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 29, 2017


Today was the Methodist Book Launch (so to speak, and it amuses me to speak of it as such) of AMNESIA: Somebody’s Memoir at the Saint Helena Methodist Church. It was one of the best poetry reading experiences of my life and shows just how fruitful it can be for poets to go beyond the usual literary world contexts for presenting their poems. And thanks to Leny Strobel and Cal for attending. Leny, as my bookseller during the reception, sold out my books and folks put in several orders—never had the book bag been so light after a poetry reading. She and I just may launch a reading tour of the Methodists churches in wine country! 

But what I also want to say is how synchronistically the poems ended up addressing the events of the week. There was the line “I forgot it need not take more than one person to bring the world to ruin…” which I’d written *after* the Greek Myth of Helen and the Trojan War, and yet came to address refugee matters. And when I introduced a poem partly inspired by the Philippines, unplanned by me came the line, “I just wanted to say I’m an immigrant too…” As well, it was good to share the line, “I forgot Muhammad welcoming Jews and Christians for they, too, are 'People of the Book.'" The best poems transcend authorial intent to befit whatever times surface in life, out of the poet’s control. I’m grateful I discovered some of my poems work in this manner.

I learned, too, that the cello (and piano, except that the cello was a revelation) is a wonderful accompaniment to my poems courtesy of the Napa Valley Duo. As well, I was blessed by the company of Linda Lang’s artworks. Anyway, my heart is full. Thank you, Universe. 

 (Rev. Audrey and Leny Strobel)

 (artist Linda Lang)

While my reading focused on AMNESIA, I also read poems from FOOTNOTES TO ALGEBRA and THE LIGHT SANG AS IT LEFT YOUR EYES:

Of course, I was blessed, too, to be in the company of Micah, Matthew, and Chopin.




And afterwards, the stillness of peace:

No comments:

Post a Comment