Kristine Ong Muslim is the author of several books of fiction and poetry: Butterfly Dream, Age of Blight, Lifeboat, Grim Series, We Bury the Landscape, and A Roomful of Machines. Her third book, Grim Series, was included in the preliminary ballot of the Horror Writers Association’s 2012 Bram Stoker Award for Poetry and was twice nominated for the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s Elgin Award. Her seventh book, Black Arcadia, is a poetry collection forthcoming from the University of the Philippines Press.
Her tiny tales were part of The Wigleaf Top 50 (Very) Short Fictions 2012 (selected by Dan Chaon) and the storySouth Million Writers Award Notable Stories of 2011. Her poems and short stories garnered multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Web 2011 (Dzanc Books), and the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s Dwarf Stars Award and Rhysling Award. Her writings also appeared in such magazines as Adbusters, Asia Literary Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Boston Review, Confrontation Magazine, Contrary Magazine, Ellipsis, Existere, Folio, Narrative Magazine, New Welsh Review, Southword, The Freeman, The Puritan, The State, and Verse Daily. Her works were widely anthologized in The Doll Collection (Terrapin Books, 2016), My Cruel Invention: A Contemporary Poetry Anthology (Meerkat Press, 2015), Bestiary: the best of the inaugural demi-decade of A cappella Zoo (2013), Dadaoism (An Anthology) (Chômu Press, 2012), Lauriat: A Filipino-Chinese Speculative Fiction Anthology (Lethe Press, 2012), The Moment of Change: An Anthology of Feminist Speculative Poetry (Aqueduct Press, 2012), Bigger Than They Appear: Anthology of Very Short Poems (Accents Publishing, 2011), In the Telling (Cinnamon Press, 2009), and The Best of Abyss & Apex Volume One (Hadley Rille Books, 2008), among others.
Born in September 1980 in Kidapawan, a city in the Philippine province of Cotabato, Kristine Ong Muslim grew up and continues to live in a rural town in Maguindanao, southern Philippines.
Her translations of Mesándel Virtusio Arguelles’ poems from Filipino have appeared or are forthcoming in Asymptote, Circumference: Poetry in Translation, Construction Magazine, Spoon River Poetry Review, The Adirondack Review, The Cossack Review, Waxwing, and other journals.
Kristine Ong Muslim is the poetry editor of LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction, a literary journal founded by Jason Erik Lundberg and published by Epigram Books in Singapore. Along with Rosebud Ben-Oni, she was guest editor for the Winter 2014 issue of the literary journal Amethyst Arsenic. Then in April 2016, she served as guest reader for SmokeLong Quarterly. She was co-editor with Nalo Hopkinson of People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction, a Lightspeed Magazine special issue.
Sacramento, CA: Snuggly Books, 2016
“These stories offer a captivating, disturbing and original glimpse into life, death and reality with a dash of surrealism. There's wonderful originality, imagination and inventiveness in them that sets them apart from other modern speculative fiction stories.” —RisingShadow.net
“This timeless chapbook has been an inspiring experience, a sort of object lesson. A book to be revived whenever it seems dead.”
—Dreamcatcher: Gestalt Real-Time Reviews
AGE OF BLIGHT
Los Angeles: Unnamed Press, 2016
“As suppositional literature does, Age of Blight offers a message to the current world – a warning, a prophecy, a lamentation; call it what you will. It’s an important message; it’s also bleak and deeply troubling.... There are moments in several of Muslim’s stories when the animals mirror the ultimate image of this collection: a moment when humanity has not managed to survive but the animals persist. It’s an oddly positive message in the end – just not for humanity.” —Necessary Fiction
“The stories are masterfully written, evocative and memorable.... Age of Blight deserves praise for its willingness to confront complex questions. If you revel in the uncanny, this is a collection you will not want to miss.” —The Missing Slate
“Age of Blight is unendingly fascinating.” —Neon Magazine
“Kristine Ong Muslim’s collection of speculative short stories is haunting, fearless, and wildly imaginative. In spare, deceptively simple prose, Muslim writes the kind of unpredictable stories you want to re-read the instant you finish. It’s a difficult book to classify; it is “literary,” “horror,” “science fiction,” but more than anything, Age of Blight acts as a ruthless look in the mirror.” —Electric Literature
“As the glaciers melt, the sea levels rise and the human project accelerates toward its inevitable decline, Kristine Ong Muslim is building a world of her own, one story at a time. It's hard to say with any kind of authority what this world is like or how it came to be, as we only catch glimpses of it in her fascinating new short story collection, Age of Blight....” —San Diego CityBeat
Manila: University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2015
"Entirely quotable and filled with verse that reminds readers why we should read poetry in the first place, the collection, while venturing abstract, a collusion of dream and dare, also hits hard...." —After the Pause
"... the language in Muslim’s poems is simultaneously unstable and perfectly balanced, both solely ours and utterly foreign, just like a little lifeboat in this infinitely surreal modern world." —The Literary Nest
"Big concepts are drawn in particular ways that feel almost, but not fully, recognizable. These poems are enigmatic, wandering souls." —Big Bang Poetry
A ROOMFUL OF MACHINES
New York: ELJ Publications, 2015
“Kristine Ong Muslim’s first full-length poetry collection reminds me of the first useful definition of good writing that I heard, which was my father's (intentional or inadvertent) paraphrase of Samuel Johnson's quote, "The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar and familiar things new." In A Roomful of Machines, Kristine Ong Muslim demonstrates her ease with the latter by taking for her subjects inanimate objects and viewing them from the inside out, making a reader care about their isolated, sedentary existences and even mourn their seemingly redundant demises.”
—Melusine, or Woman in the 21st Century
“Reminiscent of Pablo Neruda’s Odes to Common Things, these poems give life to objects. We can feel our own weight in the chair, and know what it’s like to wear paint. These poems are simple but with silver edges and wild eyes.”
—Tipton Poetry Journal
“Choosing among her many published poems to create her first book-length collection, Muslim has selected those about “things”—inanimate objects. Except in her through-the-looking-glass world, inanimate objects are generally animated and often thoroughly alive. A number of them are talkative and quite demanding; in Muslim’s world, there is rarely silence.” —Asian Cha
Wisconsin: Popcorn Press, 2012
“... Grim Series reminds me of the cartoons of Charles Addams or the Elliot Family stories of Ray Bradbury. They use the darkness to reveal something about ourselves.”
—Tales of the Talisman
“The imagery is always breathtaking, startling, and the action usually violent, often gruesome.” —Versification
WE BURY THE LANDSCAPE
Texas: Queen's Ferry Press, 2012
“It isn’t everyday a book offers two very different ways of reading. The first: intensely personal, sometimes bewildering and yet rigorously demanding in terms of creative participation, and the second: intellectual, research-based and analytical, but also a call to a communal multi-genre artistic experience. These two different methods are on offer in Kristine Ong Muslim’s collection of micro fictions We Bury the Landscape, an assemblage of very short ekphrastic pieces.” —Necessary Fiction
“...there is a tone that is both haunting and tender that carries the emotional weight of the collection. It’s a tone of “perilous compassion...” [We Bury the Landscape] chronicles the process in which the things we drown, discard, and bury are exhumed and continue to haunt us even after we have buried them again.”
—A cappella Zoo
“Many of the stories [in We Bury the Landscape] seem like they could go on, a tantalizing preview to which Muslim invites the reader and then quickly proceeds, an artist in full control of the pace of her show.” —HTML Giant