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.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

MY FIRST NOVEL IS FORTHCOMING! DOVELION!

Yes, I pulled it off! I not only finished (finally!) my first long-form novel but it will be published. More details forthcoming on its publication in early 2021, but meanwhile I'm trying to relish having found a publisher for it. I've been tinkering with various ways to promote it. Would any of these pique your attention? :)






Anyway, I'm sure some are too wordy. But tinkering tinkering ... I've never marketed a novel before :)




Wednesday, August 12, 2020

INCULPATORY EVIDENCE: THE COVID-19 POEMS

I'm pleased to announce a new poetry collection birthed by Covid-19 -- I supposed almost anything can be a Muse. Anyway, this is interesting because it's also a bilingual edition with my English poems translated into Thai. A translation essay is included, too, which hopefully is educational. Here's more information about it:

INCULPATORY EVIDENCE: The Covid-19 Poems
Publishers: Laughing/Ouch/Cube/Productions (California) and i.e. press (New York)
ISBN: 978-1-934299-16-6
Pages: 58
Release Date: Summer 2020
Distributors: Laughing Ouch Cube Productions (johnkathybr at gmail dot com) and its Lulu Account
Price: $15.00

This wouldn't have been my ideal way to be a "Cover Girl." Nonetheless, you are invited to GO HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.



Saturday, August 1, 2020

PAGPAG REACHES CHINA


I’m delighted, of course, to see PAGPAG: The Dictator's Aftermath in the Diaspora start its journey around the world. These photos come from China during the farewell talk of Sze Ping Lo as he stepped down as CEO of WWF China. His lecture included two slides that referred to Red Constantino's remarks during PAGPAG’s book launch. The first image presents an excerpt from my book accompanied by a close up detail of one of the Constantino Murals, which was commissioned in 2007 to commemorate the lives of two ordinary Filipinos who, because they answered their people's call, rose to become giants. One was Macario Sakay, and the other, in the photo with my quote, is Lean Alejandro. From PAGPAG, my quote

“The optimism in my memory is a taste of rust, jarring against what I observed the country had become. The optimism is an ache that will not go away. It is a ghost haunting.”

(That little red book is Araling Panlipunan (used in Philippine civics classes).)

The second image presents my favorite part of Red’s PAGPAG remarks (reprinted in ABS-CBN) which I think is much needed for the times:

"To survive and thrive in the near future, we will need everyone. And we will need to revisit the past constantly, not as a bludgeon to smash our enemies with but as a constant companion in our effort to distill meaning in our fleeting lives. Because everything will count and because the written word will always -- always -- be our strongest and most reliable ally."






Thursday, July 30, 2020

READ WATER

Delighted to receive my contributor's copy of an intriguing and timely anthology, READ WATER edited by Hari Alluri, Garrett Bryant and Amanda Fuller. I'm grateful, not just for their inclusions of my 2 poems "The Great Grief" and "Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: Anthropocene" but also, for their inclusion of my poetics essay that allows me to posit I became like water a la Bruce Lee. As someone who briefly studied Kali and barely avoided bruising my own shins during its own stick-fighting, I am amused to invoke the martial arts. Anyway, thanks to the poets and I recommend checking it out HERE. I include Table of Contents below -- also grateful to be in such fine company:







Monday, July 27, 2020

ZOOM-ING THE HAY(NA)KU!


I was blessed this weekend to be a guest poet on a webinar series put together by Dr. Jeannie Celestial and sponsored by Balay Kreative. The above image is from the lovely maganda magazine who generously hailed my presence on Instagram. At the webinar, I presented and encouraged the writing of hay(na)ku. I was so pleased--and awed--at how everyone seemed a natural in the form! Many in the audience apparently were teachers and so I don't know how much related to how they easily took up the form (certainly, it was a means for me, too, to encourage hay(na)ku as a teaching tool, having been used in classes and workshops from the elementary to the college levels).

