Use persona poems to be the ‘voice of the voiceless,’ young writers urged

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Filipino writers urged literature students to be the “voice of the voiceless” through persona poems, or works that have dramatic characters as speakers, in a creative writing seminar at the Thomas Aquinas Research Center Auditorium on Dec. 4.

“Lumayo tayo roon sa ideyang ang mga personal na experiences lang natin ang kaya nating isulat. [Sumulat] din tayo ng mga karanasan ng mga taong walang boses sa lipunan,” said poet Allan Popa.

Popa, who teaches creative writing at Ateneo de Manila, said poets could help “liberate” the marginalized and oppressed people.

“Ang tendency na kapag poverty, ang gusto mo na lang maramdaman ay napakatinding kalungkutan. Ang approach kasi dapat ay gusto natin silang palayain sa kanilang kalagayan at maging malay sa kung ano ang nagkukulong sa kanila sa ganitong kalagayan,” he said.

Mark Cayanan, who also teaches at the Ateneo, said persona poems allow readers to know more about social issues through characters that narrate different human experiences.

“Discover other stories. Maraming details sa tula na [maaaring] tumukoy sa iba’t ibang issues. By giving more details to social realities, we are creating a kind of exposure from a more contemporary context,” he said.

The event, titled “Pluma,” was the first installment of the UST Literary Society’s seminars on creative writing.

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