A writer’s first book is cause for celebration, more so if the book happens to be selected as one of the best of its kind. On December 11, 2009, the four best first books in English for 2007 and 2008 will be honored in a forum in UP Diliman. The forum is in line with the conferment of the prestigious Madrigal Gonzalez Best First Book Award to one of the four finalists.
The finalists are The El Bimbo Variations by Adam David, The Proxy Eros by Mookie Katigbak, Girl Trouble by Alan Navarra, and Antisipasyon by Victor Dennis T. Nierva.
The El Bimbo Variations is a collection of 99 retellings of the first line from the lyrics of the song “Ang Huling El Bimbo” by the Eraserheads. David studied in the University of the Philippines, lives in Cubao, Quezon City and is a zinester. He has been a bookmaker by trade since 1999. The El Bimbo Variations was published by The Youth & Beauty Brigade in 2008.
The Proxy Eros is a collection of poems on love, desire, and the act of making. Katigbak resides in Quezon City and is currently taking her PhD at the University of the Philippines. She holds degrees from Ateneo de Manila University and New School University New York. The Proxy Eros was published by Anvil Publishing, Inc. in 2008.
Girl Trouble is a story told in various forms, from short stories and koans to print and billboard layouts and advertising storyboards. Navarra is a graduate of the University of St. La Salle, Bacolod City. Girl Trouble was published by Visual Print Enterprises in 2007.
Antisipasyon asin iba pang rawitdawit sa Bikol asin Ingles is a collection of poems in Bicol with selected translations into English by Marne Kilates and H. Francisco Penones Jr. Nierva resides in Camarines Sur and was born in Naga City. He is currently finishing his MA at the University of the Philippines and is teaching in Ateneo de Naga Univeristy. Antisipasyon was published by Goldprint Publishing House in 2007.
The Madrigal Gonzalez Best First Book Award is given annually to the writer of the best first book within a two-year period. The award alternates between English and Filipino writers. The winner receives a prize of P50,000.00 from the Madrigal Gonzalez family. A forum usually precedes the award ceremony, which coincides with UP Writers Night. The award is administered by the Likhaan: University of the Philippines Institute of Creative Writing.
The award was established in 2001 and the following writers have won. Angelo Lacuesta for Life after X and Other Stories, Elen Sicat for Paghuhunos, Ma. Felisa Batacan for Smaller and Smaller Circles, Luna Sicat-Cleto for Makinilyang Altar, Vicente Groyon for The Sky over Dimas, English, Kristian Cordero for Mga Tulang Tulala, Rica Bolipata Santos for Love, Desire, Children, etc., and Zosimo Quibilan, Jr. for Pagluwas.
This year’s panel of judges is composed of UP ICW Fellow and UP Professor J. Neil Garcia, De La Salle University Professor David Bayot, and award-winning poet Angelo Suarez. The judges will be in the forum to talk about the merits of the four best books.
The Madrigal Gonzalez Best First Book Award Forum will be held at the basement of Balay Kalinaw in UP Diliman at 5 o’clock in the afternoon. The awarding will be held during UP Writers Night at 7 o’clock in the evening at the second floor of Balay Kalinaw. Both events are open to the public and admission free.
For more details, please contact the Likhaan: UP Institute of Creative Writing Secretariat at (02) 922-1830.