Bellagio Library/

Ruins and Reconstruction

By Joel M. Toledo

Joel M. Toledo is a poet, fictionist, critic, and journalist based in Metro Manila, Philippines. He participated in the Bellagio residency program in 2011 where he developed a collection of poems inspired by devastating climate events in the Philippines.

A few words from Joel:

“The experience of the residency allowed me to both meditate and heal while focusing on poems that are both personal and phenomenal and have to do with the worsening climate crisis in the Philippines.”

A Quote from Ruins and Reconstruction:

“I’d rather the commonplace cracks in the pavement / My feet hurting from the involvement.”


Most of the poems in the first section of this collection were written in the wake of and ruin brought about by Typhoon Ondoy, and revised and reconstructed during the author’s stay at Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio, Italy.