Happy to share that my short story, “Departures”, will be appearing in the online issue of the Philippines Free Press. (The magazine will be strictly online in the meantime, I’m told.) It is my shortest story to date: around 3,000 words.

Free Press’s literary ed is Joel Toledo, also one of the judges in this year’s Palanca Awards for the poetry category. While replying to him I was reminded of the citation he sent me shortly after the award winners were announced:

1st prize: “Maps”

In terms of a firm handling of theme and focus on its chosen subject, this entry readily emerges as the judges’ unanimous first-placer. Yet more than being thematic, it comes across as a suite driven by a precise, almost journalistic tone. The lines leave no room for meandering; they coalesce, but with a grounded temperance: one that distrusts rhetoric and points to vivid, charged images. It maps out a terrain recovering from disaster, the poet’s eye never losing focus, unearthing and patiently collecting what is left behind.

Right now, in my head, a new story. Now to find the time and energy to hunker down and write it.

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