WRITERS PEN

Filipina poet launches book in Sydney

Award-winning Filipina poet Dinah Roma launches her latest book of poems 'Naming the Ruins' in Sydney.

As part of the Sydney Writing Festival, one of the Philippines' foremost contemporary poets is in Sydney to launch her latest book of poems titled 'Naming the Ruins'

Dinah Roma is the author of two award-winning poetry collections, A Feast of Origins and Geographies of Light. She teaches with the De La Salle University’s Department of Literature in Manila.

Here are the thoughts of Australian-Filipina novelist and poet Merlinda Bobis on 'Naming the Ruins':

Naming the RuinsSomething both earthy and transcendent about these poems renders the reader breathless. Dinah Roma has crafted ‘oracles out of love.’ Oracles of the body: from its ‘undulations of desire’ to its ‘last labor’—and our own bodies are co-opted into this oracle making. Into retrieving after loss ‘The phantom of a limb. The mind/haunting the flesh as when the arm/reaches for what was once there.’ Into being, as when the leaf’s ‘blade shapes what surrounds it,/suspended and held/by what renders it a leaf.’

Because word shaman that she is, this poet knows, ‘We are bodies/Circling into radiance unimpeded,/into that trail of sudden tremor…’ It is this ‘sudden tremor’ of consciousness after each poem that astounds—that frees our bodies like ‘each syllable freed for what it is.’ And with such tenderness, such grace.

Both Roma and Bobis will talk about poetry writing in a free one-hour forum tomorrow (Thursday, May 22) as part of the Sydney Writing Festival.

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