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, October 31, 2017


I'm grateful for Otoliths and editor Mark Young who've nourished me and many poets whose works I respect. And grateful for the new issue's review of two of my books AMNESIA and THE OPPOSITE OF CLAUSTROPHOBIA. Excerpts:
"the chapter numbers are not in sequence in the contents page... The lack of a linear sequence mirrors the way our mind seemingly moves from one random thought to another... Tabios points out in an Author’s Note that readers may reorder the chapters themselves ... in order to generate different stories since any combination or story is valid."
"The sequence was generated by applying prime numbers against the order of the lines from the MDR database... Every line is viewed as being as important as the previous one. If we think of memory as being a bit like a computer creating a database of images, mathematics is one of the recurring images throughout the text:
     'I forgot there are no guarantees, not even in math where “1+1” may not be “2” but, as a visual artist insisted, “1 1” or, as a philosopher insisted, “a turning towards the other".'
You can see the review by Neil Leadbeater HERE.

Monday, October 30, 2017


October was a crazed and crazy month. I think it's a miracle we managed to release an issue for Galatea Resurrects. But we did! You can see it HERE, and below also is Table of Contents for convenience. As ever, I am looking for reviews for future issues; click HERE for available review copies.

Galatea Resurrects for OCTOBER

“TinFish Press At 22,” exhibition curated by Susan M. Schultz, Jeff Sanner, Rodney Bengston and Wayne Hiraoka
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (10/30)

FEATURED POET: Susan M. Schultz

Pioneers in the Study of Motion by Susan Briante
Reviewed by Neal Leadbeater (10/28)

Code of Signals by Kenneth Sherwood
Reviewed by Martin Spinelli (10/27)

a.vase by Alison Gibb
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (10/26)

FEATURED POET: Cristina Querrer

Engaged by Eileen Tabios (10/24)

Except You Enthrall Me by Mark Anthony Cayanan
Reviewed by Aloysiusi Lionel Polintan (10/23)

SHAPE OF FAITH by John Phillips

Engaged by Eileen Tabios (10/22)

Saturday, October 28, 2017


In 2012, Meritage Press (MP) published its first and last children's book, BEAUTIFUL EYES by Gayle Romasanta, Ramon Abad and translators Carmen and Pat Romasanta. MP's forte isn't children's literature but I recall looking at the submission and thinking that someone needs to publish, not just this particular book but, books like this, by which I mean Filipino children's literature. So, I did it -- because poetry taught me cultural activism. This morning, I learned on Facebook that it apparently took 10 years for Gayle to find a publisher ... and I was struck again by how random or unintended was the path for BEAUTIFUL EYES to be published by MP (as I said, children's literature is not my forte). It just shows the dearth of publishing opportunities for such literature. I was glad with MP's publishing results and delighted by, to quote Gayle, "the love it received from that community," as displayed in this collage of some college students' reactions to the book:

Well, flash forward to today and Gayle has launched her own dream of a publishing house, bridge + delta! You can now get BEAUTIFUL EYES through her outfit, and hopefully do so as part of a fundraiser for her first project entitled JOURNEY FOR JUSTICE, the first children's book about Larry Itliong, a leader in the farm workers' movement who led the 1965 Delano Grape Strike and co-founded the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez.

While not a poetry collection, for which MP is more known, BEAUTIFUL EYES will be one of MP's key achievements. It relates back to my original vision for Meritage Press -- that it presents a generative space for poetry (in all of its multiplicitous manifestations besides verse) to unfold, albeit curatorially masked by seeming mostly to be a publisher.

May bridge + delta have a long, fruitful life. And CONGRATULATIONS as well as GOOD LUCK with its first project, the very worthwhile LIFE OF LARRY ITLIONG:

Again, here is link to this worthwhile fundraising campaign for JOURNEY FOR JUSTICE.

Friday, October 27, 2017


I'm really proud of the EKPHRASIS section at the Filipino American Artist Directory. We've got a few more poems scheduled in the weeks ahead. But this is to say that Submissions will take a break, and will resume Feb. 1, 2018. Until then, please peruse the beautiful literary and art works so far released. And perhaps you can work on your own creative writing to submit something come Feb. 1, 2018! THANKS to all participating writers and artists.... as well as to Directory founder Janna Añonuevo Langholz!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


While working this morning on editing MURDER DEATH RESURRECTION:

KINTSUKUROI: Proofing Poetry  
Hermit your way to brewing up poetry and you go to unexpected places. For this, you murdered 27 poetry books     the condition precedent to a particular resurrection. No community awaits at the end. But you know dark figures lurk in the background, who will peel themselves from shadows to approach the strange light of a resurrected book. It first will appear as a bonfire, but they will shoot their hands forward to grasp the flames. When you lift your writing hand from this foretelling, you notice your fingers change to talons. You rip a hole in the paper and dive into it. On the other side, Poetry. It first appears as a bird of prey with eyes afire. It becomes you flying back through the hole to sit back at your desk. You continue proofing the manuscript. Everytime you turn a page, ash rises from the buckling words. As they float away, they leave behind feathers the color of ink and bathed in the perfume of plumeria.


