Author’s Bio

I’m a Filipina poet, novelist, book editor, screenwriter, and playwright currently living in Chicago, Illinois.

My alter ego is a university mathematics instructor who likes to incorporate CSI episodes and milkshake recipes in trigonometry and calculus problems. Drawing a hyperbolic paraboloid on chalkboard remains one of my greatest personal achievements.

I have watched Memoirs of a Geisha at least 50 times.

One of my life missions is to own all the books in Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe series.

Some of my greatest loves include flip-flops, recycling, pho with lots of Sriracha, 1960s jazz, algebraic number theory, the ocean, and the color olive green.

I prefer my coffee a la breve but occasionally order dark mocha when I want to be fancy.

I’m broke but I intend to travel the world someday.

A Play on Words

The blog title “Rampant and Golden” was a phrase lifted from Nick Bantock’s novel Morning Star, Book 6 in the Griffin and Sabine series.



Rampant and Golden (compiled poems), February 2018

Hand Painted (compiled poems), February 2018

Cognac for the Soul (compiled poems), September 2012

Beautiful Fever (compiled poems), September 2012

181 Dreams: Heart, Hope and Healing (collected biographies, commissioned work), May 2010

The Espresso Effect (novel), September 2010


Other Published Work:

I Stand with you, under the Colors (poem)
The Horizon through Bonfire Haze (poem)
– The Philippines Graphic (Manila), October 2019

Chrysalis (poem)
– Radical, from Investing in Women (San Diego, CA), September/October 2019

Shades of Fall (poem)
Macramé (poem)
– CultureCult Magazine (Kolkata, India), Monsoon 2019

Seasonal Ambrosia (poem)
– Radical, from Investing in Women (San Diego, CA), July/August 2019

Verses for the Early Sunset (poem)
Ex Libris (poem)
The Vagrants inside my Head (poem)
– CultureCult Magazine (Kolkata, India), Summer 2019

Finding Spring (poem)
– Radical, from Investing in Women (San Diego, CA), March/April 2019

Impunity is Illusion (poem)
Marked by the Sepent (poem)
Breaths of Shadows (poem)
– Fearsome Critters: A Millennial Arts Journal, GreenTower Press, Northwest Missouri State University (Maryville, MO), March 2019

Pan, Before he could Fly (poem)
– Bold + Italic (Purnia, India), March 2019

Restoring a Stradivarius (poem)
Lovable at First Sight (poem)
– Women Speak (art exhibition with painter Nancy Smith), Frank Gallery (Chapel Hill, NC), March 2019

All the Chances you were Meant to Miss (poem)
– Epiphanies and Late Realizations of Love, Transcendent Zero Press (Houston, TX), February 2019

Love Me Vintage (poem)
My Favorite Miracle (poem)
Worshipping at the Ruins of her Temple (poem)
– Prachya Review (Dhaka/Chittagong, Bangladesh), December 2018

The Waterfall I Hear When I Sleep (poem)
Everyday Iridescence (poem)
Suburban Soliloquy (poem)
Persephone in Gucci Sandals (poem)
Sienna Red, Petals on Concrete (poem)
– Petrichor in Print (Ontario, Canada), December 2018

Devotion, Illumination (poem)
– Envision Arts Magazine (Denton, TX), December 2018

Peaches (poem)
– Shaking the Sheets Magazine (Toronto, Canada), December 2018

My Second City (poem)
– Inquietudes Literary Journal: Heimat, October 2018

See you at Seafood City (poem)
Daughter of the Diaspora (poem)
– Longing for Home, Tender Hands Press (Manchester, UK), October 2018

Self-Love in the Pitch Black (poem)
A Habit of Crafting Suns (poem)
Double Shadow (poem)
Housewife, Half-Empty (poem)
– Mothering under Duress, Rag Zine (Berkeley, CA), October 2018

Being Here (poem)
Poison of Choice (poem)
They Signed their Fake Names in Cheap Ink (poem)
– Harbinger Asylum, Transcendental Zero Press (Houston, TX), Fall 2018

Double Shadow (poem)
{ x | f'(x) does not exist } (poem)
– The Broken Cassette (New Delhi, India), October 2018

Mermaid Heart (poem)
– Radical, from Investing in Women (San Diego, CA), September/October 2018

