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 26, 2022


And for my last 2022 book, I'm delighted to release SIMMERING (a novella-in-prose-poems) from Otolilths! More information (including for orders) is available HERE.

Book Description:
Simmering is comprised of 25 prose poems carved out of Eileen R. Tabios’ novel-in-progress, COLLATERAL DAMAGE: A Literature With No Minor Characters. While each poem was written individually and joined randomly, together they create a novella as a narrative surfaces through the rub of language. Each of the prose poems also was written in response to opening lines from some of the greatest English-language novels as written by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, William Faulkner, George Orwell, Vladimir Nabokov, Alice Walker, Albert Camus, Zora Neale Hurston, Ray Bradbury, Edith Wharton, Raphael Sabatini, Margaret Atwood, Graham Greene, Anne Tyler, William Gibson, Jeffrey Eugenides, Gertrude Stein, Ralph Ellison, William Gaddis, Gilbert Sorrentino, Carson McCullers, G.K. Chesterton, and Laurence Sterne.

I hope you have a chance to check out this book!

Saturday, December 17, 2022


[Click on images to enlarge.] 

I was rocked again by the sophistication of Will Alexander’s poetics when I read his transcolonial Preface to his newest book, DIVINE BLUE LIGHT (City Lights, 2022), where he mentions “nanogram.” I’d long heard the term surrealist applied to his work; while I see its logic, I empathize more with blurber Jeffrey Yang’s assessment —Alexander’s poems are “not surreal escape but vibrational engagement.” That vibration can redeem even subjects that can drag, e.g. Alexander’s biographical poem for Pessoa, “Condoned to Disappearance” whose first page I show below at end of review. One could be dragged down easily by (banal) biographical elements but his poem insists instead on “poetic infiltration according to the sound of anonymous hives.”


(Based on that same Preface, I apply the term “transcolonial” which I use for postcolonial work that transcends the colonial context. The idea of upending what Alexander calls “prior lingual aristocracy” speaks to me as a Filipino writing in English.)


Alexander’s language results in diamonds valuable not for the stones but for the manner in which they are cut. Each facet reveals a light able to exist only through Alexander’s diction. The effect shows up well in such shorter poems as “Inner Palpability” and “Oneiric Liminal Memo” (see images below). The latter is clearly a very personal poem made off-putting to the reader not used to this heightened vocabulary but then pulled to join intimately through the (perhaps wry) paradox of the last two words “transactional scintillation,” a phrase that after all concedes the role of anothers.


Still, I feel Alexander’s prowess shows most in longer poems that must maintain the paradoxical charisma of his unique vocabulary—words that retain a distance through an unsparingly nonnormative diction. It’s also where the multiplicity and variety of his pre-poem homework shines. 

By being so textually and texturally muscular, I also feel the strength of the line breaks in Will Alexander’s poems. So I was intrigued by a prose poem, “Nervous Incomparable Dictation.” What would be significance of a prose poem form to Alexander? Well, for this poem, the form was required by its ruminative nature: ruminations that require space for uncertainty vis the thinking-out process that require the breadth of the sentence versus the definitiveness of the manner in which a line is cut or broken. The poet here may be nervous (per first word of title) but he’s certainly got nerve. 

Energy, the vibrancy of vibratory currents, might be the ultimate test. That is, read any poem out loud and you’ll feel a sonic transportation that transcends meaning. These poems empathize with body and musically transport. Try it with “Human Presence That Lingers As Distorted Molecule” (see below). I am reminded yet again by how, years ago, I read one of his poems during a City Lights reading. It was the first time I’d read a Will Alexander poem out loud. It was, uh, surreal—by the end of the first line of that poem, I felt my body transformed into a physical instrument for sharing the dynamic energy contained within that poem’s lines.


I was so affected by the experience that when I later walked out of City Lights, I did so without paying for the Will Alexander book from which I’d read. Yes, for Will Alexander I stole a book. I did email City Lights afterwards with apologies and promise to pay (they probably laughed as they said, No problem). Someday, I will repay my debt—and not just for the book but for the pleasure the poems provided. Salamat, Will Alexander.





