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, February 5, 2015


I like the idea for idea's sake.  Like many people, I have tons more ideas than what moves from idea stage to become reality.  And finishing up my experimental biography manuscript, AGAINST MISANTHROPY, reminded me that one of my ideas became reality only because of Anselm Berrigan.  To wit, here's an excerpt from the book:

An example relates to 147 MILLION ORPHANS, a “haybun” which is a form that combines hay(na)ku and other text....I’m excited about 147 MILLION ORPHANS partly because each word forming a hay(na)ku is taken chronologically from an 8th grade project by my son who was charged to learn English partly by studying 25 new words a week.  I blogged for months about 147 MILLION ORPHANS because I just loved the idea of using my son’s words that he learned over the course of a schoolyear.  But I was mostly relishing its concept, and only wrote its first few poems after Anselm Berrigan solicited me for The Brooklyn Rail.  [From there I wrote more poems.] I respect both Anselm and The Rail and so wanted to respond to the solicitation.  Without Anselm Berrigan, the [physical reality of the book] 147 MILLION ORPHANS might not exist.

Until editing AGAINST MISANTHROPY, I'd forgotten about Anselm's role in 147 MILLION ORPHANS.  Without Anselm's interest, I may never have written the actual poems but might just have continued blathering about its underlying concept.  I don't know that I'd ever thanked him specifically for his role!  Que horror!  So belatedly, sheepishly, but sincerely, I say, MARAMING SALAMAT, Anselm!

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