“Shoot the Vagina” (poem)
Speak and it shall be Dawn (poem)
– The Philippines Graphic (Manila), September 2018

Bus through Dubuque, IA (poem)
– Barren Magazine (Kalamazoo, MI), September 2018

Trauma is a Shallow Grave (poem)
– Exhume Literary Magazine (Milledgeville, GA), August 2018

Enkindling the Astronomer (poem)
On the Banks of the Rubicon at Dawn (poem)
Magdalene (poem)
Resilience (poem)
Pilgrim for a Day (poem)
– Credo Espoir, August 2018

The Faint Pulse (poem)
– Radical, from Investing in Women (San Diego, CA), July/August 2018

Silhouettes from a More Intricate Light (poem)
– Riddled with Arrows (Newark, DE), Summer 2018

Apartment for Rent (poem)
Saudade for Starry Nights and Ivy (poem)
– The Brown Orient (Philippines/India), 2018

The Golden Mean (poem)
Softened by Shadows, Dusted in Gold (poem)
– A Walk with Nature: Poetic Encounters that Nourish the Soul, University Professors Press (Monument, CO), 2018

The Whispered Desert of Almosts (poem)
– Former People, June 2018

Runaway Siren Come Home (poem)
– Radical, from Investing in Women (San Diego, CA), May/June 2018

The Sun Rises on Rapid City 4/22 (poem)
– Ancient Paths Literary Magazine (Dallas, TX), May 2018

Sacred Message, Rough Translation (poem)
– Fearsome Critters: A Millennial Arts Journal, GreenTower Press, Northwest Missouri State University (Maryville, MO), April 2018

Why Poets Need to Travel (poem)
– Riddled with Arrows (Newark, DE), Spring 2018

Come Home Every Time You Can (poem)
– Indian River Review, Indian River State College (Fort Pierce, FL), Spring 2018

Through the Glass, Gracefully (poem)
The Place where all the Important Questions Gather (poem)
– A Gypsy’s Library (Miami, FL), March 2018

Phoenix Sighting (poem)
Solar Heiress, Lunar Bride (poem)
Righteous Indignation and her Long, Dark Hair (poem)
– Praxis Magazine (Nigeria), March 2018

The Young and Eccentric Sun (poem)
– Radical, from Investing in Women (San Diego, CA), March 2018

Pain becomes Parable (poem)
– Radical, from Investing in Women (San Diego, CA), February 2018

Nights of Tokhang (poem)
4th of July 2017, Chicago (poem)
– Bosphorus Review (Istanbul, Turkey), January 2018

December in Cambridge (poem)
The Design in which we Intertwine (poem)
Connoisseuse (poem)
The Place where all the Important Questions Gather (poem)
Red Wine Stains on the Edges of Things (poem)
And this must be what all those poets are talking about. (poem)
– Wordsmith, published by Numidia (Constantine, Algeria), January 2018

If God was a Poet (poem)
Ajar (poem)
Breaths of Shadows (poem)
Azure and Softly Spoken (poem)
Moon Spell (poem)
Heartblur (poem)
The Heart of Impulse is Gravity (poem)
Prelude to Dream (poem)
– Infinity Anthology from Sahitya Anand, Vishwabharati Research Centre (Latur, Maharashtra, India), 2018

Stay for the Fireworks (poem)
To Arrive, To Occupy (poem)
– The Philippines Graphic (Manila), January 2018

Where the Light Hits the Water (poem)
Silken and Mauve (poem)
– Spillwords Press (Gdánsk, Pomerania, Poland), January 2018

“Black Friday might affect these hours.” (poem)
Complex Fractions (poem)
– International Journal of Modern Poetry, an online literary magazine (Santa Barbara, CA), January 2018

Speak And It Shall Be Dawn (poem)
– Spillwords Press (Gdánsk, Pomerania, Poland), December 2017

Righteous Indignation and her Long, Dark Hair (poem)
The Riots against Forgetting (poem)
Hands over the Atlantic (poem)
– Unlikely Stories Mark V, December 2017

Runaway Siren Come Home (poem)
– 365 Wonders 2018 Planner (featured in the month of January), Woman, Create (Manila, Philippines), November 2017