Anyway, I wanted to share some of the hay(na)ku written during the series. The first is a "haybun" (combination of prose and a hay(na)ku) that I wrote on their prompt "My mountain is ___." I then transformed the meditation into a single hay(na)ku tercet:

MOUNTAIN

My mountain may be where I’ve built a house: Galatea in St. Helena, California. “Galatea,” “St. Helena,” “California”—none of these names are accurate, for my mountain is really the land of its original people, the Wappo. And what the Wappo may have called my mountain that is not mine is unknown. But I find comfort in this not-knowing. Because my true mountain comes from the time when we humans form our gods—that time known as childhood. As a child, I grew up on a mountain in Baguio City, Philippines. I know that mountain no longer exists as it was snuffed out of its existence by pollution and overpopulation. Where once stood pine trees are now houses on top of each other to cover every inch of its once natural slope. Galatea, California, Baguio—it’s irrelevant now. All of my mountains share the same crumbling profile of Loss.

I turned my prose meditation into this hay(na)ku:

Mountains
Become valleys
Lost in memory

I was not privy to the participants' meditations but I did see some of their mountain-related hay(na)ku and want to share this written by Vex Kaztro as it so pleased me:

My mountain does
not climb
me

Vex Kaztro is a natural at the form! Here's another one she wrote:

mud,
make me
a hardened vessel 

Another participant, Camille Santana, also wrote a mountain-related hay(na)ku:

Mountain,
Bare feet—
I am here 

I think they're all fabulous. May the hay(na)ku come to be as natural to them and their communities as breath itself.


It is a delight to share with all of them a copy of my bilingual (English/Spanish) hay(na)ku collection with translator Rebeka Lembo: ONE, TWO, THREE!







Sunday, July 19, 2020

PAGPAG CONVERSATION NOW ON YOUTUBE!

“In The Dictator’s Aftermath: Conversation and Book Launch for PAGPAG: The Dictator's Aftermath in the Diaspora by Eileen R. Tabios”


These excerpts don’t do justice to what everyone shared. It gets more immense—darker and deeper, too—amidst—or despite—the laughter. The conversation is timely, wide-ranging and I invite you to watch this video. I wrote the book but it’s not about me; it’s on Empire, memory, colonialism and its postness, fascism and the use of humor to take it down, race, history, the frailties of the human condition, indigeneity, the flux of language, Brecht, Bahktin & Benjamin, and then hunger on too many levels, and so on and so much more. AND we name the names of those “salvaged.” Some excerpts:

As we grapple with ways to fight media repression and the Anti-Terror Bill in the Philippines, Eileen Tabios presents us with PAGPAG. … the book is a joy to read because it makes us laugh, for if there is one thing I remember about being an activist during Martial Law, …it is that we used laughter. We mocked those in power, and drawing from Mikhail Bakhtin’s discussion of the carnivalesque, this laughter was necessary in the “de-crowning” of the dictator. Moreover, the book also reminded me of family and friends who managed to joke even during dark times, of political work made lighter by shared laughter, and how, amidst fear of detention, we made up funny songs…
—Joi Barrios

The many definitions of “pagpag” includes how Ferdinand Marcos’ son asked Cambridge Analytica to “rebrand” his family’s image… to [visual pagpag] of slapping one’s cheeks to prevent one from becoming numb to all the murders. “In the Bible, Jesus says ‘if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and *shake the dust off* your feet as a testimony against them’.”
—Father Albert Alejo

Pagpag-making, in this sense, for all its contradictory significations, like Eileen’s skillful reworking of painful and grievous memories of the Marcos regime into stories of alternative meaning, delight, and pleasure, may be seen as gesturing toward that kind of capacity for beauty and life-making in the direst of circumstances—I would say perhaps a skill those of us still ensconced in the comfort of our privilege could well learn from.
—S. Lily Mendoza

I teach “Race and Humor” at Stonybrook. The theory of humor that I love to share with students is the theory of inversion, the reversal of power. We laugh when the cruelties of the world are exposed. We laugh when the powerful are made fun of, and they’re taken down by joke … in this case by a story. Fascists hate humor because humor threatens their order, the order that they want which is that they’re on top. Humor brings them down to the level of the people.
—Nerissa Balce

