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.

Friday, January 10, 2020


Gratitude to Missouri Poet Laureate Karen Craigo for her review of my miniature books of tankas! You can see her review HERE, but here's an excerpt:


“Achilles” is a poem about putting a dog to sleep, and it brought back some familiar pain:

We put down our dog—
We agreed to cross that line
To end his anguish—
We did not anticipate
Our pain lasting forever

Have I mentioned a hundred times yet that I’m the Poet Laureate of the State of Missouri? I’ve reminded my friends repeatedly every day since I was sworn in. And maybe it’s this official role that has me thinking about the importance of poetry for the people. I think it’s very good for poems to be accessible in at least two ways. These little books are lovely, and I’d love to have a Poems-For-All title of my own to strategically leave behind here, there, and everywhere.

It’s also refreshing to read poems that are accessible the other way, too, and that’s true for these little poemlets as well. That doesn’t mean they’re not richly rewarding, like the tanka “April”: 

Ping! We’re alerted!
The space station is flying
over our slumped heads—
Eyes opened, we rush outside
To be reminded of stars

There is some depth to this poem. I remember how different the night sky looked when I was young, and I guess I thought there would always be plenty of stars. Not so. This poem expresses that worry about technology dominating and changing the night sky.

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