The Likhaan UP Institute of Creative Writing (UP ICW), in partnership with UP Press, is proud to introduce the five books that were slated for its 2019 run of the Philippine Writers Series. The entries were sent in by fellows of the UP ICW, some who recently graduated from the UP National Writers Workshop. These five titles, after passing through rigorous editing and added logistical obstacles presented by the pandemic, are finally shipping off to book shelves.

  • Busilak, edited by J. Neil Garcia

Busilak is a collection of poetry suites written in English by LGBTQ poets who participated in the first Global Grace LGBTQ National Writers Workshop. These poems confess on behalf of their poets, evoking the experience and being of queerness through “varying degrees of self-disclosure” that play between restraint and excess.

  • Sa Kanto ng Makabud at Mangga, May Eskuwela, ni Vladimeir Gonzales

This collection of short stories in Filipino intersects sexuality, particularly homosexuality, with progress and our darker moments of solitude and servitude to the structures around us. The author dwells on the capacity of people to be more human or monster, and attempts to convince both himself and the readers that the demons we carry inside ourselves are not as unforgivable as we think they are.

  • A Richness of Embarrassments and Other Essays, by Butch Dalisay

Jose Dalisay, Jr. is known popularly as Butch Dalisay in his Penman column in the Philippine Star. This essay collection compiles his “more lighthearted pieces,” Dalisay’s own way to remind us that there are still things that can make us laugh and sigh in relief in a time that puts us through one struggle after another.

The following two titles have yet to be released, but are set to come out soon:

  • Pics or It Didn’t Happen, by Anna Felicia Sanchez

“Pics or it didn’t happen” is a modern phrase we use to confirm the truthfulness of an experience. Sometimes, it is a way for us to look into the memories of another, maybe see parts of ourselves that we have forgotten or have yet to know. This collection of young adult short stories takes readers through younger days—days of falling and getting back up repeatedly—to remind them to feel what they have to feel, and hold on to what they love.

  • Buklat-Mulat, ni Eugene Evasco

If you have ever wanted to write children’s stories, this is the book for you. Evasco combines his love for children’s stories with his research and expertise to produce a book that takes readers through examples of good literature for children, as well as interviews that emphasize the importance of such readings, and know-hows that will set readers up on the journey to exploring this often-underestimated side of literature.

The titles are and will be available for purchase at the physical and online stores (website, Lazada, and Shopee) of the UP Press.

We have more titles coming up from the recently concluded call for the Philippine Writers Series 2020. Stay tuned to our website and social media for more updates. For inquiries, email us at [email protected]

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The Philippine Writers Series facilitates the publication of the works of fellows and workshop alumni of the UP ICW emerging from its various programs, particularly from its flagship UP National Writers’ Workshop as it has been redesigned for writers in mid-career (i.e. previously published writers). As an institute dedicated to the sustained development of Philippine literature, the UP ICW has a track record in nurturing writers who have shaped Philippine literature, including providing support for innovations in literary forms and genres, responding to the needs of writers, and engaging with the material realities of writing practice. Within this purview, the PWS assists in expediting the publication of the works of its fellows and alumni and proudly presents them to the reading public in the service of literature for national and social development.