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No. 34 • Contributors

Rodrigo V. de la Peña Jr is the sole winner of the 2008 Meritage Press Annual Holiday Poetry Contest. It was announced on February 16 this year. Igor has been published locally and abroad.

Jim Pascual Agustin has two books of poetry and is living in Cape Town, South Africa with his wife and two daughters.

Marjorie Evasco has published several books of poetry and literary and art journalism, traveled on many fellowship grants and is a full professor at the De la Salle University department of literature.

Pete Lacaba is one of our leading poets and journalists. He has numerous books of poetry and reportage and is currently busy performing or watching his salinawit songs (adaptations into Filipino of classic and popular standards) being performed by many singers.

Aberjhani, co-author of the award-winning Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance, is the founder of the U.S. based Creative Thinkers International, an online network of creative people.

Maurice Oliver is the founder and editor of Concelebratory Shoehorn Review, a website of contributed poetry, art, and reviews, which is one of the inspirations of poet’sPicturebook. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Frank Peñones Jr recently finished his MFA, with distinction, at the San Jose State University in California. He is one of the respected leaders of the Bikol resurgence in literature.

Fidel Rillo is one of our leading poets writing in Filipino. He has won awards not only for his poetry but for his book design, since he is a much sought-after professional book designer.

Juan Rafael Belgica Jr has two books of poetry in the Bikol language and was hard and work and collaborating with Raffi Banzuela almost unannounced before the advent of the current wave of Bikol writing.

Raffi Banzuela, together with Jun Belgica, has been a diligent researcher of Bikol poetic forms and other writings. He is also a veteran broadcaster. He is at present the university secretary of the Dominican Aquinas University of Legazpi City.

Joi Barrios has a PhD in Literature from the University of the Philippines (2003) and is one of today’s leading feminist and activist poets and playwrights. She presently resides in the United States.

Eric Gamalinda teaches literature in New York City and has published four books of poetry and a similar number of novels. His novel, My Sad Republic (2000), which won for him the 1998 Philippine Centennial Literary Prize.

Gemino H. Abad has authored dozens of books of poetry, fiction, and criticism and has edited landmark anthologies in the history Philippine literature in English, including Man of Earth, A Native Clearing, and A Habit of Shores. He is professor emeritus and was a centennial fellow at UP.

Rio Alma has written more than twenty books of poetry and literary history and criticism, all in the Filipino language. He is founder of the Linangan sa Retorika at Arte (Lira), was a two-term dean of the UP college of liberal arts, and was named National Artist for Literature in 2003.

Joel Toledo has won the prestigious Bridport Prize from the UK. His second book, The Long Lost Startle (UP Press, 2009), was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Awards.

Sid Gomez Hildawa was a poet, visual artist and professional architect. He was working as a full-time as director for the Cultural Center of the Philippines' Visual, Literary, and Media Arts Department when he died in 2008.

Kristian Cordero is a literature professor at the Ateneo de Naga and currently taking graduate courses at the Ateneo de Manila. He has three collections of his award-winning poetry and is at the head of the current Bikol literary renaissance.

Victor Peñaranda, or Bimboy, has returned recently from long assignments in Asia and Europe on his development work. He recently launched his much awaited second book of poems, Piligrim in Transit (Anvil, 2009).

Cirilo F. Bautista, one of our foremost poets in English, is also a fiction writer, painter, and educator. He is Professor Emeritus of Literature at De La Salle University, where he obtained his D.A. in Language and Literature. Dr. Bautista was elevated to the Hall of Fame of the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in 1995.

Ana Maria (Mookie) Katigbak finished her BA at the Ateneo de Manila University and her MFA at the New School University, New York. Her first book of award-winning poems, Proxy Eros, was published by Anvil in 2009.

Cesar Ruiz Aquino is poet, fictionist, and professor teaching at Silliman University and sitting at the panel of its famous literary workshop. He has published several books and was the SEA Write awardee in 2004.

Lourd de Veyra is a poet, journalist, musician, and winner of several Palanca Awards for his prose and poetry, and the NCCA Writers Prize. He is also the leader of the notoriously irreverent first-class rock band, Radioactive Sago Project.

Marie La Viña’s collection, “The Gospel According to the Blind Man,” won third prize in the 2008 Palanca Memorial Awards for poetry. She recently came home from a study grant in Belgium.

Jose Marte Abueg is a finance journalist, editor, and poet, whose collection "Bird Lands, River Nights and Other Melancholies" won for him the Grand Prize in Gawad Likhaan: The University of the Philippines Centennial Award, for poetry in English.

Chanelle Jieyong-Kim received a gold for her outstanding thesis in literature when she graduated at De La Salle University. Its title is “The Poetry of Gustatory Desires: Writing Poetry about Food.”

Myrna Peña-Reyes, one of our finest poets in English, taught literature and creative writing at her alma mater, Silliman University. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Oregon where she met her husband, poet William “Bill” T. Sweet. Her books are Almost Home: Poems and The River Singing Stone.

Edgar B. Maranan has just completed his long stint as press officer of the Philippine diplomatic corps in London and is back to full time writing. This poet, essayist, fictionist, playwright, translator, and writer of children stories has won a total of thirty prizes for his works in English and Filipino.



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"No. 34 • Contributors" was posted by: Our Small Family blogs, under category and permalinks http://our-small-family.blogspot.com/2009/12/no-34-contributors.html. Ratings: 1010 Votings: 97,687, Tuesday, December 15, 2009, 8:35 AM.

No. 33 • Contributors

Marjorie Evasco is busy with book projects, writing her poetry, while attending to her academic functions at De La Salle. She has written two books of poems, both winning the National Book Awards, co-edited a women-poets anthology, and an oral history, which were also award-winners. Dr. Marj has received various writing residencies and grants, including the Rockefeller Foundation writing residency in Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio, Italy and the International Writers’ Retreat residency in Hawthornden Castle in Midlothian, Scotland. She finished her Ph.D. in Literature at De La Salle University, where she is a full professor at the Department of Literature, and has also held the Julia Vargas professorial chair for Philippine Literature.

Kristian Dalao was a fellow in the 2007 National Writers Workshop in Dumaguete City has completed the MFA Creative Writing program of De La Salle University. He finished his bachelor’s degree in English at Far Eastern University. Apart from being a poet, Krisitan writes us that he “has been a xerox machine operator, delivery boy, school bus driver, cybercafe attendant and ESL tutor among others. He is presently considering putting up a rent-a-friend business.”

Victor Peñaranda, after long assignments in Bhutan and Macedonia for development work, is back in the country it seems for good, with his wife Jo. They recently moved to the lakeside town of Bai, Laguna, south Manila, and are currently collaborating on a book on Jose Rizal. A man of many interests, Bimboy (as he is known to friends) has edited the defunct broadsheet New Age and literary magazine called Ermita, with friend, Alfred A. Yuson. He has won the Palanca and the Philippines Free Press Awards, and his first book, Voyage in Dry Season, was selected for the Manila Critics Circle’s National Book Award in 1996. At present, he is just awaiting the printing of his second book of poems by Anvil.

