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.

Friday, October 18, 2019


This Sunday at Bird & Beckett Books!
“What, in this human condition, is worthwhile?” A reading and conversation with St. Helena-based author Eileen Tabios, Mumbai-based author Murzban Shroff, and New York-based author Robert Cowan.
10/20 at 2pm, 653 Chenery St SF
This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments and wine will be provided.
ROBERT COWAN is a professor and dean at the City University of New York, and a volunteer instructor at Rikers Island Correctional Facility. He is the author of two hybrid-genre collections—Elsewhen (Paloma Press, 2019) and Close Apart (Paloma Press, 2018), and two monographs—Teaching Double Negatives (Peter Lang, 2018) and The Indo-German Identification (Camden House, 2010). His poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and scholarship have appeared in various journals and anthologies.
MURZBAN F. SHROFF has published his stories with over 60 literary journals in the U.S. and UK. His fiction has appeared in journals like The Gettysburg ReviewThe Minnesota Review, The Saturday Evening PostChicago Tribune, and World Literature Today. His non-fiction has appeared in India AbroadThe New Engagement, and The American Scholar. Shroff is the winner of the John Gilgun Fiction Award and has garnered six Pushcart Prize nominations. His short story collection, Breathless in Bombay, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in the best debut category from Europe and South Asia, and rated by the Guardian as among the ten best Mumbai books. His novel, Waiting For Jonathan Koshy, was a finalist for the Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize. Shroff represented Mumbai at the London Short Story Festival and was invited to speak about his work at the Gandhi Memorial Center in Maryland, University of California Los Angeles, California State University Monterey Bay, the Institute for South Asia Studies at UC Berkeley, and the Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism at the University of Southern California.
EILEEN R. TABIOS loves books and has released over 60 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in ten countries and cyberspace. Publications include form-based Selected Poems, The In(ter)vention of the Hay(na)ku: Selected Tercets (1996-2019), THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL: Selected Visual Poetry (2001-2019)INVENT(ST)ORY: Selected Catalog Poems & New (1996-2015), and THE THORN ROSARY: Selected Prose Poems & New (1998-2010); the first book-length haybun collection, 147 MILLION ORPHANS (MMXI-MML); a collection of 7-chapter novels, SILK EGG; an experimental autobiography AGAINST MISANTHROPY; as well as two bilingual and one trilingual editions involving English, Spanish, and Romanian. Her award-winning body of work includes invention of the hay(na)ku poetic form as well as a first poetry book, Beyond Life Sentences (1998), which received the Philippines’ National Book Award for Poetry (Manila Critics Circle). Her poems have been translated into ten languages as well as computer-generated hybrid languages, paintings, video, drawings, visual poetry, mixed media collages, Kali martial arts, music, modern dance, sculpture and a sweat shirt. Additionally, she has edited, co-edited or conceptualized 15 anthologies of poetry, fiction and essays as well as exhibited visual art and visual poetry in the United States, Asia and Serbia.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019


... and we all know that world jetsetter "hay(na)ku"! Now, it's been picked up by poet-visual artist Toni Twong. I post some of her works below, including a moving one written for her Dad. Then she sent me one of  her artworks and I riffed off some hay(na)ku in response and post that too! Twas previously posted on Facebook's CANVAS TO MY SOUL site that presents poetry, art, photography and music!

Here's a moving one Toni wrote for her father Dana Turner:

This one made my old heart laugh:

And here's our collaboration -- Toni sent me a rose and I riffed offa my middle name!

Lastly, this isn't a hay(na)ku but I like it --

Thanks Toni!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019


You are invited to North Fork Arts Projects which is pleased to celebrate October as Filipino American History Month by presenting an exhibition of four new paintings by Jean Vengua. Jean’s exhibit is entitled “Poetry Ekphrasis” as each of her paintings is rooted in poems by four poets: Nick Carbo, Eric Gamalinda, Barbara Jane Reyes, and Eileen R. Tabios. Ekphrasis is art inspired by another art form, in this case paintings inspired by poems. Both paintings and poems are presented, as well as a Q&A regarding Jean’s painting process—an illuminating way to enjoy the beauty of Filipino-Pilipinz artistic creativity!
The paintings are
“Calle de Recuerdos” by Jean Vengua, inspired by Nick Carbo’s poem “Directions To My Imaginary Childhood”
“Lunar Night” by Jean Vengua, inspired by Eric Gamalinda’s poem “Zero Gravity”
“Heartlines” by Jean Vengua, inspired by Barbara Jane Reyes’ poem “Having Been Cast, Eve Implores”
“Hourglass and Ellipsis” by Jean Vengua, inspired by Eileen R. Tabios’ poem “Kapwa’s Song”
You can see the exhibition HERE.

