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, December 31, 2019


Hay(na)ku 15 Poetry Awardee Sheila E. Murphy says it well, says it radiantly, each year.  I marvel at this musical light. If snowflakes could raise voices up to sing...

Monday, December 30, 2019


I’d like to share some books that will never appear in Best-Of, Recommended, Popular, etc Lists: my books. We can discuss (elsewhere) why I avoid these Lists as much as they avoid me, but Moi will allow moiself this exercise:

In 2019, I released only four poetry collections:

The In(ter)vention of the Hay(na)ku: Selected Tercets 1996-2019 (Marsh Hawk Press, https://eileenrtabios.com/poetry/the-intervention-of-the-haynaku/)

Witness in the Convex Mirror (TinFish Press, https://eileenrtabios.com/poetry/the-ashbery-rif-offs/)

THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL: Selected Visual Poetry 2001-2019 (Paloma Press, https://eileenrtabios.com/poetry/the-great-american-novel-selected-visual-poetry-2001-2019/)

Evocare: Tankas, with Ayo Gutierrez and Bianca Nagac [my Collected Tankas] (GMGA Entertainment Productions, https://eileenrtabios.com/poetry/evocare-tankas/)

I jump in to join authors celebrating what they’ve done in the past year—or the past decade—because I stumbled across the LitHub article that reveals this decade to be ruled by the Best-Selling 50 Shades of Gray and saw Non-Fiction Dominate Fiction—I was amazed by this statistic: in 2010, nearly 80% of top-selling titles were fiction, and by 2019 that percentage dropped to 32%. (Needless to say, never mind re the poetry.)

So even as I glower from the ongoing drumbeats of change in the background, from this same Decade of Deterioration (on so many fronts), I thank the Muses for helping me buck trends—the trend as one of the strangle-holds on creativity:

Behind the Blue Canvas, 2004
SILK EGG: Collected Novels 2009-2009, 2011

The Empty Flagpole (CD with guest artist Mei-mei Berssenbrugge), 2000
Ecstatic Mutations (with short stories and essays), 2001 
Reproductions of The Empty Flagpole, 2002
Enheduanna in the 21st Century, 2002
There, Where the Pages Would End, 2003
Menage a Trois With the 21st Century, 2004
Crucial Bliss Epilogues, 2004
The Estrus Gaze(s), 2005
Songs of the Colon, 2005
Post Bling Bling, 2005
I Take Thee, English, For My Beloved, 2005
The Secret Lives of Punctuations, Vol. I, 2006
Dredging for Atlantis, 2006
It’s Curtains, 2006
SILENCES: The Autobiography of Loss, 2007
The Singer and Others: Flamenco Hay(na)ku, 2007
The Light Sang As It Left Your Eyes: Our Autobiography, 2007
Nota Bene Eiswein, 2009
Footnotes to Algebra: Uncollected Poems 1995-2009, 2009
On A Pyre: An Ars Poetica, 2010
Roman Holiday, 2010
Hay(na)ku for Haiti, 2010
THE THORN ROSARY: Selected Prose Poems and New 1998-2010, 2010
the relational elations           of ORPHANED ALGEBRA (with j/j hastain), 2012
5 Shades of Gray, 2012
THE AWAKENING: A Long Poem Triptych & A Poetics Fragment, 2013
147 Million Orphans (MMXI-MML), 2014
SUN STIGMATA (Sculpture Poems), 2014
I Forgot Light Burns, 2015
Duende in the Alleys, 2015
INVENT(ST)ORY: Selected Catalog Poems & New (1996-2015), 2015
The Connoisseur of Alleys, 2016
The Gilded Age of Kickstarters, 2016
Excavating the Filipino in Me, 2016
I Forgot Ars Poetica, 2016
AMNESIA: Somebody’s Memoir, 2016
THE OPPOSITE OF CLAUSTROPHOBIA: Prime’s Anti-Autobiography, 2017
Post-Ecstasy Mutations, 2017
On Green Lawn, The Scent of White, 2017
To Be An Empire Is To Burn, 2017
If They Hadn’t Worn White Hoods … (with John Bloomberg-Rissman), 2017
What Shivering Monks Comprehend, 2017
YOUR FATHER IS BALD: Selected Hay(na)ku Poems, 2017
IMMIGRANT: Hay(na)ku & Other Poems In A New Land, 2017
Comprehending Mortality (with John Bloomberg-Rissman), 2017
Big City Cante Intermedio, 2017
WINTER ON WALL STREET: A Novella-in-Verse, 2017
Making National Poetry Month Great Again, 2017
MANHATTAN: An Archaeology, 2017
Love In A Time of Belligerence, 2017
TANKA, Vol. I, 2018
HIRAETH: Tercets From The Last Archipelago, 2018
One, Two, Three: Selected Hay(na)ku Poems (Trans. Rebeka Lembo), 2018
THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL: Selected Visual Poetry 2001-2019, 2019
The In(ter)vention of the Hay(na)ku: Selected Tercets 1996-2019, 2019
Witness in the Convex Mirror, 2019
Evocare: Selected Tankas (with Ayo Gutierrez and Bianca Nagac), 2019