…[PAGPAG] gives us a glimpse of not only of where we came up short, but also why today too many lessons are learned the hard way. In one of Pagpag's pieces, Eileen Tabios points in the story “A Ghost Haunting” to one of several reasons why many are wrestling with a deep sense of unarticulated anomie: "The optimism in my memory is a taste of rust, jarring against what I observed the country had become. The optimism is an ache that will not go away. It is a ghost haunting." // She is describing the Philippines but it can just as well be the United States. Or Brazil. Or India. Think of the fireflies reminding us of the rubble of institutions crumbling from the combined force of neglect and official venality.
—Renato Redentor Constantino

I only decided last year to collect the stories into a book after observing the human rights atrocities caused by Duterte’s regime. I thought then that even as my stories are fiction, my book PAGPAG might serve to remind how actions have such prolonged effects. The book’s idea of presenting fictionalized children of anti-Marcos activists, now grown-up and coping with their legacies, is also a metaphorical call for bettering our actions as actions do become legacies and can have impact for generations afterward.
—Eileen R. Tabios

Information about the Book Launch Participants available HERE.







Thursday, July 9, 2020

MAKING THE NOVEL ADDS NEW CATEGORY!

A writer asked if I would turn MAKING THE NOVEL into a print book. I said, "Perhaps, but I have to see how the project goes and we’re still in its early days." I do appreciate the enthusiasm underlying the question, of course!  But because it’s still in its early days, I’m also still refining the project concept and, today, decided to add a fourth category (the asterisked one below) so that the project would be comprised of

EXCERPTS THAT HAD BEEN DELETED FROM PUBLISHED NOVELS

EXCERPTS FROM UNPUBLISHED or IN-PROGRESS NOVELS

EXCERPTS DELETED WHILE WRITING UNPUBLISHED or IN-PROGRESS NOVELS*

EXCERPTS FROM FAILED NOVELS

MAKING THE NOVEL is really intended to reveal more about the arduity of working in this long form. I initially thought that EXCERPTS FROM UNPUBLISHED NOVELS would encompass the new category of EXCERPTS DELETED WHILE WRITING UNPUBLISHED NOVELS. But my own experience indicates this is not the case, that is, while writing my first draft I also cut out excerpts even before the first draft was finished. So I decided to create a category for those deleted excerpts too.

So if you are writing/have written an unpublished novel, and you’ve already cut out some parts of that, this category is for you. Please share! I don’t want this project to be about my work so I’m limiting my participation but an example for this category could be a prologue I’d written for my first novel which I later deleted (as I decided the novel didn’t require a prologue).

Please continue spreading the word about this project. As a published novelist recently emailed, “I don’t think people realize just how much a story changes even after acquisition from a publisher.” And of course the story changed a lot more even before said acquisition. I think it’s helpful to make the process as transparent as possible.

I also reorganized the order of the excerpts to adjust the inclusion of this new category; I think this structure is better for showing the novel’s challenges.

Of course, do let me know if you or others you know may have contributions to these categories. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

MAKING THE NOVEL--EDITION 2

You are invited to see the latest novelists added to MAKING THE NOVEL.

For convenience, I replicate the updated Table of Contents below:

***

The MAKING THE NOVEL project is divided into three parts:

EXCERPTS FROM UNPUBLISHED or IN-PROGRESS NOVELS

EXCERPTS THAT HAD BEEN DELETED FROM PUBLISHED NOVELS

EXCERPTS FROM FAILED NOVELS

We are grateful to the novelists, published and unpublished, for participating. Click on names below to go to the writers' contributions. For convenience, I place an asterisk by each newly-added author's name with each update:

A Project Introduction & Submissions Information
Eileen R. Tabios

EXCERPTS FROM UNPUBLISHED or IN-PROGRESS NOVELS
John Bloomberg-Rissman*
Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
Lynn Crawford
Heather L. Davis
Martha King
Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor*
Monica Macansantos
Mary Mackey (2)*
Sandy McIntosh
Jose Padua
Tony Robles
Linda Ty-Casper*

