Sunday, March 25, 2007
I've been meaning to mention this book for some time. I got it from Eileen Tabios in payment for writing a review. At the time it was a revelation to me, and I couldn't recommend it more highly. 'Pinoy Poetics' was developed by Tabios to be the first international poetics anthology of Filipino English-language poets. The word 'Pinoy' is used by Filipinos to describe their compatriots in the Philippines and around the world, and was coined by expatriate Filipino Americans during the 1920s. The book serves both as a book on poetics - taking in post-colonialism, gender politics and the experience of the Fillipino diaspora along the way - and as a chronicle of a forgotten history. The essays merge creative writing with critical analysis and autobiographical material. There's an invigorating range of subjects, including Taoism, hip-hop, Kali (a Filipino martial arts form), and the legacy of the important but now largely ignored Fillipino poet Jose Garcia Villa (1908-1997). I haven't absorbed all of this book yet, and maybe I never will (it's pretty substantial), but it's opened my eyes to a whole new poetic. Get this book from Meritage Press.