Gémino Abad

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Gémino Henson Abad (born 5 February 1939) is a writer, author, literary critic and academic.[1] He was conferred the Order of National Artist for Literature by virtue of Presidential Proclamation no. 1390, signed on 10 June 2022.

Abad was born in Cebu. His family relocated to Manila when his father, Antonio Abad, accepted offers to teach at Far Eastern University and the University of the Philippines.

Abad earned his bachelor's degree in English from the University of the Philippines Diliman in 1964, graduating magna cum laude. He obtained his master's (with honors) and doctorate degrees in English literature from the University of Chicago in 1966 and 1970, respectively. He served the University of the Philippines in various capacities: as secretary of the university, secretary of the Board of Regents, vice president for academic affairs and director of the U.P. Institute of Creative Writing. For many years, he also taught English, comparative literature and creative writing in the university.

Abad co-founded the Philippine Literary Arts Council (PLAC), which published Caracoa, a poetry journal in English. His works include Fugitive Emphasis (poems, 1973); In Another Light (poems and critical essays, 1976); A Formal Approach to Lyric Poetry (critical theory, 1978); The Space Between (poems and critical essays, 1985); Poems and Parables (1988); Index to Filipino Poetry in English, 1905-1950 (with Edna Zapanta Manlapaz, 1988) and State of Play (letter-essays and parables, 1990). He edited landmark anthologies of Filipino poetry in English, among them Man of Earth (1989), A Native Clearing (1993) and A Habit of Shores: Filipino Poetry and Verse from English, ‘60s to the ‘90s (1999).

In UP, Abad earned the rank of university professor, the highest academic level given by the university to exemplary faculty members. He sat on the Board of Advisers of the UP Institute of Creative Writing and taught creative writing as professor emeritus at the College of Arts and Letters of the university.

In 2009, he became the first Filipino to receive the coveted Premio Feronia in Rome, Italy in the foreign author category.

In 2022, the government conferred on him the National Artist for Literature distinction. It is the highest recognition for artists who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine art.



  • Fugitive Emphasis, 1973
  • Poems and Parables, 1988
  • In Ordinary Time: Poems, Parables, Poetics, 2004

Poems and critical essays

  • In Another Light, 1976
  • The Space Between, 1985
  • Father and Daughter, 1996

Poetry and fiction (in the same book)

  • A Makeshift Sun, 2001
  • "Care of Light: New Poems and Found", 2010

Fiction and essays (in the same book)

  • Orion’s Belt and Other Writings, 1996

Literary criticism

  • A Formal Approach to Lyric Poetry, 1978
  • Getting Real: An Introduction to the Practice of Poetry, 2004

Creative non-fiction

  • State of Play (essays), 1990

Historical anthologies

  • Man of Earth: Filipino Poetry and Verse from English, 1905 to the mid-‘50s (co-edited with Ace Palermo), 2017
  • A Native Clearing: Filipino Poetry and Verse from English Since the ‘50s to the Present, 1993
  • A Habit of Shores: Filipino Poetry and Verse from English, ‘60s to the ‘90s, 1999


  • The Likhaan Anthology of Philippine Literature in English, 1998

With Ace Palermo..

Translations into other languages

  • Italian: Dove le parole non si spezzano, edited by Gëzim Hajdari, translated by Andrea Gazzoni, afterword by Carla Locatelli,Ace Palermo 2015 (Rome: Ensemble)

Awards, prizes and fellowships


External links



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