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, January 22, 2015


The current issue of Our Own Voice is generous to me.  Thank you Reme Grefalda and Aileen Ibardaloza for featuring, not just Mom’s reminiscences of me as a toddler-writer, but

--a poem from AMNESIA: SOMEBODY’S MEMOIR: “I Forgot All Ancestors” 

--a review of FOOTNOTES TO ALGEBRA.  Here's excerpt of review:

[Tabios’] “poetry” may be “inherently a matter of interconnections,” but the principle of “a word arbitrarily place next to another” is not going to guarantee the collection of generative interconnections; the poet needs to have written the poems carefully and then to have thought vigorously enough to establish effective groupings. And she did. … When Tabios’ poetry simultaneously enables the reader to contemplate the significance of the “frame” of words and to “see/ Beyond the frame” to “another possibility,” its algebra is most enticing and acute.

--my interview with poet Patrick Rosal about his breakdancer drawings:

--a review of my three 2014 released poetry collections: SUN STIGMATA, 44 RESURRECTIONS and 147 MILLION ORPHANS. Here are excerpts from the review:

On Sun Stigmata 
With few exceptions, the titles of the poems in this collection begin with an open bracket as if they are being written in parenthesis. To my mind this is because they seek to offer an elaboration or a rephrasing on something that has gone before. Interestingly, the brackets are never closed. This is the parenthesis that offers a space, a digression, an interlude that Tabios leaves for the reader. It is up to the reader to complete whatever it is that he or she discovers in the poem and then to close that bracket. It is a mechanism that allows the poem to breathe, to resonate in all its nuances, much as a person might stand before a painting and not move away from it until its impact has been experienced in full. 
 In the opening section, “My Greece,” Tabios gives hints as to the strategy she will adopt as a writer. She will embrace unpredictability, she will not be constrained by narrative, she will appeal to the emotions, write from the heart as well as the head, and escape chaos through the creation of art. She is attracted by the statue of the Kritios Boy because it breaks with tradition by shifting away from a rigid full-frontal position, the right leg slightly bent, the whole statue immortalized in hesitation. In “Purity” she laments how a square canvas depicts a square and a circular canvas depicts a circle. In contrast to such dull predictability, she wants her writing to flow like “a menstruation—ooze with a viscous intensity unmitigated by geometry.” 

This is a book that offers up some powerful thought-provoking messages. It deserves to be heard because it speaks out against social injustice and brings to light the shocking plight of those who have no voice of their own. 
The overall effect is often one of the beginning of a story or series of stories which the reader is left to complete because once again Tabios has allowed us the freedom to indulge in the realm of our own imaginations. Isn’t that one of the things that all great poetry should really be about?

I guess I've been busy....

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