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.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021


Some poets lurk—simmer—under the radar. But when their poems are so good, they come to my attention even as I remain as reticent about my recognition as they are about pushing themselves into the spotlight. That’s what’s great about a book—a book can give (me) the opportunity to sing praise on their behalf. I do that for Michael Caylo-Baradi’s debut (I assume it’s his debut) poetry collection, HOTEL PACOIMA. I read it and was stunned, but in a way I’d anticipated. He solidly grasps the ineffable: masterful at not just objectifying but eroticizing language into flesh itself, sagacious when it comes to observing culture, easily offers a textured diction that often lapses into the delicious, and (and this is difficult to articulate) proffers a sense of some rapprochement with life, such that it ultimately makes sense that he offers Anita Brookner through an epigraph including “…at last I understand that acceptance is all. I succumb to the genius of the place, and know true felicity. The sun is God. Of the rest it is wiser not to know, or not yet to know.” Dear Reader, I counsel you RUN to get this book.

A Sample Poem:

Sunday, July 25, 2021


 "Writings on the Wall" Europe at DiverseTV

Alexandro Botelho reads an excerpt from "The Return of DoveLion," the primary poem featured in DOVELION: A Fairy Tale for Our Times (AC Books, New York, 2021), for "LIVE: Writings on the Wall Europe" (the poem is read at about 40:30).



Friday, July 23, 2021


  I'm delighted to share the 2021 release of my new tiny book, The Silence is Deafening

The Silence is Deafening by Eileen Tabios

(Eileen’sTinyBooks (Victoria Library), Saint Helena, CA, 2021. 1/1)

Size: 1.25” x 1.75”

Here are other images of the deafening book:

The Silence is Deafening uses a hand-made leather bound journal by Ginger at JustJournalIt. Materials: leather, cotton thread, and Arches 90lb cold pressed cotton watercolor paper. Ginger used the long stitch method to affix the paper to the spine.

I held on to Ginger's blank journal for nearly a year before coming across a Facebook post by Chile-based artist Felipe Cussen:

Felipe's post on Fra Elbertus' Essay on Silence inspired me to turn the blank journal into a blank-paged miniature book to become, as well, part of my Bibliotheca Invisibilis Project. Thanks to Felipe for permission to present his original post.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021


I'm grateful to translator Samuel Rochery and publisher Serie Discrete (Bordeaux, France) for releasing my first French book: LA VIE EROTIQUE DE L'ART !

Ordering and other information at the Publisher's Book Page.

Merci, Universe!

Saturday, July 10, 2021


The lovely town of Yountville had its Art Walk today and I was able to see my poem in the company of the sculpture that inspired it. Said sculpture was made by Jedd Novatt, and my poem shares its title with his sculpture: “Chaos Pamplona.” The ekphrastic poem project of poets writing “after” one of the sculptures dotting Yountville’s landscape is the brain child of Napa Valley Poet Laureate Marianne Lyon, and I’m grateful Marianne asked me to participate. Here are some photos and it was a lovely day for taking them! I also share another ekphrastic example of a Macaw sculpture  and the poem it inspired from Cathy Carsell. 

(Click on images to enlarge)

Monday, June 28, 2021


Marsh Hawk Press recently concluded a virtual book launch reading series featuring current Marsh Hawk titles by Jon Curley, Thomas Fink and Maya Mason, Edward Foster, Basil King, Daniel Morris, Gail Newman, Geoffrey O’Brien, Eileen R. Tabios, and Tony Trigilio. Before each reading, Burt Kimmelman presented a much-applauded, insightful introduction to the poets' works. These critical intros are now collected in a summer edition of the Marsh Hawk Review available HERE.

I am blessed by what Burt had to say about The In(ter)vention of the Hay(na)ku, including the following:

Too many readers overlook a poem’s form, ironically. Tabios does not. Yet she’s always bending it. Tom Fink points out, in his introduction to The Intervention of the Hay(na)ku, that this book “involves theorizing about poetry [from] within the poems.” 


James Joyce found poetry too confining. Tabios must always transcend her own formalisms—their own magnitude and brilliance. What one writer lives in or with, so the other.


Tabios is intrinsically drawn to form for reasons to do with how aesthetics and thought touch. Robert Creeley wrote what I see as a hallmark of post-War American experimental poetry. Titled “A Piece,” the poem has five words—two each in the first two lines, one in the last. Its unobvious symmetry is evident in its reading:


One and 

one, two, 



When once asked about this poem, Creeley said: “I knew that for me it was central to all possibilities of statement.”

Tabios may not know Creeley’s poems well. Nevertheless, she possesses the instinct in that non-poem. I’m awed by her intellect that’s always understated.


