AS prelude to its 25th anniversary come 2016, the Women in Literary Arts Inc. (Wila) unveiled its latest anthology of poems in a fund-raising dinner last May 30, which was capped off with a reading of some of the pieces published in the collection. It is aptly titled femi.nest, and features English and Cebuano poems by its members, as well as their testimonies on how the group has been a “nesting ground” for women writers, and how it has nurtured their work over the years. It was published through a grant provided by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, under its mandate of promoting literature and creativity in the local community.

The launching’s poetry reading was participated in by both members and special guests including Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, Sun.Star Cebu columnist Melanie Lim, Charisse Piramide and six-year-old Jarred Dumdum, who read his grandmother Ma. Milagros Dumdum’s work. A dance interpretation was done by student Erica Conag to Haidee Palapar’s poem, and music also took center stage as the first Vispop Grand Champion Jewel Villaflores serenaded the crowd with some of her original compositions.

Femi.nest has a collection of 125 works that dabble in diverse topics by: Erlinda Kintanar-Alburo, Danessa Alinsug, Anabelle Tan-Amor, Desiree Balota, Jiji Borlasa, Kei Valmoria Bughaw, Shane Carreon, Erma Cuizon, Ma. Milagros Dumdum, Jeneen Garcia, Anna Carla Gonzalez, Vera Leigh Lasam, Jongga I. Lim, Neile Genica Mijares, Hi-D Palapar, Karla Quimsing, Delora Sales-Salimbajon, Gloria Sommer, Cindy Velasquez, Dindin Villarino and Hope Sabanpan-Yu. It is the group’s fifth poetry anthology to date; one of its projects apart from short fiction compilations, workshops and monthly poetry readings, among others. This July, Wila will have a creative non-fiction workshop for women titled “Women in Disaster,” following through on its advocacy of providing a nesting ground for women writers—being the only women writers group in the Philippines—and supplying the environment for them to hone their craft.