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.

Thursday, November 15, 2018


I’ve had about five poetics essays accepted for publication in the last couple of months—folks seem to like my blather. (Indeed, I write this while on a break from writing another such essay requested by another poet.) I think if I have a lot to say on poetics, it comes from how I approach poem-making. And, ever multi-tasking, I’d like to talk about it by answering another question that’s recently come up to me: 
“You have so many books and I’m new to your work—how do  choose?”

My answer is three-fold:

1) Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole as it’s what I consider my true first poetry book (includes sizeable excerpts from technically my first book, Beyond Life Sentences which is not distributed well outside of the Philippines) and it’s always interesting to see any poet’s first book; 

2) Any of my recent books as they would benefit from experience and maturity (hopefully); and/or

3) My favored answer—the one I would say if I could only choose one of these three numbered options: books from my form-based Selected Poem series.

I create Selected Poem books based on a single poetry form. I do so for one reason: so that I can prove to the reader that I didn’t just write poems but helped to expand the landscape of its particular form ... because I believe that if I didn’t expand poetry’s expanse, then my poems threaten to be solipsistic, masturbatory, or derivative (yes, I'm my toughest critic).

Relatedly, the poems inside each book are presented chronologically so that the reader can track how the writing developed before it ends up in expanding the form. I think this layer is interesting as art is a process as much as a result.  

To date, I’ve released three such Selected Poems books:

Forthcoming are two more Selected Poems collections:

The In(ter)vention of the Hay(na)ku: Selected Tercets (1996-2019)

THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL: Selected Visual Poetry (2001-2019)

So I have addressed four forms through my Selected Poems series: the prose poem, the catalog or list poem, the tercet, and visual poetry.

I write/have written in other forms but if I haven’t released a “Selected Poem” addressing a particular form, it likely will be because I don’t feel I’ve explored it sufficiently and thus provided my own value-added on to its form. I’ve written, for example, in quatrains, sonnets,  ghazals, etc. and while individual poems may have merit, I don’t feel I’ve (yet) expanded on the form.

An exception to my Selecteds will be the tanka. In the future, I likely will present a Collected Tanka book of the tankas that I will have written only in 2018 (I don't anticipate writing more tankas after this year this year). Thus, that book will be a Collected rather than Selected and, yes, I also feel I expanded that form (for proof until I release that Collected, you can check out  my TANKA, Vol. 1 from Simulacrum Press, 2018).

But to get back to poetics, I don’t think I’d have much to blather about poetry were it  not for my desire to expand the possibilities of whatever form I’m writing. So, if you have to choose among my many books, you might consider one of my Selecteds. Thank you for asking.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


Well, it's no secret I love visual art. Thus, I'd opened an Art & Conversation Gallery, North Fork Arts Projects. And now the Inquirer has done an article on this new project--click on link to see the article "New gallery in California celebrates Filipino art". What I present below is the original photo that they'd cropped for the top photo.  I like this photo's emphasis on ... the visual arts!

(Artworks by Isabel Cuenca on top left, Treva Tabios with next four 
paintings on wall, Maria Fatima Urbi with the painting I'm holding, 
and a sculpture by Napoleon Abueva on the floor.)

Thursday, November 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, May's reading is HERE, June's reading is HEREJuly's reading is HERE, August's reading is HERE, and September's reading is HERE.

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

2 Sonoma State University students
Jonel Abellanosa
Anna Akhmatova
Ivy Alvarez
Yehuda Amichai
Raymond E. Andre III
Sacha Archer
Rae Armantrout
Margaret Atwood
Alan Baker
Joe Balaz
Ryan Bayless
billy bob beamer
Tom Beckett
Melissa Benham
John M. Bennett
Charles Bernstein
Anselm Berrigan
Brian Bilston
Johannes S.H. Bjerg
Chana Bloch
John Bloomberg-Rissman
Petrus Borel
Ingrid M. Calderon-Collins
Joseph Carter
Aileen I. Cassinetto
Paul Celan
Joel Chace
Marilyn Chin
Leonard Cohen
Matthew Cooperman
Judith Copithorne
Sam Cornish
Artemisio C.R
Artista Daily
Philip Davenport
Mabi David
Michael Dec
Melinda Luisa de Jesus
Shira Dentz
Michelle Detorie
Emily Dickinson
Steve Dickison
Donmay Donamayoora
Carol Dorf
Carrie Etter
Thomas Fink
Donna Fleischer
Diane Gage
Jeannine Hall Gailey
Danny Gallardo
Sarah Gambito
Peter Ganick
Simon “The Mapah” Ganneau
Renee Gauthier
Robert Gibb
Alex Gildzen
Kirk Glaser
Anne Gorrick
Grace Grafton
Jaimie Gusman
Ayo Gutierrez
Patricia Guzman
David Hage
Michael Hardin
Jeffrey Harrison
Judith Hemschemeyer
Tony Hoagland
Anselm Hollo
Bob Holman
Akua Lezli Hope
Fanny Howe
Ann Howell
C. Sophia Ibardaloza
Luisa Igloria
Paul Ilechko
Yang Jian
June Jordan
Jane Joritz-Nakagawa
Jacqueline Jules
Inna Kabysh
George Kalamaras
David M. Katz
Aby Kaupang
Sherry Kearns
Burt Kimmelman
Basil King
Carolyn Kizer
Shinjiro Kurahara
Bill Kushner
Abdellatif Laabi
Rona Laban
Amy Grace Lam
Hank Lazer
Jim Leftwich
Ursula K. Le Guin
Olchar E. Lindsann
Timothy Liu
Normita Lopez
richard lopez
Audre Lorde
Mary Mackey
Scott MacLeod
Jerika Marchan
Agnes Marton
Maya D. Mason
Lila Matsumoto
Rachel May
Bernadette Mayer
Tricia McCallum
Sandy McIntosh
Jim McCrary
Scott McVay
Nicky Melville
Stephen Mitchell
Gustave Morin
Daniel Morris
Harryette Mullen
Michelle Murphy
Rich Murphy
Camilla Nelson
Lorine Niedecker
Elly Nobbs
William Oandasan
Geoffrey O’Brien
David O’Connell
Gwynn O’Gara
Jose Padua
Shin Yu Pai
Naomi Buck Palagi
Stephen Parlato
Mark Pawlak
Lorna Perez
Paul Pines
Alexander Pope
Randy Prunty
NIzar Qabbani
Renuka Raghavan
A.K. Ramanujan
Greg Rappleye
Barbara Jane Reyes
Lina Sagaral Reyes
W.J. Robertson
Tony Robles
E. San Juan
Janice Lobo Sapigao
Susan M. Schultz
Barry Schwabsky
Mara Adamitz Scrupe
Diane Seuss
Shloka Shankar
John Simonds
Austin Smith
Felino A. Soriano
Analicia Sotelo
Bianca Lynn Spriggs
Jakob Stein
Eileen R. Tabios
Treva Tabios
Bronwen Tate
Mervyn Taylor
Susan Terris
Lorenzo Thomas
Lynne Thompson
Shu Ting
Barbara Tomash
Edwin Torres
Sam Truitt
Aldrin Valdez
Peter Vanderberg
Nico Vassilakis
Lawrence Venuti
Dan Waber
Holly Lyn Walrath
Dawn Nelson Wardrope
Darryl Wawa
Elizabeth Willis
Irene Willis
William Butler Yeats
Katherine E. Young
Mark Young
Maged Zaher