Responding to Kristin Naca‘s recent great news, Eileen Tabios asks: So, like, haven’t you all noticed how more and more of these contests are being won by Filipino poets?
Yep, I’ve certainly noticed and experienced this.
Many of these Filipino poets and writers are folks who’ve kept in contact with one another or who have met one another via our FLIPS listserv, which was started by Vince Gotera and Nick Carbó back in 1997. We’ve been featured in many of the same journals and anthologies, we’ve included one another in our various publication projects, we’ve organized literary readings for and including one another in various parts of the country, we’ve crashed on one another’s couches, shared meals and drinks, we’ve commiserated about writing programs (in fact, I know a few of us consulted the listserv as we were thinking of applying to our respective writing programs) and manuscript woes, we’ve read one another’s manuscripts. We’ve grappled and argued (and we continue to argue) over politics, language, aesthetics, and approaches to publication, we teach one another’s works, review one another’s books, promote one another’s works in various other ways, and we’ve shared our good news with one another. Others’ individual successes have motivated and encouraged (and even emboldened) us to find our own.
Keeping in contact via blogworld is an extension of what began on FLIPS.
For us, this is beyond any simple nationalism or feelgoodism (certainly, it isn’t always pleasant, and it’s never unanimous), and this is what I mean by community. It’s practical and it’s necessary in order to constantly be challenged and to thus work effectively within the poetic industrial complex.
For a list of Filipino American authored books (many of whom are FLIPS listservers), see here.