Imes Chiu never wavered from the focal direction of her original premise while converting her doctoral thesis into a book entitled The Evolution from Horse to Automobile: An International Comparative Study. Cambria Press transformed her manuscript into a 328-page tome in hardback. The author’s first publishing attempt captured the Global Filipino Literary Award (GFLA) for non-fiction published in 2008. Imes Chiu, a Filipino American, holds a PhD in Science and Technology Studies and an MA in Southeast Asian Studies from Cornell University. Evolution’s theme of the conversion of users to radically new or controversial technology was inspired by the author’s project management experience in the manufacturing, hospitality, and retail industries in Europe, the United States, and Asia. Dr. Chiu received the news of her book award while immersed in a consulting project in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
There were no awards given for fiction or poetry published in 2008.
Your Heart and How It Works, a collection of poetry by JoAnn Balingit published by Spire Press, was selected as the GFLA recipient for poetry published in 2009. Dr. Balingit holds the title of Poet Laureate of the State of Delaware. Fleda Brown, founder of the University of Delaware “Poets in the Schools” program and herself a poet laureate from 2001-2007, praises JoAnn Balingit’s deconstruction of love’s clichés “shrewdly celebrating the heart as a live object, more vulnerable and complicated than a machine pumping blood also to itself.” Dr. Balingit teaches in schools and community organizations in Delaware to promote the art of poetry. In 2004, she founded a weekly workshop for cancer patients and their families at The Wellness Community, Delaware and has led workshops at the Writers Retreat at Cape Henlopen, the Delaware Book Festival, the Diamond State Reading Association Conference. Her awards include fellowships from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
The award for fiction published in 2009 went to Michelle Cruz Skinner’s In the Company of Strangers (Bamboo Ridge Press). Skinner makes her home in Hawaii and teaches English at Punahou School in Honolulu. Philippine writer Bienvenido Santos noted that Skinner’s stories “are written with such simplicity that the truth they convey shines with urgency the proper reader cannot miss." A short story from her first book (Balikbayan) was selected for the PEN Syndicated Fiction Project. Her second (Mango Seasons) was nominated for the 1996 Philippine National Book Award. Skinner’s work has been adapted for stage and public radio and she has read extensively at universities and conferences in the Philippines and in the U.S.
No award was given for non-fiction published in 2009.
The Global Filipino Literary Awards given to Filipino authors was established in 2002 and the first awards were given the following year. The annual awards series is hosted by Our Own Voice http://www.oovrag.com and assigned special collection status in the Library of Congress’ Southeast Asian Collection. The GFLA collection is housed in the Asian Division Reading Room. The selection committee reviews entries by Filipino authors published within the assigned 2-year range (2008 and 2009) in the categories of Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry and Performing Arts.
Past recipients of the Global Filipino Literary Awards include: Joseph Legaspi, Imago (CavanKerry); Rey Ventura, In the Country of Standing Men (ADMU Press); Noel Alumit, Letters to Montgomery Clift (McAdam-Cage); Love Gathers All: The Philippine-Singapore Anthology of Love Poems, Alfred A. Yuson, Ramon C. Sunico, Aaron Lee & Alvin Pang, editors (Anvil Manila and Ethos Singapore); Frank Rivera, Mulat: Mga Isyung Panlipunan sa Mga Dulang Pantelebisiyon (UST); Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Miracle Fruit (Tupelo); Vince Gotera, Ghost Wars (Final Thursday); Comfort Food: an anthology of essays, Erlinda Enriquez Panlilio, editor (Anvil); Oscar Penaranda, Seasons by the Bay (T'boli); David Martinez, A Country of Our Own (Bisaya); Sarah Gambito, Matadora(Alice James); Evelina Galang, One Tribe (UMich); Evangeline Canonizado Buell, Twenty-Five Chickens for the Bride (T'boli); Patrick Rosal, My American Kundiman (Persea Books); Luisa Igloria, Trill and Mordent (WordTech); and Patria Rivera, Puti/White (Frontenac House).