Cover combined


Tinfish Press (2016)
Publisher’s Book Page
Out of Print, but you can access its .PDF for free HERE

An interview, a long poem and a visual poetry exhibition—these comprise EXCAVATING THE FILIPINO IN ME, another innovative and multi-layered poetry investigation by Eileen R. Tabios. Among its layers are discourses on identity and authenticity, the perils of the form of (auto)biography, Ferdinand Marcos’ Martial Law dictatorship, colonialism, her self-avowed “Babaylan Poetics,” the indigenous Filipino trait of “kapwa” and orphans, the non-binary of lyric and experimental poetries, and her invention of the diasporic form “hay(na)ku,” as well as a long poem resulting from the poet’s groundbreaking Murder, Death and Resurrection (MDR) Project and a reference to her exhibited visual poetry project “DON’T CALL ME FILIPINO.”


“From both a material, textual, and bibliographic sense, Eileen Tabios’s “Excavating the Filipino in Me” turns [autobiography] conventions on their heads. Sometimes humorous, sometimes confessional, and sometimes a recorded history of a country torn by over a century of imperialism, the work presented therein allows the reader to trace the fault-lines of Filipino history along Tabios’s intimate scars.”
—M. Earl Smith, The FilAm Magazine, July 6, 2017

“…gorgeously transcribed and designed. Excavating the Filipino in Me carefully unearths the million things we forget about a birthplace, including ‘the placid surface… camouflaging sharply-edged stones.’ The most important lesson for me is that we learn to live (peacefully) with whatever we uncover and whatever we choose to remember (or forget) by ‘stagger(ing) back towards love’.”
—Aileen Ibardaloza, “Filipina American Literature Recommendations,” BarbaraJaneReyes.com, Oct. 30, 2016


The cover and chapbook are brilliantly designed by Jeff Sanner. The cover features a front cover with a cut-out revealed into an artistic rendition of the star from the Philippine flag:

cover 1

cover 2



The chapbook also references Eileen Tabios’ visual poetry project “DON’T CALL ME FILIPINO” exhibited during the “Chromatext Rebooted” exhibition at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, 2015-2016:



The chapbook was part of “Tinfish Press At 22,” exhibition curated by Susan M. Schultz, Jeff Sanner, Rodney Bengston and Wayne Hiroaka (Commons Gallery, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Oct. 9-Nov. 3, 2017).


Eileen Tabios engages with the exhibit for Galatea Resurrects, October 2017.  Here are some exhibition shots for the chapbook: