Edith L. Tiempo

From Wikipilipinas
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Edith L.Tiempo (22 April 1919 – 21 August 2011) is a renowned Filipino poet and fictionist. She is also a teacher and a literary critic. She has established herself as a major figure in Filipino Literature with works that have been remarked for both style and substance.

Early life and education

Edith Tiempo was born was born on April 22, 1919 in San Nicolas, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya. Her parents are Salvador T. Lopez, an auditor for the government, and Teresa Cutaran. During her childhood, Tiempo's family frequently had to move from one province to another because of her father's different assignments and postings.

She went to high school in Bayombong, and then went to take pre-law at the University of the Philippines. In 1947, she would graduate magna cum laude from Silliman University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education, majoring in English.

Her graduate studies led her to the State University of Iowa, from which she gained an international fellowship which lasted from 1947 to 1950. She also took part in the State University of Iowa's creative writing workshop which was headed by veritable American poet Paul Engle.

She received a scholarship grant from the notable United Board of Christian Higher Education in Asia and attained a doctorate degree in English from the University of Denver, Colorado in 1958.


From 1964-1965, Tiempo was part of the faculty at Wartburg College, Iowa. She also taught at Western Michigan University from 1965 to 1966, and at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Baptist College from 1978 to 1979. In 1978, she received the Elizabeth Luce Moore Distinguished Asian Professor Award. She also held the L.T. Ruiz Professorial Chair in English from 1981 to 1989.

Gifted in the use of the English language, Edith Tiempo is proclaimed as one of the Philippines' foremost writers in English alongside other seminal writers like Jose Garcia Villa. Her poetry is hailed for its witty and complex wordplay. This characteristic is most evident in two of her most famous poems, “Bonsai” and “The Little Marmoset.” Literary scholars often refer to either of these poems in their studies of Tiempo's work.

Personal life

Edith Lopez met Edilberto K. Tiempo, her husband, when she was taking her pre-law at the University of the Philippines. She is the mother of Maldon Tiempo, and Rowena Tiempo-Torrevillas.

She now resides in Dumaguete City, but often speaks proudly of her Gaddang roots from Nueva Vizcaya.


In 1962, Edith Tiempo and her husband, Edilberto K. Tiempo, started the Silliman National Writers Workshop in Dumaguete City. Patterned after the State University of Iowa's Creative Writing Workshop, the Silliman National Writers Workshop has churned out many of the country's finest writers.

Filipino literary scholars recognize the Tiempos as the forerunners of literary criticism and theory in the Philippines.

Published works


  • A Blade of Fern (1978)
  • His Native Coast (1979)
  • The Alien Corn (1992)
  • One, Tilting Leaves (1995)
  • The Builder (2004)
  • The Jumong (2006)

Short Story Collections


  • The Tracks of Babylon and Other Poems (1966)
  • The Charmer's Box (1993)
  • Beyond, Extensions (1993)
  • Marginal Annotations and Other Poems (2001)
  • Bibliophile


  • Six Poetry Formats and the Transforming Image: A Monograph on Free Verse (2008)
  • A Native Clearing: Filipino Poetry and Verse from English Since the '50s to the Present : Edith L. Tiempo to Cirilo F. Bautista (1993)
  • A Passionate Patience: Ten Filipino Poets on the Writing of their Poems (1995)
  • An Edith Tiempo Reader (1999)
  • Six Filipino Poets (1955)
  • Six Uses of Fictional Symbols (2004)
  • Marginal Annotations and Other Poems (2001)

See Edith L. Tiempo's available e-books at Vibe Bookstore.

Awards and recognition

  • National Artist Award for Literature, 1999
  • grand prize, CCP Literary Contest, 1978 for His Native Coast
  • first prize, Philippine Free Press literary contest, 1959 for “The Dimensions of Fear”
  • first prize, Philippine Free Press literary contest, 1955 for “Chamber of the Sea”
  • Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature
  • Third prize, Poetry in English, 1951 for “The Black Monkey”
  • Second prize, Short Story in English for “The Dam”
  • First prize, for Tracts of Babylon and Other Poems




Original content from WikiPilipinas. under GNU Free Documentation License. See full disclaimer.