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, May 29, 2014


I come belatedly to this conversation between Thomas Fink and Chris Pusateri -- I note it because it mentions an earlier review I did on Pusateri's book COMMON TIME in Galatea Resurrects.

What I love about the conversation is how it referred to my earlier review -- because I think reviews are at times (often) mistaken as conclusions about a work, rather than an engagement that can extend the conversation the book began or the beginning of a new conversation.  I believe this is particularly important for poems, which often are (created) as openings.

Anyway, check out the smart(!) Fink/Pusateri conversation HERE.  My earlier review which they reference is HERE.

Among other things, you also may learn something interesting about ... titles.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


I'm spending the week formatting the next issue of Galatea Resurrects.  This'll be the 22nd issue.  I can still take reviews probably through this Sunday, if there are any last-minute straggler-reviewers out there.

At the moment, I have 37 new reviews -- 35 of poetry publications and two coverages of the Fourth International Text Festival.  Thirty-seven reviews -- while this perhaps would be a hefty amount of review coverage by normative standards, I don't do "normal."  Thirty-seven is the least amount of reviews to be presented since our first issue debuted with 27 new reviews.  Lookit:

Issue 1: 27 new reviews
Issue 2: 39 new reviews (one project was reviewed twice by different reviewers)
Issue 3: 49 new reviews (two projects were each reviewed twice)
Issue 4: 61 new reviews (one project was reviewed thrice, and three projects were each reviewed twice)
Issue 5: 56 new reviews (four projects were each reviewed twice)
Issue 6: 56 new reviews (one project was reviewed twice)
Issue 7: 51 new reviews
Issue 8: 64 new reviews (3 projects were each reviewed twice)
Issue 9: 65 new reviews
Issue 10: 68 new reviews (1 project was reviewed thrice and 1 project was reviewed twice)
Issue 11: 72 new reviews (1 project was reviewed thrice)
Issue 12: 87 new reviews (1 project was reviewed twice)
Issue 13: 55 new reviews (1 project was reviewed twice)
Issue 14: 64 new reviews (3 projects were reviewed twice)
Issue 15: 72 new reviews (1 project was reviewed thrice and 4 projects were reviewed twice)
Issue 16: 73 new reviews (2 projects were reviewed twice)
Issue 17: 108 new reviews (3 projects were reviewed twice)
Issue 18: 104 new reviews (3 projects were reviewed twice)
Issue 19: 68 new reviews (1 project was reviewed twice)
Issue 20: 64 new reviews
Issue 21: 78 new reviews (2 projects were reviewed twice)

About a year or so ago, I started wondering about how long I'll continue Galatea Resurrects.  An easy answer was always -- I continue for as long as there's interest.  And, just this past issue we presented 78 reviews so, obviously, there's interest.  Maybe 37 reviews is still a good standard.  But it 's low by my maximalist tendencies, and does make me wonder again how long I'll keep it up.  I know I'll at least do a 23rd issue, the Winter 2014 issue that'll likely come out in November.  After that? You tell me -- I have been grateful to the roving band of volunteer reviewers that surface from the internet ether, but everyone's priorities shift over time ...

The deadline for review submissions for next issue has just been set for Nov. 1, 2014.  If interested, go HERE for list of review copies.  And, always, as Galatea Resurrects' editor, I have been and continue to be grateful to you poetry reviewers.  It's a labor of love but there is labor in addition to love, and I will abide by whatever decisions you all make for this online publication.  Of course, I am always looking for new reviewers, too.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Proud of my local library which received accolades and now has this well-deserved banner hanging by its entrance:

And perhaps it got there for having a "Poem Stand" by the doorway, where one can reach in to take out a poem!  Like so:

I reached in while taking these photos and the sampler poem that came out is "When Loneliness Is A Man" by Yusef Kumonyakaa.  This library ... tries.  That's more than what others do with poetry.  Kudos to them.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA (VTY) continues to receive attention -- all for a good cause.  

Here's an article from the Manila Standard Today that is also useful for contextualizing the anthology's service in an environment of corrupt or inefficient aid-giving.  Here's an excerpt:
“Aid is art,” writes Simeon Dumdum Jr. Now art will aid survivors of the storm.” 
Verses Typhoon Yolanda is a lament, a paean, a rant, a tribute, a reminder. It is a concrete, tangible contribution to the rebuilding and rehabilitation efforts that will bring the storm-wracked areas further along the path of recovery. 
It is a message to the survivors of Yolanda that they are not alone in their struggle to survive, rise up, go forward. 
Vince Gotera extends the hand of solidarity to the victims of the typhoon in his “Hay(na)ku for the Survivors”:  “We want you to know now/ we are here, we love you,/ we are millions singing for you.”

