Dimalanta, Ophelia Alcantara

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Ophelia Alcantara Dimalanta was born on June 16, 1934 in San Juan, Rizal. She obtained her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in Literature from the University of Santo Tomas, where she has been teaching literature and creative writing since 1953. She has been the recipient of numerous honors, including fellowships from the East-West Center of the University of Hawaii, The United States Information Service and the International Writers’ Program of the University of Iowa; Poet and Critic Best Poem Award from Iowa State University (1968); Palanca Awards for Poetry (1974, 1983); Fernando Maria Guerrero Award (1976); Focus Literary Awards for Fiction (1977, 1981); Cultural Center of the Philippines Literature Grant for Criticism (1983); the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas from the Writers’ Union of the Philippines (1990) and the South East Asia (SEA) Write Award from King Bhumibol of Thailand (1999). 

Dimalanta is also Full Professor of English and has held the position of Dean of the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters. She has been very visible as a panelist in the UST, UP, Dumaguete and Iligan writers’ workshops and as judge in prominent literary award-giving bodies such as the Manila Critics’ Circle, Free Press, and Palanca. This status, alongside her vast teaching experience, has enabled her to reach and influence generations of journalists and creative writers like Recah Trinidad, Arnold Azurin, Cirilo Bautista, Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, Eric Gamalinda, Jose Neil Garcia, Mike Coroza, and Lourd de Veyra.

A much anthologized poet, Dimalanta has published a number of books, including the multi-awarded collection of poems, Montage.