by (contributed news)

Mindanao Harvest 4: A 21st Century Literary Anthology is the first comprehensive literary anthology on Mindanao’s contemporary literatures featuring 63 Mindanao writers.

Edited by Jaime An Lim, Christine F. Godinez Ortega, and Ricardo M. de Ungria, the anthology is a new addition to the ever-evolving development of Philippine Literature. 

Published by the Far Eastern University (FEU) Publications (2018) it will be launched at the MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) CASSALIDA Theater in Iligan City on September 17, 2019 as part of the Iligan City’s Fiesta Celebration, the Diyandi Festival.

The book launching and the Seminar on the Teaching of Contemporary Mindanao Literatures is spearheaded by the Mindanao Creative Writers Group-Multi-Media Arm and hosted by the MSU-IIT Department of English and the Department of Filipino & Other Languages, the Culture & Arts Studies Center, the Office of Publication & Information, in cooperation with Xavier University Press and the Iligan City Government Diyandi Festival.   

Other book launchings are scheduled in Manila during the 40th Manila International Book Fair on September 12, 2019 and in Davao City in November, 2019.

The anthology’s 366-page, 4th volume of the Mindanao Harvest series features 63 writers, majority of them belonging to today’s generation of writers from the country’s second largest island. It answers the need for resource materials close to home, as it were, and to hopefully promote understanding among students of the island’s three main groups of peoples: lumad, moro and the present, 3rd and 4th generations of Christian settlers. 

The book’s 38 poems, 17 short stories, 14 essays and 3 plays in English, Filipino, Cebuano, and translations to Filipino or to English of original works in Binukid, Maranao, Maguindanao and in Mandaya showcase Mindanao’s diverse cultures and languages.  

The first two volumes of Mindanao Harvest featured fiction and poetry by Mindanao writers published in 1995 and in 1996 respectively by New Day Publishers. These were compiled and edited by An Lim and Godinez Ortega. The third volume of Mindanao Harvest is a retelling of Mindanao tales edited singly by Godinez Ortega and published by the MSU-IIT and the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA) in 2014.

After the Mindanao Harvest 4 book launch, the one-day seminar on how to teach the contemporary Mindanao literatures follows. The lecturers are MSU-IIT alumnus Ralph Semino Galan, faculty and Associate Director of the University of Santo Tomas Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies; Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan English Department Chair, Dr. Lilia Abregana Cotejar and, XU faculty and Xavier University Press Manager, Dr. Arlene J. Yandug. 

Galan will discuss his translations of Cebuano poems to English from the book, while Yandug will give an overview of the poems in English and a brief review of the book. Cotejar will give a teaching-demonstration of selected fiction from the book using primarily Ateneo de Davao University’s Dr. Macario D. Tiu’s nascent theory on lumad literature.

The book’s cover art design called the “Messenger of Peace” on the other hand is by Mandaya artist and writer from Davao City, Danny Castillones Sillada

The FEU Publications Manager Melany Lance Caperal, the book’s contributors based in Central and Northern Mindanao, and the three editors, An Lim, Godinez Ortega, and de Ungria will be present during the Iligan book launch to answer questions about the production of the book and on literature and on creative writing.