What's interesting about this edition of MH Review is that presenting the same critic allows the reader to contextualize each take on a different poet from the same mind--you can consider Burt's opinion on Poet A based, too, on how he approached Poet B or Poet C, etc. There's a certain integrity there that's rarely accessed.

Of course: THANK YOU, Burt Kimmelman!

Summer of Emergence Reading Series: New and Recent Marsh Hawk Press Books



Basil King, Disparate Beasts Part 2 

Geoffrey O’Brien, Where Did Poetry Come From; Daniel Morris, Blue Poles .

Thomas Fink and Maya Mason, A Pageant for Every Addiction 

Jon Curley, Remnant Halo: A Map n’ Dice Chronicle 

Eileen Tabios, The Intervention of the Hay(na)ku: Selected Tercets 

Gail Newman, Blood Memory 

Tony Trigilio, Proof Something Happened 

Edward Foster, A Looking-Glass for Traytors 


Monday, June 7, 2021


It's been two months and 7 days since my novel DOVELION was released and I am grateful for its reception so far. There were supply imbalances as we didn't expect the initial high demand, which is lovely since it's a great problem to have. Fortunately, DOVELION is now restocked, but I'd like to present an opportunity get a FREE COPY:

The novel comes with a "Notes" section that's so extensive that poet-artist-publisher Holly Crawford observed it's its own novel. So if anyone would like to engage just the 4,500-word "Notes" section, I'd be happy to send over a review copy. ("Engage" here means a reaction that can be informal and written in any style, from epistolary to a straight review.) Your response can be as long as you wish but should be at least 4 paragraphs as I'd be interested in featuring it in next Halo-Halo Review. This Notes section incorporates not just sources to various items in the novel but links that you may or may not wish to follow up on, as well as a few poems. This obviously is an experiment so I'm open to however people end up engaging this Notes section. Email me if this opportunity would be of interest. This offer is available to more than one person, depending on interest.

Info on DOVELION is HERE; hopefully the info will interest you in reading it anyway. I'll also post a photo from a random page of "Notes" section, to give an idea of what the Notes look like. Ultmately, have fun with this experiment, too!

(Small print: book can be sent only to U.S. addresses.)

THANKS in advance for your time and interest!

Tuesday, June 1, 2021


(click on images to enlarge)

Deep gratitude to reviewer Ray Gleenblatt and North of Oxford for reviewing DOVELION. The reviewer focuses on the book's diction and his focus is why I don't mind talking a lot about the novel's plot ... because nothing said can replace reading the book. One doesn't get this novel by reading about it but only actually reading it, unmediated. You can see entire review HERE, but here are some excerpts:

Tabios has the skill to bring objects to life, whether miniscule or cosmic. Let us first look at the building in which Elena and Ernst meet. “A building that looked like a grey egg. I cracked it open.” (19) This simile suggests the birth of something significant. “The building’s multiple reflections encouraged the thought of parallel universes.” (33) Inside this structure all types of freedom of expression waited for her. Through direct address she challenges her fears: “I am not small and anonymous like you, Basement!’” (31)

[...] Not much has been said about the author’s moments of comedy. 

     “Capturing light through algebra.” (284) 

      “Anthologies of glass.” (285) 

I am not quite sure what the above mean, but I find them delightfully whimsical. "


You are invited to see the recording of the second session of Marsh Hawk Press' Summer Reading Series. This event features readings by Thomas Fink & Maya Mason, Jon Curley, and Eileen R. Tabios with Introductions by Burt Kimmelman. The website features link and password at this link.

(My part of the event starts at 00:35.30 as I'm the last reader.)

I recommend the presentations by the other readers. I also thank Burt Kimmelman for his generous Introduction to me and the book I was launching--the 2021 paperback edition of The In(ter)vention of the Hay(na)ku: Selected Tercets 1995-2019; here's an excerpt: 

"Too many readers overlook a poem’s form ironically. Tabios does not. Yet she’s always bending it. ….Joyce found poetry too confining. Tabios must always transcend her own formalisms.… . Tabios is intrinsically drawn to form for reasons to do with how aesthetics and thought touch."

I'm also grateful to those who attended the reading, including these:

Friday, May 28, 2021


Publisher: AC Books (New York)
Release Date: Spring 2021
ISBN: 978-1-93901-19-4
Pages: 319
Price: $20.00
Distributors: Small Press Distribution; John Rule (including Europe), Bookshop, Amazon, Eastwind Books, and Others To Come 

After swiftly selling through its first & several inventory supplies of DOVELION, Small Press Distribution or SPD  has now restocked my first novel! Feeling grateful, I’ve decided to offer a “Memorial Day Special”—anyone who purchases DOVELION can get a free copy of my Selected Tercets poetry book, The In(ter)vention of the Hay(na)ku! Just share your receipt (unless we know each other) by Facebook messenger or email to galateaten@gmail.com  This "2-Book Offer" is good through Memorial Day weekend until Midnight (PST), Monday, May 31, 2021.

