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No. 20 • Contributors

Joel Toledo recently launched his well-received first collection of poems, Chiaroscuro (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2008). One of our leading younger poets, Joel teaches literature at Miriam College and hosts the popular Happy Mondays poetry reading event at Mag:Net Katipunan held every first and third Monday of the month. He also plays drums for the band, Los Chupacabras, composed of poets and artists, which plays at Mag:Net on the same schedules. In 2006, Joel won second prize for his poem “The Same Old Figurative” the Bridport Prize, an international literary competition based at the Bridport Arts Centre of UK. The poem won over 5,600 entries from all over the world. His collection, “What Little I Know of Luminosity,” won the Palanca poetry prize in 2005, and his first published work is “Pedro and the Life Force,” a pioneering novelette for young adults. He took his undergraduate and Master of Arts degrees in Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines.

Marie La Viña’s collection, “The Gospel According to the Blind Man,” won third prize in the 2008 Palanca Memorial Awards for poetry. Ahead of many of her contemporaries, and well-published while still in her young poet’s age, Marie has made good of much of the promise in her intensely sensitive and intellectually stimulating and eloquent poetry and stories. Currently a junior philosophy major at the Ateneo de Manila University, Marie graduated from the Philippine High School for the Arts in 2004, was a fellow for poetry in the 2004 Dumaguete National Writers' Workshop and the 2005 UP National Writers' Workshop. Her work has appeared in Philippines Free Press, Story Philippines, Heights and The Philippine Collegian Anthology.

Jaime Jesus Borlagdan is, by all indications, one of the main tributaries from the Albay sector feeding into the onrushing river of writing that’s happening in the Bikol language today. One of the most active in literary writing in the Web today, Borlagdan, maintains two sites: a website for his works at www.jimplejimple.blogspot.com/ and Karangahan (Pagranga sa Pagsurat Bikolnon) at http://karangahan.multiply.com/, a site “honoring Bikol literature that has been written and still being written in contemporary times.” Of his own poetry, Jimple, as he his called by friends, says (in Bikol, which I essay in translation), “...all this is at the back of what I say, and it cannot be molded by words, it cannot be put within gun sight, but if in reading my work you run into a fugitive emotion that you can’t utter...” the rest is a passionate enumeration of possibilities. Bikol critic Tito Genova Valiente reacts to his poetry by saying that it is “heartbreaking to feel the forms.”

Gerardo ‘Gerry’ Peralta is another participant in the burgeoning Bikol literary renaissance being felt even by observers outside the region. He has a Masters in Arts and Communication from University of the Philippines, where he also finished bachelor of arts degree in Broadcast Communication. He was a fellow for poetry at the 2005 National Writers Workshop in Dumaguete City and has been writing poetry in Bikol and in English. His Bikol poems have been published by the Bicol Reporter. While devoting serious time to his poetry, Gerry is a freelance voice talent for radio and television commercials, audio-visual presentations and runs his own production outfit, Active Voice. He also teaches speech courses at Speechpower.

Victor Peñaranda, after long assignments in Bhutan and Macedonia while doing development work, is back in the Philippines and once again extensively traveling his beloved home archipelago. From his various stops he invariably sends us poems like postcards—deep, inward-looking mementoes (and shots-in-the-arm)—which help keep our little online magazine going. He has won the Palancas, the Philippines Free Press Awards, and has been in journalism, most notably the now defunct broadsheet-format New Age and literary magazine called Ermita, which he edited together with Alfred A. Yuson. In its inimitable manner, Ermita brought together some of the best Filipino literary and artistic talents during its existence of a little more than a year. Bimboy, as he is known to friends, is a man of many interests, from the hard realities of underdevelopment to the evolution of consciousness. His first book, Voyage in Dry Season, won the Manila Critics Circle’s National Book Award in 1996.
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"No. 20 • Contributors" was posted by: Our Small Family blogs, under category and permalinks http://our-small-family.blogspot.com/2008/10/no-20-contributors.html. Ratings: 1010 Votings: 97,687, Tuesday, October 14, 2008, 8:20 AM.
 

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