The Art of Anthologies

Anthologies tend to be a peculiar literary genre. Individual texts are already complex, having been produced in different eras by the other writers with sometimes wildly different milieus, social classes, ideologies, and so on.

Take the complexity of the individual work and compile several of them in a singular entity—a book. As a result, you have an even more complex literary organism—moving and growing at various paces and expanding different histoires. Necessarily, the anthology must be viewed with a critical lens. Consumers of collections often have preconceptions about what they can expect from the books they buy—perhaps it’s the title, or the editors, or sometimes expectations are also made based on who is publishing what in the first place. Like other literary genres, Anthologies are experiencing a considerable transformation nowadays in terms of production, distribution, and consumption.

With the ever-widening gyre of mobile, transnational capital transforming communities, sectors, and industries and the undeniable dominance of empire and global capitalism, how do all these power structures affect the act of anthologizing in the Philippines?

As the Philippines is part of the impoverished Global South, it is critical for independent publishers, authors, and other creatives involved in the conceptualization and creation of literary works to create varied spaces for dialogue and unpacking of the most critical aspects of this cultural work, for the sake of readers and vulnerable sectors, and more importantly, in the name of justice and the transformation of the nation.

INDIEPUBCON 2021 will help shed light on how anthologies are collected, edited, and eventually formed into more or less cohesive compilations of individual works.

This year’s discussion is led by Joti Tabula (Librong LIRA), 7 Eyes (Rey Manlapaz Tamayo Jr.), Faye Cura (Gantala Press), and Cindy Wong (8Letters). According to the panel, “anthologies bring writers together,” they shall be talking about how to write/form a successful anthology, the mistakes that publishers and writers should avoid, and how to publish successful anthologies.

Cindy Wong of 8Letters will lightly touch upon the marketability of anthologies, the pros and cons of making and selling anthologies, and other concerns on the business side of anthologizing.

Faye Cura of Gantala Press will be focusing on more important matters that have an essential impact on authors, readers, and the longer-term historical track of anthologies. Among the issues to be explored in Gantala Press’ discussion is the articulation of the individual subjects of anthologies, identifying the purpose of why an individual or group may want to create an anthology (as anthologies are ideological artifacts), and working to ensure representation of women who do not necessarily think or call themselves writers such as farmers, workers and members of the urban poor, lesbians and indigenous women.

Rey Manlapaz Tamayo, Jr. from 7Eyes Productions will be talking about their work in anthologizing and how natural disasters and other events inspire the creation of their books. Rey also shares how to create a process for collecting pieces from writers to create anthologies.

The Art of Anthologies will be premiering on November 22, 2021 (Monday), starting from 6:30 p.m.

This event is made possible by the National Book Development Board. Vox Populi PH is the official media partner for INDIEPUBCON 2021.

Published by Marius Carlos, Jr.

Marius D. Carlos, Jr. is an editor, author and translator based in Pampanga. He is the Creative Coordinator and a founding member of Vox Populi PH. He is the author of two books and has published locally and internationally. His works have appeared in Rappler, Business Mirror, Philippines Graphic, Breaking Asia, and the Philosophical Salon. Marius is a freelance professional engaged in SEO copywriting, content SEO and making websites for business rock. He writes for businesses and agencies at The Content Experts PH (contentexpertsph.com). Email him at marius@contentexpertsph.com

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