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Alien to Any Skin

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  15 ratings  ·  7 reviews
"This is a masterful collection of... mainly new works that finds the poet at the height of his powers of observation and thought, with his lyrical spirit infusing grace and music into the narrative modes he has adopted. The studied, charming, and well-wrought poems that were the early trademarks of his Atenean days have evolved mightily and matured to now contain a kind o ...more
Paperback, 186 pages
Published 2011 by University of Santo Tomas Publishing House
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K.D. Absolutely
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to K.D. by: Jim Agustin
Reading Alien to Any Skin is like being on a sea shore picking up sea shells.

I grew up in an island in the Pacific in the 70’s when our sea shores in the island were still full of strange and interesting sea creatures, beautiful shells and the sea floor was covered with colorful breathtaking corals. I still remember that there was no trip to the beach that we did not bring sea shells back. Sea shells came in different sizes, shapes, colors and textures. There were those that we ignored because
Dylan CC
Nov 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
ALIEN TO ANY SKIN contains upwards of twenty years of poetry written by Jim Pascual Agustin. Briefly, Jim is from the Philippines. He currently lives in South Africa with his immediate family, but distant from his home. The book’s title hints a good many things about its contents.

There is an alien quality to this work. The poems are often unsettling. The images are stark. The lines are beautifully cut. A few little examples:

“…Breathe in
fistfuls of damp air.”

“she dreamt of keyholes
filled with
Rose Boehm
Nov 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing

Jim Agustin’s collection of poetry ALIEN TO ANY SKIN seems at first like a big house with many mansions. And that house seems to be positioned outside our every-day experience, our comfort zone; it is not built to plans we recognize immediately as familiar architecture. And yet, after reading and re-reading we begin to slip into Agustin’s territory which is recognizable after all. We begin to learn that we are not at all aliens under the skin, but that we love, laugh, cry, hurt,
Jim Agustin
Feb 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Being the author of this book I should rather be silent about it. Just this then - the poems in this collection have many settings but only one home.

At the moment orders outside of the Philippines may be placed with Kabayan Central ( and Mary Martin Booksellers -

or try this -


Here is the link to a Philippine Daily Inquirer review of the book:
Nov 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry-authors
A great variety of different poems that kept me interested and entertained. A very enjoyable reading experience. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a different poet out there who hasn't yet been given enough attention.

Two suggestions. One, it had probably had a few too many poems. I thought a couple of them could have been cut out. I like to have a poetry book maintain my interest all the way through, and this book did for the most part, just a few cuts would have helped. Seco
Sep 12, 2003 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, 2012
There are at least five books of poetry in this one book. Easily a whole life's work's worth and I believe this poet is still young. Amazing achievement.

Of these many books, I'd say all of them are imaginative, well written and intriguing. They all resonated with me, too, except for the one that was mostly political and that is not the poet's fault. I hardly ever enjoy political poetry unless it's all dressed up as something else, assures me that it isn't political at all and promises to call th
Irwin Cruz
Jan 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Among us there will always be the outsider, a role imposed by fate or by choice. It is a lonesome place, that rock where he stands: that state of being there, yet not quite. It is a destination where one arrives alone, and stays without companion. Indeed the isolation can be troubling. But God, what a vantage that place can give.
In 'Alien to any skin', poet Jim Pascual Agustin sends us postcards from such a rock. Here are correspondances of a constant foreigner to worlds one lives in or witnesse
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Weekly Short Stor...: 14 Love Poems 4 17 Feb 06, 2013 01:20PM  
Jim Pascual Agustin was born in the Philippines.
His latest book is HOW TO MAKE A SALAGUBANG HELICOPTER & other poems (San Anselmo Press).
His early years were spent in a communal house where he struggled to remember all the names of his numerous cousins. His family was forced out of their land to make way for the construction of a highway named after the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. A brief acc

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