Wednesday, November 30, 2022


There's a poem in my novel DOVELION entitled "The Return of DoveLion." I thank Christal Ann Rice Cooper at ART & HUMANITY for interviewing me about the poem for its series "Backstory of the Poem." The series uses copious illustrations so that the article ends up featuring Jose Garcia Villa, my "Murder Death Resurrection" Poetry Generator, Kapwa, my doll-avatars in the writing studio, anonymous readers in Budapest, among other things, as illustrations. I actually had forgotten how many layers there were to the poem (which is also featured). I hope you have time to read it; it's available HERE.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022


To be officially released this month is Thomas Fink's Reading Poetry with College and University Students (Bloomsbury Academic, 2022). More information at the publisher's BOOK LINK. I am grateful for joining a new category of "FINALLY: I'M IN A BOOK WITH JOHN "No man is an island" DONNE!" Tom Fink, the author, is one of our most trustworthy poetry critics today and I would recommend any of his insights. This book is meant for teachers but I'd think it'd be of interest to poetry lovers, specifically those who give meaningful and deep attention to the art..


Julia Alvarez
Amiri Baraka
Tom Beckett
Gwendolyn Brooks
Rosario Castellanos
John Donne
Denise Duhamel
Paolo Javier
Yusef Komunyakaa
Timothy Liu
Audre Lorde
Sheila E. Murphy
Trace Peterson
Adélia Prado
A.K. Ramanujan
Adrienne Rich
Evie Shockley
Wisława Szymborska
Eileen R. Tabios
Gail Tremblay
W.B. Yeats


Reading Poetry with College and University Students aims to help faculty foster students' intellectual and aesthetic engagement with poems while enabling them to sharpen critical and creative thinking skills. Reading authors across history and the globe--such as Julia Alvarez, Amiri Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks, Mahmoud Darwish, John Donne, Paolo Javier, Yusef Komunyakaa, Audre Lorde, and Wislawa Szymborska--Thomas Fink zeroes in on how learners can surmount and even enjoy tackling the most difficult aspects of poetry. 

By exploring students' emotional identification with speakers and characters of poems as well as poets themselves, Fink shows how an instructor can motivate students to produce effective and empathic interpretations. Through divergent readings of selected poems, the book addresses the influence of various theoretical paradigms, ranging from ecological, psychological, feminist, and queer theory to deconstructive, postcolonial, and surface reading orientations. Instructors receive practical guidance through these poems, poets, and modes of reading, helping to give learners raw material to reach their own nuanced interpretations and strengthen their emotional, aesthetic, and intellectual acumen.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022


From a "green and lost" French countryside in Morvan Heights, Angle Mort Editions sends the first book printed at their workshop there: PRISES, my second 2022 book and second translated-to-French book. I'm deeply grateful to translator Fanny Garin, editor Celestine de Meeus, and the sharp printmakers of Angle Mort Editions for this superbly refined letterpress edition. More info on book is at at these links:


Here are the obligatory and chronological opening photos of my official author copies. Last image features PRISES newly on my writing desk, guarded by my novel's spy-avatars. Merci beaucoup, Univers.


Letterpress printing on Fedrigoni paper for the cover. Risographic print on Olin Rough paper for indoor use. Printed and assembled by the editors at the Presses du Pré. A fabulous video on making PRISES is available at https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=800165401395239

Sunday, July 3, 2022


I'm grateful that my first novel DOVELION (AC Books, New York, 2021) continues to receive attention more than a year after its release. Here are three examples:

DOVELION's book page presents links to reviews and reader-engagements. The latest review that came out today is by Allen Gaborro at The FilAm where he concludes

“DoveLion” does however have a saving grace other than the treasure of its poetry. The book indelibly illustrates the fertile spiritual and emotional struggle and affecting introspection taking place in its text. That’s something that the best of plots cannot accomplish on their own. 

I also was recently interviewed by Eulipion Outpost on creative writing, aging, Asian drama bingeing, and dolls. The article is illustrated one of two writing desks in my writing studio:

Finally, I'm glad to say that DOVELION has just finished being translated into Filipino by noted novelist-scholar-poet-editor Danton Remoto. I hope to share good news about it more in the future!

Monday, May 30, 2022


Marsh Hawk Review consistently presents contemporary poets who are worth reading in part for how they expand the poetic terrain. For its just-released Spring 2022 issue, deep gratitude to editor Daniel Morris and prose editor Burt Kimmelman for including me in both the poetry and prose sections. Both of my contributions reflect my development as a poet-novelist. My poem (P. 47) is an experimental haibun that was written while writing my third novel. My prose contribution is an essay on “How a Poet Writes a Novel” (P. 58). I hope you check them out, along with other outstanding words and poets in the issue. Available at this link: https://marshhawkpress.org/the-marsh-hawk-press-review/

From “How a Poet Writes a Novel”, its opening sentence:

“What if, instead of having an idea for a story, you decide to let the world write your novel?”


