J. Neil Garcia

J. Neil C. Garcia earned his A.B. Journalismmagna cum laude, from the University of Santo Tomas in 1990; M.A. in Comparative Literature in 1995, and Ph.D. in English Studies: Creative Writing in 2003 from the University of the Philippines Diliman. He is currently a Professor of EnglishCreative Writing and Comparative Literature at the College of Arts and LettersUniversity of the Philippines Diliman, where he also serves as an Associate for Poetry at the Likhaan: U.P. Institute of Creative Writing.

Garcia is the author of numerous poetry collections and works in literary and cultural criticism, including Closet Quivers (1992), Our Lady of the Carnival (1996), The Sorrows of Water (2000), Kaluluwa (2001), Slip/pages: Essays in Philippine Gay Criticism (1998),Performing the Self: Occasional Prose (2003), The Garden of Wordlessness (2005), andMisterios and Other Poems (2005). Garcia’s groundbreaking study, Philippine Gay Culture: The Last Thirty Years (1996), was awarded a National Book Award by the Manila Critics Circle in 1996. An editor of the famous Ladlad series of Filipino gay writing, Garcia also edited for the Likhaan, the following anthologies: The Likhaan Book of Philippine Criticism (1992-1997) and The Likhaan Book of Poetry and Fiction (1998 and 2000).

Garcia’s latest critical work, Postcolonialism and Filipino Poetics: Essays and Critiques, is a revised version of his very provocative Ph. D dissertation. The book examined Filipino poetics from the perspective of post-colonialism consisting of the author’s own critical and personal reflections on poetry-both as he “reads” and “writes” it. Garcia sought to answer a specific and difficult question: just how do the dominant poetic theories in the Philippines address the problems and debates of postcolonialism? This inquiry led Garcia to confront the issue of Filipino nationalism. Garcia addressed the assumptions and consequences of Filipino nationalism then engaged with the poetics of National Artist Virgilio Almario and eminent poet-critic Gemino Abad, whom Garcia referred to as “the foremost commentators on Filipino poetics.”

Garcia is currently working on a full-length book, a post-colonial survey and analysis of Philippine poetry in English. Professor Garcia has won several literary awards including the Palanca and the National Book Award from the Manila Critics Circle. He has also received grants and fellowships to deliver lectures in TaipeiHawaiiBerkeleyManchesterCambridgeLeiden and Bangkok.

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