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.

Monday, December 2, 2019


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 because it's a Finalist in Eyelands' Book Award for Unpublished Novels!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.

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