My Romance (art essays with poems), 2002 
The Blind Chatelaine’s Keys (biography with haybun), 2008 
AGAINST MISANTHROPY: A Life in Poetry (2015-1995), 2015
#EileenWritesNovel, 2017


Thursday, December 12, 2019


Miniature books go back centuries and have been created for a wide variety of reasons. Today, I welcome a first into my Miniature Book Library--a book designed as a "preview" of a forthcoming book, in this case James Dickey's Poems 1957-1967. 500 of these 2 x 3 inch books were created for reviewers and booksellers (as well as the author's and publisher's friends). So this preview came out in the late 1960s--how quickly things have changed. Can you imagine someone today expending the resources to create 500 "preview" mini replicas for a forthcoming poetry book? Most poetry books, in case you don't know, don't sell 500 copies. So I'm glad to welcome this miniature book into my library -- a sign, it seems to me, of when a poetry book(s) was more treasured. I'm waiting now for a normatively-sized copy to keep it company.

You can see my Miniature Book Library

Friday, December 6, 2019


I recently sent books to a professor of Asian American Literature who will be teaching some of my poetry. Along with the books, I dashed off the following (very informal, not scholarly) note ... which I then thought to share here as it may be helpful to others. The note is slightly contextualized for AsianAm Lit but I believe can be relevant to other disciplines:


            Thanks for your receptivity to my work. I thought I’d share some notes since I’m sharing several books that may (or may not) be helpful for purpose of “Asian American lit”:

--you have Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole and it shows how I use abstract language to elide the use of English as narrative communication, as a dis at how English was used to colonize the Philippines. My transcolonial take on language is reflected on how I deliberately radicalize the slipperiness of language (for which Poetry’s language is so perfect)—such is seen as well on MURDER DEATH RESURRECTION (which maximizes the role of randomness in creating new poems).

--2019 book Witness in the Convex Mirror reflects a nod to John Ashbery for being called (in some circles) the most important English-language poet of the 20th century) but my attempt (particularly in 2nd half of book) also “browns" his concerns.

--the hay(na)ku books add a new poetry form to English poetry, which was both an aesthetic and political goal.

--I like using methods associated with the visual arts because I’m trying to address poetry in non-traditional ways. SUN STIGMATA reflects my “sculpting” out new poems from the text blocks that had appeared in Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole. This also led to my “Selected Visual Poetry,” THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL (GAN); the title of course also addresses the notion of not just GAN but “AMERICAN.” GAN’s first entry may be of most interest as it reflects how I translate diaspora into “cloudygenous,” a word I invited for a Univ. of Wesleyan anthology of new words related to the anthropocene…

--The Secret Lives of Punctuations brings out to light those items (punctuations) often ignored—a metaphor for … many things. Note the reference to “Vol. 1” though there aren’t (yet) additional volumes to indicate the plentitude of life in the margins. Relatedly, Menage a Trois with the 21st Century seeks to resuscitate a modern life for Gabriela Silang who had sacrificed her life to be the first female general of anti-Spanish colonial forces in the Philippines.

