PEN to host launch of poetry book by three contemporary writers


book-shelf20160918The Philippine Center of International PEN (Poets, Playwrights, Essayists, Novelists) will host the launching of Be Ye Steadfast. Poems of Carlomar Arcangel Daoana, Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta, and Allan Justo Pastrana on 24 September from 5 to 7 p.m. at Solidaridad Bookshop, 531 Padre Faura St. in Ermita, Manila.

This collection is the eighth volume in Vagabond Press’ Asia Pacific Poetry Series. It is edited and introduced by Dinah Roma, with cover art by Mark Andy Garcia. Vagabond, based in Tokyo and Sydney, is an independent literary publishing press, which promotes new works by writers in Asia and the Pacific.

Daoana is the prize-winning author of four collections of poetry: Loose Tongue, Poems: 2001-2013 (UST Publishing, 2014), Clairvoyance (UST Publishing, 2011), The Fashionista’s Book of Enlightenment (DBW, 2009) and Marginal Bliss (University of the Philippines Press, 2002). He was awarded the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize for Art Criticism by the Ateneo Art Awards in 2014.

Katigbak-Lacuesta, meanwhile, is the prize-winning author of three books of poetry: The Proxy Eros (Anvil Publishing, 2008), Burning Houses (UST Publishing, 2013), and Tropicalia: Poems and Translations (in collaboration with Frances Cannon, Vagabond Press, 2016). She is the editor and co-creator of Metro Serye, a fold-out zine featuring new writing and graphic art. She also co-edited a flash fiction anthology called Fast Food Fiction Delivery: short short stories to go in 2014.

Finally, Pastrana has his first book of poems entitled Body Haul (UST Publishing, 2011), which won the 2013 Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First Book Award.

Of these three poets, Roma writes in the introduction, “I am certain that in reading the enthralling poems of Carlomar, Mookie, and Allan—whether those readers be in Asia, Europe, North America, or elsewhere—they would find in them a rich evocation of the country and nation that is the Philippines. It is a geography and geographical construct that is as complex and slippery as the many distances traversed in the poems of places by Carlomar, of the intimate sphere that is all at once vulnerable and bracing as that of Mookie’s, and the exacting intellectual ruminations of Allan.”

The book launch is open to the public. Admission is free. For inquiries, please contact Solidaridad at (632) 2541086 or email


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