Rochita Loenen-Ruiz Remembers Clarion West

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 27 - 2009

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Filipina author and Clarion West alumni Rochita Loenen-Ruiz guest blogs over at Jeff Vandermeer’s Ecstatic Days and she takes the opportunity to look back on her Clarion experience (in a manner that makes me dearly wish we had something like it here). Here’s an excerpt:

An online friend told me that going to Clarion would be a life-changing experience. Five months after,  I am still thinking of what I’ve learned, and I can’t help but agree with her statement.

Perhaps one of the gifts that the Clarion experience bequeaths on those who attend is the ability to understand the role of mentors and comrades better. In those six weeks, my classmates and I were comrades and mentors to each other.

When I look back, I see how the exercise of scrutinizing our work and each other’s works, the act of giving words of encouragement and words of criticism, these were acts and exercises that served to strengthen our camaraderie.  Through the giving and receiving of  healthy criticism, we were able to help each other to move forward beyond the wall that kept our stories from achieving their full potential. This community we belong to is not a very large one, but it’s filled with warm and wonderful people who share generously of their knowledge and their experience.

You can read the rest of her post here. If you’ll note at the end, she mentions an anthology called “Ruin and Resolve” and that’s going to be released by none other than Rocket Kapre Books. More on that at a later date. ^_^

4 Responses to “Rochita Loenen-Ruiz Remembers Clarion West”

  1. adam! says:

    in a manner that makes me dearly wish we had something like it here

    from what i’ve read about clarion, yes, we do have something akin to that: the annual UP baguio workshops. god knows how many writerly partnerships – and romantic relationships and families, even – that that workshop sparked, and will continue to spark. it’s not six weeks long, it used to be two weeks, but now it’s down to only one, and it’s not generic, but it has neil garcia in it, and butch dalisay, and jun cruz reyes, and bien lumbera, and roland tolentino, etc etc, as “mentors.”

    • Paolo Chikiamco says:

      Yeah I’ve heard good things about some of our workshops here, though it’ll probably be a while before I’d feel ready to attend one. I’d love to have one Spec focused though, somewhere down the line… ^_^

      • adam! says:

        I suppose the LitCritters can be one such workshop thing, only better kasi (at least from what I’ve read/heard about it, ie, haven’t attended it yet) it has the advantage of being a continuous thing. Everything I know about writing and reading didn’t come from the workshops nor UP (at least not directly): it came from the conversations and regular workshops between like-minded and critical and educated people. That’s the one thing I really miss about school – the writing orgs and the EDs. Tingin ko basta meron nun, and meron nun regularly, a smart critical creative presence na ganun sa buhay ng manunulat … ayuz na siya.

        • Paolo Chikiamco says:

          I agree with you there. Makes me wish I’d actually been seriously working on writing craft in College. Tried Heights in Ateneo but for some reason, it just didn’t seem to work for me…

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