PSL special guest: Inday Niyog

Christine Balmes holding a whit bug in front of a yellow backdrop.PSL grad Christine Balmes, aka Inday Niyog

Poetry is our Second Language (PSL for short) is about to start, and what better way to kick it off than to get inspiration from a PSL graduate? Christine Balmes was part of the PSL class of 2009. And wow, a lot of amazing things has happened since then.

Christine's journey with PSL started with the first lesson of the workshop: Balagtasan and Filipino epic poetry. Although she had written and published poetry before, PSL was the first time she had written one in Filipino poetic form. She learned so much from that particular class, that she was able to specialize in it through collaborations.

She has collaborated with fellow classmate Ji-An Manalo to write a Balagtasan called Should the Philippines change its name? A balagtasan. The resulting poem was recorded via Skype, and the song was used by Sulong Collective in their play "Future Folk" in the 2009-10 season.

httpv:// Christine Balmes, collaborating with fellow PSL alum, Ji-an Manalo. Song produced by Olivier Fersancourt

The collabo's doesn't stop there! Here are a few more of Christine's collaborations after the PSL workshops: - Super Indays: A poetry collective made up of PSL grads including Christine Balmes, Haniely Pableo, and Ji-An Manalo. - Santa Guerrilla: The skills Chrisitne gained in PSL are employed in helping write lyrics and songs for her band. - Performances in community arts and culture events (sometimes with Haniely Pableo) such as at Ryerson University (Kamalayan Konsciousness), 519 Church (Women United Against Imperialism), The Raging Spoon (Mayworks Festival) - Christine has taken part in recording a PSL album in collaboration with some poets in the Philippines. The album is being produced by Artists for Change. - She has also edited a chapbook with PSL alumni, publication pending.

Christine has also participated in various Kapisanan outreach initiatives through PSL. She was able to do outreach in TCDSB schools where teachers and administrators invited PSL grads to perform and share the history of the Philippines through the poetic tradition. Christine has also lead the poetry workshops of the Kapisanan's outreach to ANAK in Winnipeg, Manitoba earlier this year.

Find out more about Balagtasan and Filipino epic poetry from PSL's first session! The next round of Poetry is our Second Language starts August 4th! PSL is looking for a few committed brave souls who have always wanted to commit their poetry to print or audio. Interested? Then make sure to pre-register and clear your schedules!

Poetry is our Second Language (PSL) Curriculum developed, and program facilitated by Len Cervantes

PWYC or FREE for VIP Club Members Thursdays starting August 4 @7pm

@ Kapisanan 167 Augusta Ave

To pre-register email Subject: PSL

Be inspired!