Pasckie Pascua, journalist, poet, and cook, is the occasional event organizer and founder of the wandering cultural program, the “Traveling Bonfires” in the his relatively new chosen home, the U.S. of A. A prolific blogger and Netizen, he writes in his blog and Facebook profiles that “As of summer (leading to autumn) of 2009, I am a default-resident of Western North Carolina—although friends and enemies identify me with Manila and Baguio City in the Philippines, New York City, Long Beach (California), and Asheville (North Carolina).” We watched a bit of Pasckie and had some beer with him when he was a younger poet in Quezon City.

Joel Toledo continues to host the longest running poetry-reading event, the Happy Mondays Poetry Nights at Mag:Net Cafe and Gallery on Katipunan Avenue, which has just finished its 54th installment (the readings are held every first and third Monday of the month). Holding a Master’s degree in creative writing (poetry) from the University of the Philippines, where he graduated with degrees in English and Journalism, Joel teaches literature at Miriam College. He has won the prestigious Bridport Prize from the U.K., and recently launched his second book of poems, The Long Lost Startle (UP Press, 2009), which became a finalist for the 2009 National Book Awards.

Myrna Peña-Reyes obtained her MFA in creative writing the University of Oregon where she met her husband, poet William “Bill” T. Sweet. She taught college in Eugene for several years, operated a bookshop, and wrote her poetry, before coming home with Bill to Dumaguete for good. One of our finest poets in English, Myrna is the author of the poetry collections, Almost Home: Poems (University of the Philippines Press, 2003; re-issue, 2004), and The River Singing Stone (Anvil, 1994). She taught literature and creative writing at her alma mater, the Silliman University, and sits at the panel of its famous workshop.

Robin Lim is a grandmother, poet, and midwife. Following in the tradition of her own Filipino lola, Vicenta Munar Lim, a hilot, she sits at the doorway between life and death, gently tearing and biting angel’s wings. Lim lives with her musician husband and eight gifted children in the traditional village of Nyuh Kuning, Ubud, Bali. In 2006 Lim was given the Alexander Langer International Peace Award. In September 2009 Robin's novel, Butterfly People was released by Anvil Publishing at the Manila International Book Fair.

Rodolfo "Rod" Samonte, our cover photographer, is a master of the macro shot. A painter, printmaker, photographer, and digital artist, he has shown his work in 19 solo exhibitions and numerous group shows in the Philippines, the U.S., Europe, and South America. He is a resident of Burbank, California, having migrated there after he had well established his name in Manila.

Rio Alma, who has written some 25 books of poetry and literary history and criticism, all in Filipino, was named to the Order of National Artist for Literature in 2003.


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"No. 33 • Contributors" was posted by: Our Small Family blogs, under category and permalinks http://our-small-family.blogspot.com/2009/11/no-33-contributors.html. Ratings: 1010 Votings: 97,687, Sunday, November 15, 2009, 5:51 PM.

No. 32 • Contributors

Luisa Igloria writes from Virginia, where she is an associate professor in the MFA Creative Writing Program of Old Dominion University. Originally from Baguio, and member of the Hall of Fame of the Philippines’ Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards, Luisa has made America her second home where she raises her family and continues to write her well-anthologized poetry. She has written numerous books, the latest of which is Trill & Mordent, and, her work has appeared in various journals including Poetry, Crab Orchard Review, The Missouri Review, Indiana Review, to name a few.

Gémino H. Abad, poet, critic, and friend of young poets, mentor at literary workshops and co-founder of the Philippine Literary Arts Council (PLAC), has authored over a dozen books of poetry, fiction, criticism, and edited the landmark historical anthologies, Man of Earth (with Edna Z. Manlapaz,1989), A Native Clearing (1993) and A Habit of Shores: Filipino Poetry and Verse from English, '60s to the '90s (1999). More recently, he has completed the first two volumes of Upon Our Own Ground, a historical anthology of Filipino short stories in English, and Our Scene So Fair, critical essays on early Filipino poetry in English. At present he is University Professor Emeritus and Centennial Fellow at U.P.

Joel Toledo recently attended and read his work at a poetry festival in South Korea, and continues to host Happy Mondays Poetry Nights at Mag:Net Cafe and Gallery on Katipunan, and play drums for the band Los Chupacabras, which performs on the same nights as the poetry readings. Holding a Master’s degree in creative writing (poetry) from the University of the Philippines (where he graduated with degrees in English and Journalism), he teaches literature at Miriam College. A former winner of the Bridport Prize from the U.K., Joel also recently launched his second book of poems, The Long Lost Startle (UP Press, 2009).

Vic Nierva, apart from writing his poetry, also designs books, websites, shoots, produces, and directs video documentaries for the U.P. Institute of Creative Writing. He is also a serious blogger and advocate for Bikol literature, especially in one of his several blogs, Makuapo ni Handiong at http://aponihandiong.blogspot.com/. His first book of poetry, Antisipasyon (Goldprint, 2007), won the National Book Award (Manila Critics Circle and Book Development Board of the Phil.) and the Premio Tomas Arejola para sa Literaturang Bikol.

Emmanuel V. Dumlao teaches literature and creative writing at the University of the Philippines Los Banos. He is a member of bukalsining (buhay kalayaan sining) and Artist Club Philippines, both of which aim to promote human rights through arts and literature.

Kislap Alitaptap comes from a family of farmers in the Visayas, although he grew up in Metro Manila. He joined the student movement while in college and used pen names in contributing stories and poems to various publications and political journals of the underground movement. His works have also appeared in the literary folio Balintuna / Outcrop, U.P. Baguio, and in the chapbook KM 64 Poetry Collective. He is also a member of the Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP) and Alpha Sigma Fraternity.

Melissa Nolledo, photographer and digital artist, is our featured artist for this issue. She resides in Eugene, Oregon.

Ben Razon, our cover photographer, has among other projects, documented the Philippine production of Miss Saigon, done public relations photo coverage for Fujitsu and Microsoft, and shot the documentation for the damage and rehabilitation of Mt. Pinatubo areas. He holds an Associate Degree in Photography/Multimedia from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


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"No. 32 • Contributors" was posted by: Our Small Family blogs, under category and permalinks http://our-small-family.blogspot.com/2009/10/no-32-contributors.html. Ratings: 1010 Votings: 97,687, Tuesday, October 13, 2009, 11:02 AM.

No. 31 • Contributors

Angelo Suárez, whose experiments with written verse as well as performed poetry concepts puts him at the lead of this growing movement among younger Filipino poets, comes out for the first time in our ezine. An MA Communication student at the University of Santo Tomas while working as a creative hotshot in country’s advertising industry, Gelo is the author of three books of poetry: The Nymph of MTV, else it was purely girls, and Dissonant Umbrellas: Notes Toward a Gesamtkunstwerk. He has won prizes from the Carlos Palanca and Maningning Miclat Foundations, and the National Book Award from the Manila Critics Circle. He has also won the first Bridges of Struga International Poetry Prize from UNESCO and the Republic of Macedonia for Nymph. His close collaboration with visual artists has resulted in Umbrellas, the online Crux with Garibay, and a fourth book in the making, s&wich.

Emmanuel Garibay has been called a contemporary “icon” in Philippine art. A former sociology student at U.P. at Los Baños and the son of Methodist pastor and a government worker in Kidapawan, North Cotabato, Manny went into the arts while bringing his experience of the streets, a perspective on those at society’s fringes, activist rallies, and what he calls “the richness of the poor” and “cultural meanings.” His images, which combine both the humor, despair, and the struggle for dignity he has seen among his favorite subjects from the working class, have been called raw, vigorous, post-religious and postcolonial, and even avant-garde. A Juror’s Choice of the Art Association of the Philippines, and a recipient of the CCP Thirteen Artists Awards in 2000, Manny has exhibited extensively in Asia, the United States, and Europe.

Niño Manaog, also appearing for the first time on poet’sPicturebok, is from Naga City in the Bicol Region but currently resides in Iloilo City, the Visayas. He was a fellow at the 2009 Silliman Writers Workshop.

Kristian Cordero is on leave from his teaching duties at the Ateneo de Naga in Bicol, to take up graduate studies at the Ateneo de Manila University. New York-based Bikolano poet Luis Cabalquinto has called the award-winning Cordero “one of the bright lights of the recent Bikolnon writing renaissance,” and of his book Pusuanon, Cabalquinto further writes, “Cordero presents in his poetry… intimate sketches and portraits of the people and land of his birth. He does this with a confident hand, cool detachment and, very often, with tongue-in-cheek humor. Fully in command of his material, Cordero's poetic diction deftly fuses real and surreal elements to elicit from the thoughtful reader not only high amusement but also deep understanding.”

Mesándel Virtusio Arguelles has published four books of poetry, Menos Kuwarto (2002), Ilahas (2004), Hindi Man Lang Nakita (2005), and Parang (2008), all by High Chair publications. One of the leading younger voices in Filipino poetry, Ayer has been described by High Chair editor Allan Popa as “a student of the short lyric: the delicate art that requires sharpened senses for the little variations and nuances brought by each poetic ingredient...” Arguelles is part of Batch 1998 of Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo (Lira), the long-running poetry clinic by National Artist for Literature Virgilio S. Almario (Rio Alma). He has also been a fellow of the 36th UP National Writers Workshop (2000) and has won awards for his poetry from the Commission on the National Language.

Ruel de Vera joined the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the country’s leading broadsheet daily, immediately after college. He is associate editor of the newspaper and its weekend magazine, the Sunday Inquirer. Ruey is an award-winning author, poet, and editor, whose works include The Zero Hour (The Personal War of Basilio J. Valdez), The Spirit Quest Chronicles (Books 1 & 2), Youngblood 2, and Writing Home: 19 Writers Remember Their Hometowns. He teaches journalism at Ateneo de Manila University’s Department of Communication, and he has won the Palanca Awards, Catholic Mass Media Awards and the Philippines Free Press Literary Awards. His poetry books are The Most Careful of Stars and Faulty Electrical Wiring (Office of Research and Publication, Ateneo de Manila University, 2005).

Luisa Igloria writes from Virginia, where she is an associate professor in the MFA Creative Writing Program of Old Dominion University. Originally from Baguio, and a member of the Hall of Fame of the Philippines’ Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards, Luisa has made America her second home where she raises her family and continues to write her well-anthologized poetry. She has written numerous books, the latest of which is Trill & Mordent. Her work has appeared in various journals including Poetry, Crab Orchard Review, The Missouri Review, Indiana Review, to name a few. Her latest award is the 2009 Ernest Sandeen Poetry Prize for Juan Luna’s Revolver, which came out in 2008. Despite her many literary engagements, she generously sends regular contributions to poet’sPicturebook, poems which are most of the time newly-minted.

Virgilio S. Almario was awarded the Order of National Artist for Literature in 2003.

And our profuse thanks to New York-based Filipino artist and designer Mario Mercado for lending us his magical graphic lizard, which we now adopt as the chameleon-like mascot-at-large of poet’sPicturebook.



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"No. 31 • Contributors" was posted by: Our Small Family blogs, under category and permalinks http://our-small-family.blogspot.com/2009/09/no-31-contributors.html. Ratings: 1010 Votings: 97,687, Monday, September 14, 2009, 5:55 PM.

No. 30 • Contributors

Myrna Peña-Reyes, author of the poetry collections, Almost Home: Poems (University of the Philippines Press, 2003; re-issue, 2004), and The River Singing Stone (Anvil, 1994), taught literature and creative writing at her alma mater, Silliman University, and sits at the panel of its famous workshop. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Oregon where she met her husband, poet William “Bill” T. Sweet. She taught college in Eugene for several years, operated a bookshop, and wrote her poetry, before coming home with Bill to Dumaguete for good. A native of Cagayan de Oro City, Myrna and her family moved to Dumaguete City after the Second World War. Her poems of the sparse and austere lines are almost monastic in their containment of life and pain, in what Marjorie Evasco describes as the “perfect tone and pitch [which] always gives me the shiver of truth.” Myrna is one of our finest poets in English.

Victor Peñaranda recently moved, with his wife Jo, to the lakeside town of Bai, Laguna, south Manila. Husband and wife are currently collaborating on a book on Jose Rizal, while Bimboy (as he is known to friends) is awaiting the printing of his second book of poems. After long assignments in Bhutan and Macedonia for development work, they are back in the Philippines and Bimboy is once again traveling his beloved home archipelago. A man of many interests, Bimboy has edited the defunct broadsheet-format New Age and literary magazine called Ermita, with friend, Alfred A. Yuson. He has won the Palancas and the Philippines Free Press Awards, and his first book, Voyage in Dry Season, was selected for the Manila Critics Circle’s National Book Award in 1996.

Robin Lim is scheduled to launch her new novel, published by Anvil, at the Manila International Book Fair in September 2009, where she is awaited by a growing number of friends in the Philippines. Also addressed as Ibu (grandmother), Robin is a Certified Professional Midwife, a respected author and a world-class poet, with a passion for delivering babies with modern methods while at the same time respecting ancient rituals and traditions. Her Yayasan Bumi Sehat (Health Mother Earth) Foundation has for years operated a birthing and mother-baby health clinic in Bali, Indonesia. In 2004 her organization responded to the Indian Ocean tsunami, which inundated the coastal regions of Aceh province in Indonesia. It was one of the worst natural disasters of all time. Ibu Robin traces the origin of her calling to a hilot (midwife) grandmother from Baguio City, in the Philippines, which city, she writes, is “the home of my heart, where I was most happy as a child.” She has received regional and global recognition for her work and remains committed to changing the world through the gentle birth of one baby at a time.

Raul (RG) Morales is an architect and entrepreneur, and the editor's neighbor at Makati South Hills in Parañaque City. Though a bit self-effacing, this designer of houses and former manager of a tire company is an ardent photography enthusiast who seems ripe for an exhibit.



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"No. 30 • Contributors" was posted by: Our Small Family blogs, under category and permalinks http://our-small-family.blogspot.com/2009/08/no-30-contributors.html. Ratings: 1010 Votings: 97,687, Monday, August 24, 2009, 3:31 PM.

No. 29 • Contributors

Tim Frost is from London, England, and graciously lent us his photograph of a wet pavement perfect, we thought, for the cover of an issue that has something to do with the Philippine, or Asian, monsoon season. The picture is part of his “Sidewalks Project,” which can be found at his website, “Tim Frost’s Traveller’s Tales,” at www.timfrost.org. He promised to send us a few facts about himself but either professional duties or his wanderlust called (and we failed to remind him again) and we are left only with his “Rain-soaked” pavement reflecting lights from advertisements on London’s Regent Street.