I'm pleased to share "Avocado," the painting by Pacita Abad that will grace the cover of one of my 2018 books, MURDER DEATH RESURRECTION. The book includes an "About the Cover Image" section which I love including in my books though I don't do it everytime. Here's an excerpt, w/ the 2nd paragraph reflecting Pacita Abad's talent as a master colorist:
I was interested in featuring “Avocado” on the cover because I consider a poem to be, among other things, a mirror to its reader(s). The poet begins a poem; the reader finishes it, and does so with their interpretation. The latter means the reader brings to the poem what ultimately will become (one of) its significance—in this sense do I consider the poem a “mirror” as the poem also becomes about or reflects back its reader. There are nine mirrors on the canvas—while their alignment (3 x 3) promotes the visual characteristic of harmony, it’s the plurality of the number that is significant to me for reflecting the idea that the same poem can generate different significances or reflections from different readers, or from more than one reading by the same reader.  
I also chose “Avocado” to be on my book’s cover because I admired the painting’s presentation of the color pink. “Avocado” may be only the second time I’ve admired the use of pink in a painting (the first would be pink’s appearance in several of Philip Guston’s works). Color is a narrative and I admire what I deem to be the stubborn optimism and improbable rebellion of pink. The optimism is affirmed, in my opinion, by the use of bright yellow in the painting.
As regards the bright colors, it reflects how the project ultimately concludes with RESURRECTION, not the other two words.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Update: October's proceeds from this Fundraiser will be donated to relief efforts helping out in Puerto Rico and the Northern California wildfire/firestorm; part of the proceeds to date has been donated to the Napa Valley Community Foundation's fire relief activities. September proceeds were  donated to the Jacksonville Humane Society's efforts to aid animals affected by Hurricane Irma. See below for details of this fundraising which ends Oct. 31, 2017:

It seems fitting that a book entitled LOVE IN A TIME OF BELLIGERENCE will sponsor a Hurricane Relief Fundraiser. In other words, 100% of sales proceeds will be donated to those aiding those adversely affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma UPDATE: And now proceeds also will be given to those adversely affected in Puerto Rico and the California wildfires. Payments can be taken by Paypal or check. Each book is U.S.$16.00 (the author will toss in free domestic shipping). To order Eileen R. Tabios’ new book, email her at galateaten@gmail.com (or PM her if you’re on Facebook). This fundraiser will take place through Oct. 31, 2017.

As regards her book, here’s a description:

To understand human history is to recognize the eternal presence of belligerence. Eileen R. Tabios’ Love in a Time of Belligerence surfaces a variety of wars and their collateral damage of nature, indigenous culture, pets and infants, democracy, teachers, the poor, even “sex dolls,” among others. Such spirals to more losses: innocence, ideals, loyalties, family, and hopes. Love can be an antidote … until it’s not. The world presented in Tabios’ poetry does not reduce humanity to problem-and-solution—her poetry is one of insistent lucidity, which is an accomplishment on its own when one wants to hide one’s eyes from the world.


The great thing about having a Tinfish chapbook go out of print is that the publisher puts the .pdf online for free access by any reader. So I'm pleased that EXCAVATING THE FILIPINO IN ME went out of print as of my recent visit to Hawai'i ... and you can now read its .pdf HERE!

MAHALO to Tinfish and Susan Schultz for having supported that project!  Here's an excerpt:

(click on images to enlarge)

Monday, October 23, 2017


While I was enjoying Oahu's and Words@Manoa's hospitality, several events happened that I need to blog-mention as the blog is my file cabinet--but I do thank the involved parties for all of these:

More poems from "The Ashbery Riff-Offs" were published:

Queen Mobs' Teahouse: A poetry-in-progress essay with poem "Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: Processing The Sheriff's Advice"

Muddy River Poetry Review, Fall 2017:
"Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: Running"
"Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: The Return of Your Smile"
"Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: Queen Anne's Lace"

And Jenny Ortuoste covered my recent LitCrawl event in her column for The Manila Standard, through which she also excerpts my poem "PilipinZ" from Love In A Time of Belligerence -- which, btw, is the introduction of the term "PilipinZ" to ... the world!

Mahalo to all of you!


Steven Fama has created a concordance of stars from Philip Lamantia's COLLECTED POEMS -- and he's done it manually as only a true lover of Philip's poetry would wish to do!  You can see Steven's lovely celebration HERE.

Happy Birthday Philip! Many people miss you!


2017-2018 The Words @ Mānoa at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa

Book Launch: Love In A Time of Belligerence
Oct. 19, 3:00-4:30 p.m. 

(Click on images to enlarge)


Shawna Ryan, novelist and Director of Creative Writing

Susan Schultz, who provided Introduction

Amalia Bueno, Jordan Luz and Dr. Kim Compac

Tiare Picard and Susan Schultz

Following the launch, some attendees proceeded to a dinner sponsored by UofH's English Department where the book was celebrated with Burmese / Malaysian food at Dagon:

Tiimothy Dyke and Ruth Hsu

Michelle Cruz Skinner

Mahalo to "Words@Manoa" and especially La Profesora and stellar poet Susan Schultz for the hospitality and enthusiasm as well as constancy of support over the years!