Left to right: Adrian Crisostomo Ho, Dinah Roma. George Deoso and Ferdinand Jarin

Poetry can help understand and fight one’s anxieties and fears, UST Publishing House authors said during a virtual forum at the Manila International Book Fair 2020 on Nov. 28.

Palanca winner Adrian Crisostomo Ho shared how anxiety became the subject matter of his poetry collection “ANX.” 

“I wanted to apprehend anxiety, to capture it, to size it up from head to toe and fully criticize it, and poetry afforded the space and the playground that enabled me to let my anxieties loose,” he said.

Ho said he started writing poems to understand himself. He said he was able to grasp his anxieties as well.

“In the process, I got to know more about myself… I gained insights on the nature of anxiety in general and [realized] how it relates to writing,” he said.

“A poem is a poet’s anxiety curated to being his or her negotiation of language,” Ho added.

Dinah Roma, recipient of the Gawad Francisco Balagtas lifetime achievement award, said that poetry helped cancel the “sheer uncertainty and hopelessness” she had felt amid the pandemic.

Her poetry collection, titled “We Shall Write Love Poems Again,” epitomized the feeling of finding hope in times of anxiety, which she said was expansive and redeeming as if life was emerging again.

“Poetry does that to me, and I do hope that somehow you would be able to sense that we will be able to write love poems again,” she added. 

George Deoso, an 11-time Gawad Ustetika awardee, said that writing helped him realize his own view of the world, which was reflected in his work “The Horseman’s Revolt and other Horrors.”

“In these stories, I did not just reveal what I know about storytelling, or scaring and disgusting people, I somehow revealed as well a huge part of myself without even intending to do so,” he said.

Deoso said “Horseman’s Revolt” was based on some of his fears, especially those he had battled against during the writing process.

“What I know of is that this book is a testament of a young man, who was myself, and no longer myself, who had to face his fears and loss,” he said.

Ferdinand Jarin expressed elation that his grief, penned in “Anim na Sabado ng Beyblade at iba pang Sanaysay,” was found relatable by young readers.

“Nakatutuwa ito dahil mas nagiging epektibo ang akda, dahil ibig sabihin, noong pinag-aralan ito ng mga estudyante sa bansa, pumasok rin dito ang kanilang personal na karanasan.”

“Naniniwala akong kaya ito naging malapit sa mambabasa, dahil inangkin rin nila ang mga danas dito,” Jarin added.

The book fair ran from Nov. 24 to Nov. 30. Sofia Bernice F. Navarro


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.