--ECSTATIC MUTATIONS: Experiments in the Poetry Laboratory is an old and out-of-print book published in the Philippines but is useful for relaying my early interests in experimenting with poetry. TANKA, Vol. 1 (relatively new work) indeed shows me revamping the traditional “tanka” form.

--it’s tedious being a martyr so I TAKE THEE, ENGLISH, FOR MY BELOVED is also a  rapprochement with my reality of being a diasporic Filipina writing in English. It was a lot of fun to marry English and that performance also involved  other poets, including a hairy poet, wearing that over-the-top Princess Di type of bridal gown (once, it was the rage J ) featured on the book cover.

--I TAKE THEE, ENGLISH,… includes reports on performances involving the community. Such acts, along with the hay(na)ku, MURDER DEATH RESURRECTION, and others will reflect—ultimately—my encouragement of “Kapwa” (a Filipino indigenous trait of recognizing one's self in others and vice versa).

--I love doing “Selected Poems” projects on poetry forms as such allows me to show—and interested readers to glean—how I expanded a poetry form’s possibilities: hence, Invent(st)ory on the list poem; Great American Novel on visual poetry, A THORN ROSARY on the prose poem, and even ONE TWO THREE where I did a Selection on the hay(na)ku despite inventing it (it led to the “haybun,” among other things). 147 MILLION ORPHANS is the first and so far only single-author collection of haybun. As a Filipino-PilipinZ writer, I consider it important to be discernible in not just inheriting but expanding the English language.

--The Blind Chatelaine’s Keys and AGAINST MISANTHROPY may be useful for offering poetics essays. Note that quite often I use not my own authored essays but others’ to reflect Kapwa and because I believe it’s my job to create poems but not necessarily tell others how to read/interpret them. These two also reflect my performance-disputations of auto/biography—the difficulty of capturing reality (e.g. through multiple interpretations of my work). This element is noted in the subtitle of THE LIGHT SANG AS IT LEFT YOUR EYES which incorporates the word “our” before the word “autobiography.”

More info on my poetry books are at my website, specifically https://eileenrtabios.com/poetry/

All best,

THE THORN ROSARY: Selected Prose Poems & New (1998-2010)
INVENT(ST)ORY: Selected Catalog Poems & New 1996-2015
The In(ter)vention of the Hay(na)ku: Selected Tercets 1996-2019
The Great American Novel: Selected Visual Poetry (2001-2009)
Menage a Trois with the 21st Century
The Secret Lives of Punctuations, Vol. 1
Love in a Time of Belligerence
Witness in the Convex Mirror
Sun Stigmata (Sculpture Poems)
147 Million Orphans
AGAINST MISANTHROPY: A Life in Poetry (2015-1995)
ONE TWO THREE: Selected Hay(na)ku (English/Spanish bilingual edition)
ECSTATIC MUTATIONS: Experiments in the Poetry Library
TANKA, Vol. 1

Wednesday, December 4, 2019


Deep gratitude to Harbor Review, editor Allison Blevins and reviewer Jeanna Paden for this new review of WITNESS IN THE CONVEX MIRROR. You can go HERE for entire review but here's an excerpt:

In poems like “Email to a Young Poet of Color,” “The Now of Heaven,” and “Eco Echo,” Tabios doesn’t shy away from blunt reactions to the political and environmental struggles we face. She writes, “As if the ill-educated parent / will not bear ill-educated children. As if billionaires would / still contribute to charities without tax-deductions.” The collection is strikingly frank. “The Optimists Ciphertext” quips, “Clarity, as lives of quiet / desperation imply, is untrustworthy.” Readers follow the speaker as she searches for something more reliable than clarity. The poems focus in and out on current culture from a precise but unforgiving angle.  
Overall, the collection reads like a social proclamation, one many will champion, though others might read as deliberately deadpan. Fans of Ashbery’s Portrait will likely enjoy the echoes of his work paired with Tabios’s take on the vantage of the convex mirror. In short, Witness in the Convex Mirror offers a biographical approach to poetry from a successful and well-published poet. 
By the way, WITNESS IN THE CONVEX MIRROR is available through this very worthwhile fundraiser at Brew & Forge. Go HERE to get a copy while supporting a great cause!

Monday, December 2, 2019


I might as well share my favorite author discovery last decade, as I'm only on Volume 4 which means I'll have to continue reading his MY STRUGGLE series through to the current decade:


When I committed 2019 to finishing--and then trying to find publication for--my first long-form novel, I knew I'd have to set aside a lot of my usual commitments for the year. Hence, I put Galatea Resurrects on a temporary (now permanent) sabbatical, I recognized I'd write few new poems, and so on. I can't recall who said it -- perhaps Joyce Carol Oates? -- but I knew this saying is true: The most harmful thing to writing or writing a novel is not time but distractions. But before I continue, an aside :)

My novel is entitled DOVELION: A Fairy Tale For Our Times. I've been cagey about releasing details about it but its title, anyway, was outed ... because it's a Finalist in Eyelands' Book Award for Unpublished Novels!

Eyelands' recognition (whether or not I'll get the top award) is meaningful for, among other things, validating my commitment to it. But as I was saying, I had anticipated that the novel would be voracious and so I committed 2019 to it. Now that we're in December, I can share some of its effects--for instance, I published/released online only 26 poems in 2019 (versus 92 poems in 2018). And I wrote zero blurbs, reviewed zero poetry titles and was only able to review 3 novels, 2 memoirs, one novelist, and one artwork. Because they successfully distracted me from my novel, I nod to them. Here are the works I reviewed this year -- links will be to their reviews:

Reviewed Novels:
INSURRECTO by Gina Apostol
THE BETRAYED by Reine Arcache Melvin
SUBVERSIVO, INC. by Jose Elvin Bueno

Reviewed Artwork:
"Hawak/Hold," a drawing by Katrina Bello

Reviewed Memoirs:
GLIMPSES by Leny M. Strobel ("review" viz doing an Introduction)
THE BODY PAPERS by Grace Talusan

"Reviewed" Author
Ninotchka Rosca

Because we're talking about so few (for me) reviews, it pleases me to share the works' images and/or book covers:

 "Hawak/Hold" by Katrina Bello

I say Congratulations to these authors as your creations were so compelling that they distracted me from my own novel! But then, I also thank you for creating such fabulous work! I absolutely loved engaging with your writings and creations.


Thanks to Erica Goss for the idea of looking at the book covers of those one reviewed during the year; thanks as well for her including one of my books, ONE TWO THREE: Selected Hay(na)ku, among those she reviewed! Her post is available HERE.


I'm deeply grateful to Joey Madia for this new review of my new Marsh Hawk book, The In(ter)vention of the Hay(na)ku ... which also just appeared on SPD Books' Recommended List! Here's an excerpt of the review which you can see HERE:
"One gets that sense that, as free-ranging and transdisciplinary as Tabios is (and she must be to generate so much fresh and innovative text), that she is equally as intimate with these self-same subjects. One can feel the arc of the original inspiration, the spiritual depth-diving with which she engages said subjects to such an extent that the silver thread that holds them is taut enough to pluck and hear the tone as though it were the Music of the Spheres manifestly made. 
So make no mistake—Tabios is not innovating and recycling to mask a lack of writing power. Take this tercet, from “listening to what woke me”: 
in the city, as summer evaporates off the streets 
the stilled, sharp blades of a three-pronged fan 
behind the curve of its grated metal mask (27)
Hear the music?
A Release and Holiday Special Offer HERE.