Vince Gotera also presents a hay(na)ku-related blog into three projects, including VTY, helping out the survivors of this largest storm ever recorded to hit land.  It also includes an interesting discourse on his variant off of the hay(na)ku form: the Hay(na)ku Sonnet.  Go HERE for lovely reading!

And.  North American Review (NAR) is the oldest literary magazine in the U.S., founded in Boston in 1815 by journalist Nathan Hale and others.  And NAR has taken notice!  In its recent issue, VTY receives a brief review by Vince Gotera.  Info HERE.

Things are also hopping, event-wise.  I and VTY contributors Michelle Bautista and Aileen Ibardaloza will be reading at a benefit for typhoon survivors at De Anza College on May 31.  Info HERE (scroll down).  Open to public.

Last but not least, a Chicago launch has just been set to occur on October 19, 2014.  More info HERE.  It is open to the public!

Your support is needed and will be much appreciated.  For the extent of Typhoon Haiyan made it truly an unnatural disaster!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Maraming Salamat to Luis H. Francia for mentioning VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA in his latest column for the Philippine Inquirer.  Here's excerpt:

About two months ago, Verses Typhoon Yolanda: A Storm of Filipino Poets was published by the California-based Meritage Press. Edited by the press’s founder and editor, Eileen R. Tabios, and with a foreword by Leny Mendoza Strobel, this anthology reflects a multitude of views—emotional, intellectual, political, ecological, all of the above—held by 133 Filipino poets living in various parts of the global Filipino diaspora. (Full disclosure: I am one of the poets included.) The book is indeed a storm, as the title indicates, but a storm that seeks to heal rather than wound, that builds rather than destroys, that raises the solid shelter of hope against the winds of cynicism and despair. 

While the poems are mainly in English, there are works written in other Philippine languages including Tagalog, Waray, and Cebuano. The latter come with English translations. I encourage readers to purchase a copy or more. Go to http://versestyphoonyolanda.blogspot.com/ 

The profits from book sales will be given to relief organizations working to help those kababayan in dire need of help. Those living in or near Tacloban may want to attend the launch there, at UP Tacloban, on August 8.

Direct link for purchases HERE.

Monday, May 19, 2014


Fast as a Spanish guitara.  Done.  A new poetry book:


That is, the verses are done.  Now have to see to the poetry generator aspect.

I wrote it against my will.  I did it my way.

Sunday, May 18, 2014


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

Michael Helsem on Reading 

What are you reading now? As well, what is in your To-Read-Soon stack? Please share comments about your readings:

I always am reading about 4 books at once; I keep 2 at work & read 1/2 hr each during lunch & 2 more at home next to the bed where I may or may not pick one up at night.

Not seldom I'll be reading a book I thought I should read but another more interesting comes along & interrupts it.

For instance at home I was reading Desert by LeClezio (slow going) & City of Bohane by Barry (which I had just started) when I found Throne of the Crescent Moon by Ahmed at a nearby store in our chain (I'd been looking for)  & I was given Available Dark by Hand (off my wish list) from my wife for our anniversary. (I expect to whoosh through this one & then resume Crescent Moon.)

Underneath those is Bill Knott's Collected Poems (the 2012 edition) & a loose volume of a bad Elizabethan translation of Orlando Furioso in an early 19c edition.

Michael Helsem with 1805 ed. of Hoole's ORLANDO FURIOSO vol. V.

At work I am reading a tribute to Jack Vance, Songs of the Dying Earth (or at least the stories in it by certain authors--including Elizabeth Hand, whom I consider one of the best contemporary authors--& I just finished one in it by Lucius Shepard, who recently died) & also The God Effect by Clegg (which I only mean to read the update about the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox). on my stash shelf there's also a book on making Youtube videos & a travel guide to Austin, probably three others I don't remember at the moment. oh: The Loom of God by Pickover (I decided to look at instead of donate, as it hadn't sold at a dollar) is another one.

I am thinking of going back to  pull Garfinkle's Celestial Matters just to see what a Ptolemaic scifi novel is like.

I am wanting to read the new Ligotti which isn't out till next month; likewise the re-issue of Eddison's translation of Egil's Saga. I doubt I will be able to afford them new.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Our local community has an annual massive rummage sale that raises funds to support orphanages in Russia and Uganda.  Like many in the community, I donate what stuff I can and then return the day of the rummage sale planning to cheerfully buy them in triple price.  Well, I don't actually end up buying the objects I usually loosened from the house with much relief (this year, clothes I haven't worn in years, some of Mom's objects that I can finally let go and books I didn't enjoy enough to want to retain).  What I do usually end up buying are mostly books.