Forthcoming:
John Bloomberg-Rissman (2).
Timothy Bradford
M. Evelina Galang
Cristina Querrer
More To Come


EXCERPTS THAT HAD BEEN DELETED FROM PUBLISHED NOVELS
Sesshu Foster
Mary Mackey
Reine Arcache Melvin*
Jason Tanamor*

Forthcoming:
Eric Gamalinda
Renee Macalino Rutledge
More To Come


EXCERPTS FROM "FAILED NOVELS" (as defined by their writers)
Ken Edwards
Brian Marley
Eileen R. Tabios
More To Come


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS

**

Submission Information: If you are interested in sharing an excerpt or deleted excerpt from your novel, go HERE for information.
Contact: email Eileen R. Tabios, at nalandaten at gmail dot com


Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you’re doomed. – Ray Bradbury


When I complete a novel I set it aside, and begin work on short stories, and eventually another long work. When I complete that novel I return to the earlier novel and rewrite much of it. In the meantime the second novel lies in a desk drawer. – Joyce Carol Oates


The things that the novel does not say are necessarily more numerous than those it does say and only a special halo around what is written can give the illusion that you are reading also what is not written. – Italo Calvino


"When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done." — Stephen King


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

MAKING THE NOVEL!

I'm delighted to announce a new project that's focused on the arduous challenge of writing the novel. I invite you to read, participate (whether, as a novelist, you're published or unpublished), and/or spread the word to novel-lovers and novelists who may be interested in participating. The project is MAKING THE NOVEL. You can see it at its link, but here also is the inaugural release's Table of Contents for convenience:

The MAKING THE NOVEL project is divided into three parts:

EXCERPTS FROM UNPUBLISHED or IN-PROGRESS NOVELS

EXCERPTS THAT HAD BEEN DELETED FROM PUBLISHED NOVELS

EXCERPTS FROM FAILED NOVELS

We are grateful to the novelists, published and unpublished, for participating. Click on names below to go to the writers' contributions:

A Project Introduction & Submissions Information
Eileen R. Tabios

EXCERPTS FROM UNPUBLISHED or IN-PROGRESS NOVELS
Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
Lynn Crawford
Heather L. Davis
Martha King
Monica Macansantos
Sandy McIntosh
Jose Padua
Tony Robles

Forthcoming:
M. Evelina Galang
Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor
Cristina Querrer
More To Come


EXCERPTS THAT HAD BEEN DELETED FROM PUBLISHED NOVELS
Sesshu Foster
Mary Mackey

Forthcoming:
Eric Gamalinda
Reine Arcache Melvin
Renee Macalino Rutledge
More To Come


EXCERPTS FROM "FAILED NOVELS" (as defined by their writers)
Ken Edwards
Brian Marley
Eileen R. Tabios
More To Come


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS

**

Submission Information: If you are interested in sharing an excerpt or deleted excerpt from your novel, go HERE for information.
Contact: email Eileen R. Tabios, at nalandaten at gmail dot com


Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you’re doomed. – Ray Bradbury


When I complete a novel I set it aside, and begin work on short stories, and eventually another long work. When I complete that novel I return to the earlier novel and rewrite much of it. In the meantime the second novel lies in a desk drawer. – Joyce Carol Oates


The things that the novel does not say are necessarily more numerous than those it does say and only a special halo around what is written can give the illusion that you are reading also what is not written. – Italo Calvino


"When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done." — Stephen King



Monday, June 29, 2020

"ROBOT COSPLAY"--THE FRENCH VERSION!