Small Print: In(ter)vention can only be mailed to U.S. shipping addresses.


Here are some links about DOVELION: A Fairy Tale for Our Times since it was officially released less than 2 months ago in April:


A Review. 

Here’s an excerpt:

True to most fairy tales, the novel opens with the traditional phrase “once upon a time” but there is nothing traditional about this novel which is at once inventive and experimental. How many times, for example, can a writer get away with describing a young woman approaching a threshold and pressing a button on an intercom to gain entry to Apartment 3J? The answer is again and again and again. Each time the reader is given a little bit more information and each time the reader is kept in suspense. There is something portentous, if not symbolic, about crossing a threshold. Tabios takes this to new heights by exploring the threshold of pain: how much a human being can withstand pain through living with actions that can have long-lasting repercussions. 

—Neil Leadbeater


A List:

What To Read When You Want To Celebrate APIA Heritage Month,” The Editors of RUMPUS, May 14, 2021


A Feature Article: “From Poet to Novelist”

Here’s an excerpt from Positively Filipino:

Eileen says that autofiction was not what she had in mind in creating DOVELION. Instead, she says she was trying to manifest [the indigenous cultural trait of] “kapwa” in terms of the notion of the interconnection of all things. As a result, she says, she wanted to eliminate the barrier between the life inside the book versus outside of the book. “Like in some theater when the actors walk off the stage and continue the play’s actions amidst the audience members,” she explains. “I wanted to acknowledge the connection—by eliminating a division—between author and story and, later, story, and readers.”

          Autofiction, in any event, would simplify what Eileen’s novel actually achieves. DOVELION is not just a work of fiction, but also the creation of a new myth. DOVELION creates the world of an indigenous tribe known as the Itonguk who live in Pacifica.


An Interview

Here’s an excerpt:

Strobel: A reader who has no knowledge whatsoever about American colonialism in the Philippines can still find their entry into the novel through poetry and art. How do you want the novel to disrupt the dominant narratives about empire and authoritarianism? Or how do you envision it doing so?


Tabios: Poetry and art often reflects their time. So whether one is a poet/artist or an audience member, the poetry/art can provide doorways into engaging with the larger world. One should always be learning—never stop being a student of the world. You may not even recognize what’s a “dominant narrative” if you’ve not educated yourself.

          As for the novel’s effect in this area, well it’s disruptive in so many ways. I can think of it subverting the narratives for gender roles, eros, history (as defined solely by “winners,” as the saying goes), and U.S. foreign policy, among others.



A Visual Engagement

Here's an excerpt (more can be seen HERE):

A Few Readers

Eileen’s book is very Gebserian… The book creatively irrupts time the way Jean Gebser spoke about, bringing past, present and future together in an originary presence.
—Glenn Aparicio Barry, author of Original Politics: Making America Sacred Again


Some books change you. Others haunt you. This one did both—and more—in a time when words have been difficult.

—Reine Marie Bonnie Melvin, novelist & editor


Encyclopedic masterpiece!

—E. San Juan, Jr., poet & civic intellectual




We are also celebrating the 2021 paperback edition of The In(ter)vention of the Hay(na)ku: Selected Tercets 1995-2019 which originally came out as a hardcover in 2019. For information about it, go to the Title's Link, and here are some images about the book:




Monday, May 24, 2021


will be available in bookstores in

You can see bookstore addresses at http://seriediscrete.com/librairies/

If you read it and enjoy it, let me know as I won't be able to read it; sadly, I'm not fluent in French. Merci!

And thanks as ever to my translator Samuel Rochery!

Sunday, May 16, 2021



I'll also read a brief excerpt from DOVELION!

See registration information below:

(Click on image to enlarge.)


I am THRILLED over my reading du jour: a long-overdue and historic anthology on "Women Making Visual Poetry" edited by one of my perennial favorite vizpo artists, Amanda Earl, and published by the visionary Timglaset/Joakim Norling. The last image below presents my favorite discovery from the book, Viviane Rombaldi Seppey. The book lists 1881 women making vizpo so it'd be difficult to include images from everyone; but what I love about that list is the power it presents for debunking the notion that not many women make vizpo (and I'm happy to be included!). It also allows me to make discoveries even without images--for example, I didn't know Mary Ruefle made vizpo, did you? I present the list here because I recommend you check them/us out, too. (Click on images to enlarge.)