Excelling both in prose and poetry, JAIME AN LIM has received various awards such as the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for fiction in English, short story for children, and essay. While he was a graduate student in Indiana University in the U.S., he was given the Ellis Literary Award for Best Graduate Fiction and the Academy of American Poets Prize. In 2000, he was awarded the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas for Poetry and Fiction in English by the Unyon ng Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL). An Lim is also a multi-degree holder, obtaining his PhD and MA degrees in Comparative Literature as well as an MS and Ed.S degrees in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University. Through the years, he has held various teaching, administrative, and consultancy positions: English Consultant for Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities (MUCI) in Indonesia; Full Professor of English at MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology; and Dean in the Institute of Arts and Sciences at Far Eastern University. He was fellow of the Silliman University National Writers Workshop in 1973, and is an alumnus of Silliman University, graduating in 1974 with an M.A. in English in Creative Writing.
THE RESIDENT PANELISTS
CÉSAR RUÌZ AQUINO was in the very first national writers workshop, summer of 1962, held for three weeks at Silliman University in Dumaguete where he lingered on as a Creative Writing hopeful mentored by the Tiempos. The following year he attended Leonard Casper’s Literary Seminar at the Ateneo de Manila Graduate School on Padre Faura where Gemino Abad and he were classmates and didn’t know it until 2012! UST Publishing House published his book of poems, Caesuras, last year and is set to come up with another, Like A Shadow That Only Fits A Figure Of Which It Is Not The Shadow, late this year. However, the author now says he feels he can no longer claim to be the country’s most lyrical poet after seeing the recent love poems of Wilfredo Pascua Sanchez and Erwin E. Castillo.
IAN ROSALES CASOCOT is a novelist and teaches film, literature, and creative writing in Silliman University in Dumaguete City. He has won the Palanca Award several times, and has also won the NVM Gonzalez Prize, a PBBY Salanga Writers Prize, and the FullyBooked/Neil Gaiman Philippine Graphic/Fiction Prize for his fiction. He has published seven books including FutureShock Prose: An Anthology of Young Writers and New Literatures (Silliman Press, 2002), Old Movies and Other Stories (NCCA, 2005), Beautiful Accidents: Stories (University of the Philippines Press, 2011), Heartbreak & Magic: Stories of Fantasy and Horror (Anvil, 2011), and Inday Goes About Her Day (Locsin Books, 2012). Two collectons—The Lives of Bamboo Girls (Ateneo de Naga University Press, 2017) and Don’t Tell Anyone: Literary Smut (Anvil, 2017)—are forthcoming. In 2008, his novel Sugar Land was longlisted in the Man Asian Literary Prize, the biggest prize for the novel in English in Asia. He was Writer-in-Residence for the International Writers Program of the University of Iowa in the United States in 2010. He was Founding Coordinator of the Edilberto and Edith Tiempo Creative Writing Center.
THE REGULAR PANELISTS
GÉMINO H. ABAD, University Professor emeritus of literature and creative writing at the University of the Philippines, is a poet, fictionist, literary critic and historian, and anthologist with various honors and awards. In 2009 he received Italy’s Premio Feronia for his poetry translated into Italian by Gëzim Hajdari and Amoà Fatuiva under the title, Dove le parole non si spezzano (Where No Words Break). He has to date thirty books to his name. Care of Light (2010) is his eighth poetry collection, and Imagination’s Way (2010), his eighth collection of critical essays; he also has two collections of short stories, Orion’s Belt (1996) and A Makeshift Sun (2001). He is known also for his three-volume historical anthology of Filipino poetry in English: Man of Earth (co-ed., Edna Zapanta Manlapaz; 1989), A Native Clearing (sole editor, 1993), and A Habit of Shores (sole editor, 1999). He has recently finished his six-volume anthology of Philippine short stories in English over the period 1956 to 2008: the first two-volume set is called Upon Our Own Ground (2008); the second set, Underground Spirit (2010); and the third, Hoard of Thunder (2012). Dr. Abad obtained his Ph.D. in English at the University of Chicago in 1970, and continues to teach at UP where he has served as Secretary of the University, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, and Director of the U.P. Creative Writing Center (now an Institute).
