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Gawang Agustin Art Competition Poster

Works of Acclaimed South Africa-based Filipino Poet Spark an Art Competition

The poems of Jim Pascual Agustin, a Filipino based in South Africa, are the inspiration for a new art contest for young artists.

Filipino book publisher San Anselmo Publications, Inc., has rolled out “Gawang Agustin Art Competition 2020,” a competition for young Filipinos no older than 25 years old who are residing in the Philippines. The contestants are invited to create an artwork illustrating any of Agustin’s poems from the books How to Make a Salagubang Helicopter & other poems, and Crocodiles in Belfast & other poems, some of which are posted on the company’s Facebook page. Contestants are allowed to submit artworks in any medium — such as oil, pastel, watercolor, digital, etc. Interested parties must register by July 31, 2020, through a link posted on the San Anselmo Publications, Inc. Facebook page. Joining is free.

“Our objective is to inspire the minds of young artists with the help of the works of award-winning poet Jim Pascual Agustin,” said project director Joaquin L. Aceron.

Agustin, who hails from Marikina City, moved to South Africa in 1994 but has maintained close ties to his home country, often writing about our local issues and culture.His poetry has been recognized at South Africa’s DALRO Awards and multiple times at the Sol Plaatje EU Poetry Awards. He has also won The Gabo Prize for Literature in Translation and Multi-Lingual Texts from Lunch Ticket and Antioch University. In 2019, his poetry collection, How to Make a Salagubang Helicopter & other poems, was shortlisted for the Philippine National Book Awards.

Agustin’s words continue to stir hearts and minds in this time of the pandemic. A poem he wrote based on the experiences of broadcast journalist Howie Severino as a COVID-19 patient gained coverage, while his poem “The Undiminished” about the plight of the working class won first place in the AVBOB Poetry Competition held last June.

He scored another major success this year Minimal Press announced the forthcoming South African edition of Agustin’s collection, Sound Before Water.

Agustin himself will be one of the judges of the Gawang Agustin Art Competition. Cash prizes of Php 20,000; Php 15,000; and Php 10,000 will be given to the first, second, and third placers respectively. Fourth and fifth-prize winners will receive Php 3,000 each. Submission of works is from August 1 to 14.

For more information about the Gawang Agustin Art Competition, visit the San Anselmo Publications, Inc. page on Facebook.