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.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


I'm always happy to see William Allegrezza (a long-time poetry angel) receive recognition, and especially when it's for the Locofo chap series. If you haven't yet, check out THIS HUFFPOST ARTICLE penned by Patrick Howell ... then Locofo which is continuing to put out new chaps!

And here's me burning my chap to burn Empire! Good thing I didn't burn down the house as it took over a dozen matches to set that cover aflame! Go over to Locofo -- many of those chaps sizzle!

Thursday, November 16, 2017


HAY(NA)KU 15-Year Anniversary Celebration
@ San Francisco Public Library
Filipino American Center/Kresge Foundation International Center

To celebrate the 15th birthday of the poetic form hay(na)ku, there will be a summer exhibition, reading, and new anthology in 2018. This is a CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS for the anthology, with a working title of HAY(NA)KU 15!

Deadline: February 28, 2018
Editor/Curator: Eileen R. Tabios
Introduction: by Abraham Ignacio, Filipino American Center Librarian, SFPL
Publisher: Meritage Press

Submission of Hay(na)ku Poems
—1 to 3 poems
—Poems can be the basic hay(na)ku tercet or any of the hay(na)ku variations. (If it’s an esoteric variation or one of your inventions, feel free to include a Note on Form.)
—Visual poetry is eligible if the work can be reprinted in a 6 x 9 book in black-and-white
—Collaborative submissions are also eligible
—Non-English poems are eligible if they come with English translations
—Open to all poets (you need not be Filipino)
—Submissions can be previously-published as long as the author carries rights to allow its republication. If previously-published, send with acknowledgments
—Not eligible: hay(na)ku previously published in the first three hay(na)ku anthologies as we would like to anthologize different (and new) work
—Send submissions to Eileen Tabios at meritagepress@gmail.com

Special Invitation for Students
We love having students participate in hay(na)ku projects. For example, The Hay(na)ku Anthology, Vol. II featured student hay(na)ku from a poetry class taught by Elizabeth Robinson at the University of Colorado, Boulder. If you are a teacher (all levels) or workshop instructor and would like to have students focus on hay(na)ku, with possible publication in HAY(NA)KU 15, please contact the editor!

Submissions and Contact Info: meritagepress@gmail.com


HAY(NA)KU 15 will be the fourth anthology of hay(na)ku since its public debut in 2003. Thank you, Universe!

The first three hay(na)ku anthologies (jointly published by Meritage Press (U.S.) and xPress(ed) (Finland) are:

(click on image to enlarge)

The First Hay(na)ku Anthology, 2005, edited by Jean Vengua and Mark Young

THE HAY(NA)KU ANTHOLOGY, Vol. II, 2008, edited by Jean Vengua and Mark Young

The Chained Hay(na)ku Project, 2012, curated by Ivy Alvarez, John Bloomberg-Rissman, Ernesto Priego & Eileen Tabios

With your participation, we look forward to adding HAY(NA)KU 15 to the list!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


(click on images to enlarge)

"The Force..."--just a Pinoy Pun on the generous title of an exhibit on some of my books over at the San Francisco Public Library's International Center (3rd floor, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco). The title is courtesy of the exhibit's generous curator who deserves to receive plaudits, not give them: Abraham "Abe" Ignacio. Since about four months ago, Abe has served as Librarian of the SFPL's Filipino American Center. I'm honored, I'm blessed, and I'm grateful. Maraming Salamat, Abe!  Abe is a historian and noted author as well, having released the important The Forbidden Book: The Philippine-American War (co-authored with Helen Toribio, Enrique de la Cruz and Jorge Emmanuel).

Here are photos of the exhibit which also reminds me to say Thank You to my book publishers whose faith I appreciate in publishing me. Featured in the exhibit are publications released through Editions du Cygne (France), Knives Forks and Spoons Press (U.K.), Black Radish Books, Theenk Books, Otoliths, and a few each by Paloma Press and Moria Books/Locofo. Thank you Patrice, Daniel, Irene, Alec, Marthe, Steve, Mark, Aileen and Bill.

Also below are photos of various Filipino- and Filipino-American titles displayed and also curated by Abe. It is great to be surrounded, to be contextualized among, these wonderful works by what is still one of the more overlooked groups within the literary world: Filipino English-language writings.

(Abe Ignacio)

In the marvelous company of:

Friday, November 10, 2017


GRATITUDE to all who participated in fundraisers activated through LOVE IN A TIME OF BELLIGERENCE. This final update on the fundraisers' results is to share that book sales proceeds were donated to relief efforts helping out in Puerto Rico, the Northern California wildfire/firestorm, and those adversely affected by Hurricane Irma. 