Postpartum (poem)
– The Perch Magazine, Yale University School of Medicine, Program for Recovery and Community Health (New Haven, CT), Fall 2017

The Choice to Remain in Disrepair (poem)
Soul Arson (poem)
– Memoryhouse Magazine, University of Chicago (Chicago, IL), Fall 2017

Remembering (poem)
The Soul’s Changing of the Guards (poem)
– Advaitam Speaks Literary Journal (New Delhi, India), October 2017

Woman, Ground Zero (poem)
Outcast of my Own Skin (poem)
With your Permission (poem)
Unfinished Epitaph (poem)
Just Another Fallen Leaf (poem)
– Anti-Heroin Chic, an online magazine for music and literature, October 2017

Ars Amatoria and Passion Tea (poem)
– Best Emerging Poets in Illinois, Z Publishing (Racine, WI), August 2017

A Skillet of Suns and Oceans (poem)
– Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology, Belt Publishing (Chicago, IL), August 2017

Chance, and the Trajectory of Light (poem)
– Creu Publication (Cardiff, Wales, UK), August 2017

The Physics of Shadows (poem)
Springtime in the South Side (poem)
Rain Hypnosis (poem)
The Nautical Miles to Home (poem)
A View of the Sun from Underwater (poem)
Abstract Sky in #8f3d4b (poem)
At the Seams (poem)
Nimbus Theater (poem)
Broken Mirror (poem)
– Rigorous Magazine (New Orleans, LA), July 2017

Day 41 (poem)
– The Paragon Journal (Middleton, PA), July 2017

Estranged Children of Storms (poem)
What the Moon Promised the Firelight (poem)
Asymmetrical Hummingbird (poem)
Broken Alabaster (poem)
– Anapest Journal (Staunton, VA), July 2017

Exponents and Ephemera (poem)
– Creu Publication (Cardiff, Wales, UK), July 2017

Beacon (poem)
– Advaitam Speaks Literary Journal (New Delhi, India), July 2017

Retiring the Geisha (poem)
Why Poets Need to Travel (poem)
Watching Ships (poem)
The Last Rendezvous (poem)
Turning Stones at Low Tide (poem)
– The Blue Nib Literary Magazine (Waterford, Ireland), July 2017

Mizuage (水揚げ) (poem)
Still Life, Charcoal (poem)
No Help in Sight for 33 Miles (poem)
Sacred Message, Rough Translation (poem)
Beacon (poem)
– The Blue Nib Literary Magazine (Waterford, Ireland), June 2017

Signed, Lois Lane (poem)
– The Good Men Project (Pasadena, CA), June 2017

The Prosaic Rorschach (poem)
– The Corvus Review (Milwaukee, WI), Spring/Summer 2017

Slow Dancing with San Francisco (poem)
– Spillwords Press (Gdánsk, Pomerania, Poland), May 2017

The Past Lives of Stars (poem)
– Journal of Modern Poetry 20: The Poetry Writer’s Guide to the Galaxy, Chicago Poetry Press (Chicago, IL), Spring 2017

Chaste Octaves (poem)
PS. Now Look at the Stars (poem)
– Spillwords Press (Gdánsk, Pomerania, Poland), April 2017

Ballast (poem)
Equinox (poem)
Salt and Aquamarine (poem)
Tricks of Transcendence (poem)
Bequests from the Departed Light (poem)
– Forever Journal, Poetic Matrix Press (Madera, CA), January 2017

A Trail of Ash from Sitio Han-ayan (poem)
16 Silences (poem)
– Journal of Modern Poetry 19: Poetry of Protest, Chicago Poetry Press (Chicago, IL), Spring 2016

Though my Shield is Cracked and my Armor Sundered (poem)
– The Voices Project (Denver, CO), September 2016

Among the City’s Bright Lights (poem)
– The Voices Project (Denver, CO), May 2016

Sleepwalking on Session Road (poem)
– Zau Literary Magazine (Karachi, Pakistan), March 2016

Hers (poem)
Passion by Mandelbrot (poem)
Love me Vintage (poem)
A Walk on Pont des Arts (poem)
Before Mythology Gave them Names (poem)
– The Philippines Graphic (Manila), 2016

