Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy buy-lots-of-books year!

first book purchase of the New Year, 12:48 a.m., January 1, 2014: 

I should have managed it earlier, but this is a good one for starting out the year: Luisa A. Igloria's poetry collection, "The Saints of Streets" (University of Santo Tomas, 2013.) Luisa has a website at, can be found on facebook and twitter, and publishes a poem a day at Dave Bonta's via negativa. Some day the two of us will put our feet up on the same tuffet at the Palaz of Hoon and drink tea and eat bon-bons, finding ourselves "more truly and more strange."

from the start of Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta's review of Luisa A. Igloria’s The Saints of Streets for Philippine Graphic Magazine (30 September 2013 issue):

If you began your writing career in the Philippines in the nineties, few names would leap at you with the bristling charge of Luisa Igloria. Known for her powerful lyric virtuosity, Carlos Angeles couldn’t sing her praises enough in her earlier work: “[Her] poetry inhabits the heart first, then the mind, and the soul…her work contains some of the most extraordinary and most polished poetry written by a Filipino poet in English today.” There was no woman poet as prolific as Igloria, or as decorated—she was a Palanca Hall of Famer in her mid-thirties, and a three-time National Book Awardee before migrating to the States. As Igloria left, what remained was the myth of Igloria, the first woman in the Hall of Fame, who wrote as a woman during the newly post-feminist age of Filipino poetry—there was no sloganeering in her work, no Ra-ra fairer sex activism, only a polished and tough lyricism.

more about Luisa: 

Poet Luisa A. Igloria is also the author of The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), Trill and Mordent (WordTech Editions, 2005), and other books. She just bought her first house! As well as poet, she is the mother of four daughters and a professor at Old Dominion, director of the MFA program in creative writing.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.