When a rare illness left Therese Estacion hospitalized and facing a long and gruelling recovery, she made a decision. “I had to find a way to give myself catharsis by sublimating my feelings and experiences,” she says, “so, I decided to write poetry again. I knew that if I did that, I would be able to make meaning and find hope.” The result of this “dazzling debut” was the collection Phantompains, a visceral, imaginative collection exploring disability, grief and life by interweaving memories, surrealism, and elements from Filipino horror and folk tales. Author Sara Peters praised it as “ a book about vision and reckoning, descent and return. Therese Estacion plunged into an abyss—found suffering, dehumanization, terror—and when she emerged, she chose to make radically confrontational art.”
Therese is an elementary school teacher and poet whose work has been published in CV2 and PANK Magazine, and shortlisted for the Marina Nemat Award. A part of the Visayan diaspora community, Therese spent her childhood between Cebu and Gihulngan, two distinct islands found in the archipelago named by its colonizers as the Philippines, before she moved to Canada with her family when she was ten years old. She is is currently studying to be a psychotherapist. Therese is also a bilateral below knee and partial hands amputee, and identifies as a disabled person/person with a disability.
Therese lives in Toronto.
19. Fantastic Figures: The Magic in All Bodies