Monday, July 14, 2014

VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA: A Storm of Filipino Poets


VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA: A Storm of Filipino Poets

Editor: Eileen R. Tabios
Meritage Press (San Francisco & St. Helena, 2014)
MeritagePress@aol.com

Retail Price: $20
Page No.: 220 pages
Publication Date: March 2014
To order directly from publisher, contact MeritagePress@aol.com


Super Typhoon Haiyan—known as Yolanda in the Philippines—was the largest storm ever recorded on land, affecting over 14 million people who became homeless, widowed, orphaned or saw their beloveds die or themselves died in the onslaught of water and wind. Rebuilding efforts are estimated to require about three years with the Philippine government estimating that such efforts will cost about US$8.59 billion.

In response to Yolanda’s devastation, Filipino poets in the homeland and the diaspora rallied to create a fundraising anthology entitled VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA: A Storm of Filipino Poets. Edited by poet and editor Eileen R. Tabios, the anthology of 133 poems is released by Meritage Press (San Francisco & St. Helena), and can be ordered online through the press’ Lulu account (see above link). All of the book’s profits will be donated to relief organizations and others helping the survivors of Yolanda.

Book sales and, thus, fundraising proceeds, need not occur simply through online purchases. Meritage Press will work with fundraising organizations or individuals wishing to raise funds for Yolanda’s survivors. Specifically, Meritage Press is willing to send books at cost to fundraisers who then can sell the books at their individual retail price of $20 each. The fundraisers then are free to donate the profits to organizations of their choice who are involved in aiding Yolanda’s survivors. For more information, contact Eileen R. Tabios at MeritagePress@aol.com

While the anthology was created for fundraising, the result also showcases the wealth of talent in Filipino poetry. Although not created for this purpose, this book is a useful showcase of contemporary Filipino poetry. Most poems are written in English, but a few also present examples of some of the Philippines’ languages: Filipino, Cebuano or Bisaya, Waray, and  Hiligaynon (with excerpts from their English translations).

Additionally, while each individual poem may be powerful, the poems together create a sum-effect greater than its parts. What results is both novelistic in scope and urgent in communicating the news. For the news continue beyond the actual incident and aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda. The news continue about how our actions degrade the environment and each other, making likely the return of Yolanda’s brethren…unless we amend our actions. The sum of these poem-stories also reflect a different reality from what’s mostly been presented in the media, attesting once again to the importance of Filipinos speaking up on their own behalf.

A Foreword is provided by poet-scholar Leny Mendoza Strobel, whose presence is appropriate due to her ground-breaking studies into the decolonized Filipino self and how pakikipag-kapwa/building-a-beloved-community is an indigenous part of Filipino identity. For the eagerness with which Filipino poets embraced this project manifests the indigenous Filipino trait of Kapwa.


 Here are some “Advance Words” from poet-scholar-critic-editor Susan M. Schultz:

VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA: A Storm of Filipino Poets:  
This is a book about a destructive typhoon named Yolanda, or Haiyan, which caused massive damage to the Philippines in November, 2013. This is a sprawling book of poems about family, loss, art, economy, greed, love, grief, theft, militarism, colonialism, typhoon tourism, deforestation, stray dogs, survivors, rubble, donations, propaganda, looting, journalists, dead children, helicopters, rain, disembowelment, black bags, conquerors, catastrophe, “the republic of the drowned” (Luisa A. Igloria). This is a book in English, Filipino, Cebuano, Waray, Hiligaynon, Bisaya. This is a book by poets who teach, poets who study, a poet who drives a tricycle for a living, poets who work for NGOs, poets who are school children. This is a book by 133 Filipino poets who live in the Philippines, the United States, Britain, the Netherlands, South Africa, elsewhere.  What is diaspora but the aftermath of storm? All profits from this book will be donated to relief organizations. “Aid is art,” writes Simeon Dumdum, Jr. Now art will aid survivors of the storm.                                                
—Susan M. Schultz, poet and editor of Tinfish


Meritage Press and the poets in VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA appreciate your support. 