Michael (Mike) L. Bigornia (1950-2001) founded, together with now National Artist for Literature Virgilio S. Almario and poet Teo T. Antonio the Galian sa Arte at Tula (Workshop for Art and Poetry), one of the leading non-academy based literary “clinics” in the 1970s, which explored the literary movements in the Philippines and the modern world as well as the social issues of the times as subject for literature and poetry. He was its first president. Before he suddenly succumbed to heart failure at age 50, Mike was managing editor at Phoenix Press and later SIBS Publishing House, had won several important awards, including the Southeast Asian Literary Contest, the Talagaang Ginto, the Palanca, and Manila’s Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan (top art and culture prize of the city), the SEA Write Award of Thailand, and was adviser of the new-generation workshop Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo (Lira). He was Chairman of the Writers Unions of the Philippines for three terms, and was Chairman Emeritus when he passed away. The editor’s friend and professional partner specially in literary projects, Mike was also a translator of Tagalog poetry into English (and supported our early translation projects) since he started writing in our second language and also won wards for it. His three books are Puntablangko (Tagak Series, 1985), Salida (UP Press, 1995), and Prosang Itim (Anvil, 1995).

Vics Magsaysay, Ph.D., is a fine art nature photographer, painter, sculptor, graphic and furniture designer and writer. He is mostly self-taught in his extensive career in the arts since he trained as a civil and chemical engineer. At a young age, his formal studies in the sciences soon gave way to his love for art and he taught and read himself on the masters. As a consultant art director for a five-star Manila hotel, he was accidently asked to assist a German photographer from the German magazines Stern and Geo. The experience left him an indelible mark and he was hooked into exploring his beloved country, the Philippines, and other countries on the globe, on a motorcycle, with his cameras in his backpack. Vics believes that learning is a lifetime process, and after 20 years in graphic design and photography, he went into painting and sculpture. Unable to resist cosmic energies that taught him the different modalities of living, health, and healing, he went further into studying the alternative forces of nature, even as he updates himself on transpersonal growth as well as new art technologies. Vics regulaly contributes to West Cost newspapers, writes a column called "Pool of Reflections," and is a practicing alternative healer who recently earned his doctorate's degree in clinical and medical hypnotherapy. He also conducts workshops on photography and alternative healing and, despite his rainy “Sampayan Blues,” lives in sunny Long Beach, California.

Kristian Sendon Cordero has just come in from a traipse in Germany (and there giving lectures and readings too). Our regular contributor and leading Bikol poet writes in both Filipino and Bikol and is one of the most currently active in the Bikol literary revival. In 2008 he won the NCCA Writers Prize for poetry (a grant for completing a book project). One of the most awarded younger poets from the Bicol Region, Kristian is the author of three books of poetry, 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.

Luisa Igloria, originally of Baguio City and now of Virginia, is a member of the Hall of Fame of the Philippine Carlos Palanca Awards, and is widely anthologized in the Unites States. Luisa is an associate professor in the MFA Creative Writing Program of Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, and an author of numerous books, the latest of which is Trill & Mordent. Her work has appeared in various journals including Poetry, Crab Orchard Review, The Missouri Review, Indiana Review, to name a few. Her latest award is the 2009 Ernest Sandeen Poetry Prize for Juan Luna’s Revolver, which came out in 2008. Despite her many literary engagements, she generously and regularly sends newly-minted work to poet’sPicturebook.

Rod Samonte is another early supporter of PPB, sending many of his fine photographs and artwork for our choices to accompany poems. Painter, printmaker, photographer, and digital artist, Rod is a resident of Burbank, California, where he migrated after he had well established his name as an artist in Manila. He has shown his work in 19 solo exhibitions and numerous group shows in the Philippines, the U.S., Europe, and South America. The critic Alice Guillermo, writing about one of Rod's digital exhibits, remarks about the "new technologies... stunningly displayed," where "he is only proving his excellence in his employment of the new digital language."

Alfredo “Ding” Roces, who describes himself simply in his blog, From My Cyberjournal, as a Filipino artist-writer based in Sydney, Australia, is one of our veritable renaissance men, and there are few. He is a prize-winning painter, sculptor, book editor and designer. In the 1960s he wrote the column Light & Shadow for the Manila Times, and in 1972, he won the Art Association of the Philippines’ (AAP) grand prize for his Kundiman. He moved to Austrialia in 1977. With works collected extensively by such institutions as the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the National Museum, and the Central Bank, Ding has participated in countless group and solo shows, the latest of which is Explorations, in 2008. He has designed and edited numerous books, including children’s illustrated and art coffee-table books. He edited the landmark and encyclopedic 10-volume Flipino Heritage: The Making of a Nation. Among his latest awards are the Manila Critics Circle National Book Awards for: Kiukok, Deconstructing Despair (Finale Art Gallery, publ., 2000), Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo & the Generation of 1972 (Eugenio Lopez Foundation, 1998), Legaspi: The Making of a National Artist (Crucible Workshop, 1993), Adios, Patria Adorada (De La Salle University Press, 2006). Ding obtained his BA in Fine Arts, major in painting, from Notre Dame University, Indiana, and attended post-graduate studies under George Grosz at the prestigious Art Students League of New York.

Claro Cortes IV travels extensively as senior photographer of Reuters Singapore. He says that he has “spent the last eight years of his life outside of the Philippines covering news events in China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.” In his Geocities Home Page, Claro says of the pictures to be seen there that “the few images... are not enough to show what these countries really are today,” and that “each frame is a story in itself... the whole of Asia is moving forward.” His other extensive collection of photographs can be seen at his personal website, www.claro.cortes.com.

Reuel Molina Aguila, poet and playwright, was one of the young literary firebrands coming out of Galina sa Arte at Tula. Reuel has however refused to let his political engagement get in the way of the the lyricism of his poetry, plays and various works that have won for him the Makata ng Taon (Poet of the Year) given by Institute of National Language, the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas, several Palanca Awards, and other honors. Also a longtime scriptwriter for film, television and radio, Reuel has worked with the late Lino Brocka and Behn Cervantes. A former fellow of the Iowa International Writing Program, Aguila has also taught at the Philippine Science High School, was a Monbusho scholar in Japan, before coming back to teach at his alma mater, the University of the Philippines, where he is currently pursuing a doctorate in creative writing.

Ruel de Vera is more widely known as the young hotshot journalist who joined the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the country’s leading broadsheet daily, fresh out of college. He is associate editor of the newspaper, as well as its weekend magazine, the Sunday Inquirer Magazine. An award-winning author, poet and editor, Ruey has two poetry collections, has edited several anthologies and written a handful of biographies. These include The Zero Hour (The Personal War of Basilio J. Valdez), The Spirit Quest Chronicles (Books 1 & 2), Youngblood 2, and Writing Home: 19 Writers Remember Their Hometowns. Ruey teaches journalism at Ateneo de Manila University’s Department of Communication, and he has won the Palanca Awards, Catholic Mass Media Awards and the Philippines Free Press Literary Awards. His poetry books are The Most Careful of Stars and Faulty Electrical Wiring (Office of Research and Publication, Ateneo de Manila University, 2005).

