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, June 23, 2018


I'm grateful for this review of COMPREHENDING MORTALITY, my collaboration with John Bloomberg-Rissman. My muse for it is my beloved dog Achilles, which is why I post his photo above. Anyway, you can see Neil Leadbeater's review HERE, but here's an excerpt:
The poems and prose poems that make up this collection may appear on the surface to be diverse but there is much that connects them together. References to space (the sky, galaxies, the universe), physics and science—in particular radiation (Fukushima, black cones), mathematics (measurement, intuitionist mathematics), jazz (Misha Mengelberg, Eric Dolphy, Han Bennink and Nathaniel Mackey’s Bass Cathedral), human rights (Berta Cáceres), journeys (Katsumi Omori: “I must go to Fukushima,” Charles Darwin’s journey on H.M. S. Beagle, our own journey through life), grief (Pushkin grieving for Beauty, the Hondurans for Berta Cáceres, Tabios for her beloved dog and compassion (a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all the Buddhas) are the main threads which piece this tapestry together.  
Even though all twelve of the lines [plus one symbol] from the original poem in Hiraeth are quoted in bold print, four of them [plus that one symbol] remain freestanding. With lines like Absence is a singe and But love is also / a source of difficulty words may not be adequate to express the depth of emotion that these lines convey. It is enough to leave them be.
The reviewer is also adept enough to note the cover image, and says:
Comprehending Mortality—a title which calls to mind Wordsworth’s ode  Intimations of Immortality (written from a somewhat different perspective)—is a sustained reflection on the state of being subject to death. The cover art of a bronze object “Owl on a Frog” [ca. 1620] cast in Austria but housed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection, 1982, is a fitting illustration of how frogs fall prey to owls and how death comes to all of us at the end of our lives. 
In the end it is our fragility and the vulnerability of our planet that is our Achilles heel. We need that encaustic—that preservative wax—to protect the fragility of paper. 

Friday, June 22, 2018


So delighted to release the June edition of Galatea Resurrects.  Thanks as ever to our volunteer participants and other contributors. You can go HERE for the new issue, and I'll also cutnpaste Contents below for convenience.


Roseate, Points of Gold by Laynie Browne
Reviewed by Kylan Rice (6/22)

Dearest Annie, You Wanted a Report on Berkson's Class: Letters from Frances LeFevre to Anne Waldman edited by Lisa Birman

Reviewed by Neil Leadbeater (6/21)

FEATURED ESSAY: "Visual Writing, Derrida and the Unreadable Being of the Dead Sea Scrolls" by Tom Hibbard 


Comprehending Mortality by John Bloomberg-Rissman and Eileen R. Tabios

Reviewed by Neil Leadbeater (6/19)

Real Fire by Janet Hamill, with photographs by Richard Baron
Reviewed by Steve Dalachinsky (6/18)

"Polymer Codex" by Mark Young

Engaged by Jim Leftwich (6/17)

WORDS ON EDGE by Michael Leong

Engaged by Eileen Tabios (6/16)

Gathering Sparks by Paul Pines

Engaged by Michael Heller (6/15)

Orange by Christine Herzer

Engaged by Eileen Tabios (6/14)

INTERVIEW: Norman Fischer interviews Denise Newman 

Perverse, All Monstrous by Code-Rose Clevidence
Reviewed by Judy Roitman (6/12)


Reviewed by Neil Leadbeater (6/11)

ELEGY FOR MY BEAT GENERATION by Neeli Cherkovski and AMOR FATI by Jack Mueller

Reviewed by Steve Dalachinsky (6/10)

CLOSE APART by Robert Cowan

Engaged by Eileen Tabios (6/9)

The World of Burning by John M. Bennett
Engaged by Jim Leftwich (6/8)

FEATURED ESSAY: "Silence" by Raymond de Borja



Engaged by Eileen Tabios (6/6)

Olvidos by John M. Bennett
Engaged by Jim Leftwich (6/5)

"Flash Book Reviews" of The Sufi Poems of Sultan Bahu, Trans. by Jamal J. Elias; Sugar-Paper Blue by Ruth Fainlight; Owen Sheers by Skirrid Hill; Regarding Wave by Gary Snyder; The Nerve by Glyn Maxwell; The Painted Bed by Donald Hall; The Standing Wave by Gabriel Spera; O Harvest Poems 1910-1960 by Carl Sandburg; and POEMS: A Selection by Leonie Adams
Reviewed by Aloysiusi Polintan  (6/4)

Thursday, June 14, 2018


Meritage Press (U.S.A.) and xPress(ed) (Finland) are delighted to announce the release of the winner of the Hay(na)ku Poetry Book Prize competition judged by Jean Vengua, Mark Young and Vince Gotera:

Please go HERE for the Judges' Comments and share in our excitement!

