Monday, December 8, 2008

PROGRESS NOTES | Monthly Period Readings by Andrea Teran

Held every last Wendnesday of each month, the Monthly Period Readings has evolved gradually ever since it started in December 2007. Initially a venue for a group of writers to read their works, it began in March 2008 to feature one writer a month, in an interview regarding his/her works, poetics, styles, etc. Ever since July however, the format has again changed to a conversation between two writers: now both share their works with the audience, comment on the other's style, ask each other questions, and ultimately, invite their audience into their processes. This level of participation, not to mention variety has led to some very captivating conversations, lasting anywhere from 50 minutes to over two hours.

This latest format has been infinitely more illuminating, if not interesting to say the least. For example, the conversations between Delgado (a fictionist) and Fagela (a songwriter) became both conversations about influences and the everyday "epiphanies" that lead to a particular song or story, and an impromptu acoustic act by Fagela. Ypil and Goitia, a poet and a fictionist, respectively, started with the necessary differences in style required by poetry and fiction, but ultimately arrived at the question of language. What was more interesting was that the direction of this particular conversation was led by questions from a rapt audience.

The last conversation held November, proves to be the most fascinating so far. De Leon, a short story writer, and Jamendang, a blogger/non-fictionist, was chosen primarily the humor in their works, although both write in very different ways. For one, de Leon writes in English, and is often (mis)labeled as one who explores only upper-middle class issues, while Jamending writes in Filipino, and admittedly, caters to issues of the pop culture and the masses. However, despite these disparate topics, both employ humor with unmistakable deft to get their individual points across. Tone and diction were explored and thoroughly debated in the beginning, while the considerable uses of humor as a way of distancing, as well as a statement of rebellion/discontent capped the night to everyone's satisfaction despite the late hour.

The following were the conversation line-up the past four months:

August - Adam David interviewed by Conchitina Cruz
September - Lawrence Ypil and Pocholo Goitia
October - Daryll Delgado and Israfel Fagela
November - Marguerite de Leon and Yol Jamendang

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