Therese Estacion


Therese Estacion is a poet, educator, and a proud member of the Visayan diaspora community. She was raised between Cebu and Gihulngan, two islands located in the archipelago dubbed the Philippines by colonizing forces, but she immigrated to Canada with her parents when she was 10 years old. In her early 30s, Estacion was working as an elementary school teacher and had started taking writing classes in the evenings when she contracted an extremely rare and dangerous infection. She lost both her legs below the knees, several fingers, and her reproductive organs, but Estacion emerged from her long ordeal determined to process and find meaning in her experience by returning to poetry. Her poems were first published in CV2 and PANK, and in 2021 she released her debut book, Phantompains (Book*hug Press). Estacion chose her title for its apt double meaning—as an amputee, she sometimes experiences physical pain in the limbs she has lost, but she is also referring to the more intangible psychic weight we all bear. In addition to exploring her identity as a member of the disabled community, Estacion uses her verses to reach back to the Filipinx folklore she learned as a child, writing in Visayan alongside English and often transposing familiar and fearsome creatures from her culture’s stories onto her verses. Estacion lives and teaches in Toronto, and is currently studying for her next chapter: becoming a psychotherapist. 

The ABG (Able-Bodied Gaze)

  Itwatches                   alwayswatches

It walks behind me in the park and proceeds

to walk slowly to get a good look It

follows&follows&follows           &watches&watches

&watches               I turn around      and

         Itlooksaway                        I begin to walk as

quickly as I can          gaining some speed but

Itfindsme I stop Itstops I walk slowly again

Itwalksslowlybehindmeagain              Finally I

turn around to say: HELLO but

Itpretends I'm inconsequential that I am

being paranoid It was just minding its own

business all along

                   Why am I bothering It?

           My mistake





                        Itlooks up at the sun feeling absolved

Ityawns                                  It's bored of me already





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Body & Body Image

Health & Illness


Literary Devices:


a break between words within a metrical foot


joining two or more words to create a new word

Rhetorical Question

a question asked for effect, not necessarily to be answered