I am very happy to share with you our cast of characters here in GatheringBooks for November and December. As is our wont, we share with you our Featured Storyteller, Academic, and Poet who would be visiting our little home here in the next few weeks. Do I hear resounding applause and sense firefly kisses sent virtually? Yay!
Meet the Storyteller: Holly Thompson
I had the privilege of meeting Holly during the Asian Festival of Children’s Content here in Singapore, May of this year. She was kind enough to give me copy of her novel-in-verse Orchards before she left the country. Her book is one of the reasons why we decided on having a poetry-filled Yuletide cheer theme this November and December.
Orchards is Nominated for YALSA’s 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults, was shortlisted for a Red Dot Book Award for 2011-2012 and was also Shortlisted for a Sakura Medal Award for 2012. Holly is a celebrated YA author who grew up in New England but is now living in Japan. We would be doing several features on Orchards and Holly over the next few weeks.
Poet’s Sanctum: Joel Toledo
We are also privileged to welcome Joel Toledo as our Featured Poet in the next two months. We are excited to read his poetry for Poetry Friday and share his thoughts about writing as well for our Poet’s Sanctum. His detailed bio which can be found in Wikipilipinas says this about him (among others):
Joel M. Toledo is a Manila-based poet, author of three books of poetry, winner of two Don Carlos Palanca Awards for Poetry, and is the first Asian to win the Bridport International Creative Writing Prize. Toledo was a recipient of The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center residency in Bellagio, Italy in March 2011 and the International Writing Program (IWP) residency at the University of Iowa, USA (August to November 2011) -(Source here).
Academic Nook: Alwin Aguirre
For this section, I rely largely on friends, kindreds, fellow-academics with whom I share the love and passion for the written word. Alwin was a former colleague and fellow faculty member from the University of the Philippines. He is currently taking his PhD at the Institute of Culture, Discourse and Communication in Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. He was also a recipient of the Nippon Foundation Fellowships for Asian Public Intellectuals and has won the Palanca Award (THE prestigious award-giving body for Literature in the Philippines) several times: in 2000 (Future Fiction category in Filipino for his work Desaparecidos) and in 2002 (Future Fiction category in Filipino for his work Semi-Kalbo) and in 1999 (Short story in Filipino for his work Dalantao).
To say that we are excited about this theme here in GatheringBooks would prove to be an understatement. Finally, we won’t just be living and breathing poetry every Friday, but for every day of the week until perhaps the first few weeks of January in 2012. We hope you celebrate your holidays here with us and join in the Yuletide verse-infused cheer.