Sunday, December 1, 2019


I'm honored to participate in Brew & Forge's 6th annual fundraising for grassroots community organizations. This year, proceeds raised will go to support the Black Mesa Water Coalition which fights climate destruction and builds restorative economies in Navajo and Hopi communities. I'm participating through offering a signed copy of WITNESS IN THE CONVEX MIRROR but as the book will come directly from me, I'll be tossing in other goodies for your $20 donation to this fundraiser. Check these and other fabulous goodies at

We WITNESS the world and wish to aid it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019


I genuinely love the Holiday season. So I’m pleased to share pictures below of the first snailmail that arrived in response to my offer to exchange Holiday cards—any holiday, as long as the card includes a poem. This came from Leny Strobel—what a lovely offering of “Qi Gong Hay(na)ku.” THANK YOU, Leny!

And if you wish to trade, here’s my original Notice:
HOLIDAY GREETINGS. I'm looking to trade holiday greetings by exchanging cards--holiday is not limited to Christmas. But cards must include a poem (handwritten fine), whether yours or someone else's. Here's my address. If you send me one, I'll send you something too. 
Eileen Tabios
P.O. Box 361
Saint Helena, CA 94574
Here is Leny's very smart hay(na)ku blossoms:

(Click on images to enlarge)

Thursday, November 21, 2019


I'm delighted to announce a new publishing initiative, Minitage Editions, an imprint of Meritage Press to publish miniature books. You are invited to click on link to see our first three letterpress releases, all sized at 3 x 3 inches. For both a Special Release Offer and Holiday Special -- they are perfect gifts, especially to encourage children to write poetry the way 2 of the 3 authors do -- a normative-size poetry book will accompany each order. Also great for book collectors. Go HERE for more information on

by Malaya Lanikai de Jesús-Tinsman (age 8)
Letterpress, accordion style, handprinted from polymer plates on Stonehenge paper & covered by Nepali paper by Melinda Luisa de Jesús. Size: 3" x 3"
Price: $25.00

by Stinson Zacarias de Jesús-Tinsman (age 13)
Letterpress, accordion style, handprinted from polymer plates on Stonehenge paper & covered by Nepali paper by Melinda Luisa de Jesús. Size: 3" x 3"
Price: $25.00

with text by Melinda Luisa de Jesús and drawings by Malaya Lanikai de Jesús-Tinsman
Letterpress, accordion style, handprinted from polymer plates on Stonehenge paper & covered by Nepali paper by Melinda Luisa de Jesús. Size: 3" x 3"
Price: $25.00

Here are Minitage Editions' inaugural authors -- or, rather, two of the three as the third, Mom Melinda, is taking the photo-- 8-year-old Malaya and 13-year-old Stinson:

(Hi Tom Beckett--you inspired the term "Minitage Editions" with your miniature book, The Chairman. THANKS!)

Saturday, November 9, 2019


As the year approaches its end, I've had to make the final decision. Galatea Resurrects' sabbatical will become permanent (http://grarchives.blogspot.com)--I think that Galatea R. has had its moment under the sun. And, actually, that project lasted years longer than I anticipated it would. So, I thank all the volunteer reviewers and authors and publishers who've participated in this idealistic endeavor--the reviews will be available for as long as the internet exists at http://galatearesurrects.blogspot.com We are extremely proud of Galatea R.'s unique ability to spotlight independent presses where we personally feel much of the advanced forms of poetry thrive.

As well, stellar editor John Bloomberg-Rissman and I had been preparing an encyclopedia-length Selected version of Galatea Resurrects. We've both agreed to defer the project--a print version simply is antithetical to the freeloading (pun intended) spirit of Galatea who wants open access to its engagements. So let its reviews/engagements/poetry remain in the cloud versus land on land. Let the trees remain on land.

