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Ateneo de Naga University Press celebrates National Arts Month

National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera to grace the occasion NAGA CITY --- In celebration of the 19th anniversary of Ateneo de Naga as a university and the National Arts Month, the Ateneo de Naga University Press is set to launch some of its newest titles which include a book of selected essays by National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera, who is expected to grace the book launching on February 26, 2018 at 430 PM at the Richie Fernando Hall. All events are open to public. Named a national artist for literature in 2006, Lumbera is both a poet and a scholar. As a poet, he introduced to Tagalog literature what is now known as Bagay poetry, a landmark aesthetic tendency that has helped to change the vernacular poetic tradition. He is the author of the following works: Likhang Dila, Likhang Diwa (poems in Filipino and English), 1993; Balaybay, Mga Tulang Lunot at Manibalang, 2002; Sa Sariling Bayan, Apat na Dulang May Musika, 2004; “Agunyas sa Hacienda Luisita,” Pakikiramay, 2004. As a librettist for the Tales of the Manuvu and Rama Hari, he pioneered the creative fusion of fine arts and popular imagination. As a scholar, his major books include the following: Tagalog Poetry, 1570-1898: Tradition and Influences in its Development; Philippine Literature: A History and Anthology, Revaluation: Essays on Philippine Literature, Writing the Nation/Pag-akda ng Bansa. (This excerpt is from the NCCA website) Aside from Lumbera, two other writers are coming for their respective reading and book launching. Poet Emmanuel Quintos Velasco is scheduled to have his reading and book signing on February 24 (Saturday), at 230PM at the Function Room, Alingal Hall. Writer Bebang Siy compared Velasco’s second book, “Mga Sugat ng Naligaw Sa Gubat”, as a guidebook how to courageously face “kirot, hilakbot, kamatayan at lalong-lalo na ang katotohanan.” Velasco who is no stranger to Bikol, having been married to a local resident from Nabua, Camarines Sur, is also a beneficiary of Fr. James O’Brien SJ Tulong Dunong Program of the Ateneo de Manila University. This Fr. OBrien who taught for many years in Ateneo de Naga High School and encouraged his students to learn and deeply love Bikol and its histories and cultures is the same Jesuit priest who inspired Velasco to pursue his art. As a tribute to the late Jesuit priest, Velasco along with his other scholars, edited a tribute anthology A Jesuit Safari, dedicated to Fr. OB. Another distinguished writer coming to Naga City is Dr. E. San Juan Jr, who is in the country today as a visiting professor at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. A prolific author, San Juan’s literary and academic career has been a remarkable journey as it has always been on the side of the marginalized Filipinos. His writings have been described by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o as “necessary and significant” in the current debates on cultural studies. San Juan was a research fellow of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, Harvard University and the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin. Previously he served as Fulbright professor of American Studies in Leuven University, Belgium and visiting professor of literature at Trento University (Italy) and the National Tsing-Hua University and Tamkang University (Taiwan). San Juan received his AB from the University of the Philippines and his PhD from Harvard University. Among his recent works are In the Wake of Terror (Lexington), US Imperialism and Revolution in the Philippines (Palgrave), Between Empire and Insurgency (UP Press) and Racism and the Filipino Diaspora which will be launched together with the book of Lumbera on February 26. His anthologies of poems in Filipino include Kundiman Sa Gitna ng Karimlan, Ambil and Wala. Lumbera and San Juan will also meet students and teachers from other universities and schools in Naga and Camarines Sur. On February 26 (9AM-Ateneo de Naga University); February 27 (9AM- Camarines Sur National High School) (1:30PM/ Universidad de Santa Isabel). The event is cohosted by the Dean of College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Departments of Literature, Philosophy and Social Sciences, the Center for Arts and Culture, the Institute of Bikol History and Culture, Senior High School Department-USI, CSNHS faculty and students, and the local government of Naga City thru its Arts, Culture and Tourism Office. The books will soon be available at the Ateneo de Naga Bookstore; and in Manila, in Solidaridad in Ermita, and in Ateneo de Manila Bookstore in Quezon City. For book orders please contact Cyriul Camacho at +63-54-473-1692 loc 2087 or email us at

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