The novel, of course, is my first novel which was released last year, DOVELION (AC Books, N.Y.).

Sunday, April 24, 2022


A Miniature Book-Based Fundraiser for the Ukrainian People

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused a humanitarian crisis and created over four million refugees who’ve crossed borders into neighboring countries. This fundraiser is created to support continued contributions to those in need. Poems-for-all out of San Diego has created a Ukraine Series that involves poets writing in support of Ukraine. As one of those poets, I will send a signed copy of my miniature book, SUNFLOWERS BECAME GRAY, BUT, along with related ephemera—bookmarks or another mini book from a variety of authors in the series.


Donations can be of any amount and made to any recipient of the donor’s choice. Donations must be made as of April 23, 2022 or later. Simply email me a confirmation of your donation, whether it’s a donation receipt or other proof of donation (e.g. emails) and I will send you a copy of my book plus ephemera. Email me at galateaten@gmail.com


There are many organizations and ways to donate. I post a few suggestions below for convenience, including World Central Kitchen whose initial kitchens serving refugees were shelled by Russian missiles—they have regrouped, though, and continue to help the refugees:


1)  World Central Kitchen: https://wck.org/?fbclid=IwAR1Ku2ZlqKiIuo45w2h4mQ4GfTuHYZ9laZHSboi40CoP_fCQ0Chgyny8bCE




2) Doctors Without Bordershttps://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


3) Variety of grass-roots initiatives, e.g. booking an AirBNB to Ukrainians even though their homes no longer exist in bombed  cities; booking is just a means to get funds direct to them. As well, Greater Good Charities for aiding pet animals adversely affected.


This modest fundraiser has a bonus. For the first three folks alerting me (email me) to donations of $50 or more, you can get a 2 x 2.7 inch miniature book from the Del Prado Miniature Classics Library. This wonderful series of leather-backed hardcovers was originally published in Spain and is now out of print. Three titles are available for this fundraiser:


SELECTED POETRY by Emily Dickinson



For more information & sending donation confirmations, 

email Eileen Tabios at galateaten@gmail.com 


Donate & receive the mini book to see entire poem!

Some ephemera to be included, e.g. bookmarks. Another miniature book also may be included, written by PFA Ukraine participating poets Jack Crimmins, Michael Augustin, Andy Murray, William Heyen, Sujaya Bhatt, Melissa Eleftherion, Alessandra Bava, Hugh McMillan, and Andrea Zawinski.

Thursday, February 10, 2022


Deep gratitude to poet-essayist Elsa Valmidiano's new review of DOVELION: A Fairy Tale for Our Times. I'm reprinting entire review here from journal Up The Staircase as there seems to be an access problem with those who use Norton as their internet security (you can try to see review HERE):

The Battle Against Total Erasure: Review by Elsa Valmidiano.

From acclaimed poet, Eileen R. Tabios, comes her epic first novel, DoveLion: A Fairy Tale for Our Times, from AC Books, April 2021, a novel of erotic encounters, political intrigue, meta literary references, and ancestral/indigenous exhumation.

The fictional setting of Pacifica, many might argue, is a caricature of the Philippines itself, recovering from a Marcos-esque regime, or really any country that is still reeling from dictatorship trauma. This could very well include so many countries across the world, where present day’s Jair Messias Bolsonaro comes to mind and his aggressive moves to open up the Amazon rainforest to commercial development, threatening the current homes of Amazonian tribes, just as Ferdinand Marcos from 1972 to 1986 displaced 300,000 Moro people in Mindanao through a combination of “hamletting” and community takeovers, while refining extrajudicial killings against indigenous communities to help foreign mining corporations secure a foothold on their lands. Hamletting is the clearing of an area of an alleged rebel presence and maintaining a military presence to keep them out. Tabios paints such a caricature of Pacifica’s dictator, eerily reminiscent of the former dictator of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos himself. As one can additionally see today, despotic power is still evident during Rodrigo Duterte’s reign against the indigenous Lumad. And so the modern fairy tale, or shall we call it modern day history, goes on and on.

