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.

Saturday, October 31, 2015


from my forthcoming book, The Connoisseur of Alleys, are posted in the just-released issue of Otoliths!  Thanks to editor Mark Young. You can see all of the poems HERE, but here's an excerpt:

I forgot I wanted to make memories, not simply press petals between pages of expendable books…. I forgot a plea to be buried under a canopy of red roses…. I forgot there was no need to apologize for dancing from one’s hips roundly, eyes closed, taking up as much space as one wanted on the dance floor of someone else’s wedding…. I forgot Pygmalion sculpted himself into an embrace, and used stone in hopes the hold would never break…. I forgot the votive candle flickering within my navel…. I forgot the practicality of water…. I forgot whispering to a daughter borne from rape, “Regret is not your legacy”…. I forgot violets vomiting rue…. I forgot betraying the butler with mother-of-pearl cufflinks…. I forgot the storm that shamed the nasturtiums I’d watered all summer with dishwater…. I forgot wrestling a long poem until I had gathered all thorns into my cupped palms for birthing psalms. I saw a stranger’s blood mixed with rose petals to birth generous perfume.

I'm also blessed that my poems are in absolutely FABULOUS COMPANY! You are invited to read, stay for a while ...  The issue begins with a lovely visual, "man, bicycle, sign," by Andrew Topel:


Sure. I can be pedagogical. Here's a pedagogical website for Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond -- a Norton anthology where one of my poems appear.  Hope you check it out ... and use it!

Friday, October 30, 2015


Chris Mansel over at The Daily Art Source has been generous enough to do reviews of three of my recent books.  I'm moved and grateful.  And as my poet-buddy Mark Young once said about reviews, one of the best and most interesting parts is seeing which poem(s) gets the reviewer's attention. On this matter, I am usually (pleasantly) surprised.  Thanks Chris!

For SUN STIGMATA's review, can go HERE for the entire review but here's an excerpt:
You have to admire the fluidity in the way Tabios writes. In another poem entitled Jade, she writes, "No need to turn the urn/to realize I no longer believe/ in the humility of monks." This is fitting. She is out there, where Hemingway spoke of, Sun Stigmata is like applying perfume to the pulse on your wrist and neck. The constant vibration of these words will radiate,and burst from the palms of your hands. This is a volume that is necessary. The sun gives life and so does good writing.


For INVENT(ST)ORY's review, you can go HERE for the entire review but here's an excerpt:
Ms Tabios has put together a very handsome collection of her work spanning from 1989 to 2015. "Drink nothing but the liquid from a pigeon's egg for 40 days." That is one of the many footnotes you will find in this fascinating book...


For AGAINST MISANTHROPY's review, you can go HERE for the entire review but here's an excerpt:
Eileen Tabios is a writer who cares about the reader.  Against Misanthropy is really in my opinion, and that is all this is after all, a gift to those who buy her books. 


The Daily Art Source is also looking for more poetry books to review!  Go HERE, click on CONTACT and contact them if you have a review copy to share!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


You're invited as this event is open to the public! I'm supposed to talk about my work, my life, my influences, my process, the publication process or whatever interests me. I am there to be "a model for how to be a writer." Come watch me flail!


Eileen R. Tabios will appear at San Francisco State University's "Writers on Writing" series.  She will read poetry and discuss creative writing.  Here is info from SF State's website -- you can also click on link for directions.

Monday, November 2, 2015, 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Eileen Tabios reads from and discusses her collection of poems, prose and visual poetry, The Light Sang As It Left Your Eyes: OurAutobiography (Marsh Hawk Press). Free.

Humanities Building, Humanities Auditorium

Creative Writing Department

Creative Writing Department



Event extras: 
Tabios has written 19 poetry collections an art essay collection, a poetry essay/interview anthology and a short-story collection. In her poetry, she has crafted a body of work that is unique for melding ekphrasis with transcolonialism, and her poems have been translated into Spanish, Italian, Tagalog and Japanese.

The Creative Writing Department opens its Writers on Writing course to the public on Mondays this semester. Taught by Robert Glück, the course features faculty and visiting writers reading from their works and discussing their creative process.

