plug it baby

The Kritika Kultura Anthology of New Philippine Writing in English is now live. Edited by Mark Anthony Cayanan, Conchitina Cruz, and Adam David and featuring work by Arbeen Acuña, Liana Barcia, Maria Pia V. Benosa, Lawrence Bernabe, Mae Cacanindin, Catherine Candano, Joseph Casimiro, Marrian Pio Roda Ching, Jose V. Clutario, Isabela Cuerva, Paul S. de Guzman, Jun De La Rosa, Dana Lee F. Delgado, Daryll Delgado, Arlynn Despi, Katrina C. Elauria, Francis Murillo Emralino, Rey Escobar, Apo Española, EJ C. Galang, J. Pilapil Jacobo, Florianne Jimenez, Phillip Kimpo Jr., Pauline Lacanilao, Christine V. Lao, Isabelle Lau, Petra Magno, Johnina Martha Marfa, John Revo Ocampo, Anna Oposa, Zosimo Quibilan, Jr., Carlos Quijon, Jr., Eris Ramos, Ramon Niño T. Raquid, Kristine Reynaldo, Agustin Martin G. Rodriguez, Sandra Nicole Roldan, Chiles Samaniego, Katrina Stuart Santiago, Oscar Tantoco Serquiña, Jr., Vincenz Serrano, Christian Tablazon, Alyza Taguilaso, Rapunzel Tomacder, Eileen F. Tupaz, and Vyxz Vasquez. Exquisite Corpses by DJ Legaspi, Mervin Malonzo, and Josel Nicolas.

I have a poem in it called “Maps“.

From the introduction:

The decision to affix the term new to this anthology derives from the conviction that there are enough surprising behaviors in language present in recent Philippine writing in English to merit a shorthand evaluation that is nothing less than a brazen pronouncement. New, in this case, is meant to careen beyond literal description, although it performs this practical function: the authors in this anthology are young in their writing lives, having published only one book, if at all, and quite a number of the contributors count this publication as their first. This common feature, while pertinent, is not the impetus for the anthology—the most youth does is promise imaginative energy, not assure it, and to host a friendly inventory of potential among those whose early stages of literary production coincide seems simply superfluous, if not vapidly premature, the new reduced to disclaimer rather than declaration. In calling itself new, this anthology holds itself responsible for the literary spectrum it constructs and asserts its position within. It directly engages art’s unwavering fixation with originality—or its more pragmatic twin, reinvention—amid conditions that more and more aggressively eliminate their possibility. It situates itself in conversation with various traditions and whatever its existence renders old, mindful of the fluctuating degrees to which these are inscribed within the works that succeed them. It presumes a pitch peculiar enough to withstand, even temper, the cacophony of existing literature, and consequently, compelling enough to command attention.

My thanks to the editors.

*

I finally had time to read the Stone Telling Whimsy issue. Absolutely loved Catherynne Valente’s “The Secret of Being a Cowboy“, read brilliantly – just brilliantly! – by S.J. Tucker. You must listen to it!

The Roundtable is always a treat, made even more special in this issue by a surprise bonus poem. :) Do read the discussion and Jo Walton’s “Sappho Beyond Hades”.

I also loved the art Rose paired with the pieces. The art paired with “The Weatherkeeper’s Diary” was perfect. I’d like to have that hanging in my room.

*

Apparently, I also made an impression. Author Amal El-Mohtar said she was “very struck” by my poem, “Sodom Gomorrah”. Thank you! :)

Tin Lao (who told me about Amal’s review) also said she loved this poem, as well as “Maps”. Thanks! (Do read her poem, “The Difference Between Abundance and Grace“. The fallen and the bruised on the fragrant lawn and a woman who chooses and chooses what is worth saving.)

I can’t wait to sit down and read the entire KK anthology.

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