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, December 13, 2018


Finally! HIRAETH gets a review! It happens to be the collection that contains, in my opinion, the most beautiful lines I've ever written (to date) so I'm glad it got the attention of Steve Spence who reviewed it for Litter Magazine:
"Hiraeth, the title taken from the Welsh word for homesickness, twenty six tercets taking in a vast range of themes and subjects, ranging across politics, visual art, war, natural history, dreams, language and religion to name a few. ... 
"This collection is full of surprise and wit and celebration and splendour and dark moments and can be both read through in a sitting and contemplated at a more leisurely pace, perhaps both is the best option. The cover artwork ‘Suitcase’ by Bruce Connor suggests a cornucopia and this is largely what we have here, a panoramic vision, warts and all."
You can see entire review HERE. Thank you Mr. Spence.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


It's such a joy--a relaxation--for my mind to shift from words to visual art. I'm really enjoying the work for North Fork Arts Projects. This morning in the gallery my eyes snagged on two works by Ulysses Duterte, the works that compelled me to ask him about exhibiting. They first intrigued me because the imagery is of sunsets and yet are presented on thin fields when I usually think of sunsets as bearing a seemingly infinite expanse. I appreciate their conceptual underpinning of what may be seen through prison bars, something we'll be exploring through his exhibit's online discourse in February (other works will be presented too). Meanwhile, here they are currently in the gallery--I'd just set them against the wall and later realized I'd de facto displayed them a la John McCracken's plank works. It's making me think I might display them in a similar fashion (rather than hanging them up) for purpose of the exhibit as I like (and usually don't like) the meta element of turning nature into one of interiority...

Monday, December 10, 2018


Sometimes I try poetic forms new to me. Sometimes, they click for me and sometimes they don't. One that didn't click was the ghazal (which is not to say it's not a lovely form). But recent unpacking of items from long-term storage elicited the one ghazal I've ever written ... and I thank Central Coast Poetry Shows for publishing it by making me their featured poet today on their Facebook page--"Day 584 Poetry." The ghazal (to date) is not the \ form for me but, as I say in the poem's last line:

"O Beloved! I was the wrong dame!"

Since the poem is on Facebook, I replicate poem here for those of you not traversing FB (the long lines just continue on to next line):


while floating on the Seine, noon light lingering, south side of Notre Dame
feet up on starboard, tide gentle, memory searching for a red-haired dame

where grey rocks polka-dot Pacific Grove, breathing space at the Seven Collars Inn
overlooking an aqua sea, flecks of white tissuing chin, nibbles piled on a giggling dame

at the Monterey Fish Grotto overlooking “The Point” where the Allegheny and Monongahela
join like thighs in Pittsburgh (the sommelier bleary-eyed), biding his breath with a wide-hipped dame

on a smelly dock creaking in Beach Bay Harbor, Maine, savoring streetside lobster rolls
$7-$8 per sandwich—“heaven cheap at that price”—colliding tongues with a succulent dame

over Calistoga or Arcadia National Park—“don’t matter where”—to ride a hang glider
and hear from the open cockpit a high-pitched susurrus like bliss cried out by a childhood dame

with Susan on her porch—“I smell her perfume to this very day”—wheat napping beyond the horizon
“How did I come to be denied the scent of jasmine permeating the hair on that low-lidded dame?”

Or on a slatted bench in Stag’s Leap courtyard with a glass of chardonnay, then cabernet
where Richard outlined this poem, no hiccups in his stride though I, Eileen, was the wrong dame—

Oh, Beloved! I was the wrong dame!

Thursday, December 6, 2018


I'm pleased to share my next book will be THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL: Selected Visual Poetry 2001-2019 (Paloma Press, 2019). I hope it will come out next month. A strong believer, in "Thank  you," I'd like to acknowledge those in its acknowledgements page:


Deep gratitude to the editors, curators, and publishers of the following publications and spaces that first featured individual works from this collection:

Facebook hashtag #thebigboxstorepoetryproject curated by Pamela Hart: “Arrival: An Impossibility” (2016)

1000 VIEWS OF “GIRL SINGING”, Editor John Bloomberg-Rissman (Leafe Press, Nottingham, U.K., 2009): “GIRL SINGING” (2009), as well as the Afterword and referenced poem, “ANTI-WINTER: THE DOUBLE LIFE OF AN ANGEL

