About The Founders

Edith L. Tiempo, poet, fictionist, teacher, and literary critic, was one of the finest Filipino writers in English whose works are characterized by a remarkable fusion of style and substance, of craftsmanship and insight. She was born on 22 April 1919 in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya. Her poems are intricate verbal transfigurations of significant experiences as revealed, in two of her much anthologized pieces, "The Little Marmoset" and "Bonsai". As fictionist, Tiempo was as morally profound. Her language has been marked as "descriptive but unburdened by scrupulous detailing." She continues to be an influential tradition in Philippine literature in English. Together with her late husband, Edilberto K. Tiempo, she founded and directed the Silliman National Writers Workshop in Dumaguete City, which has produced some of the country's best writers. Tiempo's published works include the novel A Blade of Fern (1978), His Native Coast (1979), The Alien Corn (1992), One, Tilting Leaves (1995) and The Builder (2003); the poetry collections, The Tracks of Babylon and Other Poems (1966), and The Charmer's Box and Other Poems (1993); and the short story collection Abide, Joshua, and Other Stories(1964). She died in August 2011, a few months after the 50th Anniversary of the National Writers Workshop. (Adapted from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts website)

Fiction-writer and literary critic Edilberto K. Tiempo was born in 1913. He obtained his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa and his Ph.D. in English from the University of Denver. In addition to having been a Guggenheim and Rockefeller fellow, Dr. Tiempo, alongside wife Edith, spent around four years studying literature and creative writing in the Iowa Writers Workshop. Upon returning to the Philippines in 1962, the Tiempos founded the Silliman National Writers Workshop after the objectives of the Iowa writers' clinic. In the 1960s, he taught in two American schools, but it was Silliman University which Tiempo chose as his base, serving as department chair, graduate school dean, vice-president for academic affairs, and writer-in-residence. He reaped numerous honors for his writing, among them the Cultural Center of the Philippines Prize, Palanca Awards, the National Book Award, and a prize in the U.P. Golden Anniversary Literary Contest. He authored over a dozen books in his lifetime. Titles include the collections A Stream at Dalton Pass and Other Stories (1970), Snake Twin and Other Stories (1992) and Literary Criticism in the Philippines and Other Essays (1995); as well as the novels Cry Slaughter (1957), which had four New York printings and six European translations, To Be Free (1972), the award-winning More Than Conquerors (1982), and Cracked Mirror (1984). Tiempo died in September of 1996, but his final novel, Farah, saw print in 2001. (Adapted from the Panitikan website)