Edd Aragon, after gaining fame (and notoriety) as editorial cartoonist for the Philippine Daily Express in the 1970s, later migrated to Sydney, Australia and worked as editorial artis for the Sydney Morning Herald. In Australia, he has thrice bagged the prestigious Artist of the Year award from the Australian Black and White Artists Society. A painter and digital artist, Edd mounted a triple homecoming show in Manila in April 2008 called Tres Kantos (Three Corners). The three exhibits featured in separate venues Edd’s ultraviolet-reactive paintings, his digital artworks and his editorial cartoons. For his highly-readable and often humorous observations, together with his digital art and paintings, read Edd Aragon’s Blog, at eddaragagon.blogspot.com.

Jim Pascual Agustin writes from Cape Town, South Africa where he moved in October 1994 and presently lives with his wife and their twin daughters. Jim writes that he spent his early years in rural Marikina in a large communal house where he struggled to keep count of numerous cousins (pinsang buo and others) until his family was forced out of the land to make way for the construction of the Marcos Highway. Through the kindness of Fr. James O’Brien, SJ, Jim attended the Ateneo de Manila High School and University. He is a fellow of the UP Writers Workshop in Diliman and the Iligan Writers Workshop. His two books are Beneath an Angry Star (Anvil, 1990) and Salimbayan (with Argee Guevarra and Neal Imperial; Sipat, 1994). The way he refers to an apparently growing collection of new works, we should expect a book from him soon.

Victor Peñaranda, Bimboy to his friends, with “Searching for Borges,” is flexing his prose muscles as he journalizes his various travels in Asia and Europe as a development worker. Recently back home from these global sojourns to settle, maybe for awhile, he had recently moved residence to Bay, Laguna. As a former associate editor to Krip Yuson of the defunct Ermita magazine, the literary publishing and New Age pioneer, Bimboy is a man of many interests: from mysticism and the evolution of consciousness to the evolution of the conscience in the globalizing but underdeveloped world. His first book, Voyage in Dry Season, which won the Manila Critics Circle’s National Book Award in 1996, will be followed this year by a second collection of poems to be published by Anvil.


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"No. 29 • Contributors" was posted by: Our Small Family blogs, under category and permalinks http://our-small-family.blogspot.com/2009/06/no-29-contributors.html. Ratings: 1010 Votings: 97,687, Sunday, June 14, 2009, 5:27 PM.

No. 28 • Contributors

Robin Lim, also addressed as Ibu (grandmother), is a Certified Professional Midwife, a respected author and a world-class poet, with a passion for delivering babies with modern methods while at the same time respecting ancient rituals and traditions. Her Yayasan Bumi Sehat (Health Mother Earth) Foundation has for years operated a birthing and mother-baby health clinic in Bali, Indonesia. In 2004 her organization responded to the Indian Ocean tsunami, which inundated the coastal regions of Aceh province in Indonesia, which was one of the worst natural disasters of all time. Since then, she runs two mother/baby and emergency medical clinics, 1,000 miles apart. She has received regional and global recognition, and remains committed to changing the world through the gentle birth of one baby at a time. Ibu Robin traces the origin of her calling to a hilot (midwife) grandmother from Baguio City, in the Philippines, which city, she writes, is "the home of my heart, where I was most happy as a child." The volunteer support site for Robin Lim may be accessed at www.robinlimsupport.org.

Rogelio G. Mangahas, or Koyang Roger to younger Filipino poets, first made his mark as co-author and editor of Manlilikha, an anthology of poems, considered by some critics as a monumental in the history of the modernist movement in Filipino/Tagalog literature. He has since then been recognized as one of three (together with Lamberto E. Antonio and Rio Alma) cornerstones (tungkong bato) of modernist Filipino poetry. He finished his AB Pilipino at the University of the East, was jailed during Martial Law, and taught Filipino language and literature at De La Salle University, University of the East, UP Manila and St. Scholastica's College. Among his awards are the Palanca first prize for his poetry collection “Mga Duguang Plakard” and his critical essay on Edgardo M. Reyes’ novel, “Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag.” At present he is editorial consultant at C & E Publishing, after retiring as editor-in-chief of Phoenix Publishing House and of SIBS Publishing House. He has also served as a consultant for literature at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and country editor of Tenggara, a literary journal of Southeast Asia published in Malaysia.

Edgar B. Maranan is one of our regular contributors and early supporters of this little online literary project. He is also one of our most prolific, having won almost all of the Philippine literary prizes, from poetry to stories to drama and children’s literature, and in both the English and Filipino languages. These include the Palanca Hall of Fame, and the Philippines Free Press and the Philippine Graphic literary prizes. Having retried recently from a 15-year stint as information officer of the Philippine diplomatic mission in London, Ed’s latest project, A Taste of Home, Pinoy Expats and Food Memories, co-edited with his daughter, Len S. Maranan-Goldstein, was launched in 2008.

Marian Balcos writes us that she is an employee in a telecommunications company. “I write poetry and creative nonfiction pieces as a hobby. I don't have any formal education on creative writing or literature as my educational background is on accountancy and business management. I just read the works of both local and foreign writers to learn about their writing styles. I also read the blogs of local writers to learn more about the current situation of Philippine literature and the challenges and opportunities it faces.”

Lamberto E. Antonio is another Koyang, and the third, together with Rogelio G. Mangahas and Rio Alma, tungkong bato of modernist Filipino writing. Described by a critic as “the most persuasive voice” in contemporary Tagalog poetry, who speaks for the downtrodden without any affectation, Koyang Bert has published three books of poetry: Hagkis ng Talahib (1971), Pagsalubong sa Habagat (1986, National Book Award), and Pingkian at Apat Pang Aklat ng Tunggalian (1996, National Book Award). A consistent winner of the Palanca Awards, he has also won the Cultural Center of the Philippines Grand Prize for the Epic Narrative, the Poet of the Year of the Institute of National Language, the Manuel L. Quezon Prize, and the Writers Union of the Philippines Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas. His other works are in translation of such authors as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Leopold Senghor, Salvatore Quasimodo, Usman Awang , Rabindranath Tagore, and Renato Constantino. Apart form being a poet, Koyang Bert is a screenplay writer, whose Insiang, co-written with Mario O’Hara and directed by the late Lino Brocka, was the first Filipino film to be showcased at the Cannes.

Aileen Ibardaloza is one of the more anthologized Filipino-American poets. Her works have appeared in various online and print media, including the anthologies A Taste of Home edited by Ed Maranan and Len Maranan-Goldstein (Anvil, Manila, 2008) and The Blind Chatelaine's Keys by Eileen Tabios (BlazeVOX, New York, 2008). She is based in California.

