College of Liberal Arts Professor Launches New Poetry Book

Naming the Ruins

Literature professor and award-winning poet Dinah Roma recently released her third book of poetry entitled “Naming the Ruins.” Published by the Sydney and Tokyo-based Vagabond Press as part of its new Asia Pacific Series, Naming the Ruins was launched at Gleebooks in Sydney on May 17. The now Australia-based Bicolana writer Merlinda Bobis, who launched the book, had these words to describe it: “The poet is a word shaman. Each poem astounds. with such tenderness, such grace.”

According to the Australian publisher Michael Brennan, “With the Asia Pacific series, I’m trying to create a space that will be open and expansive. We’ve done six three-poet collections so far, along with Dinah Roma’s magnificent Naming the Ruins, and it’s a very exciting start to what I hope will grow rapidly to be a series where people around the world can gain access to a broad and inclusive range of contemporary work from Asia Pacific.”

Asked about the highlights of her participation at the Sydney Writer’s Festival (SWF), Roma says “that aside from listening to Pulitzer Prize-winning Alice Walker (whom I’ve read as a university student), meeting other writers, and reading my poems on Radio National Australia, I was also very glad to have met the Filipino community in Sydney. Many responded deeply to my Haiyan poem and, I guess, these connections are what really matter after all.” For Roma, the SWF was an immense learning experience. “It was a privilege to have been able to represent not only DLSU but the country. And I’m glad that DLSU acknowledges the importance of supporting our writers and artists in having our voices heard elsewhere.” Roma participated in two SWF events, namely, the Asian Contemporary Poetry Reading Marathon and a panel discussion Open Words and Worlds.

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