CAHSS Faculty Articles

Epifanio San Juan, Jr, as Poet

Publication Title

Philippine Studies



Publication Date




It is certainly safe to safe that Epifanio San Juan's reputation rests on his literary criticism. Although controversial (Casper 1974, 109 and 1968, 70 and Demetillo 1974 it has earned him a place in the forefront of contemporary critics of Philippine literature. Sna Juan's poetry is less well known, though anthologists have placed him in very select company. His "Fragment" appears in A Doveglion Book of Philippine Poetry in English, assembled by the exacting Jose Garcia Villa. Four of San Juan's poems were included in the special summer 1964 issue of the Beloit Poetry Journal which, according to the editors, "is a culling of the best two works from a vast assortment of materials gathered for us by the Publications Program of the Asia Society" (p. 3). Casper selected two San Juan poems for New Writing from the Philippines, quite a distinction since only eleven poets are represented. Valeros and Valeros-Gruenberg (1987, 199) note that San Juan's poetry had had modest but certainly not inconsequential success in literary contests: "HIs Kundiman XL was awarded honorable mention in the 1964 Talaang Ginto Contest, poetry division, and his 'Isang Pangkaraniwang Dalaw' and 'Eklipse ng Buwan at Araw sa Nayon ng Montalban' both rated honorable mention in the same contest the next year."





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