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.

Sunday, July 29, 2018


I’m really pleased with MURDER DEATH RESURRECTION ‘s post-book life. After reading Erica Goss’ reference to MDR in a review at Sticks & Stones, Joy McDowell wrote her own “I forgot” poem which I’m pleased to share here:


I forgot how a man can double down when challenged,
spit louder and shoot bolts from his eyes.

I forgot how grand a sociopath self-reflects in a room
of average units humming in brain cases.

I forgot how white pimples on a mushroom adorn an umbrella
whose abdominal agony will slowly kill you.

I forgot how loud night sounds from Hell, from the next room, the floor above,
a back alley ripe with screams and screeching tires.

I forgot how in the city a sleeper must bolt the door, seal the windows
and pray for rain to hijack the heat.

I forgot how an unexplained dimple in the latitude can freak the freaks,
spook the spooks and send brimstone bombing down like volcanic ash.

I forgot how numb the cudgel can feel on flesh, that pain beyond comprehension
when nerve endings are torn away and you separate from the mother craft.

I forgot how a gob of ambergris found on the beach once made men
rich from the vomited perfume of a sperm whale.

I forgot how I fell asleep beneath the Liquidambar styraciflua,
a sweet gum tree whose fruit, those tiny medieval flails, spike my face.

I forgot that imagination stirs trouble, charms a child, sugars the awful truth
and tugs off trickster veils.

I forgot that pain and bliss, fear and love,
rotate on the stick man wheel.


Joy McDowell is a graduate of the University of Oregon. She often writes about people at the edge of society, those in rural, blue collar areas who struggle to survive. Her characters don’t attend Vassar or Yale. They hunt and cut meat, sometimes commit crimes and often view life as an experience to outwit. Her latest collection, titled On the Edge, is a companion piece to her 2010 collection, Diesel Horse, published by Uttered Chaos Press.

She welcomes a reading eye that is interested in the lives of Americans who exist outside the mainstream. Her characters have their own twisted dignity and logic. Like John Steinbeck in his books, Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday, or Carolyn Chute in her book, The Beans of Egypt Maine, Joy McDowell pays close attention to the language and action of what many sources refer to as the lower echelons of American life. Without sentiment she presents her miniature story poems.

Her other chapbooks are Waltzing the Dragon and Blue Cat Shoes. Four of her poems were included in the anthology, New Poets of the American West. Her poem, “The Rest I Imagine,” was awarded the editor’s choice award for the state of Oregon. She is a member of the Red Sofa Critique group and her work is included in Mildred, an anthology representing this group of Oregon poets. She is published in Willawaw and the anthology Moments Before Midnight.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018


(Erica Goss' recycled lines)

I'm really moved that MURDER DEATH RESURRECTION (MDR )inspired Erica Goss to create her own poetry database! Go HERE to see her version which begins with "One day..." (instead of my "I forgot..."). She also is using MDR in a workshop; she had this to say:
"Each line in the MDR database starts with the words “I forgot.” Tabios writes, “Through my perceptions of abstraction and cubism, I’ve written poems whose lines are not fixed in order and, indeed, can be reordered.” I find this non-linear aspect wonderfully liberating. I can see its application in teaching poetry to children, or to people learning English, or as an exercise in creativity. (The book includes a teaching guide and workshop suggestion.)"
Thanks Erica!


You can go HERE for the new edition of Galatea Resurrects. But here's the Contents for convenience:

THINK TANK by Julie Carr
Reviewed by Kylan Rice (7/23)

Into English: Poems, Translations, Commentaries edited by Martha Collins & Kevin Prufer and PRESENCE OF LIFE by Eric Hoffman
Engaged by Eileen Tabios(7/22)


Where Night and Day Become One: The French Poems by Steve Dalachinsky

Reviewed by Janet Hamill (7/20)

IF THEY HADN'T WORN WHITE HOODS,... by John Bloomberg-Rissman and Eileen R. Tabios

Reviewed by Neil Leadbeater (7/19)

Poetry Comes Out of My Mouth: Selected Poems by Mario Santiago Papasquiaro, Translated by Arturo Mantecón
Reviewed by John M. Bennett (7/18)


Spokes of an Uneven Wheel by Colin Dodd
Engaged by Eileen Tabios (7/16)

INVISIBLE MARCHES by Tamas Panitz; Hexateuch by Joel Newberger; and BRONZE by Billie Chernicoff
Engaged by Robert Kelly (7/15)

Welcome Distractions: Accessible Poems for Time-Strapped Humans by Carol Wierzbicki
Reviewed by Steve Dalachinsky (7/14)

A Map and One Year by Karen L. George

Engaged by Eileen Tabios (7/13)

The Gnat's Window by John M. Bennett
Engaged by Jim Leftwich (7/12)

Tuesday, July 24, 2018


I'm delighted to share that Berfrois, one of the most intelligent spaces online, is featuring two of my poems, including "The Song of Space" which may be my favorite poem from "The Ashbery Riff-Offs" series.  As well, Berfrois is presenting "Tense Past Tense," a tanka excavated viz sous rature from another Ashbery Riff-Off poem. You can see both poems HERE.

