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.

Friday, November 25, 2016


Got an email this morning with the fit subject header “Best from Bucharest”—being open to where the poetry leads has brought me to Romania which will release my first trilingual edition next year, poems translated into Romanian and Spanish, entitled YOUR FATHER IS BALD: Selected Hay(na)ku Poems. Given the hay(na)ku's focus on 3s (tercet), I am grateful for the edition coming out in three languages.

Deep gratitude to Roxana Doncu, Teodor Panait, Elena Ţăpean, Gabriela Apetrei, Iulia Andreea Anghel, Irina Secarescu, and Ioana Agafitei who are among those translating my poems into Romanian. As well, thank you to Daniel Dragomirescu for coordinating the entire enterprise!

Relatedly, Contemporary Literary Horizon has just featured an excerpt from I FORGOT ARS POETICA or, in Romanian, AM UITAT ARTA POETICA. Old poem and old photo but I am grateful, Romania! My best to you too! Their feature presents my poem, "Nobility" with Romanian translation by Gabriela Apetrei and Teodor Panait.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


Lunched today with writer and literature scholar Sheila Bare, also the first recipient of my first 2007 book along with my 2016 publications. To end our 3-hour conversation with books was a mutual pleasure given the times that had us begin our conversation with grief. More than once, the phrase came up: "literature can save lives."


Two poems from my manuscript HIRAETH: Tercets from the Last Archipelago -- "The Secret Life of Magenta" and "Notes from the Spanish Guitar's Autobiography" -- are up at TRUCK, guest-edited this November by Ric Carfagna.

Keep on tru... okay, nevuh mind.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


So, after you've voted :), you might want to look at some art and if inspired, write a poem, (flash) fiction or any other type of creative writing inspired by an artwork! That's the idea to a new project, EKPHRASIS WRITING AFTER ARTWORKS in THE FILIPINO AMERICAN ARTIST DIRECTORY

The project is open to all writers, Filipino or not. More information is available at the CALL FOR WRITING . You'll also see there two examples--one by Luisa A. Igloria and one by me ("Alegria" , a "Haybun Interrupts" variation of the hay(na)ku, after Janna Anonuevo Langholz's installation "Ghost Houses") to give you an idea of poems written after some of the art. Please spread the word.

I will be editing this feature, and participating writers also will receive, in addition to publication, either of two of my ekphrastic books, Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole (inspired by abstract expressionism) and SUN STIGMATA (inspired by sculpture).

This project has an ongoing deadline and offerings will be posted as accepted over time. Please visit the site -- at least it will expose your eyes to some LOVELY ART!

Thursday, November 3, 2016


THE OPPOSITE OF CLAUSTROPHOBIA: Prime's Anti-Autobiography is a 2017 release but it is now available through KFS, my British publisher, for 12 pounds (just over $14) shipped worldwide. 8 pounds if you're a U.K. resident. (Click HERE for ordering info.) As KFS is a new publisher for me and I want to support their decision, I'm also making an offer that if you order this book, I'd be happy to send you another of my (in print) other books free. Just let me know by Comment or email.
And thanks to Nico Vassilakis for that fabulous cover image!
Here's the publisher's release:
Eileen Tabios's The Opposite of Claustrophobia is out now. This is what Eric Gamalinda & Jesse Glass have to say about it:
Startling, not just for the method but for the lines of breathtaking beauty resulting from it. These poems are tender, wistful and humorous, an incantatory catalogue that is spiritually tethered to the body and the earth, where everything is vital and important, and incites wonder, melancholy, and gratitude.— Eric Gamalinda
While Georges Perec famously gave us a work of literature that began “I remember…”, Eileen Tabios gives us a very human sounding algorithm that lists for us what “I” has forgotten. In the backgrounds of paintings like those of Lucas Cranach, Bosch, Durer, Da Vinci, are castles, ruins, caverns. Each one is an invitation, a window into which I’d like to peer. In just such a way each of the lines of Tabios’ new work is an invitation to seek within the sfumato for a miniature clarity—sometimes the blinding light of a furnace, sometimes an old movie set swarming with quotation marks, sometimes lines that, with their specificity, invite us to linger and to imagine the margins full of novels, short stories, memoirs of: “Marisa peeling the skin from a blue-boned fish…Luisa who squatted beside betel-chewing crones with crooked front teeth, and Marjorie who swallowed the scarless sky over Siquijor.” Some lines are mere rungs for the hands and feet of angels and these I recommend to you most of all.
— Jesse Glass 
Check it out at http://knivesforksandspoonspress.co.uk/theoppositeofcla.html

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


I put this survey out on Facebook -- but am replicating it here and feel free to respond:


Some back-and-forth with Barbara Jane Reyes encourages me to put out this informal survey. Given the direction of my poetry, my experience is not so much finding bad editors but finding editors, period. When I submit poems and manuscripts, I can get acceptances without editing (perhaps those to whom I've sent manuscripts expect a finished product and if it's not, they say No, without going into the alternative of Yes but with these suggested changes...). So I'd love to know -- and tip the beret at -- the folks doing great editing jobs out there. Note I say, not editors as those who manage journals (that'd be an interesting but separate list); I'm talking about editors with whom one has experienced the actual back-and-forth editing process.

I'm also not talking about those in academia who may edit student manuscripts (though feel free to chime up about them) but those out there editing poets past the school terrain. Some of these great editors may or may not be poets. And many, I suspect, are poets who often do the editing on a volunteer basis (thus, not as likely to be known/praised for their efforts). Some may be poets who do the editing for their friends. Also, if it needs to be said, by "editing" I don't just mean the line-by-line edits but as relates to an editor also checking on the project's underlying conceptualization...

Here's my initial response, and given my volume of work, it's telling, I think, that it's a short list:
Thomas Fink (as in-house editor at Marsh Hawk Press)
Dana Teen Lomax and Mark Lamoureux (Black Radish)
[Name-to-Come] (in-house editor at Aunt Lute Press)
John Bloomberg-Rissman (based on one poem experience)
Susan M. Schultz (Tinfish)
Kevin Killian (he's never "edited" me; but he once blurbed one of my books and some comments he made indicate that he'd be a great editor)

From Barbara's list, I note some names (correct me if I'm wrong) of some from whom she'd experienced great editing:
Peter Conners (BOA)
Stacey Doris (as MFA advisor to what became a published book)
Garrett Caples (ongoing at City Lights)

Dear Poet: please share -- with whom have you experienced good editing? (Feel free to email or use Comments).