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PIA Press Release
2008/11/25

UP Visayas holds All-Visayas Creative Writing Workshop to mark UP Centennial

Tacloban City (November 25) -- In line with the UP Centennial celebrations, the UPVisayas Creative Writing Program will hold the All-Visayas Centennial Creative Writing Workshop on November 30 to December 6, 2008.

Ms. Merlie Alunan, Workshop Director said that the holding of the workshop has been made possible with the support of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, University of the Philippines in the Visayas, the Provincial Government of Leyte, and the Leyte Normal University.

The Creative Writing Workshop was designed as a dialogue between writers, critics, and readers. It will open with the Centennial Literary Lectures on December 1 at the Leyte Normal University Student Center and will end with the Centennial Literature Teachers' Conference on December 5.

The Centennial Literary Lectures, a series of paper presentations to be given by a panel of critics, will be hosted by the Leyte Normal University, through its University President, Dr. Evelyn C. Cruzada.

The lectures will be highlighted by conversations with no less than National Artist for Literature Francisco Sionil Jose, instead of the usual keynote address. Mr. Jose wishes to address concerns of immediate interest to the audience and thus would prefer to converse with the audience rather than just talk to them.

The lectures will gather the most influential voices in Philippine literature and literary criticism. The discussants, who will also sit in the critical panel of the workshop proper, include Dr. Resil Mojares, literary critic, cultural anthropologist, and local historian; Dr. Erlinda Alburo, Cebuano poet, fictionist, and director of the University of San Carlos (USC) Cebuano Studies Center; Dr. Jaime An Lim, poet, fictionist, critic, and dean of the Far Eastern University's Institute of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Marjorie Evasco, poet, essayist, and professor of literature at De La Salle University; Dr. Leoncio Deriada, award-winning, multilingual fictionist and playwright from the University of the Philippines in the Visayas-Iloilo; and Dr. David Genotiva, essayist, critic, and editor of Pagsubay, the graduate school journal of Eastern Visayas State University.

Writing in the multilingual South, writings from the region and their contributions and relations to the building of a Philippine Literature, and minority literatures in the country are among the topics to be explored in the lectures.

Fellowship to the workshop is invitational. Sixteen established, young writers from the Visayas were selected for the fellowship. Writers were chosen according to their proven body of works, works have received an award or have been short-listed or published in reputable journals, magazines, and anthologies, and have received commendation from literary critics.

Mr. Michael Carlo Villas who is in charge of the communications and documentation, said that the writing fellows will come from both the Visayas and Mindanao areas or are known to have Visayan roots. Several fellows write exclusively in any of the Visayan languages, others write in both English and Visayan, and several write only in English.

From Western Visayas, fellows include the Palanca-winning fictionist in Hiligaynon, Alice Tan Gonzalez; the Akeanon poets, Melchor Cichon and John Barrios; and the Kinaray-a poets and fictionists, Genevieve Asenjo of De La Salle University and John Iremil Teodoro of University of San Agustin in Iloilo.

Central Visayas will be represented by Januar Yap, award-winning fictionist in Cebuano from Cebu Normal University; Joshua Cabrera, poet and visual artist currently based in Sun Star Cebu; Hope Sabanpan-Yu, poet and literary critic from the University of San Carlos; Lawrence Ypil, Palanca-winning poet and essayist, based at the Ateneo de Manila University; and Servando Halili, creative non-fictionist, essayist and historian, from Ateneo de Zamboanga.

For Eastern Visayas, the fellows include Waray poet and literature teacher at the Leyte Normal University, Voltaire Oyzon; fictionist and literature teacher at the Ateneo de Manila University, Daryl Delgado; fictionist and humanities professor at the University of the Philippines (UP) Mindanao, Timothy Montes; Antonino de Veyra, poet and humanities professor based in UP Mindanao; and poet and English teacher at the Philippine Science High School, Yvonne Esperas.

Capping the five-day activity will be the Centennial Literature Teacher's Conference on December 5 at the University of the Philippines in the Visayas-Tacloban College (UPVTC) AS Conference Hall.

It will feature the lectures of Dr. Erlinda Alburo, Cebuano poet, fictionist, and director of the University of San Carlos (USC) Cebuano Studies Center and Prof. Raymund Fernandez, visual artist, poet, and essayist from the UPV Cebu College.

Dr. Alburo will lecture on "Teaching Visayan Literature" and Prof. Fernandez on "Educating the Imagination."

Conversations between some Visayan writers and language and literature teachers and students from selected universities in the Visayas will compliment the lectures. (PIA 8) [top]

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