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.