Trees surround the real-life Galatea on earth. And it bears a house stuffed with books of poetry--all of which has been or will be read. May that thought gladden your day.

Thursday, November 7, 2019


I was delighted to write the essay for Miriam Bloom's and Ron Morosan's "IN-TER-WO-VEN" joint retrospective exhibition. If you would like a copy of that catalogue, you can contact Westwood Gallery where the exhibit is ongoing through to Nov. 16, 2019. You also can see exhibit images by clicking on the link, though I'm delighted to present the following art (click on all images to enlarge):

Drawing by Ron Morosan 

"Clouds and Sand" by Miriam Bloom, 50 inches high 

 "Hall of Art" by Ron Morosan, oil and acrylic on canvas, 80 x 70 inches

"The Open," a joint and site-specific installation by Miriam Bloom and Ron Morosan

I'm also delighted to present a poem written by Guggenheim awardee Serge Gavronsky. Serge Gavronsky wrote his poem in response to Miriam's and Ron's exhibition; a bio is presented beneath his poem:
Click on all images to enlarge

Tuesday, November 5, 2019


Today the 8th issue of The Halo-Halo Review is fresh!  I’m happy to share the first review of The In(tervention of the Hay(na)ku by self-described “emerging critical scholar” Maileen Dumelod Hamto. You can see her review HERE but here’s an excerpt that of course makes me sniffle:

“Poetry rules are sometimes made to be broken,” Tabios writes. At its core, the Hay(na)ku is liberatory and emancipatory, similar in magnitude to the genius of Black American inventors and innovators in literature, music and other creative pursuits. By developing the Hay(na)ku, Tabios invited her contemporaries to define FilAm, U.S.-born-and-bred poetry from brown-skinned Filipinos, to cease conformity with white supremacist notions of “goodness” in art and the expectation of appeasing the tyranny of literary gatekeepers in order to be validated. 

As an emerging critical scholar, I ask these questions: who determines the importance and significance of a word? In a literary form where every word counts, who is doing the counting? Poetic constructs are defined by rules established by dead white men. Tabios, as a decolonizing poet, takes self-determination to a whole other level by creating her own, devising a forward-looking FilAm/Pinoy literary identity that is concurrently sophisticated and approachable.

I’m also happy that several of my edited projects got reviews:

HUMANITY, Vol. 1 edited by Eileen R. Tabios,” Review by Marjorie Evasco at The Tambara Journal, June, 2019 (as reprinted online by The Halo Halo Review)

VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA edited by Eileen R. Tabios,” Review by Neil Leadbeater

Evidence of Fetus Diversity edited by Eileen R. Tabios,” Review by Aloy Polintan

Finally, I am mentioned in an anthology review: 
NO TENDER FENCES: An Anthology of Immigrant & First Generation Immigrant American Poetry edited by Carla Sofia Ferreira Kim Sousa & Marina Carreira,” Review by Cristina Querrer 

I’m a cat with cream--or the halo-halo's coconut milk--all over its face. Thank you, Universe.

Do check out the entire issue to see what's up with Filipino-Pilipinz literature. I even review the novel that just won the Philippines' National Book Award, Reine Arcache Melvin's THE BETRAYED.  And so much more! Lots of good reads and eats!

Sunday, November 3, 2019


My book The In(ter)vention of the Hay(na)ku:  Selected Tercets 1996-2019 (Marsh Hawk Press, New York, 2019) soon will be available through SPD and other outlets (like that online one that begins with A). While it technically is released on December 1, 2019, I am running a Holiday Special as its author because that Special involves … a miniature book!

