I’ve first encountered Shane Carreon when I was following the updates of the 52nd UP National Writers Workshop, of which she was a fellow. An essay on her poetics was posted, but I never got to finish reading it. So when I saw her poetry book in Powerbooks Shangri-La, I knew I had to get a copy.
The book’s contents is split in two: the first half contains her poetry while the other is her essay on her poetics (which I’m not sure is the same as the one I read before). The book’s introduction is by Merlie Alunan, Carreon’s mentor.
There are a few poems in Travelbook that really stand out among the others. My favorites are “the mice,” “Pulang Bato,” “Visits to Your Father,” and “A New.” Upon reading, those that come after “the mice” seemed to be more appealing to me. Carreon’s poetry greatly captures the stillness of many things, and a gentle voice is heard in these poems. As for the essay, it seemed like a review of the lessons on lit that I took in college, but it is enlightening nonetheless as it gives us a view of Carreon’s writing process.
Travelbook is a valuable contribution to Philippine lesbian literature, which is still in short supply. It’s also nice to hear newer voices in Philippine lit.