Proceeds were donated to the Napa Valley Community Foundation's fire relief activities, the Jacksonville Humane Society's efforts to aid animals affected by Hurricane Irma, and Beta Local which provides emergency grants for cultural workers in Puerto Rico. 

It was an honor and a blessing to be able to use my book in this manner--such is Love ... in a time of Belligerence.

Thank you.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


We interrupt our regular programming to bring you

Eileen's Eulogy for Scarlet:

Missy Scarlet passed away this evening. She transitioned peacefully. While she passed on her own, I had just seen her a half hour earlier, offering her a plate of food we both knew she would not eat but which was understood to be another love offering. 

She adopted Tom and me about 14 years earlier when we visited the local We Care animal shelter. Clueless, we didn’t yet know that it was the cat who adopted the human and not the other way around. She must have seen something in us, this couple looking around at the hundreds of cats and wondering how to choose. She leapt down from her high perch and, after a pretense of a warm greeting, ordered us to take her home. The rescue staff were all surprised as she was not considered a friendly cat. Instead, she was known simply as a cat who liked high places.

We spent the first few weeks in the house climbing stepladders to place food atop tall cabinets where she lounged. She really does like high places, we would agree with each other. It turned out we were as wrong as the shelter’s staff as, once she became accustomed to us, she never spent time again atop tall cabinets. She  didn’t like high places so much as she generally disliked others and high perches allowed her to ignore other cats and beings in the crowded  shelter. She was at the shelter for two years; her exact age at the time of her death is unknown but she was believed to be about 18 years old.

She was grumpy and domineering but when she fell in love, she fell in love obsessively. As a writer who spent a lot of time in front of a computer, I’d often turn my face from the screen and suddenly realize with a jolt that she must have been by my ankles for prolonged minutes or hours silently staring at me—the kind of behavior that’d cause someone to call the police on a stalker.

She also trained every single German Shepherd to be wary if not scared of her. For my first two dogs Achilles and Gabriela, it may have been the sight one summer of her in the backyard chasing down a mole. After she caught the animal, she tortured it for a few minutes with her sharp claws. Then she ran eagerly to us with her catch already half-way down her throat while its tail wriggled from a corner of her mouth. Jaws dropped from my big dogs as they stared in horror at her violent glee.  As a result, my 95-pound Achilles used to quiver in fear whenever her 9-pound body would enter the room.

But despite being wary, the dogs also all desired to be her best friend. After she thawed over time, she occasionally would give the dogs the benefit of allowing them to sniff her butt.

She was Queen of her domain and insisted always on doing things her way, including when she would transition. From cancer, kidney and thyroid diseases and some type of internal bleeding, she lived about a year-and-a-half longer than her doctors projected. While she reluctantly left behind her human family, we also believe that her crossing of the Rainbow Bridge will turn her into a much nicer being. At least we hope so for the sakes of Achilles and Gabriela who are waiting for her on the other side.

Rest in Peace, Missy Scarlet. You waged extreme battle against the four diseases that tried to invade you—we will never forget your feistiness, even as you gentled our grief eventually by passing peacefully instead of forcing us to be the ones to make the painful decision of letting you go. You love was as fierce as your warrior spirit. We look forward to seeing you again as, ultimately, we also know you refuse to let us go.

(Scarlet and Gabriela)

(Artemis and Scarlet)

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


Have you written a poem inspired by or informed by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge's work? Would you like it featured in Galatea Resurrects? I'm inaugurating a series of "Poems Inspired / Informed by POET" and Mei-mei is my inaugural poet. Previously published is fine (I'll give acknowledgements). To participate in the Berssenbrugge feature, send by email to me no later than Saturday, Nov. 25. The inspiration can be in any way it happened for you (both in content and form). You can send to me by email to Galateaten@gmail.com

Sunday, November 5, 2017


Okay, I wanted 300 poems through "The Ashbery Riff-Offs." But I abhor repeating myself and I could sense the project run out of steam by the time of the 140th poem. I'd already taken John Ashbery with me to spaces so far from his universe--even "pagpag"!  So, 140 poems ... even though that 141st poem was looking good. But I think it's better to stop when there's still forward momentum--sort of like how one ends a poem. So 140 poems it is!

And I'd been riffing them off as fast as I could so that ceasing the writing gave me the chance to see what it'd look like as a manuscript. Well, dang: it looks pretty good as a book! Here's manuscript's first cut as a future poetry collection, with (working) title and envisioned sections:

A shot of the current manuscript that I'd organized by manhandling individual poems' pages atop the dining table:

Let the manuscript leave you with a song:


Thank you, John Ashbery.  You were one hella telenovela of a dream:

"John Ashbery" by Irene Koronas (which I also consider a telenovela version)