Memories of Station One (poem)
The Crossover to Miniloc Island (poem)
At the Corner of Maria Clara and Dimasalang (poem)
Life Metaphors on the 6 a.m. Train (poem)
– Anak Sastra: Stories for Southeast Asia (Indonesia), July 2015

The Evening Summer and I Traded Places (poem)
– Off the Coast, Resolute Bear Press (Robbinston, ME), Spring 2015

Skinny Dipping in Cassiopeia (poem)
– Journal of Modern Poetry 18: The Official Poets’ Guide to Peace, Chicago Poetry Press (Chicago, IL), Spring 2015

A Trade for your Album of Selfies (poem)
– S/tick: Feminists on Guard (Alberta, Canada), April 2015

Six-Lane Catwalk (poem)
– Journal of Modern Poetry 17, Chicago Poetry Press (Chicago, IL), Spring 2014
– Honorable Mention, Contemporary American Poetry Prize 2014

The Decryption Key Can’t Be Used Twice (poem)
Details that the Light might have Missed (poem)
– Kalyani Magazine (Brooklyn, NY), Spring 2014

Ardent Streetscape (poem)
– the Make It Makati campaign, March 2012

On a Night Like This (poem)
Natural Death (poem)
Lunar Eclipse (poem)
– Nexxus: Take It To The Street Poetry Magazine (Tampa, FL), February 2012

Let Yourself Go (poem)
Poison and Daggers (poem)
La Bella Figura (poem)
– Decanto Magazine, Masque Publishing (Littlehampton, England), August 2011

Mind Sex (poem)
– Poetic License at Morning Erection (Indianapolis, IN), June 2011

2nd through 11th (poem)
– Mad Swirl Poetry Forum (Dallas, TX), March 2011

I Found You (poem)
– Decanto Magazine, Masque Publishing (Littlehampton, England), February 2011

So (poem)
– Poetic License at Morning Erection (Indianapolis, IN), January 2011

How Long I Loved You (poem)
– E.Ratio Postmodern Poetry (New York, NY), January 2011

Curiosity for Destruction (poem)
Sometimes Silence (poem)
– The Exercise Bowler Literary Review (Sarasota, FL), December 2010

Fearless (poem)
– Mad Swirl Poetry Forum (Dallas, TX), October 2010
– Haggard and Halloo Publications (Austin, TX), October 2010

Use Me (poem)
– Honoring Poetic Society Magazine (Houston, TX), September 2010

Letter to a Graduating Student (essay)
– Peyups (Manila), April 2008

To the Anti Online Dating Columnist: A Retaliation (essay)
– Peyups (Manila), 2005

Last Night a DJ Saved My Life (essay)
– Peyups (Manila), 2005

Jessica Zafra VS Bob Ong: Ang Sarcastic Intellectual at ang Batang Kalye (essay)
– Peyups (Manila), 2004

Things that Lovers Do (essay)
– Peyups (Manila), 2003

Queer Culture Shock: On Gay Men in the Teaching Profession (essay)
– Peyups (Manila), 2003

– Peyups (Manila), 2002

Poison Kills from Within: On the Indifference of the Filipino (essay)
-Peyups (Manila), 2002


Awards and Nominations:

They Signed their Fake Names in Cheap Ink (poem)
– Nominated, Pushchart Prize, 2018

Silhouettes from a More Intricate Light (poem)
– Nominated, Orison Award for Poetry, 2018

Six-Lane Catwalk (poem)
– Honorable Mention, Contemporary American Poetry Prize, 2014

All the poems that appear on this blog are linked and arranged chronologically here.

57 thoughts on “Author’s Bio

  1. Hello Iris. It’s been a long time! I just wanted to let you know that the June Poetic License is finally here and your poem Mind Sex will be featured tomorrow.

    You know I appreciate all the poetry and time you have put into making my blog better. I appreciate you allowing me to feature it.

  2. writing and math. i hear that as so refreshingly different
    in the best of ways as a well deserved relief for the few double majors who trudged 3 blocks between the english lit and math buildings.

  3. Sexy combinations! Been ages since I worked in Makati (or visited the country, for that matter) Thanks so much for the follow! That I shall follow you back with peasure goes without saying…I like to keep finger on the pulse of intellectual life back home 😉 I went (briefly) to U.P, too..OMG eons ago. “Malikhaing Panunulat,” of all things. Enjoying your writing so much.

    1. Are you kidding? Finding your blog is the highlight of my blogging life. 😉 I adore poetry, though don’t write it myself, you are by far the superior writer, I spent most of my university years skipping class to explore sex instead. Heh. Destined for mediocrity, I guess. I love, love love your poems. At first I thought “Oh dear, love poems, what now?” and steeled myself to read a bit of doggerel. Shame on me. You are wonderful, I am green with envy, I will really really enjoy reading your blog. Happy day, to have met you.

    2. Again, thank you. I am also a big fan of crafts but never got as good as you. I was goggle-eyed clicking around your blog. So life is still fair. Haha! See you around the blogosphere! 😉 Stay blessed.

  4. Hi Iris. 🙂 Your poetry is so beautiful. I came from UP too, 1992 Law. I am glad to meet you and I wish you the best with the new life you are embarking on. 🙂

  5. Hello Iris, thanks for dropping by my blog. I’ve clicked your like button too. Your writings are awesome. I enjoyed your pocket poems the most! Looking forward for more. All the best for you!

    I’m not from UP but we’re from the same country! 🙂

    1. No other way but to submit, submit, submit! My personal quota was to submit to ten magazines per weekend. So I got to submit 40-50 a month, and got rejected most of the time. But once every 50 submissions or so, I’d get a positive answer. I stopped submitting after I published my books September last year, but now I have written enough new poems so I’m about to take up the 10-magazines-per-weekend habit again. 🙂 Thanks for the compliment and best of luck to you.

    1. “Infectious enjoyment” sounds awesome and yeah, I would say, so me. Thank you for checking out my work.

      As I’ve written in your blog, let’s keep pushing, and pushing each other. 🙂 It’s a long road but it’s hella fun to walk if you have the right attitude. 😉

    2. writing is lonely, writing is freedom, writing is dangerous, writing is fun, and if in some place we can touch another with a word or words then writing can be beautifully moving, writing can change a persons life. I remember Zorba when asked why should I take you with me’? in reference to Zorba going to Crete. Zorba replied, Boss, take me with you, why does there always have to be a why!! In other words ‘Live’.

  6. Hi, I enjoyed reading your blog and really appreciated the very nice comment you left for my poem ‘Songs’ on my site . . . Thanks, and Blessings . . .

  7. Wow! You are very accomplished and a very good writer! Thank you for the kind words on my short poem. I really like your blog too! I’m loving the Santorini picture!

    1. Thank you very much. I wouldn’t really consider myself accomplished (yet); I’m still trying to find my way. But I’m glad you enjoyed a quick tour of my blog.

      And yes, that Santorini image inspires me. I change headers and color schemes every year or so. 😉

    2. Well, you’re more accomplished than I am! All I have to show are a couple hundred views on my videos and one documentary interview/video… but that only means I must work harder! >:D

  8. Iris, I’ve been perusing your blog and am spellbound by your work! I can’t wait to read more! Your images and musical flow of language are perfect and engaging.

    1. Wow. A great big THANK YOU for what you just said. It is always inspiring to receive encouraging words about my work.

      We bloggers should keep pushing up one another.

      Happy New Year!

  9. Your blog is very nice, and something that you should be very proud of. I lived in the Philippines in 1970-71; your people were very lovely. Please be blessed, in the Name Of Jesus.

  10. Thank you very much for visiting my blog and leaving such a thoughtful comment. I found it very inspiring and rewarding as I’m a rather new writer and value such constructive feedback. I am more than impressed by your blog, writing, and accomplishments, as well. Keep up such great work, and best wishes for 2017.

    1. No problem! And thank you for the kindness and the best wishes. Here’s to a better relationship with expression, for both of us, in the coming year. 🙂

    1. Haha! If it’s the same person, would you sleep with them before you kill them, or does the order matter?

      That’s not really the kind of joke I usually make.

      Anyhoo, if you order via Amazon then give me a heads up (either here or to my email,, I’ll make sure your purchased copy is signed. Also, let me know to whom I should address the message.

    1. You are too kind. I wish you all the wildflowers that your own muse requires. Looking forward to partaking of your own writings.

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