I love "The Song of Space" as I love considering space and its significance. Interestingly, Berfrois illustrated the poem with Hallgrímskirkja, a cathedral in Reykjavik. Glad they "got" it. For interest the original cathedral that inspired the poem is Trinity Church in Manhattan. But the bigger the cathedral, the more apt for this poem. Here they both are, just for a fun:



Monday, July 23, 2018


Long-time hay(na)ku writer Tom Beckett presents the latest variation on the hay(na)ku, in its new blog of the same name:


Thank you, Tom!  I'm enjoying the new poems! Here's an example:

To pictures
With no titles?

Go over and enjoy!

Saturday, July 21, 2018


I'm grateful to Empty Mirror for reviewing MANHATTAN. And glad they focused on my Clyfford Still poems which I consider to be the best ekphrasis project I've written, and I've written plenty of ekphrasis. This book also opens with perhaps the best love poem I've ever written. But here's the reviewer Neil Leadbeater on that ekpra-sees:
"...the section containing the ekphrastic prose poems written in response to the Abstract Expressionist paintings of Clyfford Still is the jewel in the crown. They are linked to “THE ARTIFACTS” through a mention of a “monograph on Still’s paintings.” The titles for each of the eighteen studies begin with the word “On” – emphasising a very real focus of attention on the subject matter in hand. Just as shapes, colors and lines combine to create “the image” as opposed to realistic looking images of objects or figures, so Tabios paints for us an “impression” of imagined scenes that stop short of becoming too particular. Like Still, Tabios asks us to experience her poetry on our own terms. Her striking images are Still’s crackling flares of light."
You can see entire review HERE.

And for those interested in the book, Paloma Press continues to run a 50% off Special!

Monday, July 16, 2018


I'm blessed that Erica Goss has chosen to review LOVE IN A TIME OF BELLIGERENCE in her Sticks & Stones Newsletter. You can see entire review HERE but here are its first and last paragraphs:
Humanity is in trouble. People inflict violence against each other while the environment suffers. The legacy of colonialism continues to disenfranchise the Earth’s poor, who must negotiate the twin disasters of environmental and cultural degradation. Eileen R. Tabios’ Love in a Time of Belligerence explores this territory with bold, unflinching poems that refuse to look away from pain, sadness, exploitation and injustice.
Whether pointing out the robotic racism of an Internet ad or recalling the once-loved pets of a war-torn city, Eileen Tabios’ poetry is alive with vivid, striking imagery. Reality shifts and bends; things are never what they seem. A powerful voice narrates these poems, one of daring and clarity.
Hope you check out MY LOVE!

As well, I'm grateful for my newest book ONE TWO THREE: SELECTED HAY(NA)KU POEMS to be reviewed in the San Francisco Review of Books.  You can see review HERE but here's an excerpt:
At book's end there is a fascinating history of Hay(na)ku. This is experimental poetry now, but there were days when sonnets and villanelles were considered experimental....Very successful book, this. 

As I was saying, hope you check out MY LOVE -- they're all for you!

Sunday, July 8, 2018


My double-Ilokano rap poem is up at Local Nomad! I wrote it for my older brother who'd conscientiously created a list of Ilokano double-syllables years ago in Santo Tomas. Yeah: I can even rap.... and did it while riffing off Ashbery. 

You can see the poem entitled "WAGWAG" over HERE, complete with English translations, literal and poetic. "Wagwag" means used clothes, like what's in these bales exported to the Philippines:

And I recommend the rest of the issue devoted to Falutinism: http://www.local-nomad.net With Márton Koppány, Judy Swann, Mergil Brief-Deever, Denny E. Marshall, Jean Vengua, and M.A. Fink. It's a party!

Monday, July 2, 2018


"The Great Grief" is a tanka sequence I wrote from living with environmental degradation, and then empathizing with Per Espen Stoknes who defined it as:

"This more-than-personal sadness [as] ... a feeling that rises in us as if from the Earth itself…. that our individual grief and emotional loss can actually be a reaction to the decline of our air, water, and ecology."

My poem appears HERE in Unlikely Stories' 20th Anniversary edition. Congratulations to editor Jonathan Penton on US' 20th!

Sunday, July 1, 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 HERE, April's reading is HERE, and June's reading is HERE.

