Southern Authors No. 16 — Lina Sagaral Reyes on Mental Illness and Creative Writing

Featured Authors by Abigail C James |

Being a person with lived experience of mental illness, Lina Sagaral Reyes is a mental health advocate. Her poetry has been anthologized in a dozen books: Versus: An Anthology of Protest Literature (Navarro-Salanga, AdMU Press: 1986), Kamalayan: Feminist Writings in the Philippines (Azarcon, Pilipina: 1987),  Kamao: Katipunan ng mga Tulang Protesta (1970-86) (Aguila and Beltran, Cultural Center of the Philippines: 1987), Women and Spirituality (Mananzan, Babaylan Women’s Collective, 1989), Handurawan: Antolohiya ng mga Tula ng mga Tumanggap ng CCP Literature Grants 1988-89 (CCP: 1990) Kung Ibig Mo: Love Poetry by New Women (Evasco and Santos, Anvil Publishing:1993), Songs of Ourselves: Writings by Filipino Women in English (Zapanta-Manlapaz, AdMU Press:1994), Aseano: Contemporary Southeast Asian Poetry (Baquiran, ASEAN:1996), Palanca Awards: 1987, An Anthology of Prize-winning Poetry Collection of the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, Volume 5 (DCPAL: 1996), A Habit of Shores: 20th Century Contemporary Philippine Poetry in English (2000), Women Bodies, Women’s Lives: An Anthology of Philippine Poetry and Fiction on Women’s Health (Kintanar, UP Press: 2001), and Brown Child: The Best of Faigao Poetry and Fiction, 1984-2012 (Alburo and Sabanpan-Yu, Cebuano Studies Center: 2013). Her creative works also appeared in periodicals such as: Focus-Philippines Magazine, The Diliman Review, National MidWeek, Philippine Graphic, Sunday Inquirer, Sands and Coral, Forefront, Caracoa, Bomb (New York), and Malate. She published two collections of poetry, Honing Weapons (1987) and ‘Storya (1993).

She works as a journalist, contributing news stories to the local newspaper Mindanao Goldstar Daily in Cagayan de Oro City, and occasionally to the bi-weekly Mindanao Observer in Dipolog City. She is a correspondent at World Pulse, a digital women’s network. Her feature articles have appeared in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Times, Newsbreak, National Midweek, Mr. & Ms., and Women Features Service. Her reportage, on the other hand, has gained three Globe Media Excellence Awards-Mindanao (Reporter of the Year for Print and Online, 2017; and Best in Explanatory and Investigative Reporting, 2016). In 2016, she also received the Best Election Story in the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) Community Press Awards and was the lead writer of the story which won the Sustainable Construction Story of the Year Award given by PPI and Holcim-Phils., Inc. Previously, she has also won the second prize, feature category in the Mindanao Peace and Development Journalism Awards (2002); Grand Prize for Science and Technology Journalism Awards of PPI, National Power Corporation and Philippine Geothermal (1999), and the third prize in the Jaime V. Ongpin Investigative Journalism Awards (1996). She was a PPI journalist-fellow in 2016 (Covering the Elections) and in 2018 (Covering the Extractive Industries), and also a fellow of Probe Media Foundation’s Nagbabagang Kwento Program (Coverage of the Tobacco Industry and the Sin Tax) .

She has received the Lambago Art Awards for Literature twice, in 2015 and 2018. An interview, some of her poems and reportage are featured in Voices on the Waters: Conversation with Five Mindanao Writers (De Ungria, AdMU Press: 2018).

Sagaral Reyes studied mass communication, journalism and creative writing at Silliman University in Dumaguete City, from 1978-82 and 1989-1990. She was a fellow at the Asia-Pacific Women and Culture Program of the Institute of Women Studies, St. Scholastica’s College (1991) and at the International Media Studies Program of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley (1994).
Continue reading Southern Authors No. 16 — Lina Sagaral Reyes on Mental Illness and Creative Writing