poets whose work are included in this book have many styles. There are “professional” writers and poets and then there are those poets who are writing their poems from their hearts. Nonetheless, all the poems are emotional responses to loss through major disaster and in the end, how people deal with this loss—whether through their strong belief in religion or in the human relationships that keep people bonded and strong. This is a collection of poetry worth reading because of the heartfelt sadness. I have not ever read a collection of poetry quite like this—devoted to the topic of a natural disaster.

I also offer an online reprint of my Introduction to the Poetry Section of SCREAMING MONKEYS, an important anthology on Asian American images put out in 2003 by Coffee House Press.

There are many more valuable topics -- hope you peruse, read and enjoy Mangozine #3 from THE HALO-HALO REVIEW!

Monday, August 1, 2016


are among those deconstructed in my new essay about poetry marketing (and more, of course).  Thanks to Mark Young for publishing "When Poetry, Aided by Chickens, Took Revenge Against the Termites" in the latest issue of Otoliths.  You can go HERE for the essay, but here's a photo-teaser of a dog grieving 30 copies of THE THORN ROSARY thrown out with the basura over in Santo Tomas (the essays explains why):

Here's the Table of Contents for the new Otoliths which contains, as ever, a multiplicity of joys!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


I'd said that? I forgot! But I'm glad I'd said that!

One of the greatest compliments to a poem or poetry project is when they generate new poems from an inspired reader. So I can tell you about this wonderful review that THE CONNOISSEUR OF ALLEYS just received but, happily, I can share instead a new poem that it generated!

And what I also love about the "poem-review" by Joey Madia of New Mystics Reviews is how it hews so niftily to the spirit of the Murder, Death, Resurrection project that created the CONNOISSEUR -- specifically, per Joey's description: "the following is a poem formed from 27 lines taken from my 9 previous reviews of Tabios’ work (3 lines pulled from each). Using a combination of I Ching–inspired coin tossing and one of my own random generator algorithms that I use for my experimental prose projects, the lines have been reformed in what I hope will be both a testament to not only the form and substance of Tabios’ poetic tapestry as I have written about it over the years and a testament to Tabios’ ability to inspire and co-create from afar, through the power of her words and fearless pursuit of new forms to deliver them."

I naturally appreciate Joey's comments on my work but I am more WOWED by his approach which reveal his own artistry. I love that he found my work relevant to his.  You can see the entire review HERE at New Mystics Reviews, BookMasons and Literary Aficionado, but here's the poem the "reviewing" process created (with its clever non-punctuated end/opening):

“dieci da nove”

I forgot the hooks are finely barbed and grab you in the deepest places. I forgot each line begins with the phrase “I forgot” which was inspired by a Tom Beckett poem that began in the same manner. I forgot the condition of the artist and one’s Identity (geographically, sexually, psychologically) are key subjects in the considerable volume of work Tabios has created. I forgot poets have been either continually revising their poems (e.g., Whitman’s Leaves of Grass) or taking found texts, etc. to create works for a long time now… 

I forgot, if poetry, like all writing, is a form of autobiography, then the path to the Truth is lined with thorns and nails and broken glass, at the end of which are myriad locks. I forgot the riches to be mined are as endless as the possibilities emerging from Tabios herself. I forgot ancient wisdom says that once you find the moon, you no longer need the finger that points to it. I forgot that we, the Readers, are the locks into which the various and sundry keys are meant to enter. 

I forgot there is always counterpoint, yin and yang, light in dark. I forgot “The Color of a Scratch in Metal” and “The Fairy Child’s Prayer” are so beautiful, one could read them in meditation over and over, losing all sense of time and place and gaining new perspectives as doors are thrown wide. I forgot scores do not necessarily reflect Math aptitude, but a slew of other deficiencies in Communication. I forgot that the age of Empire was not overcome and obliterated, but merely morphed into the age of the Multinationals. 

I forgot Tabios is not only a talented wordsmith, and visual artist of language—she truly is an innovator. 

I forgot Dostoyevsky and Freud put forth the notion that it is impossible for an autobiography to reveal the Truth because of our penchant for self-delusion and both positive and negative exaggeration. I forgot the rich wordsmithed novels of the Victorian and Edwardian age, when books were thick and wordy because they were expensive and had to last the reader a good long while. I forgot how much I enjoy creating narrative from the nigredo of cultural reference and biographical minutiae. I forgot I’ve always admired Hunter S. Thompson and Sebastian Junger… 

I forgot Oscar Wilde said that the future of fiction is to “reveal the innermost workings of [wo]man’s soul”… then the coupling of reviewer and reviewed is an essential mechanism for opening the locks. I forgot the source material is reconstituted in exquisite couplets full of enjoyable word play and just the right amount of sexual zing to bring a nearly constant smile to one’s face. I forgot it is up to the reader to find unity in disparity; to be the catalyst in an alchemical transaction (a hieros gamos) that rises beyond Reality into the etheric realms where the nigredo of our art is born(e). 

I forgot many of the poems have no end punctuation, leaving the thought, the situation, the moment unfinished, as they so often are

Hola Tom Beckett! And how clever is that title that translates to "ten made from nine" (the 10th review from 9 prior reviews)!

In an earlier post at Literary Aficionado, Joey had said about my and certain others' works that we "create works that require the reader in relationship for them to reach full bloom. One cannot read their poems, nor review them, in a traditional way."I do believe this reviewer artist "got" my work! Thank you!