Thursday, October 30, 2008
After movies, poetry makes a good antidote for the recession blues
When economies are in recession more people go to the movies, according to economists and movie producers. Some people read poetry, poets and publishers would say. If you belong to the second kind, Mostly in Monsoon Weather, the third collection of award-winning poet Marne L. Kilates, may just be the book for you for just slightly above the price of a movie.
Nominated to the 2008 National Book Awards of the Manila Critics Circle and the National Book Development Board, and published by the University of the Philippines Press, ...Monsoon Weather will launch on November 7, 2008, at 6:00 o’clock in the evening, Friday, at the Roof Deck Gallery of Villanueva Law Offices, CC Castro Building, Timog Avenue, Quezon City. It’s right across Sir Williams Hotel, and next door to RCBC Timog Branch.
Just when the world knows who the president of the most powerful nation on earth will be after a hotly contested election, and if the recession actually recedes into memory, the launch of Mostly in Monsoon Weather will be hosted by art and literature patron Atty. Redem Villanueva and the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL), of which Kilates is a member of the Board.
“It will be a fun event for literature, especially poetry, which we all love to open our minds in these narrow-minded times,” Atty. Redem, as he his called by artist friends, said when he graciously opened his roof-deck law office and gallery to host the event.
A sketching session by leading Filipino artists, and poets singing “Salinawit” or those lovely Filipino translations of classical standards, led by poet and Salinawit pioneer Pete Lacaba and novelist Charlson Ong, will follow the launch with cocktails.
Kilates is a three-time Palanca Awards winner, has won the National Book Awards for his poetry and translation, and was the winner of the 1998 SEA (Southeast Asia) Write Award given by the Thai royalty.
Apart from Mostly in Monsoon Weather, Kilates’ two other books are Children of the Snarl & Other Poems (Aklat Peskador, 1987), Poems en Route (UST
Publishing House, 1998).
Kilates is also noted for his translations of Filipino poetry into English. His nine books of translation include the works of major Filipino poets such as National Artist Virgilio S. Almario, Rogelio G. Mangahas and Jesus Manuel Santiago. His latest book is a new English translation of Francisco Balagtas’ Florante at Laura, the UP Centennial Edition.
The late Alfrredo Navarro Salanga said that Kilates’ “poems do not, as powerful poems do, hit you in the proverbial gut. His poems hit you in that region reserved for the mystic third eye, slightly above the bridge of one’s nose, set directly in front of one’s cerebrum.”
Right on the mark for hitting away those recession blues.