Gémino H. Abad, poet, critic, and friend of young poets, mentor at literary workshops and co-founder of the Philippine Literary Arts Council (PLAC), has authored over a dozen books of poetry, fiction, criticism, and edited the landmark historical anthologies, Man of Earth (with Edna Z. Manlapaz,1989), A Native Clearing (1993) and A Habit of Shores: Filipino Poetry and Verse from English, '60s to the '90s (1999). More recently, he has completed the first two volumes of Upon Our Own Ground, a historical anthology of Filipino short stories in English, and Our Scene So Fair, critical essays on early Filipino poetry in English. Jimmy has won numerous awards, including the Palancas and the Free Press, and has received local and foreign grants and professorships, among them the British Council (Oxford and Cambridge) and the Rockefeller (University of Chicago) fellowships. Dr. Abad has also served in various administrative capacities at the University of the Philippines, including University Secretary, Secretary of the Board of Regents, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Director of the U.P. Creative Writing Center (now Institute). At present he is University Professor Emeritus and Centennial Fellow at U.P.

Pablo Tariman, journalist, writer of stories, and impresario, runs his Music News and Features from home and is one of the few reliable purveyors of news and reviews about leading Filipino musical artists, virtuosos, soloists, conductors, and orchestras performing and gathering honors abroad and locally. Despite various odds, this comprovinciano persists in his love and passion, bringing artists and classical music to the provinces, not least of which is the internationally renowned pianist and his long-time Cecile Licad, at the risk of volcano eruptions, typhoons, mudslides, and untuned pianos in school auditoriums. These performances and concerts bring him great pleasure and friendships from appreciative local audiences, despite, of course, the nearly nonexistent box office returns.

Mario Mercado is a multimedia artist and designer who has been a long-time resident of the United States. He enjoys his retirement, with wife Joni and several dogs and cats, at Canopus Hollow, Putnam Valley, New York. Mario went to the School of Visual Arts for advertising design, and the prestigious Art Students League (for fine arts) of New York. He has designed and photographed for various clients worldwide, “various” meaning the likes of Volvo, General Motors, American Express, and Reader’s Digest, among others. As design director for Edward Fields, Inc., makers of hand hooked carpets, rugs and tapestries, Mario worked on orders from such clientele as Charlston Heston, Lawrence Harvey, The Waldorf Astoria, and Nixon’s Air Force One. Even in retirement, Mario maintains a full complement photography and computerized graphics studio, and concentrates on digital fine art and nature photography.


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"No. 28 • Contributors" was posted by: Our Small Family blogs, under category and permalinks http://our-small-family.blogspot.com/2009/05/no-28-contributors.html. Ratings: 1010 Votings: 97,687, Monday, May 4, 2009, 8:54 AM.

No. 27 • Contributors

Frank Peñones Jr, one of the current leading voices in Bikol poetry and writing, is finishing his MFA at San Jose State University in California under a Ford International fellowship. At the same time, he is putting the final touches to his new bilingual poetry collection Cancion nin Tawong Lipod (Song of the Invisible Man). He was a fellow of the University of the Philippines National Writers Workshop and a study grantee of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. His first book is Ragang Rinaranga (2005) and he has won several times in the Saint Peter Baptist Catholic Mass Media Awards, the 2005 Premio Tomas Arejola Para Sa Literaturang Bikol and the Sumagang Awards For Literature and Journalism.

Jane Scott is the nom de plume of Jane Adiong-Scotchmer who was born and raised in the south of the Philippines but considers herself a child of the planet. She currently lives in the southeast of England with husband John and their lovely GSD Tjukken. She trained as an anthropologist but most of her professional life revolved around research, writing, publishing and journalism. She loves reading other people’s poetry and she hopes to give the same pleasure to others through her own work. She also writes fiction and creative non-fiction. She writes us that she stumbled upon our ezine through Our Own Voice and the U.P. Panitikan portal. Her passionate poetry indicates the she should be a regular contributor.

Edgar B. Maranan launched only last year A Taste of Home, Pinoy Expats and Food Memories, which he edited together with his daughter, Len S. Maranan-Goldstein. An award-winning poet, essayist, fictionist, playwright, writer of children’s stories, and translator, Ed has spent most of the last fifteen years in London as information officer of the Philippine diplomatic mission. Having won some 3o prizes for his works in English and Filipino, he was inducted into the Palanca Hall of Fame in 2000. His other numerous awards are for his fiction and children’s stories, including the Philippines Free Press Literary Awards and the Philippine Graphic Magazine Nick Joaquin Literary Prize. He collected his poetry in Passage / Poems 1983-2006, in October 2007, under Bookmark.

Ruel de Vera is more widely known as the young hotshot journalist who joined the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the country’s leading broadsheet daily, fresh out of college. He is associate editor of the newspaper, as well as its weekend magazine, the Sunday Inquirer Magazine. An award-winning author, poet and editor, Ruey has two poetry collections, has edited several anthologies and written a handful of biographies. These include The Zero Hour (The Personal War of Basilio J. Valdez), The Spirit Quest Chronicles (Books 1 & 2), Youngblood 2, and Writing Home: 19 Writers Remember Their Hometowns. Ruey teaches journalism at Ateneo de Manila University’s Department of Communication, and he has won the Palanca Awards, Catholic Mass Media Awards and the Philippines Free Press Literary Awards. His second collection of poetry is Faulty Electrical Wiring (Office of Research and Publication, Ateneo de Manila University, 2005).

Alfrredo Navarro Salanga (d. October 15, 1988) was as versatile and gifted in his writing as he was in his short and much lamented life. Garnering honors even his undergraduate years (he received the Mulry Award for Literary Excellence when he finished his BA in Humanities at the Ateneo de Manila University), he took on many responsibilities immediately after college, starting with local journalism and column-writing in his native Mindanao, then, after a tangle with local authorities, going back to Manila to edit the Observer which later became the Independent. In Manila, together with poet-friends Gemino H. Abad, Cirilo Bautista, Felix Fojas, Alfred Yuson, and Ricardo de Ungria, he founded the Philippine Literary Arts Council. He was Secretary General of the Writers Union as well as a member of the Manila Critics Circle, PEN, NPC, PBBY. He won the TOYM for Journalism, the CMMA for Best Opinion Column, and of course, several Palanca Awards. His books include The Aglipay Question: Literary and Historical Studies (1982), The Birthing of Hannibal Valdez (1984), Commentaries Meditations Messages A Parable Cycles and Confessions (1985), Portraits (1988). Freddie also edited a number of works: Rizaliana for Children: Drawings and Folk Tales by Jose Rizal (1984), New Writing from the Philippines (special issue of Philippine Studies, 1985), Versus: Philippine Protest Poetry, 1983-86 (1986), and Kamao: Panitikan ng Protesta, 1970-1986 (1987). His posthumous books include Turtle Voices in Uncertain Weather: Poems 1980-1988 (CCP, 1989), Chronicles & Dispatches (New Day, 1991), and Buenavista Ventures (AdMU Office of Research & Publications, 1998).

Rio Alma is the pseudonym of Virgilio S. Almario, who was conferred the Order of National Artist for Literature in 2003. He has written more than 25 books of poetry and criticism. His latest book is the epic Huling Hudhud (Ng Sanlibong Pagbabalik at Paglimot Para sa Filipinas Kong Mahal), or The Last Hudhud, A Thousand Songs of Forgetting & Returning to the Philippines, Land of My Heart.