SUSAN S. LARA is a distinguished fictionist whose stories have won the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and the Focus Literary Awards. She wrote the National Book Award-winning Letting Go and Other Stories, and her fiction and essays have been published in various anthologies. She majored in English at the University of the Philippines Diliman, attended the International Writing Program of the University of Iowa, and attended the Seminar on Contemporary British Writing at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom as a British Council grantee. She held the Irwin Lee Professorial Chair in Creating Writing at the Ateneo de Manila University in 2011. She has served as panelist in various writers workshops, including the Silliman University National Writers Workshop, the Ateneo Institute of Literary Arts and Practices (AILAP) Writers Workshop, the De La Salle University’s Malate Writers Workshop, and the University of St. La Salle’s Iyas Writers Workshop. She had served as special assistant to the CEO and head of the Public Affairs Office of Pag-IBIG Fund and communications consultant at the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry. Currently she is a professional editorial consultant and writing coach, and facilitates writing seminars and workshops for corporate clients.
ALFRED A. YUSON, nicknamed Krip, has authored 28 books thus far, including novels, poetry collections, short fiction, essays, children’s stories, biographies and coffee-table books, apart from having edited various titles that include several literary anthologies. He has gained numerous distinctions, including the 2009 Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas from UMPIL or Writers Union of the Philippines, the Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan award from the City of Manila, a Rockefeller Foundation grant for residency at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy, and the SEAWrite (SouthEast Asian Writers) Award from Thai royalty for lifetime achievement. He has also been elevated to the Hall of Fame of the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. He has enjoyed fellowships in various international writing programs, and participated in conferences, festivals and reading tours in numerous countries. His poetry and prose have been translated into a dozen languages. He co-founded the Philippine Literary Arts Council (PLAC), Creative Writing Foundation, Inc. (CWF), and Manila Critics Circle, and served as Chairman of UMPIL (Writers Union of the Philippines). He has also been a board member of the Movie and Television Ratings and Classification Board under the Office of the President of the Philippines. Yuson has won a FAMAS Award and a Catholic Mass Media Award (CMMA) for a feature-length film screenplay. He has also been a documentary filmmaker and scriptwriter, as well as a book, magazine and newspaper editor and designer. He has been Philippines Editor for MANOA: A Pacific Journal of International Writing, published by the University of Hawaii. He taught fiction and poetry at Ateneo de Manila University, where he held the Henry Lee Irwin Professorial Chair. He contributes a weekly literature and culture column to a national broadsheet, The Philippine Star, and a monthly column to Illustrado magazine published in Dubai.
THE GUEST PANELISTS
JOSE WENDELL P. CAPILI earned his degrees from the University of Santo Tomas, University of the Philippines-Diliman, University of Tokyo, University of Cambridge and The Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies (now School of Culture, History & Language, College of Asia and the Pacific), Australian National University, where he completed his PhD on the Emergence of Southeast Asian Diaspora Writers in Australia. He has published 7 books and over 300 articles in Asia, Europe, North America and Australia. He received Carlos Palanca and Cultural Center of the Philippines for Literature as well as scholarships, grants and fellowships from Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Singaporean, Hong Kong, Philippine, Australian and British governments. He was a recipient of the UP Gawad Chancellor, the Carlos P. Romulo Professorial Chair, The UP International Publication Award, The UP Centennial Professorial Chair and The One UP Professorial Chair for Teaching and Research. He was a Visiting Scholar, Writer and Professor at the University of Cambridge, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, University of Hong Kong, University of Malaya, University of Melbourne, and the University of Queensland, Seoul National University, National University of Singapore, University of Sydney, Waseda University, University of Western Australia, and Yonsei University. His creative and critical productions were presented in several conferences and festivals, including the Cambridge Seminar on the Contemporary Writer (2000), Hong Kong International Literary Festival (2001), Sydney Writers' Festival (2007, 2008), and The 76th PEN International Conference in Tokyo, Japan (2010). He has been interviewed by the BBC, CNN, CCTV (China), Channel NewsAsia (Singapore), El Pais (Spain), NHK (Japan), SBS (Australia), and South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) for his insights on creative writing, higher education, literature, migration and popular culture. He is Professor of English, Creative Writing and Comparative Literature, UP Diliman. For eight years, he served as Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs & Director, Office of Alumni Relations, University of the Philippines System.
