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The Experiment of The Tropics

The Experiment of The Tropics


Finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Awards “1 of 6 must-read books,” The Millions

Cowinner of the Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Prize selected by Wong May


Through the lens of history and photography, The Experiment of the Tropics returns to early-twentieth century Philippines during American occupation and asks, “How does one look at the past?”


By braiding the music of anthropology with the intimacy of the lyric, Lawrence Ypil explores history's archives and excavates a city, both real and imagined, that is constituted by the shimmer of petal and porch, coral and brass—a river refrigerator where women catch their reflections on the sheen of magazines and men lean against the walls of old houses and beckon, come here. So, we approach.


Spare, musical, and erotic, The Experiment of the Tropics uses the intersection of text and image to meditate on the nature of a city and its longing, the revelatory power of photography, and the startling capacity of poetry to cut into the violent but redemptive parts of history.

SKU: 978-0-9828142-5-3

    Title: The Experiment of The Tropics

    Author/editor: Lawrence Lacambra Ypil

    Publisher: Gaudy Boy

    ISBN: 978-0-9828142-5-3
    Book size: 156mmW x 234mmH

    Pages: 72

    Weight: 200gsm

    Year: 2019

    Language: English
    Finish: Paperback
    Genre: Poetry


    “An exceptional poet who has, against the backdrop of colonial history, brilliantly put into words those covert feelings that complicate our everyday desires and ‘disconcert the world.’”

    —MARY JO BANG, author of The Last Two Seconds


    “Ypil teases out what is erotic in the everyday.”

    —JOHN YAU, winner of the 2018 Jackson Poetry Prize


    “Ypil is one of the finest poets from the Philippines today.”

    —RESIL B. MOJARES, National Artist of the Philippines for Literature


    Lawrence Lacambra Ypil is from Cebu, Philippines. He
    received an MFA in poetry from Washington University in St
    Louis. He has been awarded the Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First
    Book Award for his first book of poems, The Highest Hiding
    (2009), as well as the Academy of American Poets Prize.

    He teaches creative writing at Yale-NUS College in Singapore.

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