These poets make up June's reading (translators' names also are included):

Leonie Adams
Edward Ainsworth
Anna Akhmatova
Sherman Alexie
William Allegrezza
Billy T Antonio
Cesar Aquino
Sacha Archer
Marcia Arrieta
Rachel Tzvia Back
Jeff Bagato
Joe Balaz
Christina Barreiro
Jennifer Bartlett
Stuart Bartow
Rebecca Brown
Cirilo Bautista
Hugh Behm-Steinberg
Billy-Ray Belcourt
John M. Bennett
Carla Bertola
May Berey
József Bíró
Johannes S. H. Bjerg
Jules Boykoff
Michael Brandonisio
Gwendolyn Brooks
Omar Caceres
Thomas M. Cassidy
Albert B. Casuga
Cecelia Chapman
Neeli Cherkovski
David Baptiste Chirot
Lucille Clifton
Judith Copithorne
Bill Corbett
Lydia Cortes
Robert Cowan
Conchitina Cruz
Jon Curley
Steve Dalachinsky
AG Davis
Melinda Luisa de Jesus
Monica de la Torre
Shira Dentz
Emily Dickinson
Colin Dodds
Patrick James Dunagan
George J. Farrah
Felix Fojas
Texas Fontanella
Christopher Foster
Sesshu Foster
Vernon Frazer
Danny Gallardo
Jack Galmmitz
Eric Gamalinda
Karen L. George
Pat Geyer
Maryam Monalisa Gharavi
Aracelis Girmay
Jesse Glass
Sidney Goldfarb
Anne Gorrick
Michael Gould
Eliana Gradishar
Richard Greenfield
Michael Grover
Carolyn Gutierrez-Abangan
Donald Hall
Q.R. Hand
Jeff Harrison
Bobbie Louise Hawkins
Dah Helmer
Kyle Hemmings
Christine Herzer
Matt Hill
Lindsey Hoover
Dom Sylvester Houedard
Fanny Howe
Jennifer E. Hudgens
Luisa Igloria
Patricia Spears Jones
Mary Kasimor
Baseera Khan
Karl Kempton
J.I. Kleinberg
Adriána Kób
Kim Koga
Ava Kohboor
Márton Koppány
Irene Koronas
Dean Kostos
Goksu Kunak
Annabel Lee
Karen An-Hwei Lee
Michael Leong
Friedlander Liddicoat
Sarah Lilius
Federico Garcia Lorca
Fatima Lundy
Aditi Machado
Rggero Maggi
Robin Magowan
Christopher Marsh
Jonathan Mayhew
Rubert McCranor
Amber McCrary
Jim McCrary
Duncan McNaughton
Tracey McTague
Sarah Menefee
Iman Mersal
Sabine Miller & Richard Gilbert
Sergio Mondragon
Alicia Montero
Saretta Morgan
J. Morris
Jason Morris
Jonathan Mulcahy-King
H. Gene Murtha
Bianca Elorde Nagac
Sawako Nakayasu
Elinor Nauen
Paul Naylor
Bruno Neiva
KB Nemcosky
Martin Niemoller
Diana Khoi Nguyen
Elly Nobbs
Linda Norton
Alice Notley
Keith Nunes
Geoffrey O’Brien
A.J. Odasso
Frank O’Hara
Cynthia Dewi Oka
Izzy Oneiric
Keith Opstedal
Niyi Osundare
Yuko Otomo
Jose Padua
J. Ray Paradiso
Kayla Park
Craig Santos Perez
Charles Perrone
Fernando Pessoa
Andrew K. Peterson
Pat Phaggs
John Phillips
Paul Pines
Osel Jessica Plante
Cristina Querrer
Carmen Racovitza
Chrissy Ramkarran
Bin Ramke
Margaret Randall
Julianne T. Rapp
Jai Arun Ravine
Marthe Reed
Barbara Jane Reyes
Laura Riding
Alberto Rios
LM Rivera
Tony Robles
Judith Roitman
Antwon Rose
Peterson Ruiz
David Rushmer
Li Quingzhao
Olivier Schopfer
Barry Schwabsky
Leonard Schwartz
Shloka Shankar
Kelly Shepherd
Warsan Shire
Larissa Shmailo
Evie Shockley
Brendan Slater
Dale Smith
Mike Smith
Verity Spott
Marilyn Stablein
Claire Marie Stancek
Catherine Stearns
Gerd Stern
Carol Stetser
Maria Stradnickja
Melissa Studdard
hiromi Suzuki
Fiona Sze-Lorrain
Eileen Tabios
Abdellah Taia
L’Abri Tipton
Andrew Topel
Alyson Torns
Sotere Torregian
Nanos Valaorities
Joanne C. Valente
Eliana Vanessa
Dirk Vekemans
Elisabet Velasquez
Alberto Vitacchio
Asiya Wadud
Rosmarie Waldrop
Dawn Nelson Wardrope
Jonah Mixon-Webster
Hazel White
Ian Randall Wilson
Rachael Wilson
Greg Wood
Rachel Franklin Wood
Bill Yarrow
Yi Lu
Don Yorty
Mark Young
Alfred “Krip” Yuson
Javier Zamora