2006 INTERNATIONAL HAND MADE POSTCARD EXHIBITION curated by Suzlee Ibrahim and Nalur Seni at the Garden of Art, in collaboration with ARTPROJECT2006, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: “The Secret Lives of Punctuations” (2006)

Berfrois, Editor Russell Bennetts: “Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: Tense Past Tense / Tanka #160”

“CHROMATEXT REBOOTED” curated by Jean Marie Syjuco and Alfred A. Yuson, Cultural Center of the Philippines (Manila), 2015-2016: “DON’T CALL ME FILIPINO” (2015)

“CHROMATEXT RELOADED,” an exhibition curated by Sid Hildawa, Jean Marie Syjuco and Alfred A. Yuson; sponsored by the Philippine Literary Arts Council; and held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (Manila), 2007: “LISTING POEM: TOWARDS THE NEW FILIPINO SOCIETY” (2007)

Datableed, Editors Eleanor Perry and Juha Virtanen: “Witnessed in the Convex Mirror (#23) / Tanka #159”

E-Ratio, Editor Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino: “Witnessed in the Convex Mirror #27): Beyond the Stars / Tanka #148”; “Witnessed in the Convex Mirror (#16): Blind Physicists / Tanka #149”; and “Witnessed in the Convex Mirror (#59) / Tanka #150”

Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (Issue 33)—Women of Visual Poetry Issue, Editor Jessica Smith: “Entry” (2013)

EVIDENCE OF FETUS DIVERSITY, Editor Eileen R. Tabios (Moria Books’ Locofo Chaps, Chicago, 2018): “Colonial Mentality”

EXCAVATING THE FILIPINO IN ME by Eileen R. Tabios (Tinfish, Hawai’I, 2016): “DON’T CALL ME FILIPINO” (2015)

“FACING FEMINISM” curated by Annette Marie Hyder (The McKnight Foundation and Walker Art Center): “A Feminist Can Make Achilles Heel” (2006)

Fieralingue, Editor Anny Ballardini: “ANTI-WINTER: THE DOUBLE LIFE OF AN ANGEL

h&, a journal of visual/concrete poetry curated by Ian Whistle: From “The Limits of CLOUDYGENOUS” (2018); “MY ADOPTION” (2018); “I Recall Forgetting A Secret From My Youth” (2018); “Erasing Amnesia” (2018); “KOMMAS: A Speculative Fiction” (2016); “Excerpt from the Novelist’s Diary (2016); “Mooring After Loss” (2016); “The Great American Novel” (2016); “For Christmas, the Hay(na)ku Visits Serbia” (2015); “The Outsider’s Dilemma” (2015); and “I Forget Forgetting My Skin Was Ruin” (2015)

I TAKE THEE, ENGLISH, FOR MY BELOVED by Eileen R. Tabios (Marsh Hawk Press, New York, 2005): “POEMS FORM/FROM THE SIX DIRECTIONS” (2002)

Nota Bene Eiswein by Eileen R. Tabios (Ahadada Books, Tokyo & Toronto, 2009): “Global Warming” (2009)

Otoliths, Editor Mark H. Young: “CLOUDYGENOUS ARS POETICA (2018); “Community of Vowels” (2018); “The Mortality Asemics” (Series #3) (2015); “The Corporate Cat” (2007); and “GRIDS” (2007)

Our Own Voice, Editor Reme Grefalda: “POEMS FORM/FROM THE SIX DIRECTIONS” (2002)

qarrtsiluni, Jan. 23, 2009, Editor Dave Bonta: “Poem-Sculpture Collaborations with Nick Carbo” (2005)

Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Editor Reb Livingston: “The Mortality Asemics” (Series #2) (2015)

Rigorous, Vol. Two, Issue 1, Editors Rosalyn Spencer, Kenyatta JP Garcia, Carla Williams, and Jonathan Penton: “Translation: Colonialism” (2018)

SitWithMoi Blog: “THE SECRET (An Unreadable Book)” (2013)

TANKA, VOL. I by Eileen R. Tabios (Simulacrum Press, Ontario, Canada, 2018): From “The MDR Poetry Generator: RE-MEMBER-ING TANKA (#10)”

The Big Box Poetry Project curated by Pamela Hart: “Arrival: An Impossibility” (2016)

THE LIGHT SANG AS IT LEFT YOUR EYES: Our Autobiography by Eileen R. Tabios (Marsh Hawk Press, New York, 2007): “LISTING POEM: TOWARDS THE NEW FILIPINO SOCIETY” (2007); and “The Corporate Cat” (2007)

The New Post-Literate: A Gallery of Asemic Writing curated by Michael Jacobson: “The Mortality Asemics” (Series #1) (2015)

THE SECRET LIVES OF PUNCTUATIONS, VOL. I by Eileen R. Tabios (xPress(ed), Espoo, Finland, 2006): “The Secret Lives of Punctuations” (2006)

Verity La, Managing Editor Michele Seminara: “From ‘PILIPINZ CLOUDYGENOUS’ (2018-2019)”

“World Association of Visual and Experimental Artists,” an international mail art exhibit, Curator Dejan Bogojevic, 19 Club National Musseum Valjevo, Serbia: “The Hay(na)ku Visits Serbia” (2015)


Sunday, December 2, 2018


As of Jan. 1, I began tracking the following stats on a daily basis:

--how many poems I wrote and/or edited
--how many poems I read
--how many poetry chapbooks and/or books I read
--other media that relates to poetry, e.g. audios and videos

On Facebook, where I post my daily list, my favorite comment was from witty Melinda de Jesus who said, “They’re like a FitBit for poetry…” My daily posts can look like this entry:

1/7/18: Today
I wrote zero poems.
I read 6 poems and 1 poetry book.

That’s it. No names, which is why I’m posting below the names of poets whose works I read. I name them, whether I read a single poem or an entire book by them. January's reading is HERE, February's reading is HERE, March's reading is HERE, April's reading is HERE, May's reading is HERE, June's reading is HEREJuly's reading is HERE, August's reading is HERE, September's reading is HERE, and October's reading is HERE.

These poets make up November's reading (translators are also included):

Julia Carter Aldrich
Gemino H. Abad
Meena Alexander
Billy T. Antonio
Jimmy Santiago Baca
Sheila Bare
Christopher Henry Muwanga Barlow
Elmer Bear
Tom Beckett
John M. Bennett
Boyd W. Benson
James Berger
Anselm Berrigan
Wendell Berry
Richard James Biddle
Brian Bilston
Johannes S.H. Bjerg
David Bromige
Carlos Bulosan
Luis Cabalquinto
Jeremy Cantor
Chiwan Choi
Andrea Cohen
Norma Cole
CA Conrad
Adam Cornford
Ray Craig
Artista Daily
Melinda Luisa de Jesus
Linh Dinh
Donmay Donamayoora
Carol Dorf
Carol Ann Duffy
Amanda Earl
Laura Cesarce Eglin
Larry Eigner
Elaine Equi
Molly Fisk
Chaya-Malkah Frank
John Freeman
Ellie Ga
Danny Gallardo
Peter Ganick
Anne Gorrick
Erica Goss
Diana Hamilton
Hilda Hilst
MC Hyland
Luisa Igloria
Megan Kaminski
Birhan Keskin
Arkaye Kierulf
Marton Koppany
Dean Kostos
Ashish Xiangyi Kumar
Sade LaNay
Tammy Ho Lai-Ming
Dorothea Lasky
Philip Levine
Tan Lin
Perie Longo
Federico Garcia Lorca
Audrey Lorde
Mary Mackey
Colin Lee Marshall
Bernadette Mayer
Jeffrey McDaniel
Jose-Luis Moctezuma
Lani Montreal
Valerie Morton
Sara Mumolo
Robert Murphy
Murat Nemet-Nejat
Amy Newman
Philip Nikolayev
Elly Nobbs
Mary Oliver
Kirby Olson
Artis Ostups
Jose Padua
Chad Parenteau
Enzo Patti
Pat Phaggs
Paul Pines
Aloysiusi Polintan
Liliana Ponce
Ernesto Priego
Randy Prunty
Sina Queyras
Bino Realuyo
Bill Rector
Justin Phillip Reed
Barbara Jane Reyes
Raquel Salas Rivera
Chloe Garcia Roberts
Elizabeth Robinson
Rod Roland
Tatiana Roumelioti
Faith Santilla
Petra Schulze-Wollgast
Collin Schuster
Li Shangyin
Svein H. Skavern
Dale Smith
Lina Stern
Wallace Stevens
Aralee Strange
Hiromi Suzuki
George Szirtes
Eileen Tabios
Treva Tabios
Clarissa Upchurch
Aldrin Valdez
Joanna C Valente
Eliana Vanessa
Jean Vengua
Xenia-Chloe Henson Villanueva
Dan Waber
Rosmarie Waldrop
Kai Carlson-Wee
Jayde Will
William Carlos Williams

Saturday, December 1, 2018


I'm so happy to have installed the hay(na)ku exhibit today at the Saint Helena Public Library. The exhibit will be up through to the end of the year!