As evident in Tabios’ poetic prose, the strategic opening lines do not go unnoticed as she reiterates the echoed lines from paragraph to paragraph, “Once upon a time,” staging an irony as if the events in the novel reveal what is happening now, not far away, but now, so that “Once upon a time” becomes a poetic refrain of a story or song to be repeated and remembered. In its own way, the repetitious lines from her storytelling remind me of Filipino folk songs and ballads I grew up knowing, as if they are memory tools, so that in reading “Once upon a time,” Oral Tradition of our own nuanced ancient storytelling is reflected back at us, not memorialized in spoken word and song this time, but in written text.  

Between the erotic and vulnerable exchanges between protagonists, Elena Theeland and Ernst Blazer, Tabios not only captures the intensity of these would-be enemy-descendants, but poses the question, “How do descendants of enemies forgive, love, and move on?” Philippine history itself reveals this repeating betrayal among brown brothers, such as Diego Silang, a young Ilocano revolutionary leader who dared overthrow Spanish rule in the 1760s, and was killed by his own friend whom colonizing authorities paid to assassinate. And somewhere out there, the descendants of victims and executioners possibly coexist—in the Motherland? in the Diaspora? Could they be close friends, even lovers, and not know it?

Tabios’ love story, if we could call it that between Elena and Ernst, would fall under a Romeo and Juliet motif, but one in which Tabios digs even deeper to reveal the political seeds and upheaval that would have made Ernst completely unforgivable in Elena’s eyes, begging the question: How do we escape the sins, hatred, and bitterness of our fathers, and if so, is it possible to work together to overthrow a totalitarian regime?

Tabios also playfully drops meta literary references like hidden Easter eggs throughout her text, where the title itself, DoveLion, the true name of Pacifica before its dictator changed it, also closely resembles twentieth century Filipino poet, Jose Garcia Villa’s pen name “Doveglion,” a combination of the words “dove,” “eagle,” and “lion,” which he believed was his true persona. In another instance, the main protagonist Elena comments on Tabios as if the story existed entirely apart from the storyteller herself. Tabios also plays on names throughout the novel, such as “Baybay” for “Babaylan,” the honorary title given only to the Philippines’ precolonial matriarchal governing high priestesses.

Even as Tabios paints Elena’s naïve love for Wikipedia for research and information, Tabios does not undervalue the weight of magic, dreams, and ancestral knowledge. It appears that kind of knowledge can be innate before resorting to online research and documentation where room for inaccuracy by an unreliable online contributor is always probable and suspect.

As Elena learns she is indeed Itonguk, a fictional indigenous tribe of Tabios’ fictional Pacifica, the novel takes on an interesting commentary regarding the modern Filipino’s own clouded tracing to their indigenous roots as we wonder what makes us different from the indigenous tribes and are we not a part of them, or at least acknowledge that we once were? Just as Ilocana revolutionary Gabriela Silang was not only Ilocano—her mother was Itneg—the protagonist’s own discovery of her indigenous heritage suddenly makes a difference in Elena’s revolutionary fight for the preservation of who we truly are, not just as interracial colonized modern-day products of our white colonizers and indigenous ancestors who have been ruled by a dictator—brainwashed by a colonial mindset—but that there are significant distinctions to be made between indigenous communities so that we may fully understand our own ancestry as well as build solidarity in our archipelago and Diaspora as a whole.

As Elena addresses the spirit of her Itonguk mother, reclaiming her ancestry, identity, and self in the face of indigenous erasure:

      “I feel you in that space where there’s no past, present or future—there’s only a single all-encompassing moment where you and I are not separated” (276).

​Sans the blood of Spanish and other white invaders like the British and Americans intermingled into our own present-day DNA, it seems Tabios reminds modern-day Filipinos that indigenous blood and magic is who we used to be—or, may I dare say, always are—and that is worth fighting for in not only battling subjugation, but that we do not fall into total erasure and ethnic homogeneity by not knowing exactly our roots.


Elsa Valmidiano is an Ilocana-American essayist and poet whose ancestral roots hail from La Union through her mother and Ilocos Sur through her father. Elsa is the author of We Are No Longer Babaylan, her debut essay collection from New Rivers Press. Her book reviews appear in Poetry Northwest, The Collidescope, and Bridge Eight. Her poetry and prose appear in Cosmonauts Avenue, Anomaly, Cherry Tree, Hairstreak Butterfly Review, among many others. Her work has also been widely anthologized. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College and has performed numerous readings. Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. On her website, slicingtomatoes.com, Elsa curates a directory of Pinay visual artists from the Philippines and Diaspora whose work she features alongside her poetry and prose.


