Eugene Gloria

A Filipino American Poet

Eugene Gloria earned his B.A. from San Francisco State University, his M.A. from Miami University of Ohio, and his MFA from the University of Oregon.  He is the author of four books of poems —Sightseer in This Killing City (Penguin Random House, 2019), My Favorite Warlord (Penguin, 2012) Hoodlum Birds (Penguin, 2006) and Drivers at the Short-Time Motel (Penguin, 2000), which was selected for the 1999 National Poetry Series and the 2001 Asian American Literary Award. He has also received a Fulbright Research Grant, a grant from the San Francisco Art Commission, a Poetry Society of America award, a Pushcart Prize, a 2013 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and a Fulbright Lecturer Award in 2017. He is the John Rabb Emison Professor of Creative and Performing Arts and Professor of English at DePauw University.

Eugene Gloria’s latest collection of poems, Sightseer in This Killing City, was published by Penguin Random House in June 2019.

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Works

Sightseer in This Killing City

“Empires crumble and the dust continues to contaminate the land, the air, our bodies, and our conscience. What a blessing to have Eugene Gloria help us reckon with the troubled histories that shape America, the Philippines, and every point in between. If the broken world had a musical score, it would thunder like the disquieting poems in Sightseer in This Killing City.

– Rigoberto González

“These fast-paced narratives are cacophonous and unsettling. But first and foremost, they are tales that praise ordinary people. Their stories sing out to the reader with heart-rending vividness. This book is a rough and sleepless journey told by a tourist who keeps arriving at a Goon Republic but never stays. A fascinating read.”

– Marilyn Chin

“Considered, beautiful and nimble. . . In [Sightseer in This Killing City], there is an exquisite, erudite, yet plain-spoken care with language from a poet well-read across continents and centuries . . . It is a continuing pleasure to dwell in the worlds, and work, that [Gloria] has wrought.”

– Anisfield-Wolf.org

“Gloria employs a fastidious agglomeration by, for example, drawing together postmodern Spanish architecture, nineteenth-century French poetry, 1970s English rock, and everlasting Portuguese longing, all in a single poem! . . . A seriously outstanding collection.”

Booklist

“In the tradition of Whitman and the Beats, Gloria’s ‘discourse of bleeding utterances’ memorably charts cities, countries, and his own family.”

Publishers Weekly

My Favorite Warlord

Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award

“Gloria establishes himself as a poet of memory, of masculinity, as well as of Asian American political identity…. His formal resourcefulness and his attention to manhood, its symbols, its troubles, place him in the company of Bruce Smith, though his work will also, and rightly, find another niche among other Asian American writers; Gloria sets himself confidently against injustice, in favor of inquiry, amid the eclectic language of contemporary scenes.”

Publishers Weekly (June 25, 2012)

Hoodlum Birds

“Eugene Gloria spins the elegant, elegiac songs of a longtime traveler, moving through vast, painterly landscapes, among the deep spirits of exile and all that hovers just out-of-reach for every border-crosser. There’s a keen sense of fleeting presence on this earth coupled with quick insight for clues along the path–a darting, deep eye turned to rich detail and melancholy, and the startling possibilities of linkage that meandering brings. His gift is breathtaking.”

– Naomi Shihab Nye

“Gloria gets better and better. His new work practices a profound care for the particulars of an individual life and the world at large, integrating the values of philosophical inquiry, reverie, and imagination. Poem after poem enacts a yearning for wilder and deeper sense of human belonging, using language that has all the luminosity and intensity of a spiritual pilgrimage, and the melancholy of racial, cultural, and spiritual alienation. These elegant, intelligent, and passionate poems hurt and reward us.”

– Li-Young Lee

“Gloria’s new book demonstrates a central quality of poetry: the power to hear harmonies beyond the obvious ones, finding new undertones of meaning…Gloria brings the historical and contemporary into fresh, vivid, relation.”

– Robert Pinsky, The Washington Post

Drivers at the Short-Time Motel

A National Poetry Series Selection

“Eugene Gloria’s Drivers at the Short-Time Motel is propelled by an imagistic sincerity and paced lyricism. Each poem seems to embody the plain-spoken as well as the embellishments that we associate with classical and modern Asian poetry…Though many of the poems address the lingering hurt of cultural and economic imperialism, worlds coexist in the same skin through magical imagery. Gauged by a keen eye, history is scrutinized, but through a playful exactness. These wonderful poems are trustworthy.”

– Yusef Komunyaaka

“Eugene Gloria’s luminous poems explore the complexities of history, of being both Filipino and American, as well as what it means to be husband, lover, brother, son, and poet. A keen intelligence, a musical ear, and a generous soul are at work here. Gloria’s powerful images are evoked with an eye for sensual, plain-spoken beauty. Drivers at the Short-Time Motel is a wonderful achievement.”

– Jessica Hagedorn

“Eugene Gloria has built a rich poetry out of family memoir, out of sojourns and residencias in Filipino transnational culture, all with captivating, deliberately mythopoeic perspective. He has become unique as a poet, possessing the emotional depth and writerly patience to both describe a landscape and explain a globalized, postcolonial perspective on horror, poverty, splendor, and diaspora. His Drivers at the Short-Time Motel brings us poems of real emotional weight and richness blessed with attractive tone of mystery and romance, yet abundant in realistic detail, finely wrought images, and a clean, sharply defined lineational style. As powerful as his subjects are, he handles them all with delicate, folkloric, and appreciative touch full of craft and traditional poetic discipline.”

– Garrett Hongo

Recent and Upcoming Events

Reading and Book Signing: San Francisco Public Library, Hormel Room, 3rd Floor, 100 Larkin St. San Francisco, CA, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, 7:00 PM

Poets House Showcase Reading on August 1, 2019 at 7:00 PM

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Featured Author at the Fifth Filipino American International Book Festival on October 11-13, 2019 at the San Francisco Public Library (Main Branch).

Kelly Writers Series Reading at DePauw University, Peeler Arts Center Auditorium, Greencastle, IN, Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 7:30 PM

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Kundiman Midwest Confluence Poetry Reading at Subterranean Books, 6275 Delmar, St. Louis, MO, Thursday, October 17, 2019, 7:00 PM

Honors

John Rabb Emison Professor of Creative and Performing Arts, 2019-2024

DePauw University Martha C. Rieth Faculty Fellowship, 2017–2020

Fulbright Scholar Grant, 2016–2017: Hosted by the Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies, The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, The Catholic University of the Philippines (UST)

Arts & Sciences Distinguished Visiting Writer, Bowling Green State University, Ohio, spring 2013

DePauw University Edwin L. Minar Jr. Scholarship Award, 2013

DePauw University Martha C. Rieth Faculty Fellowship, 2012–2015

Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, 2013

Pushcart Prize, 2003

Asian American Literary Award, 2001

National Poetry Series Open Competition (selected by Yusef Komunyakaa), 1999

Residencies:

Fellowship, Ragdale Foundation, Lake Forest, IL, July, 2016

Fellowship, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Woodside, CA, August 4 to September 2, 2015

Fellowship, Willapa Bay AiR, Oysterville, WA, June 1 -June 27, 2015 and June 1-June 28, 2018

Fellowship, VCCA-France, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts International, Le Moulin a Nef in Auvillar, France, September 23 to October 24, 2013

Fellowship, Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga, CA, June 4-July 15, 2012

Fellowship, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA), Amherst, VA, June 17-July 17, 2011

Fellowship, Anderson Center, Red Wing, Minnesota, June 1-15, 2011

Fellowship, Ragdale Foundation, Lake Forest, IL, August, 2010

Fellowship, MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH, June-July, 2010

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