MANHATTAN: An Archaeology
Paloma Press
ISBN: 978-1-365-87509-0
Publisher’s Book Page
Release Date: Fall 2017
Pages: 128
Price: $40.00 (see Special Offer below for 50% discounted price)
Distributors: Paloma Press, Amazon, Ebay, Among Others


MANHATTAN: An Archeology presents Eileen R. Tabios’ latest innovative approach to poetry-making. In this book, she uses a diverse set of “artifacts” to excavate a version of New York City’s historical birthplace. Artifacts include the unexpected and the ineffable to create a city only she can imagine—while they include a pearl necklace, piece of pineapple skin, yoga mat, black sateen, and bullet, the “objects” for perusal also range over moonlight, “withheld forgiveness,” and duende. The result, too, is unexpected and ineffable: Poetry that delights and intrigues. Some receptive readers will wake from the book missing something they hadn’t realized they missed, longing for something they hadn’t realized they desired.

“MANHATTAN Takes the Stage,” 4th Filipino-American International Book Festival, October 2017


Paloma Press is pleased to announce A SPECIAL OFFER for  MANHATTAN: An Archaeology by award-winning poet Eileen R. Tabios. MANHATTAN is available at a special discounted price: $20, a 50% discount from its retail price of $40. Email for more information.


In archeology, we sift through distances to locate ourselves in these elapsed fragments.  Here in Eileen Tabios’ new book, Manhattan is our test pit, and Clyfford Still stabilizes the walls adding to

the grace of the make-believe city.

Tabios employs many selves and their debris as her diagnostic artifacts. She lays these items on the table of the first poem, and continues to examine them as subsequent pieces sumptuously unfold, each relic luminous under view, chatoyant.  Manhattan becomes the reliquary to hold the past under Tabios’ ecstatic mastery, also the side of the pool to push off from into other worlds, also the ruined stage set of a past self.

to transcend your context
—yet again—

Tabios’ book is an exquisite form of personal forensics and resurrection.
—Anne Gorrick, author of THE OLFACTIONS: Poems on Perfume

Eileen Tabios’ prolific architectonics creates a megalopolis of myriad images, towering as iconic artifacts, graphic as ecstasy. From ziggurats to echoes of flamenco, urban demographics to undulations of body language, the poet strips and strews words from a vocabulary of fabrics. Gestural volubility is unleashed to camouflage the adoration of mischief. Hers is the infinite spin of a world-whirling dervish.
—Alfred A. Yuson, author of The Music Child & The Mahjong Queen


MANHATTAN was launched Oct. 7, 2017 at the 4th Filipino American International Book Festival in San Francisco. A video of reading is available HERE.


Eileen Tabios reading from “MANHATTAN” at Koret Auditorium, San Francisco, Filipino American International Book Festival


Though titled Manhattan, this collection is not about the city so much as the people who inhabit a “make-believe” location of cultural moshing. Tabios begins with an index of urban artifacts — a yoga mat, a piece of pineapple skin, a bottle of Seconal, a hundred-dollar bill — and follows this chain through the nuanced characters of her poetry. What we get in Manhattan an Archeology is a snapshot of faces: the privileged, the immigrants, the dead who still trudge to work, and the fluctuating smiles of the blissfully lost. The text explores “camouflage identity” in a place of amalgamation, where sense of self fractures and is pieced artificially together again. Tabios shifts her poetic form, dallying in prose and art, to create the “possibility instability promised-land of a huge city.”
—Brianne Alphonso, Jacket2, July 2017

For me, the section containing the ekphrastic prose poems written in response to the Abstract Expressionist paintings of Clyfford Still is the jewel in the crown. They are linked to “THE ARTIFACTS” through a mention of a “monograph on Still’s paintings.” The titles for each of the eighteen studies begin with the word “On” – emphasising a very real focus of attention on the subject matter in hand. Just as shapes, colors and lines combine to create “the image” as opposed to realistic looking images of objects or figures, so Tabios paints for us an “impression” of imagined scenes that stop short of becoming too particular. Like Still, Tabios asks us to experience her poetry on our own terms. Her striking images are Still’s crackling flares of light. / … This is writing at its scenic best.
—Neil Leadbeater, Empty Mirror, 2018

Innovation is not easy. Being innovative and prolific—well, that approaches the ultra rare. And that is why, year after year, I try to do at least one review of Eileen Tabios’s works… // Ever innovative. Ever able to draw in the reader, to expect of the reader an interpretive contribution in order to fully juice the battery of the work. // As long as she writes, I will review. Because each experience generates new inspirations and new commentary on the state of our arts. Given the use of our lists by Big Data, this particular creative act of Tabios’s might be nothing less than Revolutionary.
—Joey Madia, Literary Aficionado, Aug. 30, 2017 and New Mystics Review, Aug. 29, 2017

Eileen R. Tabios’ prolific flow of books has presented all kinds of gems and demonstrated an ability to write from many angles, often within one collection. This book purports to be “An Archaeology” of or about “Manhattan.” That’s a new angle for her, and in her typical way she does archaeology newly. Here, we “dig” the multiplicity of persons and perceptions within “Eileen R. Tabios” and how they unfold into thoughts and feelings among the multiplicities of the city.

The first two-thirds of the book elaborate multiple readings from a one-page prefacing poem called “The Artifacts.” Its core images provide the impetus for long poems and a “novella-in-verse” made of 11 “chapter” poems. They are followed by “vacation” poems on “Skiing away from Manhattan.” This serious framework of proliferations provides a strong sense of constructedness—a structure actually evoking Legos. The poems are solid, and yet their parts are moveable. We dig into feelings and their origins here in an archaeology that constructs or re-constructs a past and, as in Charles Olson’s “archaeology of morning,” a possible future of a city of possibilities.
—T.C. Marshall, The Fil-Am Magazine, Sept. 3, 2017

…a collection of poems and other forms of breathing and singing that meander through the maze of memory and reconstruction of the past and references to the art of word craftsmanship in a manner that immediately becomes awe-inspiring. … splendid book, …  purchase it and learn and bask in the genius of what she continues to accomplish – a beacon for all writers, no matter their style.
—Grady Harp, Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer, Sept. 17, 2017

Since the 1990s when I first encountered Eileen Tabios’s poetry, she has continually taken readers on a different journey of creativity with each book. Ms. Tabios is one of the Philippines’ great gifts to the United States. Her poetry is innovative, definitely creative and never repetitive…. There are many other lines in Tabios’s poetry that intrigue – there always are. Her language is light years ahead of many poets from countries around the world, yet remains accessible and exciting.
—Zvi A. Sesling, Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene, Sept. 18, 2017


MANHATTAN: An Archaeology was displayed at the “Guerrilla Alliance Night Market” feature at the Midtown Farmers’ Market, Sept. 30, 2017, in Missouri:



MANHATTAN: An Archaeology also features the digital art media of Aileen Cassinetto.      Flowing through the book will be her 2017 “Four Seasons” suite:






“Spring,” Digital Mixed Media inspired by “Atalanta”/”Scarf of Nike” by Paul Manship (Public Domain, Smithsonian Institute) and PH-118, 1947-R-No.1, 1938-N-No.1, 1944-N No. 1 by Clyfford Still (Fair Use).

“Summer,” Digital Mixed Media inspired by “Red Flamenco” by Patrick McDonald (via Flickr licensed under CC BY 4.0) and PH-118, 1947-R-No.1, 1938-N-No.1, 1944-N No. 1 by Clyfford Still (Fair Use).

“Fall,” Digital Mixed Media inspired by “Fearless Girl and Charging Bull” by J J (via Flickr licensed under CC BY 4.0) and PH-118, 1947-R-No.1, 1938-N-No.1, 1944-N No. 1 by Clyfford Still (Fair Use).

“Winter” by Digital Mixed Media inspired by “Eternal Spring” by Thomas Hawk (via Flickr licensed under CC BY 4.0) and “Golden Archer” by Stanley Zimney (via Flickr licensed under CC BY 4.0) and PH-118, 1947-R-No.1, 1938-N-No.1, 1944-N No. 1 by Clyfford Still (Fair Use).