Curator: Eileen R. Tabios
December 2018

William Allegrezza
Gabriela Pascual Bautista
Charles Bernstein
Aileen Ibardaloza Cassinetto
Melinda Luisa de Jesus
Carol Dorf
Peg Duthie
Vince Gotera
Crag Hill
Kathleen Lawrence
Iris Lee (featured with ekphrastic inspiration, the quilt “Resist” by Alice Brody)
Abigail Licad
Lani T. Montreal
Cesar Polvorosa, Jr.
Zvi A. Sesling
Eileen R. Tabios
Glynda “GT” Velasco
Jean Vengua
Mark Young

William Allegrezza
Aileen Ibardaloza Cassinetto
Alex Gildzen
Sheila H. Murphy
Ernesto Priego
Eileen R. Tabios

HAY(NA)KU BOOKS edited by
Ivy Alvarez 
John Bloomberg-Rissman 
Ernesto Priego 
Eileen R. Tabios 
Jean Vengua 
Mark Young

Presented with an Invitation to the Public to write hay(na)ku poems.

(click on images to enlarge)



Thursday, November 15, 2018


I’ve had about five poetics essays accepted for publication in the last couple of months—folks seem to like my blather. (Indeed, I write this while on a break from writing another such essay requested by another poet.) I think if I have a lot to say on poetics, it comes from how I approach poem-making. And, ever multi-tasking, I’d like to talk about it by answering another question that’s recently come up to me: 
“You have so many books and I’m new to your work—how do  choose?”

My answer is three-fold:

1) Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole as it’s what I consider my true first poetry book (includes sizeable excerpts from technically my first book, Beyond Life Sentences which is not distributed well outside of the Philippines) and it’s always interesting to see any poet’s first book; 

2) Any of my recent books as they would benefit from experience and maturity (hopefully); and/or

3) My favored answer—the one I would say if I could only choose one of these three numbered options: books from my form-based Selected Poem series.

I create Selected Poem books based on a single poetry form. I do so for one reason: so that I can prove to the reader that I didn’t just write poems but helped to expand the landscape of its particular form ... because I believe that if I didn’t expand poetry’s expanse, then my poems threaten to be solipsistic, masturbatory, or derivative (yes, I'm my toughest critic).

Relatedly, the poems inside each book are presented chronologically so that the reader can track how the writing developed before it ends up in expanding the form. I think this layer is interesting as art is a process as much as a result.  

To date, I’ve released three such Selected Poems books:

Forthcoming are two more Selected Poems collections:

The In(ter)vention of the Hay(na)ku: Selected Tercets (1996-2019)

THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL: Selected Visual Poetry (2001-2019)

So I have addressed four forms through my Selected Poems series: the prose poem, the catalog or list poem, the tercet, and visual poetry.

I write/have written in other forms but if I haven’t released a “Selected Poem” addressing a particular form, it likely will be because I don’t feel I’ve explored it sufficiently and thus provided my own value-added on to its form. I’ve written, for example, in quatrains, sonnets,  ghazals, etc. and while individual poems may have merit, I don’t feel I’ve (yet) expanded on the form.

An exception to my Selecteds will be the tanka. In the future, I likely will present a Collected Tanka book of the tankas that I will have written only in 2018 (I don't anticipate writing more tankas after this year this year). Thus, that book will be a Collected rather than Selected and, yes, I also feel I expanded that form (for proof until I release that Collected, you can check out  my TANKA, Vol. 1 from Simulacrum Press, 2018).

But to get back to poetics, I don’t think I’d have much to blather about poetry were it  not for my desire to expand the possibilities of whatever form I’m writing. So, if you have to choose among my many books, you might consider one of my Selecteds. Thank you for asking.