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Ernesto Villanueva Epistola

Ernesto Villanueva Epistola

November 7, 1926 - February 5, 2016

Born in Manila, The Philippines, Ernesto moved to the United States in the 1950s. He was a gifted professional musician and music educator who retired in Sarasota, Florida. He earned a Degree in English Literature from the University of the Philippines and a Master's Degree in Cello Performance from Yale University. He was also Principal Cellist: Florida West Coast Symphony; Concert Cellist; Orchestra, Choral Conductor and Church Music Minister. Ernesto was particularly passionate about haiku. His book, The Offering and Other Poems with Photographs of Nature, features haiku and longer poems paired with his photography. His haiku appeared in various literary magazines and anthologies, including Frogpond and Modern Haiku. He was a recognized performing poet in the local community and a proud member of the Selby Poets. His biography of Nicanor Abelardo, the National Composer of the Philippines, was published in 1996 and his play, The House of Firewood, was awarded a Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature, often referred to as the Pulitzer Prize of the Philippines. As a photographer, Ernesto exhibited his prize-winning images throughout the Sarasota area.

Awards and Other Honors: Medalist and other awards, Nikon International Photo Competition and Kodak Photo Competition; The Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature for his play The House of Firewood.

Books Published: The Offering and Other Poems with Photographs of Nature (The Peppertree Press, 2013); Nicanor Abelardo: The Man and the Artist, a Biography (Rex Book Store, 1996).

Selected Work
autumn chill... 
threadbare college blazer:
faintly her fragrance
a sad tune
the old fiddler's bow
stops bouncing
lightning storm...
between flashes in the rain
finding my way home
autumn chill . . .
threadbare college blazer:
faintly her fragrance
roaches drink
from the tiger's watering dish
summer heat
the bugler
bows his head
muddy boots
deep ruts
under the children’s swing:
end of summer

Credits: "autumn chill" - Frogpond 33:2 (2010); "lightning storm" -Inaugural Issue, Mu Haiku Journal (2010); "roaches drink" - ModernHaiku 40.3 (2009); "deep ruts" – Standing Still, Haiku North America anthology, edited by Michael Dylan Welch and Ruth Yarrow, Illustrations by Dejah Léger (Press Here, 2011); "a sad tune" – Frogpond 37:2 (2014); "autumn chill" – Frogpond 33:2 (2010); "the bugler" - Frogpond 27:1 (2004).

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