I've never been there, but I love Brussels. Which is to say, as soon as online publishing became possible, I glommed onto that train! Recall the early days of that artificial controversy of online vs print publishing, i.e. that print publishing supposedly is better? But if one focuses on audience versus reputation, it's logical to support online venues as such significantly expands readership. So back to Brussels--today I received my contributor's copy of the Belgian literary/arts journal On peut se permettre where one of my poems, "ROBOT COSPLAY," is presented in French translation. The translator Fanny Garin found my poem online and was moved to translate.
I never would have seen my poems in different countries than the U.S. or translated in other languages without online publishing. What I also love about this process is that my poems are speaking for themselves. As their author, I'm not doing any pitching blather about how great they are--the poems are read and judged solely based on their merit before they might pique a translator's (or any reader's) interest. Merveilleux!
I present them below because, although I'm not fluent in French, I think my poem looks lovely in that dress! Merci!
And I'm also presenting them here because they are in a print journal. Quelle belle ironie!



(Click on images to expand)


Thursday, June 25, 2020

PLEASURE & THE POETRY INTRODUCTION

Reading Yusef Kumonyakaa's Introduction to Ai's THE COLLECTED POEMS made me pause to consider: I rarely derive pleasure from reading such introductions to poetry. The introductions may be educational, well-considered, erudite, etc but, for me, they've not usually generated pleasure. So, perhaps for the first time, I finally found myself relishing--wallowing--in this form.

But it's not just because Kumonyakaa is writing prose well here--an achievement by itself (I just finished an hour before writing this post a conversation with another poet about how it's rare that poets can write prose well). I suspect his Introduction is generating so much pleasure because the poems, themselves, are meatily-pleasurable. It's quite respectful--though logical if one knows the charisma of Ai's poems--for Kumonyakaa to allow the poems to lead and hold their sway (many critics writing about poetry fail to achieve the balance of presenting their response versus the existence of the poems themselves).

Thus, it's a pleasure to say--I not only recommend Ai's poems in this book, but even the Introduction to it. If it's not the first time, it's the first time in a looooong time that I've ever said that about such an introduction.






Monday, June 22, 2020

LAUNCHING PAGPAG THROUGH FB LIVE!

You are invited to

"The Dictator's Aftermath: A Conversation"
which will also launch Eileen R. Tabios' new book of short stories, 
PAGPAG: The Dictator’s Aftermath in the Diaspora

To participate, please go HERE for Facebook Live details.

The event starts at 5 p.m. Pacific on Saturday, July 18, 2020 
(July 19, Sunday, 8 a.m. Philippine time)


PAGPAG Author: Eileen R. Tabios
Moderator: Joi Barrios
Panelists: Fr. Bert Alejo, Nerissa Balce, Red Constantino, S. Lily Mendoza
Co-Hosts: Aileen Cassinetto, Michelle Bautista

Link information for PAGPAG: The Dictator’s Aftermath in the Diaspora –


BIOS

Eileen R. Tabios has released over 60 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in ten countries and cyberspace. Recent releases include a short story collection, PAGPAG: The Dictator’s Aftermath in the Diaspora and a poetry collection, The In(ter)vention of the Hay(na)ku: Selected Tercets 1996-2019. Forthcoming soon is her third bilingual edition (English/Thai), INCULPATORY EVIDENCE: Covid-19 Poems. Her award-winning body of work includes invention of the hay(na)ku, a 21st century diasporic poetic form, and the MDR Poetry Generator that can create poems totaling theoretical infinity, as well as a first poetry book, Beyond Life Sentences, which received the Philippines’ National Book Award for Poetry. Translated into 11 languages, she has edited, co-edited or conceptualized 15 anthologies of poetry, fiction and essays. More information is available at http://eileenrtabios.com

Joi Barrios-Leblanc has published three books of poetry, including the Filipina feminist classic Ang Pagiging Babae ay Pamumuhay sa Panahon ng Digma /To Be Woman is to Live at a Time of War (Babaylan Women’s Publishing Collective, 1990). She is the author of a collection of plays, Bailaya (University of the Philippines Press, 1997), and her dissertation, Mula sa Mga Pakpak ng Entablado: Poetika ng Dulaang Kababaihan (University of the Philippines Press, 2006), is a study of Filipina playwrights. She has won several national writing awards in the Philippines: the Weaver of History Award, given to one hundred Filipinas for their contributions to Philippine society by the National Centennial Commission, 1998; the TOWNS Award (Ten Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service), 2004; and the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas (National Balagtas Lifetime Achievement Award) for Poetry in Filipino, 2016. Barrios currently teaches Filipino and Philippine Literature at the University of California, Berkeley.