Pages: 70
Price: $15.00

Distributors: Meritage Press (meritagepress at gmail dot com), Amazon.com (forthcoming), Lulu.com (which currently has a 20% Release Special Discount)

Friday, June 8, 2018


I am so grateful for Neil Leadbeater's comprehensive and caring review of LOVE IN A TIME OF BELLIGERENCE in Contemporary Literary Review India. The review is now available online, reprinted in The Halo-Halo Review. Here's an excerpt:

"When Tabios looks into the mirror, she does not just see herself.  There is nothing narcissistic or egotistical about this volume. Instead, she sees certain aspects of human nature and our fallen world, areas that we would rather not see. Her poems speak out against sexual violence, cruelty, injustice and slavery. They speak of disengagement, deception, drug abuse, pollution and promiscuity. These are complex poems that are all the richer for the way in which they operate on different levels. In Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: Betrayal with Brand Names, for example, Tabios weaves a story of human betrayal and illustrates it with reference to advertisements that deceive us with their branding.

"On one level there are poems that address the plight of refugees and on another there is a poem that zooms in on a specific individual, the plight of Charlie Gard. 

This poem simply grieves over Charlie
Gard, indisputably human though he could
not hear, see, swallow…

…Charlie suffered from
mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome
But something is missing in all of us
an absence that clarifies our humanity as
we despair, as we are unable not to hope
and as we refuse to cease searching
for redemption, accustomed as we have
become, to night collapsing before day.

"The ability to shift from the universal to the particular and back again is one of the many strengths of this collection.

"Some of the poems in this sequence take on a philosophical flavour. A question one could ask of the whole book revolves around whether art is a true reflection of life or a means of creating another type of image that is one step removed. Images that give off reflection or act as a means of seeing things are strategically placed throughout the text: telescopes, mirrors, stained glass windows, metal surfaces, eyes, bullet holes through plasterboard. All of these offer up distorted images: the reader is invited to look through the wrong end of the telescope, the mirrors are convex, the stained glass relies upon the sun’s rays for illumination, the “gibbous” eyes are swollen or pouched, the bullet hole only permits a narrow vista and does not give the full picture and the metal, however shiny its surface, is only capable of offering a dim reflection."

You can see entire review HERE.

Thursday, June 7, 2018


Paloma Press has just released my newest book, the bilingual (English-Spanish) ONE TWO THREE: SELECTED HAY(NA)KU POEMS. Deep gratitude to my translator Rebeka Lembo, publisher  Aileen Ibardaloza Cassinetto, cover artist Thomas Fink, and guest poet Vince Gotera. The release comes with a Summer Release special (discounted price and free domestic shipping) and I hope you check it out as well as support this indie press. Information HERE!

I also want to support the relatively new indie press, Paloma Press (poetry publishing is a tough gig!). So if you order this book and let me know, I'll be happy to send you a signed book from my Mid-List (older) titles. Email me at  galateaten@gmail.com

Wednesday, June 6, 2018


So what happened was that I decided I only would write new poems in 2018 if I was solicited to do so (the rare exceptions would be if I was conducting an experiment). An example was when the Dos Madres folks asked me to write a poem after an artist's work (thank you; was I relieved to get that invitation!). But I wanted to hold back because I'm so prolific and so wanted proof folks wanted my poems. Well, the saving grace to this constraint was being asked by Carolyn Gutierrez-Abangan to co-author a book of tanka which required, among other things, contributing 100 tanka. I'd never written tanka before but I welcomed the opportunity to pay attention to this form (and how about that! It generated a TANKA chap from Simulacrum Press when Sacha Archer--thank ye Sacha--solicited a chap!). That tanka invitation allowed me to keep writing new poems (albeit in tanka form) but as I'm due to hand over the hundred tanka at the end of this month, I go back as of July 1 to not writing new poems again unless someone solicits. It's been an interesting private (now public) constraint. 

Meanwhile, here's one of the things that come out of it: the beautifully-designed -- and I hope you check it out to support this indie publisher -- TANKA, Vol. I!

Sunday, June 3, 2018


Well hello Cebu! Slowly but surely, my books released in nine countries make it back to my birth land. The photos show some of the books that soon will be available at what's officially the Rizal Memorial Library and Museum but more popularly known as Cebu City Public Library. It's on Jones Avenue (the popular name of the street) but the current traffic zone calls it Osmena Boulevard. The building is home to a museum on the second floor that's hosted book launches. The library on the ground floor is now open 24 hours a day, bright, and has wifi with a MOA forged between Cebu City. A 24-hour-a-day library! Brilliant!

Here are some of the available books below (my books and other Filipino titles published through Meritage Press). And the photo of the lady below is 85-year-old Mama Doreen holding on to Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole . She's a retired teacher of English and Filipino and I'm much honored by her interest :) ).

Looking at Mama Doreen, I wonder about her reader profile. She'd be about the same age as my mother and many educated Filipinos were quite aware of Greek, U.S.-American and British literature (Reproductions opens with Greek references, and perhaps such actually was a point of access for her... just speculating). Anyway, it gladdens the heart to see new readers. And Reproductions continues to amaze me with its standing power (it is still the bestseller among all of my books (selling out its 1st printing in less than 6 months), though poetry sales relies on so many vagaries besides literary merit).

Salamat, Universe.

