Monday, November 13, 2006

a book by its cover

The cover artwork, "Revolutions on my Blade," is by Marirose Taruc, a fine mother of two and environmental advocate at Asian Pacific Environmental Network. Another piece of hers covers the back side, but you'll have to buy the book to see that one. Since Marirose practiced Kali, I really wanted artwork from someone who has experienced it.

The hubby and I discussed for a couple of hours choosing the artwork for the cover. If the writing inside is the content, the yin, the stuff that works to move you in deeper ways, then the cover is the yang, the thing that you see, that hits you and plays on people's first impressions and each plays a part in attracting the reader. I learned a thing or two about "shiny" covers from Tessa Rumsey who has a book of poetry in gold foil. She admitted that alot of people bought the book because it was shiny. It's a general instinct. And what can I say, even in doing demos there's nothing more sexy than watching a woman with a knife in her hand.

There is much I love about this particular piece. Note for instance feminine quality of the hand that holds the blade and that it's the left hand which is where you'll find it often when it's combined with the single stick or sword in the right hand for the espada y daga in several styles of Filipino martial arts.

But more than this cover, you're going to love the fabulous pre-sale offer if you'd like this beautiful cover on your shelves:

A Special Pre-Release Offer For:

Kali's Blade
by Michelle Bautista
ISBN: 978-0-9709179-7-3
Release date: December 2006
Price: $12.00
Distributors:, &
For more info: MeritagePress (at)

Relevant categories: Poetry. Creative Nonfiction. Martial Arts. Women's Studies.

Meritage Press is delighted to announce the release of Michelle Bautista's inaugural book, Kali's Blade. This unique collection is a mixture of poetry, prose, and collaborations that brings martial arts to the page, creating a tapestry that attempts to capture this elusive spirit known as Kali. Kali's Blade is like walking the edge of a knife between reality and myth, strength and frailty, the physical being and the written body. As Bautista writes in, "How to Battle a Wind Goddess," the only real way to win is to inhale her, for "where she became my flesh / I became the wind goddess."

Gura Michelle Bautista is a 4th degree black belt in the Kamatuuran school of Kali under the direction of Tuhan Joseph T. Oliva Arriola. She teaches Kali in Oakland, CA. She is a SF Bay Area poet and performer, having worked with Kearney Street Workshop, Bindlestiff Studios, Asian American Theater Company, KulArts, and Teatro Ng Tanan. She has been published in Going Home To A Landscape, Babaylan, maganda magazine, Eros Pinoy, Asian Pacific American Journal, TMP Irregular and MiPoesias Magazine.

"She is deep, she is dark, she is unseen. She is the Goddess of both death and destruction, and birth and creativity. Through her all life comes and yet, death is her domain. Kali is a duality...a beautiful woman that hides a secret. Hidden from all to see, she keeps her weapon near her belly. It is the power that is her fury. A two-edged knife...whose glint of light is best kept in the dark before it pierces."
—Grandmaster Joseph T. Oliva Arriola, Kamatuuran School of Kali


To celebrate Kali's Blade's release, Meritage Press is pleased to offer a Release Special through December 15, 2006. For $10.00, you can obtain a copy of Kali's Blade, a savings off the book's retail price of $12.00—plus free shipping/handling to U.S. addresses (another $3.00 savings). Just send a check made out to "Meritage Press" to:

Eileen Tabios
Meritage Press
256 North Fork Crystal Springs Road
St. Helena, CA 94574


Information about Meritage Press is available at

1 comment:

Mieko Danielle said...

Oh my gosh! You wrote a book! That's awesome, congratulations!! Guess I haven't been checking your blog in quite a while. Oops! I'm happy to hear that things are going so great. I gotta read your book! Nice cover! Meeks