Karlo Sevilla comes from Quezon City, Philippines
How long have you been writing? I started writing poetry with confidence around 1988, second year high school, when my English teacher complimented me after a haiku writing exercise. (She’s Ma’am Ilonah de Jesus, so shout-out to her and my high school, University of the Philippines Integrated School!)
What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a writer? Having all my children mentioned in published poems, which I consider to fall under the “self-incriminatory, loads of guilt, letters cum poems for children” genre. (It’s very likely that they’ll feel embarrassed when they read them someday, though.)
What projects of yours have been recently published? In 2017, my poems appeared in the following anthologies: Eternal Remedy’s “Harvest,” Peacock Journal’s “Beauty First,” Antarctica Journal’s annual anthology, and Riverfeet Press’ “Awake in the World.” Also last year, my (so far) only solo and teeny-weeny collection of poems, “You,” was published as an Origami Poems Project microchap. (And, I have three poems in line for Azoth Khem Publishing’s forthcoming print anthology, “Til Death: An Anti-Valentines Anthology of Poetry.”)
What are you currently working on and what inspired this work? I’m writing a long poem, partly inspired by “The Little Prince” and everything wrong that’s happening and might happen in the world.
Where can we find your work? Aside from the aforementioned, my poems were first published in my country’s major news and literary magazines, Philippines Free Press (now defunct) and Philippines Graphic. Soon, they landed in various international literary journals and platforms. For reference, anyone interested can check out the list posted here on my blog, Karlo Sevilla of Quezon City: http://karlosevillaofquezoncity.blogspot.com/2016/10/s-list-of-published-poems-all-with-links.html.
How do you react to rejections? I can honestly say I barely react; I just keep on writing and submitting (and consider the advice of the editor, if there is any). Maybe I raised an eyebrow, or shrugged a shoulder, upon reading what I assumed were close calls.
How do you react when one of your submissions is accepted for publication? From relieved to ecstatic. (I’ve cried once.) And I treat myself to a little snack, with coffee or beer.
What is your best piece of advice on how to stay sane as a writer? Be good to yourself and others. (Re our enemies, we can fight and/or write against them in good faith. And don’t let them stress you too much.)
What is your favorite book? Hmm…I love lots of them, across genres. Let me just share that “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini cut through me.
Who is your favorite author? Likewise, I love lots of them. Among the Philippine literary community, I believe Diosa Jimenez, Greg Bituin, and Karl R. de Mesa are to watch out for.
If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why? Maurice Bendrix, to remark, “Crazy, isn’t it?”
What makes you laugh? My children’s funny antics.
What makes you cry? The vending machine at my former office address: I insert the coins into the money slot. Then, the small pack of soda crackers that is first in line gets betrayed by its comrade immediately behind. Gets pushed down against its will, and plummets helplessly and lands smack on the floor of the take-out port, where I pick it up for my consumption.
What is your preferred drink while you write? Hot coffee!
What is your favorite food? I have lots of favorite food, mostly Filipino dishes. Lately, I miss “etag,” an indigenous salted meat dish of faraway Mountain Province. (For me, it tastes like smoked ham.)
Shakespeare or Bukowski? I grew up with the Great Books of the Western World displayed on our bookshelf. Among the hardbound 54-volume set, are two solely featuring Shakespeare’s collected works. Now, I have a softbound copy of Bukowski’s “You Get So Alone…,” that I can conveniently carry around anywhere. I guess I’ve answered the question, haha!
Personal website/blog: Karlo Sevilla of Quezon City (http://karlosevillaofquezoncity.blogspot.com/)
Books for sale and/or press:
“You,” Origami Poems Project microchap
And I’m a contributor to the following anthologies:
“Harvest,” Eternal Remedy
“Beauty First,” Peacock Journal
“The 2016 Anthology of Poetry,” Antarctica Journal
“Awake in the World,” Riverfeet Press
The Ramingo’s Porch Issue #2 https://www.amazon.com/dp/0998847674/