Roland Tolentino is Associate Professor at the University of the Philippines Film Institute and currently a Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. He is co-editor of Transglobal Economies and Cultures: Contemporary Japan and Southeast Asia (2004). Other publications include National/Transnational: Subject Formation and Media in and on the Philippines (2001) and Saloob at labas ng mall kong sawi/kaliluha'y siyang nangyayaring hari: Ang Pagkatuto at Pagtatanghal ng Kulturang Popular [Inside and outside my shattered mall/confusion reigns supreme: Pedagogy and Performance of Popular Culture] (2001) and Richard Gomez at ang Mito ng Pagkalalake, Sharon Cuneta at ang Perpetwal na Birhen at iba pang sanaysay hinggil sa bida sa pelikula bilang kultural na texto [Richard Gomez and the Masculine Myth, Sharon Cuneta and the Perpetual Virgin and other essays on film stars as cultural texts] (2000) which was the Winner of the Best Film Criticism Book, Manila Critics Circle, September 2001.

Antipas Delotavo, in a recent conversation with a critic, still holds on to his outsider’s stance in regard to the establishment art world, despite his 14 years of practice. This practice started, no doubt, when he first won the grand prize of the Art Association of the Philippines annual competition in 1979, and later after being chosen as part of the CCP Thirteen Artists Award in 1990. But his power derives from his mastery of the portrait and his familiarity with the human figure, which enables him to give a life of visual and magnetic potency to the faceless humanity of the streets.


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"No. 27 • Contributors" was posted by: Our Small Family blogs, under category and permalinks http://our-small-family.blogspot.com/2009/04/no-27-contributors.html. Ratings: 1010 Votings: 97,687, Saturday, April 4, 2009, 12:10 AM.

No. 26 • Contributors

Luisa Igloria, originally of Baguio and member of the Hall of Fame of the Philippine Carlos Palanca Awards, is widely anthologized in the Unites States. An author of numerous books, the latest of which is Trill & Mordent, and an associate professor in the MFA Creative Writing Program of Old Dominion University, her work has appeared in various journals including Poetry, Crab Orchard Review, The Missouri Review, Indiana Review, to name a few. Her latest award is the 2009 Ernest Sandeen Poetry Prize for Juan Luna’s Revolver, which came out in 2008. Despite her many literary engagements, she generously sends regular contributions to poet’sPicturebook, poems which are most of the time newly-minted.

Victor Peñaranda is another of our constant supporters and regular contributors who used to send us poems from his many wanderings abroad as development worker, but since he has come maybe for good, he sends us those poems from his frequent travels all over the country. Often, his poems serve both as postcards from and meditations on the many places he visits, from Bhuttan and Macedonia to Mt. Matutum or the Cordilleras. His second collection of poems, to be published by Anvil, includes ones first published online in poet’Picturebook.

Reuel Molina Aguila, poet and playwright, was one of the young literary firebrands coming out of the famous independent workshop called Galina sa Arte at Tula (then conducted by now national artist Rio Alma). Reuel has however refused to let his political engagement get in the way of the the lyricism of his poetry, plays and various works that have won for him the Makata ng Taon (Poet of the Year) given by Institute of National Language, the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas, several Palanca Awards, and other honors. Also a longtime scriptwriter for film, television and radio, Reuel has worked with the late Lino Brocka and Behn Cervantes. A former fellow of the Iowa International Writing Program, Aguila has also taught at the Philippine Science High School, was a Monbusho scholar in Japan, before coming back to teach at his alma mater, the University of the Philippines, where he is currently pursuing a doctorate in creative writing.

Jaime Jesus Borlagdan, now one of our regular contributors, and being also the youngest in the present issue, was a representative of younger writers (under 40) and writing from the regions at the recently concluded Taboan Writers Conference, which is part of the National Arts Month celebrations lead by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). One of the most active Bikol writing today, and perhaps the busiest in the Web, Borlagdan, maintains several literary sites: 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.”

Jose Marte A. Abueg is managing editor of Inquier.Net and overall editor in charge of its Money website. As a longtime journalist, he has been editor at different Philippine publications and Philippine correspondent of foreign publications, including The Australian Financial Review and Asian Business magazine. Mart’s literary awards include the Palancas for fiction and the Philippines Free Press award for poetry. He has been published in the Ani literary annual of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Philippines Free Press, Sunday Times Magazine, and the website, A Critical Survey of Philippine Literature, among others. His collection "Bird Lands, River Nights and Other Melancholies" won for him the Grand Prize in Gawad Likhaan: The University of the Philippines Centennial Award, for poetry in English.

Joel M. Toledo is busy with both his academic profession and literary projects. Holding a Master’s degree in creative writing (poetry) from the University of the Philippines (where he graduated with degrees in English and Journalism), he is currently preparing his third book of poems, teaching literature at Miriam College, conducting the fortnightly “gig” of the Happy Mondays Poetry Nights at Mag:Net Cafe and Gallery on Katipunan, and playing drums for the band Los Chupacabras, which performs on the same night as the poetry readings. Apart from the Palancas and the NCCA Writer’s Prize, Joel’s awards and venues of publication for his poetry are international, including the Bridport Prize from the U.K. and the Meritage Press Poetry Prize from San Francisco, U.S.A., Softblow, Rogue Poetry Review, Concelebratory Shoehorn Review, and Washington Square, among others.

Rodolfo "Rod" Samonte, painter, printmaker, photographer, and digital artist, is a resident of Burbank, California, having migrated there after he had well established his name in Manila. He has shown his work in 19 solo exhibitions and numerous group shows in the Philippines, the U.S., Europe, and South America. The critic Alice Guillermo, writing about one of Rod's exhibits of his digital creations, remarks about the "new technologies... stunningly displayed," where "he is only proving his excellence in his employment of the new digital language."


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"No. 26 • Contributors" was posted by: Our Small Family blogs, under category and permalinks http://our-small-family.blogspot.com/2009/03/no-26-contributors.html. Ratings: 1010 Votings: 97,687, Monday, March 16, 2009, 11:27 PM.

No. 25 • Contributors

Marie La Viña is spending the current semester of her Philosophy course at the Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium. She writes us, after our asking what she was doing there and prodding her to write, “I do hope to bring home some new poems in June. I’m enjoying myself and taking a lot of photos,” two of which we filched from her Facebook and used to illustrate her poem on page 1. In 2008, Marie’s collection, “The Gospel According to the Blind Man,” won for her the Palanca Awards third prize. Currently a junior philosophy major at the Ateneo de Manila University, Marie graduated from the Philippine High School for the Arts in 2004, and 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.

Mesándel Virtusio Arguelles, one of the leading younger voices in Filipino poetry, has been described by fellow poet and High Chair editor Allan Popa as “a student of the short lyric: the delicate art that requires sharpened senses for the little variations and nuances brought by each poetic ingredient...” Ayer, as he is called by friends, is part of Batch 1998 of Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo (Lira), the long-running poetry clinic by National Artist for Literature Virgilio S. Almario (Rio Alma). He has also been a fellow of the 36th UP National Writers Workshop (2000) and has won awards for his poetry from the Commission on the National Language. Ayer has published four books of poetry, Menos Kuwarto (2002), Ilahas (2004), Hindi Man Lang Nakita (2005), and Parang (2008).

