Monday, April 10, 2006

From Bino

From the Flips mailing list.

For Immediate Release

The 2005 Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry
The Gods We Worship Live Next Door

By Bino A. Realuyo

[ Publication Date: April 7, 2006; University of Utah Press; Paper $12.95, ISBN 0-87480-861-8; 96 pp., 6x9 ] Order: Philippine Expressions Bookshop (Email Linda Nietes:

"If I became the brown woman mistaken / for a shadow, please tell your people I'm a tree."

The voice of a Filipino maid in the global economy begins poet and novelist Bino A. Realuyo's five hundred year lyrical journey against the extremity and silence of history. In Realuyo's landscape of poetry, the ruins and the ruined of the Philippines gather to speak of "memory that arises from simple truths," and prove that what the punished body cannot endure, the soul will ultimately witness, illuminate, and redeem.

The Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry was inaugurated in 2003 to honor the late poet, a nationally recognized writer and a former professor at the University of Utah. The Gods We Worship Live Next Door is the 2005 prize winning volume selected by this year's judge Grace Schulman, distinguished professor of English, Baruch College, C.U.N.Y.

"Bino A. Realuyo has that rare gift of transforming modern horror into art. In The Gods We Worship Live Next Door he writes of his beleaguered country, the Philippines, in ways that reveal universal truths. The land is vibrant and alive, real with mythical shadows--rituals, dances, work--and, at the same time, racked by persecution and death. The book is passionate without a trace of sentimentality, and a compelling account of destruction under a silent god." -Grace Schulman

Praise for Realuyo's first novel , The Umbrella Country (Random House/Ballantine Reader's Circle 1999)

"Realuyo's lucid prose, unencumbered by sentimentality or hindsight, lends freshness to the conflicts of his somewhat familiar characters and color to a setting both impoverished and alluring."

-Laura Morgan Green, The New York Times Book Review

" 'The Umbrella Country' is a significant contribution to Filipino American literature." -Benjamin Pimentel, San Francisco Chronicle

"A wrenching first novel filled with the sights, sounds and smells of Manila under martial law."

-Booklist (Included in Booklist's Top Ten First Novels of 1999)

About the Author:

Bino A. Realuyo was born and raised in Manila, the son of a survivor of the Bataan Death March and a World War II Japanese concentration camp in the Philippines. He is the author of the acclaimed novel The Umbrella Country, a nominee for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award 1999, a recipient of the Asian American "Member's Choice" Literary Award and was included in Booklist's Top Ten First Novels of 1999. His poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Manoa, The Literary Review, Mid-American Review, New Letters, and The Nation. He is the recipient of the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. The Gods We Worship Live Next Door is his first collection of poetry. He lives in Manhattan.

For more information:

Please contact the University of Utah Press publicity department by phone (801) 585-9786, by fax (801) 581-3365, or by e-mail at

Order: Philippine Expressions Bookshop (Email Linda Nietes: ). soon to come


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