White Memorial, Filipino orthopedic nurse Peter Solis Nery of 4North was inducted into the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature Hall of Fame in an awarding ceremony held at The Peninsula Manila hotel in Makati City on Sept 1. Nery becomes the 23rd inductee into the 2012 Palanca Hall of Fame—an exclusive and much-sought after honor given those who have received five first prizes in the contest’s many categories. The 43-year-old Nery, a native of Iloilo province, earned the honor after clinching the top prize in the Poetry for Children in English category for his collection “Punctuation,” which he dedicated to “young writers trying to separate sentences and phrases.” He also won second prize in the Filipino division of that category for his collection “Sa Mundo ng mga Kulisap.” Nery’s “Punctuation” victory is his fifth first-place win, fulfilling the requirement for inclusion in the Hall of Fame. His previous first-placing works are his Hiligaynon short stories “Lirio” (1998), “Candido” (2007), and “Donato Bugtot” (2011), as well as his English full-length play “The Passion of Jovita Fuentes” (2008).
His other winning works are the Hiligaynon short stories “Ang Pangayaw” (third prize, 2000) and “Ang Kapid” (second prize, 2006); the English one-act play “The Wide Ionian Sea” (third prize, 2010); the English children’s poetry collection “The Shape of Happiness” (second prize, 2011); and the English full-length play “If the Shoe Fits (Or, The Five Men Imelda Marcos Meets in Heaven) (second prize, 2011). Peter’s Hall of Fame induction is one of the most coveted in Philippine literature and he is the first nurse to receive the award. Congratulations, Peter!
The poem below titled “If the Comma Were a Color,” opens “Punctuation,” the collection that won Nery the top prize and Hall of Fame:
If the comma were a color,
I bet it would be green
Like growing grass
Or sprouting leaves,
Or rolling hills,
Or the Sierra Madre
Make sentences grow,
© Sara Rubalcava-Beck & Stat: September 27, 2012
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