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No. 23 • Contributors

Gottfried Helnwein (b. October 8, 1948, Vienna), an acclaimed modern master, is an Austrian-Irish fine artist, painter, photographer, installation and performance artist. He is best known for his Epiphany, The Adorations of the Magi (our cover), which belongs to the collection of the Denver Art Museum. According to Wikipedia, he studied at the University of Visual Art in Vienna (German: Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Wien), where he was awarded the Master-class prize (Meisterschulpreis), the Kardinal-König prize and the Theodor-Körner prize. He has worked as a painter, draftsman, photographer, muralist, sculptor, installation- and performance artist, using a wide variety of techniques and media. His early work consists mainly of hyper-realistic watercolors, depicting wounded children, as well as performances—often with children—in public spaces. Helnwein is concerned primarily with psychological and sociological anxiety, historical issues and political topics. As a result of this, his work is often considered provocative and controversial.

Luisa Igloria emailed us her newest poem, “written only yesterday,” (Dec. 19 in Norfolk, VA, where she is based), as part of her Christmas greetings. Poet and writer of numerous books, the latest of which is Trill & Mordent, Luisa is an associate professor in the MFA Creative Writing Program of Old Dominion University. Her work has appeared or will be forthcoming in various anthologies and journals including Poetry, Crab Orchard Review, The Missouri Review, Indiana Review, to name a few, and her latest award is the 2009 Ernest Sandeen Poetry Prize for Juan Luna’s Revolver (which was forthcoming from the University of Notre Dame Press in November 2008. This makes it her latest book).

Francis Macansantos, poet, writer, cultural worker, teacher of writing and former professor of literature based in Baguio City, recently 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. poet’sPicturebook will soon publish an excerpt from his epic.

Kristian Cordero, a bilingual Bicolano poet, readily sent us “Herodès,” a poem in the Filipino language, when we emailed him at short notice for this special Christmas issue. He is the 2008 winner of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Writers Prize for Poetry. A literature teacher at the Ateneo de Naga University who writes his poetry both in Filipino and the Bikol language, Kristian is one of the young poets leading the recent revival in Bikol writing and literature. The author of three award-winning books of poetry, he has attended the University of the Philippines National Writers Workshop and has won the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards and the Premio Tomas Arejola for Bikol Literature, among many others.

Victor Peñaranda continues to send us poems that serve both as postcards from and meditations on the many places he visits in the Philippines in his development work, and the other places of his international assigments in the recent past, including Bhutan, Macedonia and the other places in Europe and Asia. Last we heard, he was workshopping soldiers on the intricacies of peace. He is also currently preparing his second collection of poetry, to be published by Anvil, some of which first appeared online in poet’Picturebook.

Dap-ay Sapata (a nom-de-guerre) sends the photo of the Sagada dawn from somewhere in the Cordilleras.

Mario Mercado, when we asked for his curriculum vitae, writes us: “My early life was vertiginously steeped in adventures of physical, spiritual (distinct from 'religious'), intellectual, emotional and romantic nature. There is no one way of describing me who I was. Much of my past is better left where I left it, unless someone is around who had openly connected me to circumstances I can no longer deny.” My friend from the Banggaan artists, writers, and photographers e-group is a professional photographer and artist (fine and digital), who went to the prestigious artist run school, the Art Students League of New York, operates a full-complement photography and computerized graphics studio in Putnam (previously in Manhattan), has been managing editor of the Philippine-American News, has done studio and location photography all over the world, apart from the various creative engagements that populate his rich resume.

Marne Kilates edits this magazine and sends the readers of poet’sPicturebook all the best of the Season.

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"No. 23 • Contributors" was posted by: Our Small Family blogs, under category and permalinks http://our-small-family.blogspot.com/2008/12/no-23-contributors.html. Ratings: 1010 Votings: 97,687, Saturday, December 20, 2008, 10:14 PM.