Denise O'Hara is a perennial student of Comparative Literature in UP Diliman, Quezon City. She was a member of UP Quill and was published in their folio, Sitting Amok. Post college, she has pursued poetry through her friends, and has joined several writing contests. Apart from poetry, she is also trying her hand at playwriting and film writing, but always finds herself distracted by the Internet. Presently, she's struggling between being an Internet junkie and a senior writer in a television network, writing teleseryes.

Jaime Jesus Borlagdan was a representative of younger writers (under 40) and writing from the regions at the recently concluded Taboan Writers Conference which is part of the National Arts Month celebrations lead by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). One of the most active Bikol writing today, and one of the most active in the Web, Borlagdan, maintains several literary sites: 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.”

Kristian Cordero teachers literature at the Ateneo de Naga University and is a bilingual poet (writing in his naitve Bikol and the Filipino national language), and one of those recognized as representative of the new Bikol writing and revival. He won the 2008 NCCA Writers Prize for poetry (a grant for completing a book project) and is one of the most awarded younger poets from the Bicol Region. The author of three award-winning books of poetry, Kristian 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.

Francis C. Macansantos was last heard singing the Laudate for a Latin High Mass over unleavened pulutan and San Mig at the UP University Hotel in the after-hours of the Taboan Writers Conference. Also heard singing the responses to his antiphons were old friends and concelebrants Tony Tan, Tony Enriquez, Ricky de Ungria, Krip Yuson, Jimmy Abad, and sacristan Marne Kilates. When not singing the Tridentine Mass in secret, Francis is a poet, cultural worker, and literature teacher, a Palanca Award winner, and member of the Philippine Literary Arts Council (PLAC). He recently launched his epic, Womb of Water, Breasts of Earth, which is excerpted for this issue. The epic won the 2003 NCCA Writers Prize.

Pablo Tariman, journalist and short story writer, takes a break from reviewing long-hair music and opera or playing impresario for famous artists like pianist Cecile Licad with the little diversion of a book feature for his friends painter Marivic Rufino and National Artist Rio Alma, and translator and comprovinciano Marne Kilates. As impresario and music lover, Pablo takes pride in bringing classical music to the provinces, even at the risk of floods, mudslides, aging or untuned pianos to be played by the likes of Licad and visiting virtuosos, and nearly nonexistent box office returns.

Jury Gregorio’s Woman among GI Sheets is only the second of his photographs featured on our cover page, and won’t be the last. Formerly of Manila but now based in Singapore working for one of the large advertising multinationals there, Jury is a writer and creative director who used to work with the editor when the latter was still in the industry. Jury has won awards for his creative work and has since gone on to make a name for himself in advertising outside the country, while pursuing his passion for photography. He has exhibited in Singapore, Japan, and Berlin, among other places. His photographic portfolio may be viewed at http://jurygregorio.com.

Claro Cortes IV travels widely as professional photographer for Reuters, formerly of Beijing but more recently based in Singapore. He is a member of the Banggaan e-group, an informal network of Filipino photographers, artists, and writers from Manila and the Diaspora. More of Claro’s photographs will be featured in subsequent issues of poet’sPicturebook.


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"No. 25 • Contributors" was posted by: Our Small Family blogs, under category and permalinks http://our-small-family.blogspot.com/2009/02/no-25-contributors.html. Ratings: 1010 Votings: 97,687, Friday, February 20, 2009, 7:19 PM.

No. 24 • Contributors

Nick Carbó’s fourth book of poems is Chinese, Japanese, What are These? (2009). Known for his poems that customarily swing between hilarity and subversion, his Manila roots and the oddness of being Asian in America, Nick has three critically acclaimed poetry books, El Grupo McDonalds (1995), Secret Asian Man (2000), and Andalusian Dawn (2004). He has edited three anthologies of Filipino literature: Pinoy Poetics (2004), Babaylan (2000), and Returning a Borrowed Tongue (1995). He has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts and has won other grants and residencies such as the Fundacion Valparaiso in Spain and Le Chateau de Lavigny in Switzerland. Nick’s poems have appeared in Indiana Review, Whiskey Island, Ploughshares, and North American Review. He is currently teaching as Visiting Poet in the MFA program at the University of Miami.

Jury Gregorio, formerly of Manila but now based in Singapore working for one of the large advertising multinationals there, is a writer and creative director who used to work with the editor when the latter was still in the industry. Jury has won awards in local creative races, for his campaigns as well as his photography and has since gone on to make a name for himself in advertising outside the country, while pursuing his passion for photography. He has exhibited in Singapore, Japan, and Berlin, among other places. His photographic portfolio may be viewed at Jury Gregorio Photography at http://jurygregorio.com/, and he keeps a blog, Blackbook, at http://jurygregorio.blogspot.com/.

Aberjhani, poet, historian, journalist, blogger, and novelist, appears for the second time in our online magazine. He is co-author of the award-winning Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance (Facts On File); and author of The Wisdom of W.E.B. Du Bois. The recently published Bridge of Silver Wings is his third book of poetry; and Christmas When Music Almost Killed the World his first novel. He is currently at work on the completion of a 17-year book project, titled Elemental: the Power of Illuminated Love, featuring the work of the critically acclaimed award-winning artist Luther E. Vann with poetry and prose by Aberjhani. In addition, he is founder of the popular Creative Thinkers International website.

Jose Marte A. Abueg’s collection "Bird Lands, River Nights and Other Melancholies" won for him the Grand Prize in Gawad Likhaan: The University of the Philippines Centennial Award, for poetry in English. His other literary awards include the Palancas for fiction and the Philippines Free Press award for poetry. He has been published in the Ani literary annual of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Philippines Free Press, and Sunday Times Magazine. Mart is a longtime journalist and editor, currently the managing editor of INQUIRER.net and overall editor in charge of the INQUIRER.net Money website.

Edgar B. Maranan is a poet, essayist, fictionist, playwright, writer of children’s stories, and translator. He has won a total of thirty prizes—a record number—for his works in English and Filipino, in the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, and was inducted into the Palanca Hall of Fame in 2000. He has also won awards in the Cultural Center of the Philippines Annual Literary Contest, Palihang Aurelio Tolentino Playwriting Competition, Institute of National Language poetry competition, 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, which he won three years in a row, from 1989 to 1991. Maranan’s third poetry book, Passage / poems 1983-2006, came out in October 2007, under the Bookmark imprint. Most of the poems in this book are part of poetry collections which won in the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature (Voyage, 1984; Hinterland, 1987; Star Maps, 1988; and Tabon, 2000). He is an active member of the newly formed Baguio Writers Group.

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.

Fidel Rillo is a poet and much sought-after book designer who still resists publishing his own book of poems (enough to make a book by all standards). Active in the local poetry workshop circuit, he lectures at the Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Arte, the poetry clinic of National Artist for Literature Rio Alma. Fidel's poetry is well anthologized and is part of the post-First Quarter Storm movement in Tagalog/Filipino writing that employs the lyric, historical consciousness, and contemporary sensibility even when engaged in nationalist causes.


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"No. 24 • Contributors" was posted by: Our Small Family blogs, under category and permalinks http://our-small-family.blogspot.com/2009/01/no-24-contributors.html. Ratings: 1010 Votings: 97,687, Thursday, January 22, 2009, 11:06 AM.
 

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