Albert E. Alejo ("Paring Bert") is a Filipino Jesuit priest who worked with trade unions and informal labour groups in Manila before earning a doctorate degree in social anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is founder of Ehem! Anti-corruption Initiative and author of Tao Po! Tuloy!: Isang Landas ng Pag-Unawa sa Loob ng TaoGenerating Energies In Mount Apo: Cultural Politics In A Contested EnviromentNabighani: Mga Saling Tula ng Kapwa Nilikha, and other works. He teaches at the Ateneo de Manila University, and his areas of specialization include Christian Social Ethics: Corruption and Violence and the Formation of Social Conscience, Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue, and Methods of Research for Doctor of Ministry.

Nerissa S. Balce is an Associate professor of Asian American studies at SUNY Stony Brook. Her research focuses on race, gender, state violence and popular culture in the U.S. and the Philippines. She is co-curator of the online art project, Dark Lens / Lente ng Karimlan: The Filipino Camera in Duterte’s Republic, an online exhibition of Philippine photographs of the drug war featuring commissioned poems and captions by 40 scholars and artists from the Philippines and North America.  Dark Lens  is currently on view at SUNY Stony Brook's  Center for the Study of Inequalities, Social Justice and Policy website. Balce is the author of the book, Body Parts of Empire: Visual Abjection, Filipino Images and the American Archive , winner of the 2018 Best Book award in Cultural Studies from the Filipino Section of the Association for Asian American Studies. The book was also a finalist for the best book in the social sciences for the 2018 Philippine National Book Awards. She was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. 

Renato Redentor ("Red") Constantino is the Executive Director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities and the author of The Poverty of Memory: Essays on History and Empire. He is anthologized in Letters to the Earth (HarperCollins, 2019) with Yoko Ono, Mary Oliver, Emma Thompson and Mark Rylance, Humanity (Paloma Press, 2018) with Eileen Tabios, Laura Mullen, and Murzban F. Shroff, Literary Encounters: A Comprehensive Worktext in 21st Century Literature from the Philippines (University of San Carlos Press, 2016), and the Japanese publication The World Can be Changed: An Anthology for Posterity (TUP/Seven Forest Bookstore, Tokyo: 2004), along with Ariel Dorfman, Jane Goodall, Chalmers Johnson, and Sami Ramadani. As head of ICSC, he published and contributed to the anthology, Agam: Filipino Narratives on Uncertainty and Climate Change (ICSC, 2014), which was awarded three national book awards. He writes for several publications, and his essays on history, memory, environment and development have been translated into several languages. Red also manages the Constantino Foundation which is dedicated to advancing the idea of a usable history, where lessons from the past become active elements of the present.

S. Lily Mendoza (she, her, hers) is a native of San Fernando, Pampanga in Central Luzon, Philippines, the traditional homeland of the Ayta peoples. She is a Professor of Culture and Communication at Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan and the current Director of the Center for Babaylan Studies (CfBS), a non-profit organization on Turtle Island (North America) offering educational programming aimed at facilitating decolonization and pagbabalik-loob (recovery of an indigenous way of being in the world) among Filipinos in the diaspora.  She is the author of Between the Homeland and the Diaspora: The Politics of Theorizing Filipino and Filipino American Identities and lead editor of Back from the Crocodile’s Belly: Philippine Babaylan Studies and the Struggle for Indigenous Memory and has also published widely in various cultural and native studies journals and anthologies on questions of identity and subjectivity, cultural politics in national, post- and trans- national contexts, discourses of indigenization, race, and ethnicity, and, more recently, civilization and climate change.






Monday, June 15, 2020

COVID19 BOOKS!

I'm grateful to editor/publisher Mark Young and Otoliths for creating a book out of my March diary in The Time of the Coronavirus. You can get the book TINY STICKERS: A COVID-19 AUTOBIOGRAPHY through HERE.