No. 22 • Contributors

Kim Min'gi's first album of songs appeared in South Korea in 1971 when he was a student at Seoul National University. Shortly thereafter the album was confiscated by the government authorities, and Kim Min'gi himself was seized, interrogated, and beaten by the government's enforcement agencies. During the next two decades he continued to be subject to regular harassment by South Korea's various military regimes and his songs publicly banned. In the end, however, it was Kim and his songs that triumphed. Both he and his music became symbols of heroic dissent for Korean students of the 1970s and 1980s, and one song in particular, Achim Iseul (Morning Dew), emerged as the unofficial anthem of the anti-government student movement in this period. Whenever students gathered to protest, Achim Iseul was invariably the first song to be sung, the song that most stirred the emotions and forged the bonds of comradeship. (from “A Gentle Voice in the Darkness: The Musical Genius of Kim Min’gi” by Carter J. Eckert, Professor of Korean History, Harvard University)

Sanghee Lee, a lawyer who loves the arts and listens to music all her waking hours (and adores Kim Min'gi), is a senior partner at Hankyul Law Firm and is a member of Minbyun Lawyers for Democracy. She specializes in litigation, fair trade, taxation, and international family law. She has traveled widely doing volunteer work in Thailand, Burma, West Papua, the Philippines, and in her native South Korea. Whenever her hectic schedule permits, Sanghee Lee plays the piano, reads a lot of poetry, occasionally does watercolors and nude sketches, indulges her love for photography, or climbs Mt. Jili simply to enjoy the breeze or watch the stars.

Jesus Manuel Santiago, to many of his poet friends, is first a poet before a singer-composer. He holds the distinction of being the only poet declared by the Institute of National Language as “Poet of the Year” twice in a row. But his familial and historical roots in Obando, Bulacan led him to what he had always wanted to do, sing his poems. He is also a scholar, having been a fellow for the Asian Public Intellectuals, and has traveled broadly, performing his songs in Europe and the Asia-Pacific. He has won the Palanca Awards and the Cultural Center of the Philippines Awards for his poetry, and was a National Fellow for Poetry of the University of the Philippines Institue of Creative Writing. His book of poetry, Gitara (1997), is a bilingual collection with translations by this author. Koyang Jess, as he is called by friends, is a prime mover of the people’s music movement in the Philippines. He has recorded two albums of his own compositions, Halina (1991) and Obando (1993). Recently he finished his third album of new and unrecorded songs, titled Puso at Isip (Hearts and Minds), which is to be released on CD in 2009.

Maryanne Moll, perhaps one of our most compelling storytellers, writes that her “life as a writer... is measured not so much in terms of weeks, days, and months as in number of pages written, number of people met, found, and lost, letters mailed, number of movies watched and books read.” She also seems one of our busiest, editing a military magazine, moderating an online club for Mac users, maintaining a blog and writing a novel, while being a graduate student of Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines. Maryanne has won the Palanca Awards for her fiction, has written two books, Awakenings (essays, New Day, 2001), and Little Freedoms (fiction, Giraffe Books, 2003). The latter was also published under the Ubud Writers Prize of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). She attended the University of Santo Tomas National Writers Workshop and the Dumaguete National Writers Workshop.

Jaime Jesus Borlagdan is another young, busy writer making his presence felt in the literary web, while being aware of tradition and form in his native language. He 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 translate), “...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.”

Pancho C. Villanueva is an architect, painter, and poet whose “negotiations” with his technical training and art, and his intense sensitivity that drives him to use both pigment and found object in his paintings, compel him to be a poet (he has long practiced his profession and art before attending the Silliman University Writers Workshop). While his spatial studies of bold color fields, textures, and surfaces make him popular among collectors, his realistic works are full of magical narratives that, as in his abstracts, underline his belief in and esthetic of what he calls in his poetry “the persistence of energy...” that he uses to address “the unnameable terror [that] hides behind the creases of the ground, among the fine, delicate debris of surrounding human ruins.”

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"No. 22 • Contributors" was posted by: Our Small Family blogs, under category and permalinks http://our-small-family.blogspot.com/2008/12/no-22-contributors.html. Ratings: 1010 Votings: 97,687, Wednesday, December 3, 2008, 1:32 AM.


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