Yolanda: An Oral History in Verse by Tim Tomlinson



Each work in Tomlinson’s Yolanda stands like a bare tree in a devastated landscape, starkly beautiful. At once oral history and found poem, Tomlinson’s document retains the shock and numbness of those who survived while whittling their accounts to profound poems of dignity amid the anguish after disaster.
–Robin Hemley, A Field Guide for Immersion Writing: Memoir, Journalism, and Travel


With his unerring eye for detail and ear for rhythms of the spoken and unspoken, Tim Tomlinson orchestrates here a chorus of voices of Yolanda survivors that relive the moment when death looked them in the eye and death blinked. A small epic of human terror and losses, and of the instinct to survive to keep the gift of life alive against the fury and force of an unearthly nature.
–Ricardo de Ungria, Mem’ry Wire


Tomlinson’s Yolanda is a gripping account of a massive yet under-examined natural disaster in the Philippines, told through a series of voices from the frontlines of the superstorm. Here are awe, horror, heroism, sacrifice, survival — conveyed with the unflinching immediacy, vitality and humanity that only the best poetry can impart. It’s a heartbreaking read, but an essential one.
–Alvin Pang, When the Barbarians Arrive


In Yolanda, the reader lands in the eye of the storm, then is pulled even closer into the grit, the grief, the very hearts of Super-Typhoon Yolanda’s survivors. In twenty-seven poems fashioned from first person accounts, Tomlinson salvages from the dark wreckage, then polishes to a fierce shine as only a poet can, these narratives of courage, faith, the goodness of strangers, the bonds of family and friendship, and ultimately, the defiant hope of the Filipino people. As William Carlos Williams has said, “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet men die miserably every day / for lack /of what is found there.” Read this book: tread the deep waters, cry out, sing with the voices, grasp a hand, and live.
–Angela Narciso Torres, Blood Orange

Rating: ***** [5 of 5 Stars!]








Yolanda: An Oral History in Verse

by Tim Tomlinson

$14.49, paper

Tim Tomlinson is a co-founder of New York Writers Workshop and co-author of its popular text, The Portable MFA in Creative Writing. His chapbook Yolanda: An Oral History in Verse will appear on Finishing Line Press, October 2015. Requiem for the Tree Fort I Set on Fire, a full-length collection of poems, will appear late 2016 (Winter Goose Publishing). He teaches in the Global Liberal Studies Program at New York University. He is a member of Asia Pacific Writers & Translators. He’s offered workshops, given talks, and conducted readings in China, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Recent and forthcoming publications include Fast Food Fiction (Anvil, Philippines), Tomas (UST, Philippines), United Verses (China), Long Island Noir (Akashic), Theory in Action, Soundings Review, Blue Lyra Review, and others. He is at work on Work Until Failure, a coming-of-age novel-in-stories, many of which have already appeared in print.


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Yolanda: An Oral History in Verse by Tim Tomlinson”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *