Students of the Kababayan Learning Community were published in the poetry anthology Verses Typhoon Yolanda: A Storm of Filipino Poets (Meritage Press, 2014). Super Typhoon Haiyan – known as Yolanda in the Philippines – was the largest storm ever recorded on land, affecting over fourteen million people who became homeless or displaced. This week, the publisher confirmed a July book launch at the University of the Philippines, Visayas – Tacloban College, where Philippine-based contributors will read and work with the people in Tacloban.

At the end of the Fall 2013 semester, students answered a call for submissions put out by Meritage Press and edited their work accepted for the anthology. The book was officially published in January 2014.

The students’ poems posit times of natural disaster as times of need. The student-poets understand the devastation of water with wind just as they value the unbreakable spirit of the Filipinos affected by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. Students Maria Geneva Reyes, Natassja Mullen, Weisley Wong, Jacob Tolentino, Neil B. Castro, Richelle Caranto, CJ Navalta, Richard Caranto, Hali Saldajeno, Raeven Fernandez, and Lorenzo Finau-Cruz all make up the ending coda to the anthology.

From the introduction written by Liza Erpelo and Janice Sapigao, “these poems represent those desires and collective attempt to build a global community, especially at a time that necessitates their voices, place and power as Filipina/o-American students.”

All proceeds will benefit individuals and relief organizations wishing to raise funds for Yolanda’s survivors. The book can be purchased for $20.00 through http://versestyphoonyolanda.blogspot.com.

Article by Janice Sapigao | Book cover by Meritage Press