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Christi-Anne Castro, author of Musical Renderings of the Philippine Nation, published by Oxford University Press and released in 2011 received the nod from a selecting panel that conferred the 2012 Global Filipino Literary Award for Non-Fiction on her maiden publishing effort. Castro is Associate Professor in Ethnomusicology at the University of Michigan. She holds a Masters and a Doctorate in Ethnomusicology from the University of California. In 2011 she presented a paper entitled, “Music, Subjectivity and the Persistence of Nation: The Philippine Case.” Two years before that, she read a paper at the National Conference of the Society for Ethnomusicology in Chicago. It was titled “Songs of Race and Empire during the Philippine-American War.” These interlocking themes of music and nation-building is a preamble by this author on the role of music, its evolution from the ritual sounds of antiquity forming a people’s collective memory, and guiding its future aspirations.
The Global Filipino Literary Awards now on its 10th year is hosted by an Internet publication, Our Own Voice: Ezine for Filipinos in the Diaspora (http://www.oovrag.com). In 2003, the editors published a soft cover coffee-table book of the same title, a compilation of its first 5 issues. The GFLA is their way of encouraging publishers and motivating authors. Monograph awardees are assigned “special cataloguing” status in the Library of Congress Southeast Asian Collection. The collection is housed in the Asian Reading Room under the curatorship of the Philippine reference specialist. The selection committee (not of the Library) reviews books by Filipino authors worldwide published during the assigned 2-year range (2010 and 2011) in the categories of non-fiction, fiction, poetry and performing arts.
This year, no award was given for non-fiction published in 2010.
The Global Filipino Literary Award for Poetry published in 2011 went to Philippine-based poet, Marc Gaba for his collection entitled Have, published by Tupelo Press. Gaba is both a poet and a visual artist. He received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the prestigious Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Tupelo Press describes Gaba’s style in its press release as: “In phrasing and imagery as precise as pencil drawings, [Have’s] page’s white spaces are as active with import as what is visible.”
Poet Barbara Jane Reyes’ collection entitled Diwata, published by BOA Editions, Ltd. was named the GFLA Recipient for Poetry published in 2010. Reyes was born in Manila and raised in the Bay Area San Francisco. Her publishing credits include two previously published collections, Gravities of Center (2003) and Poeta en San Francisco (2005). The latter received the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets. In her Artist’s Statement, she states “I believe in subverting the master’s literary forms and art disciplines by simultaneously insinuating and forcing into his forms my own base of cultural and historical knowledge . . . .”
A Treat of 100 Short Stories, La Salle University’s centennial offering, published by Anvil Philippines,garnered the Global Filipino Literary Award for fiction published in 2011. Gerardo Z. Torres served as editor of stories, written in both English and Tagalog. Included are pieces by La Salle students, alumni, and teachers. Covering a variety of themes, “some [of the stories are] clothed in other fictional modes, such as fantasy, science fiction, and magic realism.”
No award was given for literary fiction published in 2010.
Past GFLA recipients in the non-fiction category have been: Imes Chiu, The Evolution from Horse to Automobile: An International Comparative Study. (Cambria Press); Rey Ventura, In the Country of Standing Men (ADMU Press); Comfort Food: an anthology of essays, Erlinda Enriquez Panlilio, editor (Anvil); David Martinez, A Country of Our Own (Bisaya); and Evangeline Canonizado Buell’s memoir, Twenty-Five Chickens and a Pig for the Bride (T'boli).
Past awardees in the fiction category were: Michelle Skinner, In the Company of Strangers (Bamboo Ridge Press); Evelina Galang, One Tribe (UMich); and Noel Alumit for Letters to Montgomery Clift (McAdam-Cage).
GFLA recipients for poetry in the previous years were: JoAnn Balingit, Your Heart and How It Works (Spire Press); Joseph Legaspi, Imago (CavanKerry); Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Miracle Fruit (Tupelo); Vince Gotera, Ghost Wars (Final Thursday); Oscar Penaranda, Seasons by the Bay (T'boli); Sarah Gambito, Matadora(Alice James); Patrick Rosal, My American Kundiman (Persea Books); Luisa Igloria, Trill and Mordent (WordTech); Patria Rivera, Puti/White (Frontenac House); and 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).
The first and only recipient in the category of Performing Arts is Frank Rivera for Mulat: Mga Isyung Panlipunan sa Mga Dulang Pantelebisiyon (UST).