Thomasian scholars join panel of 1st LGBTQ poetry workshop in PH

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(From left to right: J. Neil Garcia and Nerisa del Carmen Guevara)

TWO THOMASIAN literary scholars are set to join the panel of the first-ever Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) poetry workshop in the country.

J. Neil Garcia and Nerisa del Carmen Guevara, together with University of the Philippines (UP) professor Romulo Baquiran, will share their knowledge on poetry to the 10 fellows of the creative writing workshop that will be held on July 23-27 at the University Hotel of UP Diliman.

The workshop, open to all Filipino LGBTQ poets from 18 to 40 years old and writing in any Philippine language, will be the first in an annual series of LGBTQ creative writing workshops on fiction, creative nonfiction and drama.

Garcia, a journalism alumnus of the University, is an advocate of the “LGBTQ canon” in Philippine bookstores.

“‘Di ba maganda kung sa isang bookstore may section na LGBT? [B]y having a canon, we are also empowering the [LGBT] community. [It] is also a form of normalizing them,” Garcia said during the panel discussion titled “Queering the Pitch: Voices in Philippine Literature” at Raffles Makati last Aug. 25, 2017.

Garcia’s “Philippine Gay Culture, the Last Thirty Years: Binabae to Bakla, Silahis to MSM,” which tackles questions about gay experiences, was published by the UP Press in 1996 and won the National Book Award for Literary Criticism.

Guevara, who teaches literature at the Faculty of Arts and Letters, obtained her biology degree from the University.

She received her master’s degree in creative writing from UP Diliman.

Guevara’s “Reaching Destination: Poems and the Search for Home,” published by the UST Publishing House in 2004, won the Don Carlos Palanca Awards for Poetry in English.

The workshop aims to “help realize and enact the ideal of cultures of gender and sexual equality through the nurturing and promotion of Philippine LGBTQ literature.”

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