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Nat’l artist for literature Edith Tiempo passes away

/ 08:34 PM August 21, 2011

LITERARY GREAT. National Artist for Literature Edith L. Tiempo, renowned founder of the Silliman Writers Workshop, died Sunday of myocardial infarction. Photo from Facebook

DUMAGUETE City, Philippines—National Artist for Literature Dr. Edith L. Tiempo died on Sunday in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.

She was 92.

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Doctors at the Silliman Medical Center, where Tiempo was rushed Sunday afternoon for myocardial infarction, pronounced her dead at 5:35 p.m. after trying to resuscitate her.

Dr. Tiempo died at a time when Silliman University was starting its 110th Founder’s Day celebration.

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“We have lost one of our pillars,” Silliman University President Dr. Ben Malayang III announced at the end of the 95th anniversary vesper worship service of the Silliman University Church.

“But Dr. Tiempo will be part of our Founder’s Day celebration,” he added.

The National Commission on Culture and the Arts, in its website, says Tiempo, a poet, fictionist, teacher and literary critic, is regarded as one of the finest Filipino writers in English whose works are characterized by a remarkable fusion of style and substance, of craftsmanship and insight.

Together with her late husband, Edilberto K. Tiempo, she founded and directed the Silliman National Writers Workshop in Dumaguete City.

In the last 50 years, the Workshop has produced some of the country’s best writers, who have come to fondly call her “Mommy Edith.”

Tiempo’s published works include the novel A Blade of Fern (1978), His Native Coast (1979), The Alien Corn (1992), One, Tilting Leaves (1995) and The Builder (2003); the poetry collections, The Tracks of Babylon and Other Poems (1966), and The Charmer’s Box and Other Poems (1993); and the short story collection Abide, Joshua, and Other Stories (1964).

Her works have won numerous prizes from the Don Carlos Palanca Awards in Literature, the CCP literary contest, and the Philippine Free Press literary contest.

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She was conferred National Artist for Literature in 1999.

Tiempo is survived by son Maldon, daughter Rowena T. Torrevillas, son-in-law Lemuel and grandchildren.

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