Pickings were slim for me as I arrived after the crowds who lined up early had done their pickings.  But, bearing in mind an upcoming trip to Spain, I decided to look for disposable books -- I mean, when I go on vacation, my brain wants to come along to vacate itself.  So I look for light reading, especially books I can leave behind as soon as I finish reading them and thus lighten the baggage returning home.  Thus, this summer's travel reading will include (click on images to enlarge):

I also picked this to record results of an upcoming summer trip to Spanish wine country:

But what I couldn't bring myself to buy (donating money instead for the good cause) were these three global bestsellers:

I just ... couldn't ...

... even though I moiself wrote THIS.

Friday, May 16, 2014


One of my weirder (an adjective the publisher also uses for itself with as much affection as I hold for the term) books is THE BLIND CHATELAINE'S KEYS: Her Biography Through Your Poetics.  I was reminded of this when I walked by the wine cellar this morning -- specifically, the book's cover which features this lovely "chatelaine" that I believe was crafted by artist Donna White, at the instigation of poet-publisher Geoffrey Gatza:

Walking by the wine cellar reminded me of such because I like to collect keys, and my largest happens to be the wine cellar key

which opens this lock I love for its sculptural aspects

Well, physically the largest.  The Chatelaine also collects intellectual versus physical keys.  That's why, though there are wine bottles in the cellar, there's also the sculptor Pygmalion reading a book of poetry (viz this glass mural over the sink):

This is the kind of stuff I post when, actually, I don't have anything to say ...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Well, I’ve just renamed my poetry manuscript MURDERING AND DYING.  New title: MURDER, DEATH AND RESURRECTION. No, I’m not doing Jesus Christ, but after trying to write what I thought would be my poet’s obituary (and stop writing poems), the Muses instead gave me the gift of creating a poetry generator. Eternal life through eternal poem-generation!  Told you the Muses both bless me and have a perverse sense of humor. 

(An example of a poetry generator is the brilliant Sea and Spar Between by Stephanie Strickland and Nick Montfort that can generate 225 trillion stanzas (!).)

More details later on my own poetry generator project but suffice it to say I was consulting with The Poet Who Knows Everything about quantifying the number of poems that could be generated by MDR and our preliminary estimate is the equivalent of sand grains on all of the planet’s shores ….  Point is the project can generate an almost infinite number of poems on its own without me doing any new writing -- maybe I can finally hide from the ridiculous Muses!

Or, put another way, I began to write the novel that I thought I was writing in a composition notebook like the above image.  Well, here are the pages that I was able to devote to the novel to date:

That's right.  A skinny number of pages.  Compare that edge with the pages devoted to poetry -- it overcame the novel!

And now I begin a second composition notebook.  Well, I'm just going to give into the flow and finish out MDR -- I've written 15 of the 25 sections.  Unless I punch out the next 10 sections, I can't return to the novel.  I've waited 40 years; what's another couple of weeks ...

I hear the steel-winged angels cackling and the sound they make ain't music.

Friday, May 9, 2014


Poet-editor-tenured prof (congrats!) William Allegrezza just created a new journal for experimental poetry, Moss Trill!  And they published my coffee-break poem of yesterday which surfaced without much intention -- it just surfaced because of all the media frenzy over Monica Lewinsky's attempt (in part) to reclaim her name.  I have no problem with that.  Thus, my poem


I'd sure hate to be defined by some of the idiotic stuff I did at age 22.  If Bill Clinton can reclaim his reputation in the aftermath, why can't she?

Thursday, May 8, 2014


Happy Birthday to my husband Tom!

I placed Tom on one of my book covers for being such a special man!  First, a super Dad.  Here he is teaching Michael about the science (or is it art) of tying a tie:

Here he is deep-frying a turkey for family Thanksgiving:

Just two of my favorite guys:

For his birthday, we gave Tom THE HISTORY OF EARLY ROME by Livy, Trans. by Aubrey de Selincourt, Illustrated by Raffaele Scorzelli:

Why this book?  It relates to his ongoing project THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD which he plans to encapsulate in 300 pages.  (It's a working title -- I'ma thinking HISTORY OF HUMAN INTELLECT may be more accurate...anyway...):

Actually, I'm quite excited over this project.  While not intended as a textbook, it would be useful as a such -- an idea he got when we noticed that Michael is being taught World War II in high school via five illustrated pages from a history textbook.  "I used to read books and books just about WWII!" was his dismayed response.  Five illustrated pages -- which means less than five pages of text given the illustrations.  Dumbed down education, indeed.

Once Tom releases that book, it'd be a great birthday gift to the world.  Onward, Tom!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


would include THIS:

Naturally, this gives me the excuse to present Missy Scarlet (in brown) and Artemis:

And R.I.P. to the above couch.  It began life as some fancy Italian designer's sofa, and ended life ignominiously as a cat scratching post.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Recent reading has included re-reading my own books in order to write my "poet's obituary."  And the practice affirms that what I feel to be one of my best poems are those in the book MENAGE A TROIS WITH THE 21ST CENTURY.  I mention this because I don't think it's as well known as my other books.  Also, here's a review FYI. (And some inexpensive Used books at Amazon along with new.)