CONTACT: MeritagePress@aol.com

For more info on Meritage Press books: http://meritagepress.blogspot.com






Sunday, July 13, 2014

"STORMED" BY FRANCESCO CONTE

UPDATE:  The documentary, "STORMED" is now available for your perusal on Vimeo.  Go to this link: http://vimeo.com/99549556

At about 21:41, Joi Barrios-Leblanc's poem, "SUMPA NG KAWAYAN" (with English translation) is read over the compelling images.

****

Francesco Conte is an Italian journalist and film maker.  He's making a documentary entitled "Stormed" on the Haiyan and Sendong storms.  And we're pleased to report that Joi Barrios-Leblanc's poem in VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA, "Sumpa Ng Kawayan" will be part of his documentary!  More information will be reported as we hear.  Meanwhile, here are some links to Mr. Conte:

https://www.facebook.com/franatopos


Saturday, May 31, 2014

DE ANZA COLLEGE: "ONE HEART ONE FAMILY"

VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA will be represented by Eileen Tabios, Michelle Bautista and Aileen Ibardaloza at this weekend's benefit event at De Anza College -- open to the public:


The evening's program:
6-7p Dinner, set-up, DJs, Open Mic, Announcements
7-7:10 Introductions
10 min: PATTERSON
5 min: Brandon
5 min: Alicia
10 min: Brian Dublin
7 min: DSA
10 min: VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA book reading
5 min: South Bay Task Force Haiyan/Kim & Rey (donations pitch)
5 min: Brandi
10 min or under: Far East Dragon Lion Dance
10 min: Sam Young & Kazamm
10 min or under: Ernie Reyes World West Coast Martial Arts
10 min: Denny Pham
10 min: Yiann
5 min: Closing

More information about the program is available at http://www.ysom.org/concert.html

This is a fundraising event and donations will be given to
National Alliance for Filipino Concerns-USA which helps survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.

UPDATE: Some photos from event below (other photos are in prior post or HERE):


Michelle Bautista, her baby Gabriella, De Anza Instructor Rowena Tomaneng, 
Eileen Tabios and Aileen Ibardaloza)




(Aileen with Ray Llabang, one of the student organizers who also spoke on behalf of NafCon)






*****

Poets from VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA participated in the May 31, 2014 Benefit at De Anza College, from 7-9 pm.  The VTY poets did a reading and the anthology was available for sale.  Participants were:

Michelle Bautista is a poet and 3rd degree black belt in the Philippine Martial Art of Kali. Her current projects include a memoir/instructional martial arts book tentatively titled, Mandirigmang Babae: journey of the woman warrior and multi-lingual children's ebooks. Author of Kali's Blade (Meritage Press, 2006), she lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and newborn daughter.

Aileen Ibardaloza is the Associate Editor of Our Own Voice Literary Ezine (www.oovrag.com). Her works have appeared in various online and print media including the anthology, Hanggang sa Muli: Homecoming Stories for the Filipino Soul. Her first poetry collection, Traje de Boda, was published by Meritage Press in 2010.

VTY Editor Eileen R. Tabios has released more than 20 print, three electronic and 1 CD poetry collections; an art essay collection; a “collected novels” book; a poetry essay/interview anthology; a short story collection; and an experimental biography. Recipient of the Philippines’ National Book Award for Poetry for her first poetry collection, she has crafted an award-winning body of work that is unique for melding ekphrasis with transcolonialism. Her poems have been translated into Spanish, Italian, Tagalog, Japanese, Portuguese, Polish, Greek, computer-generated hybrid languages, Paintings, Video, Drawings, Visual Poetry, Mixed Media Collages, Kali Martial Arts, Music, Modern Dance and Sculpture.  She also has edited, co-edited or conceptualized ten anthologies of poetry, fiction and essays.  She maintains a bibliophilic blog, “EileenVerbs Books“; edits Galatea Resurrects; steers the publisher Meritage Press; serves as Library Director for BIBLIOTHECA INVISIBILIS; and frequently curates thematic online poetry projects including LinkedIn Poetry Recommendations.

