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Tag: creative nonfiction

Poetics: Paolo Enrico Melendez

Poetics: Paolo Enrico Melendez

fi(ə)rs

 

Allow me to start with a shot to the foot: I am a writer in mid-career only in terms of age. Few people know me. When some of those few people invite me to visit UST, as a judge in a writing contest or panelist in a workshop, another guest more often than not will confess that he had to Google me. And the top hits are almost always about the notorious American murderers, Erik and Lyle Menendez.

That’s not surprising, when I think of my mid-career trajectory. As a younger man, I was on track for the whole creative writing gig. Student awards for fiction and non-fiction. Editorial position with the liberal arts college paper. Admin job at the UST writing center. Then a succession of jobs with various music and lifestyle magazines. I even got into a couple of Free Press Awards shortlists.

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Poetics: Wilfredo Pascual

Poetics: Wilfredo Pascual

WHAT I WRITE, HOW, AND WHY

 

I was once asked to name places that had the most impact on my writing. I thought about this for a while. It’s impossible for me to answer this question. I’ve been to many places in the Philippines and the United States, traveled to seventeen countries, lived and worked abroad for more than twenty years. I ran away from home when I was twelve. It’s not so much any place but the experience of being in transit, of getting lost or stuck, or passing through borders that has shaped me as writer.

 

The catalysts in my essays are never the same. Sometimes it’s a combination of things. Often it’s a hunch, something irrepressible. Or a compulsion. Sometimes it’s only after I’ve written several stories that I begin to realize what it is exactly I want to write – and only then can I say I’m just beginning to write the story. There’s always an underlying purpose and often this unfolds in places of fear and discomfort inside me. Or in absurd associations, a feeling that something is coming full circle, you start seeing it everywhere. I tend to accumulate bits and pieces of images, ideas, different structures and patterns – a ball of tangled threads. So when I sit down to write it’s as if I’m carefully pulling a random string not knowing which strings are worth weaving, which ones are the beginning, the middle, the end. It’s tricky pulling these strings. You could end up pulling the entire universe. You have to choose carefully, know when to cut them. I write personal essays, meaning years of prep work or cultivation have taken place before I even begin to write it all down – movies, maladies, math. There’s a feeling that something is coming together. When that happens nothing is banal.

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Summary: Arnie Quibranza Mejia’s Creative Nonfiction Work-In-Progress

Summary: Arnie Quibranza Mejia’s Creative Nonfiction Work-In-Progress

Summary
Arnie Quibranza Mejia’s Creative Nonfiction Work-In-Progress
Moderator, Eugene Evasco

Arnie Quibranza Mejia’s work was praised for its courage and sincerity. Confessional and explosive in nature, the project chronicles the author’s experiences ten years after coming back to the Philippines from the US. Here, Mejia attempts to use sensory perceptions of smell as take-off points for each chapter in the book. The project is a continuation of his first book, Writing Naked: A Memoir, which was published last year.

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Poetics: Arnie Quibranza Mejia

Poetics: Arnie Quibranza Mejia

“What I Write, How, and Why?”

 

My writing life was born the day my first lover died. I was 25 years old, in the pink of health, and felt that the future stretched infinitely before me. The trauma of seeing Ansel die at such a young age jolted me into the realization that life is fragile and may end anytime. That propelled me to start writing down memories of my life with Ansel, to capture them on paper before they dissolved beyond recollection. I was in deep grief over his passing and recalling the special moments we shared helped me get over my despair, assuring me that he was real, and what we had was real. Writing began as therapy: writing about how I felt when we first met and the holidays we shared began the healing process.

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