Poetry lovers converged at the UP Vargas Museum West Wing for the launching of five new poetry titles from the UP Press. The launch, held last Friday, April 4, was graced by no less than UP President Alfredo Pascual. President Pascual gave the opening speech wherein he listed the outstanding titles the Press has managed to put out through almost five decades of existence, and UP Press Director J. Neil Garcia delivered the closing one, a passionate and measured defense of poetry as transcendent medium.

The five titles are:

  • Tattered Boat by Luis H. Francia
  • The Murmur Asylum: Poems by Ned Parfan
  • Kundiman sa Gitna ng Karimlan: Piniling Mga Tula by E. San Juan Jr.
  • Poisonostalgia: Poems by Ramil Digal Gulle
  • Except You Enthrall Me by Mark Anthony Cayanan

Quan Barry calls Cayanan’s book as visionary and lyrical, with “gorgeous poems demonstrate time and again, ultimately this is an exercise in defeat.” Media star Lourd de Veyra describes Poisonostalgia as “playful, philosophical yet unapologetically profane.” Benilda Santos writes that Parfan’s book is “brimful of formal virtuosity, candor, grace, and therapeutic possibilities his art offers as he gets under our skin, leaving luminous scars.” Poet Danton Remoto recognizes Francia’s new book as more sober and serious, calling it “a delicious meal for the body and soul.”

Meanwhile, San Juan’s blurb reads: “Interbensiyon  ito  sa  pagbabago  ng  kasaysayan.  Adhikain  ng  librong  ito  ang tumulong sa pagtatamo ng kalayaan, kasaganaan, katarungan, at dignidad ng bawat tao sa ating bansa at sa buong mundo.”

Click here to order the new titles or visit the UP Press Bookstore in UP Diliman (on E. de los Santos Street, near the police station and College of Architecture).

–Arvin Abejo Mangohig