*****

JULY 14, 2014 UPDATE:

I'm pleased to report the largest single donation so far for NAFCON  which helps survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.  Here’s an image — and may there be more future images like this (you can make it happen through HERE): 






Friday, May 30, 2014

PHOTO COVERAGE FROM "ONE HEART ONE FAMILY"

VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA was represented at De Anza's Benefit for Yolanda survivors. Here are some photos of the FEST! Musicians, singers, a hula dancer, hip hop, a ukelele cover of Lorde, martial arts, "Bollywood"and, of course, Poetry!





















Last but not least -- the tweaking lions!













(Baby Gabriella was unsure over the whole thing ...)



Sunday, April 6, 2014

DE ANZA COLLEGE: "UNNATURAL DISASTER: TYPHOON HAIYAN"

De Anza College: “Unnatural Disaster: Typhoon Haiyan” is a cross-disciplinary curriculum project involving faculty participants from the English, Women’s Studies, Political Science and Environmental Studies departments.  The project will include a teach-in, a research project, an action project and a Spring 2014 Benefit Concert. 

[UPDATE: VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA Editor Eileen R. Tabios and contributors Michelle Bautista and Aileen Ibardaloza will participate in the May 31, 2014 Benefit -- scroll below.]

We’re delighted to share that several poems from VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA are being used in this project.


(click on image to enlarge)

The organizers are affiliated with South Bay Task Force Haiyan and work with
 National Alliance for Filipino Concerns-USA for donations.



*****


Poets from VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA will participate in the May 31, 2014 Benefit at De Anza College, from 7-9 pm.  The VTY poets will do a reading and the anthology will be available for sale.  Participants are:

Michelle Bautista is a poet and 3rd degree black belt in the Philippine Martial Art of Kali. Her current projects include a memoir/instructional martial arts book tentatively titled, Mandirigmang Babae: journey of the woman warrior and multi-lingual children's ebooks. Author of Kali's Blade (Meritage Press, 2006), she lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and newborn daughter.

Aileen Ibardaloza is the Associate Editor of Our Own Voice Literary Ezine (www.oovrag.com). Her works have appeared in various online and print media including the anthology, Hanggang sa Muli: Homecoming Stories for the Filipino Soul. Her first poetry collection, Traje de Boda, was published by Meritage Press in 2010.

VTY Editor Eileen R. Tabios has released more than 20 print, three electronic and 1 CD poetry collections; an art essay collection; a “collected novels” book; a poetry essay/interview anthology; a short story collection; and an experimental biography. Recipient of the Philippines’ National Book Award for Poetry for her first poetry collection, she has crafted an award-winning body of work that is unique for melding ekphrasis with transcolonialism. Her poems have been translated into Spanish, Italian, Tagalog, Japanese, Portuguese, Polish, Greek, computer-generated hybrid languages, Paintings, Video, Drawings, Visual Poetry, Mixed Media Collages, Kali Martial Arts, Music, Modern Dance and Sculpture.  She also has edited, co-edited or conceptualized ten anthologies of poetry, fiction and essays.  She maintains a bibliophilic blog, “EileenVerbs Books“; edits Galatea Resurrects; steers the publisher Meritage Press; serves as Library Director for BIBLIOTHECA INVISIBILIS; and frequently curates thematic online poetry projects including LinkedIn Poetry Recommendations.




CHICAGO LAUNCH

A Chicago launch for VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA will be held during a typhoon memorial event sponsored by the Filipino American National Historical Society on October 19, 2014 at the Assembly Hall (auditorium), International House, University of Chicago. 

The event starts at 2:30 pm with a reception.  The program, which runs until 5 pm, will include an art display, readings from the book, a musical performance, and a panel discussing reconstruction efforts. 

It is free and open to the public.

TACLOBAN BOOK LAUNCH AND BOOK DISTRIBUTIONS

VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA is set to be launched in Tacloban!  The event, coordinated by writer-activisit Almira Gilles is expected to bring several of the Philippines-based VTY poets to the event.  

Details for the launch are still being finalized.  But what we know are


DATE: Friday, August 7, 2014

VENUE: University of the Philippines at Tacloban.

VTY attendees will include: TO COME


Check here for more details as they are known.


Almira will also be bringing extra copies of VTY books as well as copies of books by Fil-Am poet-contributors to VTY.  These books will be donated to to various libraries, hospitals and churches in the Tacloban community.