LITTERATEURS GATHER on Saturday afternoons to exchange opinions and different perceptions by interacting through books over some snacks and glasses of wine.
In one of their book discussions at Solidaridad Bookshop in Ermita, Manila last Feb. 23, some renowned professors from the Faculty and book lovers convened yet again for the Philippine Center of International PEN’s (Poets & Playwrights, Essayists, Novelists) launch of the three new titles from the UST Publishing House.
The books launched were Ang Tagalabas sa Panitikan by Chuckberry Pascual, Sa Mga Pagitan ng Buhay at Iba pang Pagtutulay by Ralph Semino Galan, and Finding Teo: Tula at Talambuhay by Joselito Delos Reyes.
All three authors are part of the UST Center of Creative Writing and Literary Studies (CCWLS). Pascual is the coordinator of the new AB Creative Writing program of the Faculty, Galan is the assistant director of the CCWLS, and Delos Reyes is the chair of the University’s Department of Literature.
In Pascual’s Ang Tagalabas sa Panitikan, he discusses gender issues and struggles. The book is told from the point of view of “outsiders.” For Pascual, the “outsiders” are the people who work hard to make their identities known to society despite being devoid of wealth. The book aims to persuade the “outsiders,” whose voices are not heard that much, to take action despite their different status in life.
Pascual described the book as a mixture of “ethical” and “egotistical” as he tried to voice out his opinions without stepping on others. Despite his book containing critical essays on popular culture, Pascual made sure that the element of storytelling still remained. His new work has also been praised by writer-scholars Soledad Reyes and Roland Tolentino.
Meanwhile, Sa Mga Pagitan ng Buhay at Iba pang Pagtutulay by Galan contains translations of English poems into Filipino and vice versa.
Galan admitted that the poems he chose to translate were poems written by his friends and poets he admires. One of the poems is Edith L. Tiempo’s Beyond, Extensions, which Galan also read out loud in front of the audience.
The assistant director of the creative writing center also shared that he started translating mainly because of his students who often ask for the Filipino version of an English poem and vice versa.
The last book launched, Finding Teo: Tula at Talambuhay by Delos Reyes, contains the author’s critical biography of the well-loved Filipino poet Teo Antonio. Aside from the life of Antonio, Delos Reyes also discusses poetics in this book.
Some familiar faces in attendance at the event were CCWLS Director Dr. Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, two-time Palanca winner and former UST professor Eros Atalia, and other UST faculty members who participated in the book launch to show their support for their fellow authors. F A. A. CHUA