Friday, October 23, 2015


Steven Fama presents -- as he usually does -- a fabulous celebration of Philip Lamantia's birthday. The essay itself becomes a useful (educational) way to reveal the scope of a poem, how one might read “difficult” poems and how one sees the poet’s distillation of a humongous landscape into the minimalist art of a poem. Lovingly brilliant.  Here's an excerpt as regards Philip's poem sparked by the Blue Angels that fly over San Francisco:


"...take a look if you please at the poem’s first four lines:

Death Jets

three of them have terrorized my apollo finger
most hideous
of human existence
for the umpteenth time, sans life

I dig dig dig this opening salvo, starting with the phrase “apollo finger.”  It’s a term from palmistry that refers to the third or ring finger, said to indicate creativity, artistic flair and love of beauty.  By this metaphor, Lamantia neatly shows that it’s no less than the poetic force itself that the jets attack.  And the verb “terrorized” is exactly right, or so it seems to me as I recall the sudden core-rattling Shock-Shock (yes, I feel a double-startle) of the Blue Angels blasting through low in the sky, shaking windows, spines, and minds.  Lamantia’s disgust at the jets couldn’t be clearer – “most hideous / of human existence” – nor could his core objection to it all – “sans life” – and exasperation at how long it goes on – “for the umpteenth time” (a neat use there of the informal adjective signifying an indefinitely large number in succession).

These first four lines show and tell a lot.  But Lamantia obviously wanted something even sharper and clearer, and why not?  As William Blake wrote, “You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.”  And so to emphasize, explicate, and expand his perspectives, Lamantia places the following prose-y section, sub-titled “commentary,” after the poem’s opening stanza....


Steven's amazing essay continues on to introduce us to the poet Ausias March. Never heard of him?  Moi too. And this essay is a welcome introduction:

Do go HERE for the whole wonderful treatise by Steven Fama -- a fitting celebration to Philip Lamantia's birthday!

Thursday, October 22, 2015


I'm delighted to share a painting by artist Advaita Patel that's based on my next forthcoming book, THE CONNOISSEUR OF ALLEYS (Marsh Hawk Press, Spring 2016).  Thanks, Advaita, for this colorful bit of ekphrasis:

(click to enlarge)

Btw, if you click on the BOOK LINK, you'll also see an excerpt from Vince Gotera's Foreword that says something about this forthcoming book!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


As the author of the forthcoming (thanks Dancing Girl Press!) chap entitled THE GILDED AGE OF KICKSTARTERS, I've seen what's out there amongst e-fundraisers. Well, this is one I feel to be really worthy: a CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN to help avert the threat of school closure in Lake Sebu, Philippines. Climate change is real, and having a disastrous impact on indigenous communities. In Lake Sebu, Mindanao’s drought has wrought big-scale damages to the rice and corn fields, as well as impacted the fishing industry.  One of the adverse results on the community is the threatened closure of a indigenous school, LASIWWA.

Please consider even the smallest donation (yes, even $5!). After all, climate change's effects on the Philippines come from outside its borders too -- Hello, You!

UPDATE: The project has just received a Matching Grant--this means every dollar donated will be matched by an Anonymous Donor!  

If you are moved to donate at least $50, then you automatically will be entered into a raffle featuring a variety of prizes, including two of my recent books:

INVENT(ST)ORY: Selected Catalog Poems & New

There are other prizes, as indicated on this flyer.

(click to enlarge)

You are encouraged to go HERE to read more about this worthwhile cause.  Meanwhile, here are some statements from the fundraiser's organizers:

“I am concerned about the impact of climate change on the most vulnerable populations - the indigenous communities! Focusing on this small-scale project is my own way of sharing responsibility for ways to mitigate climate change impact.”  
~ Leny Strobel, founder and co-director, Center for Babaylan Studies

“When you think about it, our lives as city-dwellers are not really separate from those of our indigenous brothers and sisters. They live the way they do (often impoverished, struggling, their very survival threatened) because we live the way we do (hungry for resources, dependent on raw materials often violently extracted from under their feet). We owe it to them to do what we can to halt the system that is killing them, and, in the meantime, to do what we can to keep them from totally going under.” 
~ S. Lily Mendoza, co-director, Center for Babaylan Studies

“Political unrest, religious intolerance, colonial mentality, and the dismal economic climate in the Philippines all contribute to pushing indigenous communities further out to the margins of society. Out of necessity and the everyday struggle to survive, indigenous peoples are forced to abandon their traditional ways. I believe that the work of Jenita Eko and the LASIWWAI is important in ensuring the continuity of indigenous knowledge in the Tiboli community, and provide children with a sense of self-worth, hope and determination to preserve customs and beliefs.” 
~ Maileen Hamto, project coordinator

Friday, October 16, 2015


I'm pleased to share that my chap manuscript, THE GILDED AGE OF KICKSTARTERS, has been accepted for publication by Kristy Bowen's absolutely delightful Dancing Girl Press & Studio! I haven't looked at the poems since I spat 'em out -- so I plan to read some of them for LitCrawl this weekend (you're invited!).

