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Friday, January 16, 2004

Poems by Young Pilipino Americans at FuseBox 3 edited by Barbara Jane Reyes: Patrick Rosal, Paolo Javier, Sarah Gambito, Tony Robles, Jason Bayani, Irene Faye Duller, Maiana Minahal, Joel Barraquiel Tan, Irene Suico Soriano, Michelle Macaraeg Bautista & Joseph O. Legaspi.

Literature from the Balkan countries is now online at www.wordswithoutborders.org, mirroring not a single "Balkan" identity, but multiple Balkans--defined not only by ethnicity but by politics, history, nature (lovely and indifferent), and personal memory. Or so we see in the classic Croatian Miroslav Krezla's surreal Banquet in Blitva, set in a distinctly Balkan Everywhere of blended places and events; the Jewish Serbian writer Ivan Ivanji's frighteningly lyrical "Games on the Banks of the Danube"; Albanian writer Fatos Lubonja's "Ahlem," about a prisoner's skewed loyalty to a dictator; and Luljeta Lleshanaku's pastoral poetry. In "Theft" and "Cactus" the Bosnian short story master Miljenko Jergovic finds the humor in life at the outbreak of war in Sarajevo. And the Polish writer Juli Zeh, who writes in German, casts her acute eye over the landscape in the aftermath of the Balkan wars.

And here's one of my poems-in-progress:



in the beginning

I AM all

word and yoni

is a uni-

versal song

a voice

a name

I AM one

with my(self)


(is) a night

of void and



I’ve spoken

my prenomen

and i came

to be what


a world

of my own

my name


(the atoms

of my existence)

I AM become

light - the first




crowning my head

godhead within

godhead without

first born of

the parthenous


I AM life

-force incarnate

a makir

a fakir

and foremost

a (man)poet


my voice

married the dark(

ness) and the abyss

and the fruit

of this incest

is chaos and

out of which

the primal light

sprung from

my fore(head)

i breathed shaping

the firmament

in cosmic gyration

heavens were born

poems unpoemed


i stood



upon the ground

where I AM

is I AM

God angered

he beat

the hell

out of me


a bone

or two

my rib

is broken

broken and

Eve of the broken rib

appeared so dovely

than Lilith

my Adamhood

is complete



with God's scallywag

I saw Iesu

the anchored angel

while i ate

my last supper

my first sin

the Word

on my tongue

his blood

on my lips

the best meal

i've had

so far

no wonder

the Selfless One

has forbidden

the fruit of



the serpent


in the east

of the orchard

there is a door

with the sign



and I

moved out


our (wo)man-

hood & humanity

with the colors

of decay

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A Tao 道 Sign

Le poèt de Pangasinan

Santiago B. Villafania, a bilingual Filipino poet who writes in English and in his native language of Pangasinan, is the author of poetry collections Bonsaic Verses (2012), Pinabli and Other Poems (2012), Malagilion: Sonnets tan Villanelles (2007), and Balikas na Caboloan (Voices from Caboloan, 2005) published by the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA) under its UBOD New Authors Series. He has been published in several countries and translated into several languages. Villafania is one of the 11 Outstanding Pangasinan conferred with the 2010 ASNA Award for the Arts and Culture (literature) during the first Agew na Pangasinan and also the 430th Foundation Day of the province on April 2010. He is a member of Philippine PEN writes a regular weekly column for the Sunday Punch.



A collection of ghazals in Pangasinan language. Order now at Amazon.com

A collection of haiku, senryu, tanka, haiga, and other poems in English and Pangasinan language. Order now at Amazon.com

“Santiago Villafania is a searcher with a seemingly insatiable curiosity and endurance. His quest has brought him to explore world poetry from points East and West. He is no stranger to sophisticated verse forms such the Sapphic strophe nor to the diverse permutations of the Japanese haiku. But he is not a formalist, he has daringly explored Asian and Western cultures in a very personal way and writes his mind with a daring, invigorating, aesthetically pleasing ease. In his poetry Villafania displays not only a breadth, but it feels very much like a breath of fresh air.” – Ute Margaret Saine, poet, critic, translator, past president of PEN Orange County and the former editor of the California Poetry Quarterly

“Villafania’s emergence as a poet is a fine moment to celebrate. Another voice from the regions augurs a richer body of writing that Filipinos can hold up as a mirror of our native culture.” – Bienvenido Lumbera, National Artist for Literature

The Beloved Idiom | A Reading of Villafania’s ‘Pinabli & other poems’ by Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo

LCCN.: 2010338612

Order your copy now at CreateSpace or Amazon.com :)

"The publication of Malagilion: Sonnets tan Villanelles by Santiago B. Villafania should be a source of rejoicing for readers of regional literatures. This second book by Pangasinan's leading poet today is impressive in both form and substance. Villafania has created 300 sonnets and 50 villanelles in his own language that attempt to reflect the primacy of native culture and return the poet to the central stage of social life."A Boost to Pangasinan Literature from Breaking Signs by Cirilo F. Bautista (Philippine Panorama, 16 Dec. 2007, pp.25-26)

"Villafania is not only a visionary poet, he is a linguistic philosopher who codifies the origin of language and culture, dissects the myths and the common beliefs of the people against the urban legends, juxtaposes the literary tradition against the modern influences by dialectically infusing them in his poetic revelation of truth."Poetic Revelation in Language and Culture by Danny C. Sillada (Manila Bulletin, 12 May 2008, pp. F1-F2)

Photos: Book Launching at the Pearl Manila Hotel, 5 Feb. 2008

"Santiago Villafania's Balikas ed Caboloan certainly has reinvigorated the anlong tradition of Pangasinan that for a long period of time suffered silence from the hands of writers more attuned to English writing. Characteristically anacbanua, Villafania's poetry echoes his predecessors and presages a promising era for young writers in Pangasinan." – Dr. Marot Nelmida-Flores

Thesis: Bilay ed Caboloan - Reconfiguration of Space using a New Historicist Lens by Ayesah Tecson

from Pangasinan 'Anlong': Oral tradition into the 21st century published in Manila Times / Sunday Magazine, March 13 & 20, 2011.

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Today in Literature

Quote of the Day

In Many Tongues

Translations of Sonnet To A Pilgrim Soul in different languages.

Translations of Erolalia in German, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Bulgarian, and Hindi language. And here is the 1st version of the poem published in The Sunday Times (Manila Times, 11.23.2003).

Six of my poems translated into Arabic by Prof. Abdul-Settar Abdul-Latif (English Dept., College of Education, University of Basrah, Iraq) and have been published in TEXT - the Cultural Monthly Journal, Issue No.13

Swansong of the sea with translations in Italian, Arabic, Hindi, and Spanish.

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