2019, April 19. Dr. Edith L. Tiempo, Birth Centenary
National Artist for Literature
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DR. EDITH L. TIEMPO - NATIONAL ARTIST
FOR LITERATURE - BIRTH
Early life and education.
Edith Tiempo was born on April 22 1919 in San
Nicolas , Bayombong, Nueva Viscaya . Her parents are Salvador T.
Lopez, an auditor for the government, and Teresa Cutaran.
During her childhood,
Tiempo’s family frequently had to move from one province to another
due to her father’s different assignments and postings.
She went to high school in Bayombong, and then went to take pre-law
at the University of the Philippines. In 1947 she would graduate
magna cum laude from Silliman University with a Bachelor of Science
degree in Education, majoring in English. Her graduate studies led
her to the State University of lowa, USA, from which she gained an
international fellowship which lasted from 1947 to 1950.
She also took part in the State University of lowa creative
writing workshop which was headed by veritable American poet Paul
She received a scholarship grant from the notable United Board of
Christian Higher Education in Asia and attained a doctorate degree
in English from the University of Denver, Colorado in 1958.
From 1964-1965, Tiempo was part of the faculty at Wartburg College,
lowa. She also taught at
Western Michigan University from 1965 to 1966, and at the Chinese
University of Hong kong and Hong Kong Baptist College from 1978 to
1979. In 1978, she received
the Elizabeth Luce Moore Distinguished Asian Professor Award.
She also held the L.T Ruiz Professional Chair in
English from 1981 to 1989.
Edith Tiempo is proclaimed as one of the Philippines foremost
writers in English alongside other seminal writers like Jose Garcia
Villa. Her poetry is hailed for its witty and complex wordplay. This
characteristics is most evident in two of her most famous poem’s “BONSAI” and
“THE LITTLE MARMOSET.” Literary scholars often refer to either of these poems
in their studies of Tiempo’s work.