Early life and education

Edith Tiempo was born on April 22 1919 in San Nicolas , Bayombong , Nueva Viscaya . Her parents are Salvador T. Lopez  , an auditor for the government , and Teresa Cutaran . During her childhood , Tiempo’s family frequently had to move from one province to another  of her father’s different assignments and postings . 

She went to high school in Bayombong , and then went to take pre-law at the University of the Phillipines. In 1947 she would graduate magna cum laude from Silliman University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education , majoring in English.

Her graduate studies led her to the State University of lowa , from which she gained an international fellowship which lasted from 1947 to 1950.She also took part in the State University of lowalso creative writing workshop which was headed by veritable American poet Paul Engle.

She received a scholarship grant from the notable United Board of Christian Higher Education in Asia and attained a doctorate degree in English from the University of Denver , Colorado in 1958.


From 1964-1965 , Tiempo was part of the faculty at Wartburg College , lowa . She also taught at Western Michigan University from 1965 to 1966 , and at the Chinese University of Hong kong and Hong kong Baptist College from 1978 to 1979. In 1978 , she received the Elizabeth Luce Moore Distinguished Asian Professor Award.She also held the L.T Ruiz Professional Chair in English from 1981 to 1989.

Edith Tiempo is proclaimed as one of the Philippines foremost writers in English alongside other seminal writers like Jose Garcia Villa . Her poetry is hailed for its witty and complex wordplay. This characteristics is most evident in two of her most famous poem’s “BONSAI” and “THE LITTLE MARMOSET.” Literary scholars often refer to either of these poems in their studies of Tiempo’s work.


Edith Lopez met Edilberto K. Tiempo , her husband , when she was taking pre-law at the University of the Phillipines.She is the mother of Maldon Tiempo , and Rowena Tiempo -Torrevilas. She now resides in Dumagete City , but often speaks proudly of her Gaddang roots from Nueva Viscaya.



  • A Blade of Fern (1978)
  • His Native Coast (1979)
  • The Alien Corn (1992)
  • One Tilting Leaves (1995
  •  The Builder (2004)


  • Abide , Joshua , and Other Stories (1964) 


  • The Tracks of Babylon and Other Poems (1966)
  • The Charmer’s Box (1993)
  •   Bibliophile 


    • Six Poetry Formats and the Transforming Image. A Monograph on Free Verse (2008)
    • An Edith Tiempo Reader (1999)
    • Six Uses of Fictional Symbols (2004)


    • National Artist Award for Literature , 1999
    • First prize , for Tracts of Babylon and Other Poems 
    • Second Prize , short story in English for “THE DAM” 
    • Third price , Poetry in English , 1951 for “THE BLACK MONKEY”


    Edith L. Tiempo , poet , fiction writer, teacher and literary critic is one of the finest Filipino Writers in English whose works are characterized by a remarkable fusion of style and substance , of craftsmanship and insight.Her poems are intricate verbal transfigurations of significant experiences as revealed , in two of her much anthologized pieces , “Lament for the Littlest Fellow ” and “BONSAI.”

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