As Otoliths describes the book,
Part four of Otoliths fifty-seven is Eileen R. Tabios' TINY STICKERS: A COVID-19 AUTOBIOGRAPHY, an illustrated diary which details how poetry, fruit stickers, & an eventual absence of bananas helped keep the pandemic at bay.
*

Though I didn't plan it, this ends up being one of two Covid19-related books I'll be releasing this year. The second will be, INCULPATORY EVIDENCE, my third bilingual edition which also features the first time I'll be translated into Thai. More details on that to come.



Thursday, June 4, 2020

THE HAY(NA)KU AS GARGOYLE!

As world-traveler hay(na)ku visits schools, I'm delighted to share a poem by Brianna Hobson, a student at a CUNY LaGuardia course called "Poetry Workshop" and taught by professor-poet Thomas Fink. Thank you, Brianna!


GARGOYLE 
By Brianna Hobson

I, 
Misanthrope Vampyre.
Erotic, macabre—gothic

I,
Medieval Trickster.
Counterculture creature-feature

I, 
Ghoulish decoration. 
Serpent on Cathedral

I,
Négresse poseur—
Tar baby black.

I,
Perfectly camouflaged,
Among dark flesh—

In,
Mourning garb,
Toe to head.

Charcoal
visage—covered
in whiteface makeup.

Hunchback—
—of Notre 
Dame—French Ogre.

lifestyle
is blasphemous—
Horrible, fiendish, Nietzschean!

The
crows and
ravens caw over

what 
about me
isn’t ‘black enough’

Graveyard 
Poet grieves 
for underground culture.

Basilica 
Moor nobody—
Silhouette of stone

Flying
buttresses—of  
self-loathing. Gargouille?


*****

A few more students also wrote in hay(na)ku. If their poems become available for sharing, I'll be delighted to feature more on this space. I feel blessed!

And if anyone wants to learn more about the hay(na)ku, go to its link ... and here's my latest hay(na)ku book:




Friday, May 29, 2020

GRADUATING FROM BARNARD COLLEGE TO ...



I’m grateful but also stunned by this unexpected article on me “By Barnard Archives and Special Collections.” I wasn’t expecting it, and felt a variety of emotions as I read through it. I feel a little shocked, to tell the truth, because this article  is the first time I get to have a sense of what a third-party would say about my life  based on researching what’s out there. It’s sort of a version of a life which is not immediately familiar to me. That is, while there’s nothing inaccurate in the article, the matters that are emphasized are different choices than what I would have made – thereby giving a different sense of the life that I thought I’d lived. I suppose that’s the difference between biography and autobiography, and/or biography written with or without the subject’s involvement. Anyway, I can only be grateful to Barnard College for the love. And gratitude to BC Class of 2020 students Sarah Barlow-Ochshorn and Jenna Jaquez

***

I should also thank certain poetry groups whose past attention on me or my works ended up being part of Barnard’s sources:
The Argotist
Jacket
Marsh Hawk Press
Our Own Voice
Poetry Foundation
WritingLikeAnAsian

Thursday, May 28, 2020

THE HAY(NA)KU VISITS CUNY LAGUARDIA!

Sometimes, world-traveler hay(na)ku visits schools. I'm delighted to share a poem by Janessa Graham, a student at a CUNY LaGuardia course called "Poetry Workshop" and taught by professor-poet Thomas Fink. At this course, Janessa wrote--and thank you, Janessa!


Its Truth-By Janessa Graham
(Co-inspired by Robert Creeley’s “The Language” and Eileen Tabios’s Hay(na)ku)


            Poetry,
its truth
is a persona’s

            lyrical
dancing through 
pen taps on

            floor
piece, the
living, the crux

            posture,
of visceral
the sculpt of

            its
body matter.



*****

A few more students also wrote in hay(na)ku. If their poems become available for sharing, I'll be delighted to feature more on this space. I feel blessed!

And if anyone wants to learn more about the hay(na)ku, go to its link ... and here's my latest hay(na)ku book: