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BSEd English 3102
1. Barbara Jane Reyes
Photo Credits: Peter Dressel/Barbara Jane Reyes
A poet with a BA from the University of California at Berkeley and an MFA from San Francisco
State University, Reyes is the author of three poetry collections: Gravities of
Center (2003), Diwata (2010), and Poeta en San Francisco (2005) which won the James
Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets.
The Poetry Foundation says her work “explores a variety of cultural, historical, and geographical
perspectives,” and that her winning collection Poeta “employs English, Spanish, and Tagalog to
create a devastating portrait of her hometown.”
2. Catherine Ceniza Choy.
Photo Credits: University of California, Berkeley Department of Ethnic Studies/Catherine
Ceniza Choy.
Born in 1969, Choy is a professor and chair of the Ethnic Studies Department at the University
of California, Berkeley. She has written two books on Filipino diasporic history: Empire of Care:
Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History (2003) and Global Families: A History of
Asian International Adoption in America (2013). The latter looks at the complex politics and
relationships that compel Americans to adopt Asian children from abroad.
She created a stir with her first book, Empire of Care, which won her the American Journal of
Nursing Book of the Year Award in 2003; an Honorable Mention from the American Studies
Association Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize in 2004; and the History Book Award
from the Association for Asian American Studies in 2005.
3 . Conchitina Cruz.
Photo Credits: Ateneo De Manila University/Conchitina Cruz
Cruz received her MFA in Writing from the University of Pittsburgh and currently teaches
creative writing and comparative literature at the University of the Philippines-Diliman.
She was the recipient of both the Fulbright and Rockefeller Foundation grants; Palanca Awards
in 1996 and 2001; and a Philippine National Book Award in 2006.
She’s written four books so far, which include Dark Hours (UP Press, 2005), elsewhere held and
lingered (High Chair, 2008), and (together with Adam David and Delilah Aguilar), A Catalogue
of Clothes for Sale from the Closet of Christine Abella—perpetual student, ukay fan, and
compulsive traveler (The Youth and Beauty Brigade, 2012).
4. Eileen R. Tabios.
Photo Credit: Eileen R. Tabios
Born in 1960, our third poet on the list is also a prolific editor, anthologist, critic, publisher,
conceptual/visual artist and fiction writer. With up to 50 titles in her combined bibliography, she
has won the PEN Open Book Award, the Potrero Nuevo Fund Prize, and the PEN OaklandJosephine Miles National Literary Award, among others.
Tabios is a writer who’s not afraid of crossing genres, mixing fiction with non-fiction as well as
various artistic practices. The Poetry Foundation further credits Tabios for having invented
the hay(na)ku, a poetic form in which “the first line contains one word, the second line contains
two words, and the third line contains three words, for a total of six words.
5. Felisa Batacan.
Felisa Batacan, also known as F.H. Batacan overseas, is a Filipino journalist and crime fiction
writer based in Singapore, whose first novel, Smaller and Smaller Cricles (2002), was
considered to be the Philippines’ first crime novel.
Batacan’s novel was published to wide critical acclaim in 2002, even though it had already won
the Carlos Palanca Grand Prize for the English Novel in 1999. It then went on to win the 2002
National Book Award and the 2003 Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First Book Award.
Ten years later, the book would be acquired by New York-based publisher Soho Press, and is
due to arrive on bookstands this year.
6. Genevive L. Asenjo.
Photo Credit: The University of Iowa/Genevieve L. Asenjo
Known for her ability to write and translate between Filipino, Kinaray-a and Hiligaynon,
Asenjo’s first novel, Lumbay ng Dila (2010), won the National Book Award in 2011.
In 2009, she spent half of the year in Seoul as an Overseas Writing Fellow, and in 2012, Asenjo
attended the University of Iowa’s prestigious International Writing Program as an Honorary
Writing Fellow. On top of being Associate Professor at De La Salle University-Manila, she is
also the founder-director of Balay Sugidanun.
7. Jessica Zafra.
You probably have known her for her column, Twisted (1994-2004), which appeared in the
newspaper Today (now the Manila Standard Today) before it turned into a book series.
Jessica Zafra is known for her trademark wit and remarkable insight, which she displays in
spades across her two collections of short stories, The Stories So Far and Manananggal
Terrorizes Manila. She also runs the website, JessicaRulesTheUniverse.com, which you should
totally check out.
8. Lakambini Sitoy.
Described as a “brilliant new talent” by the New York Review of Books, Lakambini Sitoy’s first
novel, Sweet Haven, had been longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2008 and
subsequently translated into French in 2011.
Sitoy also had two collections of short stories published: the first, Mens Rea and Other
Stories (1999) received the National Book Award in 1999 while her second, Jungle
Planet (2006), had been shortlisted. She’s also had the impressive feat of receiving prizes from
the Palanca Awards as well as the Philippines Free Press Award.
9. Marjorie Evasco.
Photo Credits:
marjorieevasco.jimdo.com/ Marjorie Evasco
Born in 1953, Marjorie Evasco is a poet that prides herself as a true Bol-anon who keeps
alive “the memory and spirit of the revolt led by Dagohoy,” committing “her vision through her
poetry, believing that the worthy warrior and healer is adept at giving voice to the vision so that
others may sing it, too.”
One of the earliest supporters of women’s rights and women writers in the Philippines, she has
written a handful of collections and has received in turn a bucket load of awards, including the
Palanca and National Book Awards. We recommend starting with Dreamweavers, a collection
that details her sense of origin and deals with the intricacies of ancestral heritage.
10. Merlinda Bobis.
Photo Credits:
www.merlindabobis.com.au/Merlinda Bobis
Merlinda Bobis was born in Legaspi City, Albay, and is currently based in Australia where she
teaches at Wollongong University.
Bobis is a legend: she has published novels, short stories, dramas, and poems. Her plays have
been produced and performed in more than ten countries around the globe. She went from
winning the Most Underrated Book Award from the Small Press Network in Australia in 2013 to
snagging the Juan C. Laya Philippine National Book Award for Best Novel in a Foreign
Language in 2014.
Source: https://filipiknow.net/filipino-writers/