Anyway, here's my latest Relished W(h)ine List below of recent reads and wines.  As ever, please note that in the Publications section, if you see an asterisk before the title, that means a review copy is available for Galatea Resurrects!  More info on that HERE.

THE BOOK OF THE DEAD, poems by Muriel Rukeyser (fabulous!  Thanks to John for reminder: Read online at http://murielrukeyser.emuenglish.org/writing/the-book-of-the-dead/)

THE TV SUTRAS by Dodie Bellamy (wonderfully imaginative. LinkedIn Poetry Recommendation (LPR) #115)

TATTERED BOAT, poems by Luis H. Francia (wonderful poetry by a poet who’s now writing at his peak. LPR #116)

FATE LINES / DESIRE LINES, poems by Caleb Puckett (fabulously innovative. LPR #112)

*  THE TRANQUILIZED TONGUE, poems by Eric Baus (deft. Future LPR #119)

*  GUANTANAMO, poetry by Frank Smith, trans. by Vanessa Place (heartbreaking)

COMPLETE MINIMAL POEMS by Aram Saroyan (2nd Edition), Eds. Aram Saroyan and James Hoff (vision-expanding poems, LPR#113)

THE NOTHING THAT IS, poeticized autobiography/poetics by John Olson (one of the best writers living today in part, I suspect, because of an admirably voracious mind. LPR #114)


HOARD, poems by Jaime Robles (a quiet radiance. LPR #118)

*  VIVARIUM, poems by Natasha Saje

*  TRIBUTE, poems by Anne Germanacos

*  INTER ARMA, poems by Lauren Shufran

*  HOUSE OF DEER, poems by Sasha Steenesen

*  THE MEATGIRL WHATEVER, poems by Kristin Hatch

*   EPIGRAPHS, epigraph poetry by Chrissy Williams

*  FAREWELLIA A LA ARALEE, poems by Ralph La Charity

*  THE ANTIGONE POEMS by Marie Slaight with charcoal drawings by Terrence Tasker

*  4 RMS W VU, poems by Susana H. Case

*  LABOR, poems by Jill Magi

*  NEWCOMER, poems by Nathaniel Farrell

7 AS FROM A BUFFALO VORTEX, poems by William Sylvester


ECCOLINGUISTICS 2.4, literary zine edited by Jared Schickling

MUDDY RIVER POETRY REVIEW, Spring 2014, edited by Zvi A. Sesling

YELLOWFIELD #9, Spring 2014, edited by Edric Mesmer

*  SIXTY MORNING TALKS (interviews with poets) by Andy Fitch

*  WITH OUR EYES WIDE OPEN: POEMS OF THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY, poetry anthology edited by Douglas Valentine

BACK FROM THE CROCODILE’S BELLY, post-colonial, indigenous and intercultural studies with poetry and prose, edited by Leny M. Strobel and S. Lily Mendoza

BELOW STAIRS, memoir by Margaret Powell

LYING AWAKE, novel by Mark Salzman

GOOD PEOPLE, novel by Marcus Sakely

THE WIDOW WALTZ, novel by Sally Koslow

STILL LIFE WITH BREAD CRUMBS, novel by Anna Quindlen

2011 Zacherle Las Tres Hermanas Sonoma
2011 Tofanelli zinfandel NV
2010 Tofanelli charbono NV
2013 Tofanelli Semillon NV
2009 Barlow merlot NV
2010 Hindsight cabernet Howell Mountain
2010 Kenefick Ranch petite sirah NV
2012 Frogs Leap sauvignon blanc Rutherford NV
2008 Long Meadow cabernet
2004 Beringers Knights Valley port
2011 Ribera del Duero Torremoron Tempranillo
2010 Catenary Cabernet High Mountain Vines (Argentina)
1987 Robert Mondavi Private Reserve cabernet
2004 William Fevre “Fourchaume” Chablis Premier Cru
1982 Vega Sicilia Reserva Especial
2010 Peter Michael Mon Plasir
2004 Philip Togni
2001 Sasseti Brunello di Montalcino
2010 Altamura cabernet
2012 Altamura sauvignon blanc
2005 Altamura sangiovese
2010 Chafen Family Vineyard sauvignon blanc NV
2008 Pestoni Family Rutherford Grove petite sirah Spring Creek Vineyard St. Helena
2012 Ridge zinfandel Paso Robles
1998 Draycott Shiraz Barossa Valley
2010 M. Chapoutier Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem Cotes Du Roussillon Villages Latour