Speaking of publications, here's my latest Relished W(h)ines update of recently imbibed books 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. Note that the deadline is Nov. 15, 2015 so you reviewers out there with hundreds of review copies you've been holding onto, even for years, do consider sharing some soon!

LUCI: A FORBIDDEN SOTERIOLOGY by j/j hastain (LinkedInPoetryRecommendation (LPR) #198)

*  BLOOD PARTY by Merle Bachman (charismatic. A moving read with many wonderful lines. LPR #199)

ACTUALITIES with poems by Norma Cole and art by Marina Adams (LPR #200)

THE BEAUTY OF GHOSTS: FIVE VOICES: A THEATER OF POETRY by Luis H. Francia (come late to this book, only to discover it may be my favorite poetry book yet by Luis Francia. LPR #202)

NOT SO, SEA, poems by Mg Roberts (fabulous. LPR #201)

TO LOVE AS ASWANG, poems by Barbara Jane Reyes (particularly like the non-sweet “Sweetie” poem series. LPR #203)

ARIANE: A STOCK EPIC by Angelo Suarez (LinkedInPoetry Recommendation #163)

*  DYNAMITE, poems by Anders Carlson-Wee (well-done!)

DIGEST, poems by Gregory Parolo (admirable wit)

SIMPLIFIED HOLY PASSAGE, poems by Elizabeth Robinson (thoughtful, deft, evocative … and still grounded)


BREAKFAST LUNCH DINNER, poems by Nellie Wong (the book is just the tip of the iceberg that is a magnificent Poetry-As-A-Way-of-Life!)


MEDIATED, poems by Carol Mirakove

HALLELUJAH, I’M A BUM, poems by Callie Garnett


SWARM, poems by Jorie Graham


*  STEAL IT BACK, poems by Sandra Simonds

*  IN MEMORY OF BRILLIANCE & VALUE, poems by Michael Robins

*  ALL HAT, NO CATTLE, hay(na)ku poems by lars palm

*  THE FALLING DOWN DANCE, poems by Chris Martin

*  SCHIZO-POETRY: FRAGMENTS OF MIND, poems by Kevin Nolan and Susanne Wawra

*  ASHES AND ALL, poems by Marjorie Deiter Keyishian

DECENCY, poems by Marcela Sulak

EVERLASTING QUAIL, poems by Sam Witt

SESTETS, poems by Charles Wright

NOTES ON THE ASSEMBLAGE, poems by Juan Felipe Herrera

EVERYDAY THINGS, poems by Fidelito C. Cortes

PRAISE, poems by Robert Hass

THE HISTORY OF MINING, poems by Valerie Witte

THE VIEW THEY ARRANGE, poems by Dale Going

CONTINGENT ARDOR, poems by Denise Liddell Lawson

*  FABULAS FEMINAE with art by Susan Bee and poems by Johanna Drucker

FLIPS 2015: A FILIPINO AMERICAN ANTHOLOGY (A REPRINT) edited by Serafin Syquia and Bayani Mariano

BEYOND LUMPIA, PANSIT and SEVEN MANANGS WILD: STORIES FROM THE HEART OF FILIPINO AMERICANS, edited by Evangeline Canonizado Buell, Edwin Lozada, Eleanor Hipol Luis, Evelyn Luluquisen, Tony Robles and Myrna Zialcita

TOUCH THE DONKEY, poetry chap featuring Stan Rogal, Helen Hajnoczky, Sarah Mangold, Kathryn MacLeod, Amish Trivedi, Suzanne Zelazo and Shannon Maguire

MAGANDA MAGAZINE: “CRITICAL MASS”, literary and arts journal  edited by Nicole Arca (beautiful!)

THE HELIOS MSS, brand new (yay!) literary journal edited by Raymond Farr 

ELEVENELEVEN, literary and arts journal edited (faculty advisor) by Hugh Behm-Steinberg

CATHERINE’S LAUGHTER, prose/poetry memoir by C.K. Williams

THE PAWNBROKER’S DAUGHTER, memoir by Maxine Kumin

HERE IF YOU NEED ME, memoir by Kate Braestrup

30 COLLANTES STREET, memoir-vignettes by Lisa Suguitan Melnick


HAUSFRAU, novel by Jill Alexander Essbaum

DEXTER IS DEAD, novel by Jeff Lindsay

THE STRANGER, novel by Harlan Coben

2013 Tasca D'Almerita Lamuri Nero d'Avola (Sicilia)
2011 Borgo Scopeto Borgonero Toscana
Taylor Fladgate's 20-year tawny porto
2013 Shypoke Quilie’s Grenach
2013 Tibouren Clos Cibon Provence
2014 Verdicchio Di Matelica Bisci
2011 Kennan cabernet NV
2013 Kanzler pinot noir Sonoma Coast
2013 Domaine de Couite Eleve En Futs De Chene Sauternes
2001 Quinta do Vesuvio vintage porto
10-year Cossart Gordon Madeira Banyuls
2012 Tres Sabores zinfandel Rutherford NV
2002 R.B.J. Theologicum Barossa
1995 Guilliams cabernet Spring Mountain District NV
Launois Champagne Le Mesnil Sur Oger Grand Cru
2009 Dutch Henry rose
2011 St. Supery sauvignon blanc
Champagne Barons de Rothschild Brut NV
2009 Blason de L’Evangile, Pomerol
2012 Caro
2012Le Dix de Los Vascos, Colchagua
Château Duhart-Milon, 4th Cru Classé Pauillac, 2006 en Magnum
2001 Château L’Evangile, Pomerol
2001 Château Lafite Rothschild, 1st Cru Classé Pauillac
2005 Château Rieussec, 1er Grand Cru Sauternes
2014 Stag’s Leap sauvignon blanc
2013 Stag’s Leap Arcadia chardonnay
2012 Stag’s Leap Fay
2012 Stag’s Leap SLV
2012 Stag’s Leap Cask 23
2012 Altamura sauvignon blanc
2010 Altamura sangiovese NV
2009 Altamura Negroamaro NV
2008 Altamura Nebbiolo NV
2012 Altamura cabernet sauvignon NV
2013 Seavey chardonnay
2007 Seavey merlot
2012 Seavey Caravina cabernet
2012 Seavey cabernet
1995 Seavey cabernet
2013 Rutherford Grove sauvignon blanc
2009 Alvaro Palacios Finca Dofi (AP is Wine Spectator’s  2015 Winemaker of the Year)
Sohomare Junmai Daiginjo Sake
2013 Ridge chardonnay
30-year Taylor Fladgate Tawny
1927 Pedro Ximenez Alvear
2006 Tokaji Aszu Disznoko 5 Puttonyos
1990 Lafite (29th Wedding Anniversary wine)
2012 Saint-Esprit Delas Cotes-du-Rhone (KelseyStreet Poetry Reading Wine)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


I was invited to celebrate October as Filipino American History Month over at the American Canyon Public Library. I decided to go as I thought I then could go to neighboring city Vallejo afterwards for dinner.  I should have known better -- this being a Filipino affair, there was plenty of food for dinner and take-home!  Then, I hadn't actually realized so many of my books were in the area's public library system and it was an unexpected treat to see them displayed.  Food and books -- what a fabulous evening!  Thanks to librarian Ricah Quinto and poet-professor Janet Stickmon for organizing the affair.  Both deserve Kudos -- I believe Ricah set up the first Fil-am History celebration for the area's public library system; Janet is not only an accomplished poet/performer but helped set up the Philippine Studies program at Napa Valley Community College. Here's a visual coverage!


Caramel Cake!

Display with SUN STIGMATA

Janet Stickmon and Ricah Quinto

Sheila Bare with books!

Huge Filipino flag on library fence.

The kulintang!

In anticipation of the holidays, Filipino parols or lanterns!

Dinner: pancit, ensamada stuffed with chicken adobo and fried lumpia!

Highlighted accomplished Filipinos included Cristeta Comerford

Presenter on the need for Fil-Am Studies

Student performer

Event coordinators and performers

More books!