Whenever I read a Janice Lee book, I always become conscious of form and structure. In this way, she’s a writer’s writer or a poet’s poet in that she provides a full, satisfactory experience to readers who happen to be writers. Her new--and, hard to believe, debut--poetry collection, SEPARATION ANXIETY, provides this consistent pleasure. Specifically, I am reminded how even in a poetics world where anything/everything is poetry, there can be difference(s) between prose and poem. In the latter, the caesuras—visible and invisible—are more heightened (as they should be) to maximize reader engagement between each word and/or line: if there is to be didacticism, leave that to prose. This also is an achievement given what both her prose and poems share: a philosophical bent that entails discourse.


In addition, to finish reading SEPARATION ANXIETY is to realize that Janice Lee accomplished what the best poetry collections achieve: what Lorna Dee Cervantes calls “the final poem” through the coming together of viably-individual poems. All of the poems, together, create a larger sum in the sense that 1 + 1 equals not just 2 but 11 (the visual here being a metaphor of other layers beyond the literary). Here are example poems below from her book that, individually, provide pleasure and yet also collaborate with other poems to form a book that on its own is structured as one poem.


Bonus shots of my kitten Addie enjoying the book under the warmth of a winter sun.

Sunday, January 2, 2022



The Flooid is a short poetry form, no longer than five lines. It is rooted in a prior “good deed.” The Flooid poem can be written only in the aftermath of the author’s action to benefit others--whether it’s the community, the environment, and other worthy causes. I hope you will be interested in participating in this project: 

WHAT MAKES US HUMAN: The First Flooid Anthology

Editor Eileen R. Tabios


Deadline: March 31, 2022 


Submissions: You can submit as many poems as you wish. Each poem should be accompanied by 1-2 paragraphs explaining the underlying “good deed” undertaken by the author and that inspired the poem. 


Send Submissions in the body of an email to Eileen R. Tabios at nalandaten@gmail.com

Please GO HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION, including the official Submissions Call for the Flooid Anthology. 

Here are some EXAMPLES from four poets:



I walk with the children to the river

to give their young mother time to grieve.

I watch as a butterfly hovers over them,

somehow it resembles their father to me.


The daughter of my good friend, who I have known since she was born, suddenly became a widow when her children were just two and four years of age. I've spent many days and hours with them, trying to bring comfort amidst an impossibly deep pain in their lives. It made me realize how hard it is for most of us to sit with death, to acknowledge it and accept it. To be with people in their time of need and try to provide support even when we feel helpless to alleviate their suffering is as important as it is difficult.   



Sarah Brooks is currently pursuing an MA in English/Lit. at Mills College and have also focused on poetry. She lives in Humboldt, CA where she studies with poet laureate David Holper. She says, “Interconnectedness and community are essential to the work I do and I strive to find ways to communicate the immense importance of these subjects in my writing.”






Memory Care


She may not know her husband is far closer

Than the aide insists I tell her: 

In the other wing, confined to bed….

But he has died. His winter and his 

Spring as near to her as every word that misses.


When I’m not writing, editing, or mentoring, I volunteer, through St. Bede Catholic Church, at a retirement community, which includes a memory care center. Recently, one of the women I visit lost her husband, and her children thought it best that we not tell her—so I abided by their wishes. I wonder, though, if she heard him nonetheless, nearby, whenever I left his name out of our conversation. There is presence in the absence of the beloved.


Sofia M. Starnes, Virginia Poet Laureate, Emerita, is a Critique Editor & Literary Translator. She serves on the Editorial Boards of The Journal of the Virginia Writers Club and Poetica Magazine. More information is available at www.sofiamstarnes.com





Under the Meyer Lemon Tree


A jar of marmalade waits

on the wicker table, a gift.


Alcohol wipes sit between us,


dear Marisha, my friend during Covid.

I pop a good bottle of pinot.


During the 2020-2021 lockdown in Sonoma County, my friend Marisha turned eighty. She had a daughter in a neighboring town, but otherwise no contacts. We had become friends at jazz concerts, as the only single women in attendance. We became much better acquainted over the couple of years, almost, of this quarantine. We shared a love of the arts, cuisine, and people’s quirks—and the motivations for them. I miss these conversations during the depths of the United States political vagaries and the disease that brings so many deaths. Remaining hopeful became our mission.



A Poet Visits Council Grove, Kansas


In a Carnegie Library basement the director serves iced tea.


Ghosts of Buffalo Bill and General Custer darken the corner.


I am the visiting state poet laureate. 


The crowd awaits words as fancy as a six-shooter quick draw.


As Kansas Poet Laureate I traveled the geographic distance of the four-hundred by two-hundred-miles state rectangle. Other traveling was through layers of history contained in places and in words themselves. The Old West of cowboy narratives lives in buildings still standing from the 19th century. The Hays House is the oldest continuously operated restaurant west of the Mississippi River. In its basement, made of vernacular limestone, a bar remains from the time of Custer. He had a meal there in the spring of 1876, just before he headed out to the Battle of Greasy Grass/Little Big Horn. When I gave a poetry reading at the Carnegie Library building, across the street, I found the place haunted as strands of time converged. Words are bundles of the past carried forward, so these tools of the poet similarly are haunted. This archaeology of language is the realm of librarians. As poet laureate, I came to honor those who keep buildings of books and histories alive. My good deed was to contribute in a small way to the daily work of these book angels.



Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-09, is winner of the Red Mountain Press Editor’s Choice Award for Shadow Light. Other recent books are Wing (poems, April, 2021); The Turtle’s Beating Heart: One Family’s Story of Lenape Survival (a memoir, U. of Nebraska Press); A Casino Bestiary (Spartan Press); and Jackalope, fiction (Red Mountain). She has won 4 Kansas Notable Book Awards and recognition from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Sequoyah National Research Center, Poetry Society of America, The Circle -Best Native American Books, Roberts Foundation, Lichtor Awards, and the Kansas Arts Commission. Low has an MFA from Wichita State U. and Ph.D. from Kansas U.





You Never Know 


What Sticks 


During my years teaching college English, I developed a themed course in environmentalism. I talked a good deal about the need for environmentalists to be active not only in exercising their political voice to save the environment but also in cleaning it up or restoring what has been damaged. I remember reading and sharing a study that demonstrated that altruism is a learned skill: it takes practice for people to be able to pull off heroic deeds, such as running into a burning building to save someone. I framed it in the context of environmentalism, but I definitely used the idea of practicing, so when there is an emergency, such as someone trapped in a burning building, that you’re able to do what is needed. One student, Daniel, stayed after that class and discussed this idea with me at some length, in terms of global warming. 


Probably ten years later I found a voicemail in my office from this same student, Daniel. He said that same day he’d been driving home from work. He lived somewhere in a rural part of Oregon, as I remember. He saw smoke pouring out of a barn just off the road, so he pulled off to see if anyone needed help. As he got out of his car, he saw a woman climbing a ladder to the upper story of the barn—and then going into the burning building. Seeing how dangerous it looked to her, he immediately climbed the ladder and helped rescue both her trapped dogs and her as well. He said, “If I hadn’t been there, she probably would have died, along with her dogs.” As the poem’s title suggests, you never know how what you teach can have a future impact on someone’s life. It’s a lesson I’ll never forget. 



David Holper is the first Poet Laureate for Eureka, Calfornia. He is a teacher, veteran, and activist.





Five poems in descending order as 5 lines, 4 lines, 3 lines, 2 lines, and 1 line:


We adopted a dog 
like others in Covid lockdown 
But we chose the puppy
others would not want:
Nova, most charming when asleep 





Love is infinite 
until it’s not—
from kibble to hugs,
the dog can’t receive enough




Nova’s Diet

from rough
fur becoming silk


History defined as ancient dirt
stuffed deep into your ears 



Perhaps monsters most need mommies 


When Covid-19 lockdowns began in March 2020, many animal shelters put out an emergency call to their various networks since the lockdown would constrain their ability to manage their animal rescue programs. We decided to adopt one more dog. We identified two German Shepherd (GSD) candidates. One dog was well-behaved and we would have wanted him for our family. Instead, we put a GSD rescue organization in touch with him and helped find him his adoptive family. We decided to adopt the other dog, Nova, because we knew she would be a difficult challenge for most families—she’s a loud and frequent barker and bears a past of being rehomed four times that made her skittish and suffer attachment issues. An inherently wonderful dog, Nova since has calmed down as she’s been persuaded we are her “forever family.” Unfortunately, her behavior calmed down by only two percent. We are looking forward to much more calm in the future (please please please!). 



Eileen R. Tabios likes to play with new poetry forms. Inventor of the hay(na)ku and the MDR Poetry Generator, the Flooid is her latest creation. She first revealed the Flooid to the public through her first novel, DOVELION: A Fairy Tale for Our Times (AC Books, New York, 2021).


More examples, the anthology's Call for Submissions, and information about the Flooid is available HERE.