Saturday, June 2, 2018


As of Jan. 1, I began tracking the following stats on a daily basis:

--how many poems I wrote and/or edited
--how many poems I read
--how many poetry chapbooks and/or books I read
--other media that relates to poetry, e.g. audios and videos

On Facebook, where I post my daily list, my favorite comment was from witty Melinda de Jesus who said, “They’re like a FitBit for poetry…” My daily posts can look like this entry:

1/7/18: Today
I wrote zero poems.
I read 6 poems and 1 poetry book

That’s it. No names, which is why I’m posting below the names of poets whose works I read. I name them, whether I read a single poem or an entire book by them. January's reading is HERE, February's reading is HERE, March's reading is HEREand April's reading is HERE 

These poets make up May's reading:

14-year-old Sheila
Joel Abellanosa
Christine Abiba
Gale Acuff
Dennis Aguinaldo
Genevieve Aguinaldo
Jim Pascual Agustin
Synequeen Akasa-as
Erina C Alejo
Kimberly Alidio
Brian Ang
Billy T. Antonio
Rae Armantrout
Sacha Archer
Catherine Ashley
Abby Asuncion
Tim Atkins
Beth Baugh
Cirilo F. Bautista
Billy Bob Beamer
Anselm Berrigan
Bruce Bond
Anthony Bongco
Maya Buenafe-Ze
Prudence Bussey-Chamberlain
Yshmael Cabana
Nick Carbo
Kai Carlson-Wee
Anne Carson
Ian Castro
Geoffrey Chaucer
Sam Roxas Chua
Cody-Rose Clevidence
Joshua Corey
Robert Creeley
Conchitina Cruz
Jhonnatan Curiel
M. Protacio-De Guzman
Melinda Luisa de Jesus
Malaya Lanikai de Jesus-Tinsman
Monica De La Torre
W.Kyle de Ocera
Alan Devenish
China Pearl Patria M. De Vera
Natalie Diaz
Helen Dimos
J.B. Donne
Lara Durback
Amanda Earl
Tongo Eisen-Martin
Elke Erb
Norman Fischer
Robert Fitterman
Donna Fleischer
Danny Gallardo
Jose Gallardo
Forrest Gander
Peter Ganick
Michael Gizzi
Lara Glenum
Henrietta Goodman
Anne Gorrick
Elizabeth R. Grunwald
Christian Guerrero
Trish Guevarra
MaryCarl Guiao
Carolyn Gutierrez-Abangan
Karen Buenavista Hanna
Roberto Harrison
Sadakichi Hartmann
Lyn Hejinian
Ludwig Holmdahl
Gerard Manley Hopkins
Luisa Igloria
Barbara Jursa
Dan Kaplan
Athena Katsof
Phyllis Beck Katz
John Keene
Nicolas Komodore
Irene Koronas
Thomas Korte
Damon Krukowski
Neil Leadbeater
Jim Leftwich
Mia Leonin
David Lespiau
R. Zamora Linmark
Douglas Likpton
Richard Livermore
Babeth Lolargo
Federico Garcia Lorca
Kirin Amiling Macapugay
Tom Mandel
Thomas Manglona
Ed Maranan
Philip Matthews
rob mclennan
Paul Mein
Christopher Middleton
Paula Miranda
Allie Moreno
Fred Moten
Brane Mozetic
Jonathan N. Mulcahy
Bianca Elorde Nagac
Ogden Nash
Murat Nemet-Nejat
Pablo Neruda
Mary Newell
Geoffrey O’Brien
Darzelle Elivia B. Oliveos
Mary Oliver
Karl Ove
Jose Padua
Danielle Pafunda
Pele Pagasa
Jazlynn Eugenio Pastor
Alex Penano
Angela Penaredondo
Jason Magabo Perez
Robert Andrew Perez
Fernando Pessoa
Carl Phillips
John Phillips
Sasha Pimentel
Elmer Omar Pizo
Donald Platt
Aloysiusi Polintan
Patrick Pritchett
Ethel Racking
Christina Rey
Juanita Rey
Barbara Jane Reyes
Jacques Robaud
Mg Roberts
Elizabeth Robinson
Muriel Rukeyser
Cameron Sandal
Janice Lobo Sapigao
Sarah Sarai
Jesse Seldess
Noemi Serrano
Vincenz Serrano
William Shakespeare
Kim Shuck
Maggie Smith
Rod Smith
Simon Smith
Oki Sogumi
Laura Solomon
Dairin Soto
Verity Spott
Jared Stanley
Wallace Stevens
Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino
Aimee Suzara
Cole Swenson
Eileen Tabios
Joel Barraquiel Tan
Susana Thenon
John Tischer
Casey Tran
Cassandra Troyan
Hao Guang Tse
Eliana Vanesssa
Kees Van Meel
Ruben Van Rompaey
Vxyz Vasquez
Nico Vassilakis
Sara Veglahn
Orhan Veli
Benedicte Vilgrain
Karen Marie Maliwat Villa
Marc Vincenz
Keith Waldrop
Rosmarie Waldrop
Lillo Way
Eryk Wenziak
Darrien Wesley
Michael White
Simone White
C.K. Williams
John Yau