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.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


[Poets are invited to participate in this series of snapshots of poets' reading habits.  For information, go HERE.] 

1)  What are you reading now?  As well, what is in your To-Read-Soon stack?

Reading now:

EJ Swift, Osiris (dystopian-future SF; takes place in the 2300s; the people who live in a city purpose built to survive the coming climate disaster and a number of man-made plagues, etc now believe it is the last outpost of humans in the world; at the same time they haven’t learned anything about cooperation; reminds me a bit of China Miéville’s The City and The City)

Louis-Auguste Blanqui, Eternity by the Stars (post-Paris Commune cosmology from a prison cell; more depressing in some ways than Nietzsche’s vision of the eternal return, yet, as Sean Bonney notes re this book, “Within an infinite universe, defeat is always inevitable, but so also is victory.” Somewhere, somehow …)

Corneluis Castoriadis, The Imaginary Institution of Society (post-68 semi-post-Marxist/Lacanian thought piece for revolutionaries on how to move forward after all the revolutions of the c19 and 20 have collapsed; written in the 70s, and goes well with D&G’s Anti-Oedipus, Lyotard’s Libidinal Economy, etc)

Simon Jarvis, The Unconditional (book-length contemporary “Cambridge school” poem, an epic sort of series of digressions but with a subtle forward movement; reminds me in a way of Rachel Blau DuPlessis’s Drafts)

John Edgar Wideman, My Soul Has Grown Deep (anthology of African-American autobiographies from the mid-c18 thru the Harlem Renaissance; I just read about the founding of the first AME church, and was struck by the fact that its charter was voted on by the male members ONLY of the congregation; it apparently never occurred to the men that tho they had been discriminated against by the white methodists, they were now in turn discriminating against women; yes, it was the c18, but Mary Wollstoncraft lived in the c18 … I wonder how long it will take humans to learn all we have to learn …)

Benoit Peeters, Derrida (biography; very good; did you realize that Derrida was not “white”? I’ve never thought about his obsessions in terms of his personal and generational history so much before)

Cyprian Broodbank, The Making of the Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean from the Beginning to the Emergence of the Classical World (archaeology; brilliant; scary – I mean, I think sentences like, “Nothing much changed vis-à-vis tool making for the next 400,000 years” have something terrifying about them)

To read soon:

Juliana Spahr and David Buuck, An Army of Lovers
Stephanie Young, Ursula or University
Ivy Alvarez, Disturbance
Benjamin Hollander, In the House Un-American
Iain M Banks, 3 novels from the Culture series
Jean Rhys, The Complete Novels
Janet Kaplan, Remedios Varo: Unexpected Journeys
Armand Schwerner, The Tablets
EB White, Charlotte’s Web
Raya Dunayevskaya, Marxism & Freedom
Jean-Luc Nancy, The Inoperative Community
Rosa Luxemburg, Complete Works vol.1
Howard Eiland and Michael W Jennings, Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life
21st Century Science Fiction (eds. David G Hartwell and Patrick Nielsen Hayden)
American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM-5)
Ferdowsi, Shanemeh

Books in Bedroom

2) Please share a comment about the books, e.g. recommendations, disappointments, embarrassment (a "Guilty Pleasure"), that certain titles are mandatory for your work, or anything else you want to share about your reading list.

The only comment I want to make about these is: can you believe that I have NEVER read Charlotte’s Web???

One of Many Stack of Books


  1. John, I'm so ill-read. I haven't read Charlotte's Web either!

  2. It's a fun book. I recommend it. Especially if you can find occasion to read it aloud to a young child. It's one of the chapter books we read at bedtime to our kids.