I am delighted to share that The In(ter)vention… has been annotated into a mini-book version—sized at 1-7/8” x 2.5”—that can work as a Christmas Tree ornament! If you don’t traffic in Christmas or Christmas trees, the ribbon used for hanging on a tree can be used as a bookmark!  There are poems within the miniature book, as shown partly by the images below.

This miniature book, available in a lovely Holiday-red gift bag, is available for $10  (plus $5 shipping). You can purchase just the miniature book or use its purchase for a credit of $10 off of the larger hardback release priced at $29.95!  Yes, this means that for the price of the hardback, you also can get the charming tiny book!

Optionally, if you wish to give either the miniature book or miniature plus large book as a holiday present, I can gift-wrap them both and send them on your behalf to the gift recipient. (Free gift-wrapping.) A perfect gift for introducing poetry to, or sharing new poetry with, a reader!

Naturally, books can be signed!  If interested in this offer, email me at galateaten at gmail dot com   Offer good while supply of miniature books last!

Meanwhile, here are pics:

Thursday, October 31, 2019


Want to be in my Archives? So, further to the ultimate disposition of my literary Archives many years in the future (many years please as I’m only in my 50s), I’m preparing what will be the first batch of papers, books, etc. that I’ll be sending over late next year (I can’t reveal where Archives will be yet but look forward to sharing that info with you) -- and it will be focused on the hay(na)ku!  As reminded by a poet laureate, Zvi A. Sesling, who emailed me a hay(na)ku yesterday, it occurs to me that I can include correspondences containing or related to hay(na)ku! So if you care to, do email me at galateaten at gmail dot com . I prefer emails so I can print such out.

Of course, if you have books, chaps, or anything else related to the hay(na)ku, I’d be very interested (I’ll buy books!) in acquiring them so do let me know!

I’m also so pleased to provide a permanent repository for those who I know have already engaged with the hay(na)ku – from those with single-author hay(na)ku poetry collections to those who’ve participated in the various hay(na)ku anthologies. Thanks to you all! And now, here’s Zvi’s recent hay(na)ku!

Morning brew
Poets talking politics

Mirror-Sculpture featuring Hay(na)ku by Melinda Luisa de Jesus

Monday, October 28, 2019


Gratitude to Elisabetta Moro for her article, "Onore E Rispetto Per Le Donne Filippine, Il Cui Femminismo È Pura Poesia Di Resistenza," in Elle magazine, Italy. I don't know Italian so here below is a Google translation :)

Honor and Respect for Philippine Women, Whose Feminism Is Pure Poetry Of Resistance

Feminism is many things: it is struggle, it is sisterhood, it is questioning oneself, it is telling oneself and communicating. There are a thousand ways to contribute to the cause and creativity is a powerful tool, never to be underestimated. On this we have much to learn from Filipino women because, over the years, their feminism, as well as enriching themselves with battles and political victories, has fed on literature, art, but above all, poetry.

In the Pacific islands women have always actively participated in public life: from the pre-colonial phase, when the female figure of the babalyan (a sort of shaman with healing powers) acted as a spiritual guide for the community, during the period of Spanish domination, when many women have joined the struggle for independence; from the Second World War, which made Filipino women victims of atrocious violence, after the war, which saw them organize themselves into a movement that over the years has become increasingly strong.

Filipino feminism, therefore, is inextricably intertwined with the country's colonial past, as well as the strong tensions and class disparities that characterize it. However, it also has another characteristic: it knows how to amplify women's voices to launch important messages and, to do so, it uses literature and, in particular, has a close connection with poetry. Whether it's talking about independence from colonial rule, stereotypes, violence and patriarchal society or freedom and pursuit of one's own female identity, Filipino women have never pulled back, using their own verses as a tool for social struggle. The landscape is vast: from the mid-1900s poets like Angela Manalang Gloria or Marra Lanot - who have put in the verse the frustration of having to look like a perfect and unreal female model - to contemporaries, like Barbara Jane Reyes and Eileen R. Tabios.