J. NEIL C. GARCIA teaches creative writing and comparative literature in the University of the Philippines, Diliman, where he serves as Director of the university press and a fellow for poetry in the Institute of Creative Writing. He is the author of numerous poetry collections and works in literary and cultural criticism, including The Sorrows of Water (2000), Kaluluwa (2001), Performing the Self: Occasional Prose (2003), The Garden of Wordlessness (2005), Misterios and Other Poems (2005), and Postcolonialism and Filipino Poetics: Essays and Critiques (2003). In 2009, Hong Kong University Press published its own international edition of his Philippine Gay Culture (1996). Between 1994 and 2014, he coedited the famous Ladlad series of Philippine gay writing. Another important anthology that he edited is Aura: the Gay Theme in Philippine Fiction in English, published in 2012. He regularly contributes film and theater reviews to GMA News Online. His most recent books are The Postcolonial Perverse: Critiques of Contemporary Philippine Culture, Homeless in Unhomeliness: Postcolonial Critiques of Philippine Literature, and Myth and Writing: Occasional Prose. He is currently at work on “Likha,” his seventh poetry book.
GRACE R. MONTE DE RAMOS is a product of Silliman University’s creative writing program. She has been a teacher of literature, a government bureaucrat, a cultural worker, stay-at-home mom, and freelance journalist, editor, and translator. She has also been on the panel of the Iyas Workshop of the University of St. La Salle. Grace writes and edits copy for Kitang Lungsuranon, the community newspaper of her hometown. This past year she has been busy writing reading primers in Sinugbuanon for the Mother Tongue Education Program. Finding the experience more challenging than writing poetry, she has learned to look at even the simplest-sounding manuscript with respect.
D.M. REYES is author of the poetry collection Promising Lights. He has an MA in Literature (English) from the Ateneo de Manila University and is on the faculty of Ateneo’s English Department and its Fine Arts Program. He recently completed research fellowships with The Nippon Foundation and The ASIA Fellows Program which brought him to several institutes and cultural sites across Southeast Asia.
MYRNA PEÑA-REYES earned her BA in English from Silliman University and went on to acquire her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon, where she also taught. Ms. Peña-Reyes has already published two books of poems, The River Singing Stone (Anvil, 1994) and Almost Home: Poems (UP Press, 2003; 2004). Her other poems, fiction, essays, and literary reviews have appeared in the Sands and Coral, the Silliman Journal, the Philippine Collegian, Solidarity, the Philippine Free Press, The Weekly Graphic, the Weekly Women’s Magazine, the Asia-Philippines Leader, and The Sunday Times Magazine. Her works were also anthologized in Philippine publications such as the Likhaan Anthology of Philippine Literature in English From 1900 to the Present (1998); A Habit of Shores: Filipino Poetry and Verse from English ‘60s to the ‘90s (1999); and Filipino Women Writers in English: Their Story 1905-2002 (2003) as well as in US publications: From Here We Speak: An Anthology of Oregon Poetry (1993); The Forbidden Stitch (1989); Making Waves (1989); Gathering Ground (1984); Anthology of Eugene Writers #1 (1982), and Sequoia (1973).
JAIME AN LIM, IAN ROSALES CASOCOT, and CÉSAR RUÌZ AQUINO also served as screeners.