i am amused

by this lecture given by the ever-brilliant Conchitina Cruz. She says, My enchantment with genre bending has to do with the possibilities it yields through an unyielding stance toward the question: What is it?

From “To Essay a Poem: Notes on Genre Bending” :

Our creative writing program here in UP, like many others, is organized by genre and divided into three basic tracks: poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. On occasions that call for quick descriptions of these strains, it is convenient to go tongue-in-cheek: poets pay attention to sound and image, fiction writers to plot, and nonfiction writers to “what really happened.” Or: poets play with line cuts and language, fiction writers with narrative and time, and nonfiction writers talk about themselves. Easy to tell which genre demands, as far as reputation goes, the most amount of chika and the least amount of skill. Which also explains the order of elimination CW majors typically go through (“Well, it looks like I can’t do fiction, and I know I can’t do poetry, so I guess that leaves…).

There is nothing more tiring than hearing yourself say the same things in the same ways again and again, nothing more exasperating than hearing others say what you are also saying in the same ways again and again, homogeneity being another cause of claustrophobia. If writing is a means of ushering thought into ordered existence, and what you say is how you say it, then the cross-pollinations of the genres can only guard against monotone and redundancy in making possible varieties of articulation and therefore varieties of thought, diverse shapes of imagination.

Read the whole thing; it’s an absolute treat. :D

* * *

Ms Cruz also provides a link to Cesar Ruiz Aquino’s “The Distance to Parnassus: A Palanca Commentary”. In this article, Aquino critiques “three poetry collections-The Gospel According to the Blind Man by Marie La Viña, Sl(e)ights by Ana Maria Katigbak, and Morphic Variations by Francis C. Macansantos-which won in the Poetry in English category of the 2008 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. This critical commentary highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each collection in terms of imagery, use of language, manipulation of form and structure, theme, and prosody.”

Interesting! The last time I checked the Palanca website, I was only able to read Marie La Viña’s Gospel, which bagged the 3rd place for Poetry last year (I adore this poem).

I’ll go download and read what Mr. Aquino has to say.

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