The result is a cultural background that has roots in the past, but continues in the present and that constitutes the soul of the movement, its most intimate part. Precisely for this reason the independent publishing house Gantala has decided to protect this heritage, recognizing its cultural and political value. "We want to promote poetry and essays as research, investigation and documentation tools. We do not want these forms to be exclusive to writers, academics and award-winning artists who have participated in "prestigious" national seminars, "explained co-founder Rae Rival. The project is openly feminist, but it also has a strong link with the rural world according to the principle dear to Rival that "the feminist struggle goes hand in hand with the struggle of the people".

Of course, the road to equality, in the Philippines as in the rest of the world, is still long. Demonstrations, strikes and political battles will be needed, but the value of words should not be forgotten. Poetry can be the means - personal and profound - to express anger and pain, to support each other, to resist, to fight.

Saturday, October 26, 2019


Marsh Hawk Review's Fall/Winter 2019 issue, edited by Thomas Fink, has just been released. You can see it HERE. Here are the participants:

Friday, October 18, 2019


This Sunday at Bird & Beckett Books!
“What, in this human condition, is worthwhile?” A reading and conversation with St. Helena-based author Eileen Tabios, Mumbai-based author Murzban Shroff, and New York-based author Robert Cowan.
10/20 at 2pm, 653 Chenery St SF
This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments and wine will be provided.
ROBERT COWAN is a professor and dean at the City University of New York, and a volunteer instructor at Rikers Island Correctional Facility. He is the author of two hybrid-genre collections—Elsewhen (Paloma Press, 2019) and Close Apart (Paloma Press, 2018), and two monographs—Teaching Double Negatives (Peter Lang, 2018) and The Indo-German Identification (Camden House, 2010). His poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and scholarship have appeared in various journals and anthologies.
MURZBAN F. SHROFF has published his stories with over 60 literary journals in the U.S. and UK. His fiction has appeared in journals like The Gettysburg ReviewThe Minnesota Review, The Saturday Evening PostChicago Tribune, and World Literature Today. His non-fiction has appeared in India AbroadThe New Engagement, and The American Scholar. Shroff is the winner of the John Gilgun Fiction Award and has garnered six Pushcart Prize nominations. His short story collection, Breathless in Bombay, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in the best debut category from Europe and South Asia, and rated by the Guardian as among the ten best Mumbai books. His novel, Waiting For Jonathan Koshy, was a finalist for the Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize. Shroff represented Mumbai at the London Short Story Festival and was invited to speak about his work at the Gandhi Memorial Center in Maryland, University of California Los Angeles, California State University Monterey Bay, the Institute for South Asia Studies at UC Berkeley, and the Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism at the University of Southern California.
EILEEN R. TABIOS loves books and has released over 60 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in ten countries and cyberspace. Publications include form-based Selected Poems, The In(ter)vention of the Hay(na)ku: Selected Tercets (1996-2019), THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL: Selected Visual Poetry (2001-2019)INVENT(ST)ORY: Selected Catalog Poems & New (1996-2015), and THE THORN ROSARY: Selected Prose Poems & New (1998-2010); the first book-length haybun collection, 147 MILLION ORPHANS (MMXI-MML); a collection of 7-chapter novels, SILK EGG; an experimental autobiography AGAINST MISANTHROPY; as well as two bilingual and one trilingual editions involving English, Spanish, and Romanian. Her award-winning body of work includes invention of the hay(na)ku poetic form as well as a first poetry book, Beyond Life Sentences (1998), which received the Philippines’ National Book Award for Poetry (Manila Critics Circle). Her poems have been translated into ten languages as well as computer-generated hybrid languages, paintings, video, drawings, visual poetry, mixed media collages, Kali martial arts, music, modern dance, sculpture and a sweat shirt. Additionally, she has edited, co-edited or conceptualized 15 anthologies of poetry, fiction and essays as well as exhibited visual art and visual poetry in the United States, Asia and Serbia.