by Elio Garcia
Songs Sprung from Native Soil: More Conversations with Eight Mindanao Writers (2019), edited by Ricardo M. De Ungria and published by Xavier University Press under the directorship of Dr. Arlene Yandug, bagged the 39th National Book Award for Best Book of Literary History in English. The award was given by the National Book Development Board and the Manila Critics Circle last July 30, 2022. One of the judges, Ferdinand M. Lopez, notes that “with deft and precision in navigating the treacherous terrains of ethics and aesthetics, De Ungria sensitively probes the personal to cartograph the literary histories of the islands in his intelligently curated interviews.” The 39th National Book Award recognizes the most prestigious book publications for 2019 and 2020 and promotes literary production and reading in the Philippines.
De Ungria dedicates Songs in memory of Tita Lacambra Ayala, Leoncio P. Deriada, and Francis M. Macansantos and features interviews of Leoncio Deriada, Noralyn Mustafa, Jaime An Lim, Christine Godinez-Ortega, Calbi Asain, Lia Lopez-Chua, Telesforo S. Sungkit Jr. and Almayrah A. Tiburon. The book can be purchased through this link: