Vol. 54 No. 2 (2013): Silliman Journal
Silliman University’s reputation as the university home of writer-teachers Edilberto and Edith Tiempo has a long and rich history, wrought by the Silliman University National Writers’ Workshop, the creative writing institution they established in 1962, which has flourished uninterrupted all through more than five decades. Institution-building is a visionary task and Dr. Edilberto K. Tiempo, together with Dr. Edith Tiempo, believed in providing young writers of the country a nurturing environment where their creative writing work could be read seriously by experienced writers, and where they could expect well-considered critical responses from those who were invited to sit with the Tiempos in the panel of critical readers. At the Silliman University National Writers’ Workshop, many a fledgling writer has gone through what is still considered as the serious young writer’s most difficult rite of passage. The stronger ones among them have endured in the craft, and have published their poems, stories, creative nonfiction essays, and literary criticism in various literary journals and anthologies, as well as single-author collections. Such a flourishing of literary talent even after the passing away of the founder-mentors is a heritage that Silliman University is proud to uphold and honor. This special literary issue of the Silliman Journal, dedicated to Drs. Edilberto and Edith L. Tiempo, is a tangible proof of their valuable legacy. The editors have gathered in this special literary issue the works of writers who, in some way or other, have ties to the university, specifically to its National Writers’ Workshop, either as workshop fellows or panelists. The response to the call for contributions was so astounding in quantity and quality that space and deadline limitations had to be included in the editorial protocols of the peer-reviewed selection process. As editors and alumni of the university, as well as lifelong students of the Tiempos, we are grateful to Dr. Margaret Udarbe-Alvarez for asking us to be part of the gesture of gratitude to honor the valuable inheritance that Edilberto and Edith Tiempo, both outstanding Sillimanians, have left the university and the country. We believe that honoring the Tiempos with the best literary works from their colleagues and students, even from young writers who have not had the fortune of experiencing their physical presence, will speak of the depth and breadth of their literary influence. Their passion for the well-wrought work can be found shining here. And we have no doubt that as the Silliman University National Writers’ Workshop continues to grow and respond to the changes in the literary and social milieu in the 21st century, more and younger writers will benefit from the tradition of writing excellence that the Tiempos have set in place in the heart of the practice of creative writing. It is this tradition that emphasizes the individual writer’s work of cultivating her or his best gift, as well as the individual writer’s responsibility to nurture other young talents and continue building a community and country that values literature as a way of imagining a better, more meaningful life. We hope this special issue will give each reader many hours of reading pleasure.