This is a beautiful, moving example of the poetry of place.
Achichúk names both the collection and the place with which Merina is deeply familiar. That two-part signification invites us to read Achichúk as lyric geography. Its best poems convey deftness, verve, and grace. And the syntax found in the poems—in the arrangements on the page and the word-music they score—embody the energies of tide and wind.
If culture is a form of survival, then Merina not only enriches Philippine poetry but also enables Ivatan culture to thrive in a language that his tillage has made hospitable.
—John Labella, Ateneo de Manila University
Dorian S. Merina is a poet and journalist. He is the author of two chapbooks of poetry, Stone of the Fish and The Changegiver, and a spoken word album, Heaven is a Second Language. He lives with his wife and daughter in Savidug, Sabtang, where he helps to document and preserve the Ivatan indigenous oral poetry, Laji.
Published in 2019.