2015 marks the 20th year anniversary of Eileen R. Tabios’ “career switch” from banking to poetry. AGAINST MISANTHROPY presents her life as a self-educated poet—from, as a newbie poet, reading through all of the poetry books of her local Barnes and Noble as she scratched her head over what poetry is supposed to be … to more recently creating a poetry generator capable of making poems without additional authorial intervention. Along her journey, she also released about 30 poetry collections, two fiction books and four prose collections with the help of publishers in eight countries. Ultimately, however, her so far 20-year poetry journey has taught her that poetry’s greatest gift is the means by which to forge a new life as a better person. As one of her Facebook friends Maxwell Clark told her, and she agrees, “The best person is the best poet.”
Excerpts from AGAINST MISANTHROPY:
I think the human race is on a suicide path.…where are the moments of joy, of beauty, of grace within this doomsday path humans are on? From where or how do we come up with reasons that make it worthwhile to continue living? To rush out of our beds to greet the day? To smile? To laugh? Well, for me, these moments would occur through the positive interactions made possible by love and respect for other people, creatures and the environment….I look at these moments, and if I bear in mind my own apocalyptic forecast for the human race, I view these moments—the stubbornness of their continued existence against all odds—as poetry in the sense that poetry's task is not to affirm the (unjust) status quo but to disrupt it.
—from ARDUITY’s Interview of Eileen R. Tabios
...the moment, the space, from which I attempt to create poems. In the indigenous myth, the human, by being rooted onto the planet but also touching the sky, is connected to everything in the universe and across all time, including that the human is rooted to the past and future—indeed, there is no unfolding of time. In that moment, all of existence—past, present and future—has coalesced into a singular moment, a single gem with an infinite expanse. In that moment, were I that human, I am connected to everything so that there is nothing or no one I do not know. I am everyone and everything, and everything and everyone is me. In that moment, to paraphrase something I once I heard from some Buddhist, German or French philosopher, or Star Trek character, “No one or nothing is alien to me."Eileen also briefly discusses her interest in disrupting the forms of biography and autobiography over HERE.
—from Eileen R. Tabios’ “Babaylan Poetics”