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No. 19 • Contributors

Cesar Ruiz Aquino attended the very first Silliman workshop, and studied creative writing under Edilberto (Doc) and “Mom” Edith Tiempo, Francisco Arcellana, and Nick Joaquin. He belongs to the 60s generation of writers whom Joaquin referred to as “wild geniuses” (among whom were Jose Lansang, Ninotchka Rosca, Erwin Castillo, Wilfredo Pascua Sanches, and Jun Terra). After teaching literature at UP, Ateneo de Manila, Lyceum and Maryknoll (among others), “Sawi” Aquino went back to Silliman to work for his literature doctorate and continue teaching there. The master and magus has four or more Palanca awards under his sleeve, was the UP Institute of Creative Writing national fellow for poetry in 2003. Dr. Aquino's publications include Chronicles of Suspicion (short stories, Kalikasan Press 1988), Word Without End (Anvil, 1993), Checkmeta: A Cesar Aquino Reader (Midtown, 2004). His latest collection, In Samarkand, Poems & Verseliterations (UST Press, 2007) was launched recently, which Sylvia Mayuga calls “adventures of the spirit.”

Francis Macansantos, based in Baguio City, recenly launched his 4,ooo-line epic, Womb of Water, Breasts of Earth, the winner of 2003 NCCA Writers Prize. A four-time Palanca winnner and fellow of the Philippine Literary Arts Council (PLAC), Butch has an MA in Creative Writing from Silliman University and took his English undergraduate course in Mindanao State and Ateneo de Davao universities. He has taught literature at Mindanao State, Silliman, and UP Baguio. He has served in the panel of the Dumaguete Workshop and was the Local Fellow for Poetry at the UP ICW in 1999. Of Butch’s epic, Alfred Yuson notes that no “one else... has in recent years managed to complete an epic poem, one beholden not only to relative great length, but as well to a central unifying theme that is explored for its multi-faceted avenues of extended expression, as well as manifestation of multiple if singularly sourced insights.”

Ana Maria Katigbak, one of our leading, younger women writers, finished her BA at the Ateneo de Manila University and her MFA at the New School University, New York. Mookie’s collection, Proxy Eros, which won for her third place at the Palancas in 2005, has become her first book of poems (Anvil 2008), and was launched this year at the Manila International Book Fair. "Reading Proxy Eros," Benilda Santos writes, [flings me] “...into the epicenter of passion and its phantom hungers, the body’s haunts and erotic sites, and the shadows of prior lives despairing... I mark her debut as a poet of consequence.” Apart from local publications, Mookie’s works have appeared in the New York Quarterly.

Marjorie Evasco, one of poet’sPicturebook’s earliest contributors, has watched the birth and exertions of our little online magazine and from her sublunar garden has stirred its growth with her magic wand. Dr. Evasco is a full professor at De La Salle University’s department of literature, has authored five books, two which are her poetry collections: Dreamweavers: Selected Poems 1976-1986 (1986) and Ochre Tones: Poems in English and Cebuano (1999). Both have won the Manila Critics Circle National Book Awards for Poetry. Six Women Poets: Inter/Views (1996), co-authored with Edna Manlapaz, and A Life Shaped by Music: Andrea Veneracion and the Philippine Madrigal Singers, also won National Book Awards for Oral History and Biography respectively. In 2006 her book Ani: The Life and Art of Hermogena Borja Lungay won the A. Ongpin National Book Award on Art from the Manila Critics Circle.

Lourd de Veyra, poet, journalist, musician, winner of several Palanca Awards for his prose and poetry, and the NCCA Writers Prize, is also the leader of the notorious band Radioactive Sago Project. Notorious for its jazz and “rock-and-droll” music, which is both irreverent and intelligent, and not always belonging to any category or “radio-friendly.” Of his idea of poetry, which is similar to his music, Lourd himself says in the recent UP Writers Workshop (for writers in “mid-career”), “What I look for in poetry is an uneasy kind of energy. An energy that is already beyond the configuration of words and then assumes a density that is akin to music.... The poetry I want to read is the kind that slams you in the face like a rock-and-roll chord. This does not necessarily require a healthy degree of hysteria and profanity; even a quiet Zen haiku about a frog and a pond can achieve the same effect.”

Edgar B. Maranan, the 2008 UMPIL Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas Awardee for poetry & essay, is also a fictionist, playwright, writer of children’s stories, and translator. With a total of thirty prizes for his works in English and Filipino, he was inducted into the Palanca Hall of Fame in 2000. His other awards inlcude the CCP Literary Contest, Palihang Aurelio Tolentino, Institute of National Language, Philippines Free Press Literary Awards, Philippine Graphic Magazine Nick Joaquin Literary Prize, Filamore Tabios Sr. Memorial Poetry Prize (Meritage Press, USA), and the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) Salanga Writers Prize. Ed’s third poetry book, Passage, Poems 1983-2006 (Bookmark, 2007), gather poems from his Palanca Award-winning collections, which are Voyage, 1984; Hinterland, 1987; Star Maps, 1988; and Tabon, 2000. Ed is an active member of the newly formed Baguio Writers Group.

James T.C. Na, sometimes known by his pen name Yun He, is James Na Teng Choon, the 2008 Balagtas Awardee for Poetry in Chinese. Born and educated in the Philippines, he published his debut collection of verses, Melancholic Score, at 17. He has since then produced eight books of poetry translated into several languages apart from Filipino and English. As literary editor of various local and foreign Chinese and Filipino publications, he has extensive memberships in Chinese literary organizations and has enjoyed fellowships visiting lectures at the Chinese mainland. His latest collections are Poems, and The Wild Plant, the last with a CD of his readings and translations by La Salle professor Shirley Lua, among others.

Ricardo M. de Ungria recently concluded his two-term residency as Chancellor of U.P. Mindanao in Davao City, but continues to teach there. He heads the Committee on Literary Arts of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and is a founding member of the Philippine Literary Arts Council (PLAC) and the Unyon ng mga Manunulat ng Pilipinas (UMPIL). Ricky has an A.B. Literature from the De La Salle University, M.F.A. in the Creative Arts from the Washington University in Missouri, and has been a Fellow at Fulbright, Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, Bellagio Study & Conference Center, and Washington University. His awards include the Academy of American Poets Prize, Saint Louis Poetry Annual Contest, Florida State University State Street Poetry Contest, Manila Critics Circle, Palanca, CCP Contest, and the Free Press. Among his six books of poetry, are R+A+D+I+O (1986), Decimal Places (1991), Waking Ice, and Pidgin Levitations (UP Press, 2004).
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"No. 19 • Contributors" was posted by: Our Small Family blogs, under category and permalinks http://our-small-family.blogspot.com/2008/09/no-19-contributors.html. Ratings: 1010 Votings: 97,687, Sunday, September 21, 2008, 6:53 AM.
 

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