Marjorie Evasco

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Marjorie Evasco at the International Poetry Festival of Medellín, 2008.

Marjorie Evasco is an award- winning Filipino poet, born in Maribojoc, Bohol on September 21, 1953. She writes in two languages: English and Cebuano-Visayan and is a supporter of women's rights, especially of women writers. Marjorie Evasco is one of the earliest Filipina feminist poets.[1]


Born into a family of teachers who were "always talking English", she was brought up and educated as a Roman Catholic and her formative years in school were spent under the tutelage of German and Belgian nuns.[2] Evasco and her family then moved to Manila. She finished her B.A. in 1973 from Divine Word College of Tagbilaran, Masteral Degree in Creative Writing in 1982 at Silliman University and her Doctor of Philosophy in Literature (Ph.D. Litt.) at De La Salle University-Manila. She became a member of the faculty at De La Salle University, while completing her doctoral degree in 1998.For many years, she was Director of DLSU's Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center. She is currently a University Fellow at the same university.


Origami (from Dreamweavers)

This word unfolds, gathers up wind
To speed the crane's flight
North of my sun to you.
I am shaping this poem
Out of paper, folding
Distances between our seasons.
This poem is a crane.
When its wings unfold,
The paper will be pure and empty.

(in Cebuano-Visayan)
Mibukhad kining pulong, mitigom sa hangin
Pagpadali sa lupad sa talabon
Amihanan sa akong adlaw, ngadto kanimo.
Gilalang ko kining balak
Gikan sa papel, gipilo-pilo
Ang gilay-on sa atong panahon.
Kining balak usa ka talabon.
Inig bukhad sa iyang pako,
Ang papel motin-aw ug mahawan.

Marjorie Evasco, 1987[3]

Evasco's prize-winning poetry books are: Dreamweavers: Selected Poems 1976-1986 (1987) and Ochre Tones: Poems in English and Cebuano (1999). Ochre Tones was launched last May 1997 at National Artist Edith L. Tiempo's residence on Montemar (Sibulan, Negros Oriental). Evasco calls this volume a " book of changes," following Dreamweavers which for her was a " book of origins."[4]

She is currently working on a third poetry collection and hopes to finish it soon.

Evasco's other books include A Legacy of Light: 100 Years of Sun Life in the Philippines, Six Women Poets: Inter/Views (co-authored, with Edna Manlapaz), Kung Ibig Mo: Love Poetry by Women (co-edited with Benilda Santos, A Life Shaped by Music: Andrea O. Veneracion and the Philippine Madrigal Singers and ANI: The Life and Art of Hermogena Borja Lungay, Boholano Painter

Evasco was a founding member of two organizations espousing the cause of women writers: Writers Involved in Creating Cultural Alternatives (WICCA) and Women in Literary Arts (WILA). She has written many essays on women's poetry, several of them finding their place in various anthologies.

She served as editor of a special issue of Ani in 1998 that featured writings and art work by Filipino women.

She is an associate fellow of the Philippine Literary Arts Council (PLAC).

In September 2002, she was invited for a three-month residency at the International Writing Program in the University of Iowa.


Evasco has received several Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards, National Book Awards from the Manila Critics' Circle, Arinday (Silliman University), Gintong Aklat (Book Development Association of the Philippines) and Philippine Free Press prizes for her poems and essays. Her poems have appeared in many important anthologies including Luna Caledonia and Six Women Poets. She has been published extensively in Asia, Europe and North America. She has also received various international fellowships; among them, a writing fellowship at the International Retreat for Writers in Hawthornden Castle, Midlothian, Scotland in 1991; a Rockefeller grant and residency in Bellagio, Italy in 1992; 10th Vancouver International Writers' Festival in 1997; International Writers'Program fellowship at the University of Iowa in 2002; University of Malaya Cultural Centre grant in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2003; the Wordfeast 1st Singapore International Literary Festival in 2004 and the Man Hong Kong Literary Festival in 2006, and the XVIII International Poetry Festival in Medellin, Colombia in 2008.


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