January 15, 2007

In the middle of depressing scenes of devastation in Albay, it seemed that literary preoccupations would be the last thing on their minds. After-all what can words do when you have a raging volcano in front of you? It was Cirilo F. Bautista who wrote about a poet making a useless pact with a volcano (Mt. Pinatubo). The persona, seeing nature as a formidable opponent was pleading to be spared from its wrath.

It was in Bragais Building in Tabaco, Albay where I facilitated an informal creative writing workshop (focusing on poetry). Present were Noel B. Dorente, Erik Lim, Giovhanii C. Buen, Ershad A. Samsuya, Julius Bariso, Mike Mendoza and Richard D. Madrilejos, all members of An Banwa, a culture and arts group based in the area. My lecture was meant to introduce the rudiments of poetic aesthethics, mainly on the dynamics of Bikol/Filipino poetic inertia. I also gave a brief background on Bikol literary history and tradition, and later on, went to discuss poetics and the writer’s life.

After the discussions, we proceeded to the critiquing session. Most of the works were in English and we saw that if we were to write in the language, we would need to master its grammar and be familiar with its tradition. Language is culture and we must write in context. We also reasserted that poetry is an art and we must address the demands of craft. A drinking session followed, as expected.

I also received an invitation from our friend in OragonRepublic.Com, Shiela Basbas about a seminar-workshop on writing for animation to be held January 20-21, 27-28 and February 25, 2007 at the Raul S. Roco Library in Naga City. There are limited slots available. For more information please call Fer Basbas at 4772136 or 8113961.


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