Kumustahan 2018: Creative Writing in the Philippines Today

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The Likhaan: UP Institute of Creative Writing will be holding “Kumustahan 2018: Creative Writing in the Philippines Today,” a seminar-workshop, from October 21 to 25, at One Tagaytay Place.

The event gathers together Likhaan fellows as well as guest writers working in the major languages. They will take stock of the creative writing situation in the country, which encompasses all forms of literate creativity and practices, some of which may not have solidified into genres yet. The rubric of creative writing betokens a form of openness but also a recognition of the instructional and institutional reality that creative writing subjects and programs already exist in the Philippines, and are generating their own cultural effects, including the emergence of creative cultures and communities.

Reports on the situation of creative writing across the country—production, reception, strengths, weaknesses, instruction, influences, styles, trends, themes, challenges, opportunities, etc.—will be given by the invited guests, who will also share their notes and reflections on their own creative writing practices, situating them within their respective writing communities. These reports will be the starting point for a series of friendly conversations around the following themes: workshopping the workshop; expanding the community; the new media; and trends and prospects.

As an extension work activity, the Kumustahan participants will make a trip to UP Los Baños on the morning of October 24, and give literary readings from their latest works.  The venue and time of these readings  is WEP Lecture Hall (formerly CPC Lecture Hall) from 10:00 am to 11:30 am. The readings will be open to the public and admission is free.

The invited guests for Kumustahan 2018 are the following: Vim Yapan, Januar Yap, John Iremil Teodoro, Linda Bulong, Juliet Mallari, German Gervacio, Santiago Villafania, Merlie Alunan (to be represented by Michael Carlo Villas), Ned Parfan and Chuckberry Pascual. Joining them in giving reports on the the anglophone and Filipino creative writing scenes are Likhaan fellows Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo and Jun Cruz Reyes.

The other fellows and associates from the Likhaan who will take part in Kumustahan are National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, Gemino Abad, Jose Dalisay Jr., Roland Tolentino, Vim Nadera Jr., Luna Sicat-Cleto, Vladimeir Gonzales, Francis Quina, Eugene Evasco and Anna Sanchez.

Romulo Baquiran, Jr. and J. Neil C. Garcia are co-directors of Kumustahan 2018.

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