JOEM ANTONIO (Joachim Emilio B. Antonio) is a teacher by profession, a writer on occasion, a scholar by passion, and a writing teacher by vocation. He received his M.A. in Humanities with Specialization in History from the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), his Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the University of the Philippines, Diliman (UP), and is currently the Director of the MA Humanities Program the UA&P.
Joem has won eight Don Carlos Palanca Awards: The Domestic Problems of Good King George (formerly entitled Gabrielle) for One-Act Play in English in 2006, Ang Ampalaya sa Pinggan ni Peepo (The Bitter Gourd on Peepo’s Plate) for Short Story for Children in Filipino in 2007, Newspaper Dance for One-Act Play in English in 2008, Sa Tapat ng Tindahan ni Mang Teban (In Front of Mang Teban’s Store) for Short Story for Children in Filipino in 2011, The Dust in Your Place for One-Act Play in English in 2012, The Last Filipino for Full-length Play in English in 2014, The Floret Road for Full-length Play in English in 2016, and exesanonymous.com for Full-length Play in English in 2017.
He was also recognized as Best Playwright in Short + Sweet Manila 2014 for his entry, Death in Ten Minutes, which also won Best Play and topped the Audience Poll for Week 1.
His plays have been staged in different high schools and universities. He also founded Compact Shakespeare, which fuses his compact theatre philosophy with the Bard's works.
He also has a number of children's books, namely Ang Ampalaya sa Pinggan ni Peepo and Sa Tapat ng Tindahan ni Mang Teban under Lampara Books, and Narding Carpio and the Monstrous Wall under Vibal Group's Chikiting Books. In 2020, Nestlé's NIDO printed three stories he wrote for the brand: Let's Make Pancakes!, Let's Play Outside!, and Let's Eat Lunch!
Joem regularly conducts writing workshops of his own design, distinct from both the “great-writers” approach (which relies on the teacher heavily criticizing the students’ work) and the “therapeutic” approach (which focuses merely on proliferation). He believes in “writing by design,” wherein the writer is trained to anticipate and predict a reader’s probable response to the text based on the writer’s understanding of reality and language. The goal of his workshop is for the student writer to gain the ability to put ideas into paper and to see how the choice and organization of language fulfills the writer’s objective.
Aside from creative writing, Joem is an enthusiast in varied fields of culture. He enjoys music, poetry, film, books, plays, comics, drawing, sitcoms, stand-up comedy and video games. From these, he applies whatever he can to his teaching profession.
As a teacher, Joem has taught different topics to different groups at different occasions. He has taught history, literature, creative writing, theatre, and comics to kids, college students, yuppies, senior citizens, and even inmates. Yes, Joem has taught, on occasion, in a correctional facility.
He firmly believes that the success of a teacher is dependent on the success of the student and that learning happens the most when a student is inspired to learn.
Joem currently resides in Manila, Philippines with his wife, Joy, and his kids, Geen, Leroy, and Callie.
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