Anthony Tan was born on 26 August 1947, Siasi [Muddas], Sulu. His degrees AB English, 1968, MA Creative Writing, 1975, and Ph.D. English Lit., 1982 were all obtained from the Silliman University where he edited Sands and Coral, 1976. For more than a decade, he was a member of the English faculty at SU and regular member of the panel of critics in the Silliman Writers Workshop. He taught briefly at the DLSU and was Chair of the English Dept. at MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology where he continues to teach. A member of the Iligan Arts Council, he helps Jaime An Lim and Christine Godinez-Ortega run the Iligan Writers Workshop/Literature Teachers Conference. He also writes fiction and children's stories.
He has won a number of awards, among them, the Focus Award for poetry, the Palanca 1st prize for Poems for Muddas in 1993; also the Palanca for essay. Among his works are The Badjao Cemetery and Other Poems, 1985 and Poems for Muddas, Anvil, 1996.