Thursday, September 26, 2019


The first U.S. publisher to publish one of my books is also about to release the next one, THE IN(TER)VENTION OF THE HAY(NA)KU: Selected Tercets 1996-2019.  Review copies are available; just contact me or mheditor@marshhawkpress.org

Thursday, September 19, 2019


Frankly, slammed-for-time Me didn't expect to be active with Meritage Press this year. But I'm releasing today my second as a publisher of two books released in 2019. The first was--and proud of it as it's my first graphic publication--the graphic poetry anthology THE STRIP HAY(NA)KU PROJECT edited by Ernesto Priego -- info at https://meritagepress.blogspot.com/2019/03/the-strip-haynaku-project-edited-by.html . The second and today's release is HEDGE FUND CERTAINTY by Thomas Fink -- info at https://meritagepress.blogspot.com/2019/09/hedge-fund-certainty-by-thomas-fink.html . Here's a brief description:
"Thomas Fink’s Hedge Fund Certainty, his first book since Selected Poems & Poetic Series, offers several vibrant new series, including the politically charged "Subprime Mortgage Bargain Lot," new poems in the long-running "Yinglish Strophes" and "Dented Reprise," and a host of shorter shaped poems that explore social, psychological, and philosophical concerns in a surreal collage ethos."
All the books with which I get involved extend/expand poetry's forms and expanse. I hope these books will be of interest to you.

Sunday, July 28, 2019


I still remember when I was one of those Mark Young surveyed as to whether he should create an online mag. Now, OTOLITHS has forged a special place among online journals and I'm glad that the Introduction to my last 2019 poetry book is featured in its latest issue--go HERE for esteemed poet-critic (and painter) Thomas Fink's essay but here's an excerpt below. Later this year, I hope you check out my book THE IN(TER)VENTION OF THE HAY(NA)KU: SELECTED TERCETS 1996-2019 (Marsh Hawk Press)--it will be my last poetry book for a while, possibly forever:

excerpt from Introduction:

"Barrios articulates the feminist disclosure of female power in “the Enheduanna poems of Ménage à Trois with the 21st Century (2004), in which “Tabios privileges the woman’s voice and even when she speaks of the man longed for—‘you’—it is from the woman’s imagined perspective…. What really matters is the woman imagining ‘you’” (320) and not the actual “you,” whatever or whoever that is. In “Enheduanna #20,” the sole poem selected for The In(ter)vention of the Hay(na)ku: Selected Tercets, ... two opening questions compel a recognition of the speaker’s influence over the man as she seeks to fathom his prediction about specifics of his future subjectivity: “As you fall asleep/ in my skin/ will you dream?// Will you want/ you or want/ to change?” Then again, Barrios might be right that this “is from the woman’s imagined perspective,” since the speaker’s apostrophic questions cannot be answered by a “you” who exists, if he exists, outside the poem. After some questioning of herself, she returns to questioning him:

Will you bring the scent
of red roses
I left behind

in New York City alleyways
(or has that season yet to pass)?
In my eyes

will you see
Baudelaire's infinity
he defined as the "sky"

you witness repeatedly
on and in any painting
marked by blue sapphire, lapis

lazuli, indigo, turquoise...sky...?"

Saturday, July 27, 2019



I wish to celebrate Leny Strobel’s new book GLIMPSES which was created using my MDR Poetry Generator as a scaffolding. MDR is my sixth poetry performance/conceptual project  and it—along with the hay(na)ku (and possibly one more that’s still in the oven)—look to become my top two/three longest-lived projects.  I’ve long been interested in scale and duration and I appreciate their legs because it never relies on me as author but on others as readers/audience. That’s the slippery nature of Poetry, how it can’t be tied down to authorial desire—I’ve long respected its alchemical nature. The hay(na)ku is on its 16thyear and MDR on its 6thyear and may they continue to thrive.

Anyway, if you care to see if MDR might trigger something in you, an easy way is to get its monograph MURDER DEATH RESURRECTION which includes Study Questions and a Workshop Suggestion, making it useful for workshops and prompts—it triggered an entire book from Leny, painting from Matt Manalo, poems from Carol Dorf, Jim Leftwich, Mike Gullickson, Joy McDowell, among others, and even reviewers who intended initially just to review the book. You can see some audience engagements HERE. Here also is a good background essay about MDR over at Jacket2.

But for now, I celebrate Leny’s creativity and courage in writing GLIMPSES. If possible, please support with a purchase; a portion of sales proceeds for the rest of the year also will go to the valuable Center for Babaylan Studies.