Tuesday, November 26, 2013

POETRY THINGY #4 featuring STEPHANIE DOGFOOT, JERROLD YAM, and special appearance by NG YI-SHENG

I'm hosting a poetry event with London-based Singapore-culture-dissemination group Platform 65. Come come!

POETRY THINGY #4 
feat Stephanie Dogfoot, Jerrold Yam and Ng Yi-Sheng
Date: Wednesday 4 December
Time: 7pm
Location: Woolfson & Tay Bookshop, 39 Bear Lane, London SE1



Platform 65's Poetry Thingy is a series of casual poetry + music open-mic sessions featuring poetry, spoken word, and live music by Singaporean artists. Each event features a headline artist (or two), but the mic’s open to everyone! Bring your friends, your poems, and your songs.

____________________________________________________

█ STEPHANIE DOGFOOT

Stephanie Dogfoot, also known as Stephanie Chan, is a poet and sometime law student from Singapore, currently based in London. In 2010, on a summer holiday home, she won the Singapore Slam Championships and represented Singapore in the Indian Ocean Slam Championships on Reunion Island in December that year. In 2012, she won the Farrago UK Slam Championships and represented the UK in the European Slam championships in Antwerp (where she came 2nd runner-up). In June 2013, she represented the UK in the Poetry Slam World Cup in Paris and got into the semi-finals.

She performs and organizes spoken word nights around London, sometimes other parts of the UK, and (when she gets to go home) Singapore. She has also performed at the Glastonbury Festival, Small World Festival, Nozstock Festival, the Poetry Cafe, Southbank Centre, various squats in London, and many cities around the UK from Birmingham to Oxford to Aberdeen.

http://stephdogfoot.wordpress.com/

█ JERROLD YAM

Jerrold Yam (b. 1991) is a law undergraduate at University College London and the author of poetry collections Scattered Vertebrae (2013) and Chasing Curtained Suns (2012) by Math Paper Press. His poems have been published in more than seventy literary journals and anthologies across twenty countries. He has won first prize and three honorable mentions in the National University of Singapore’s Creative Writing Competition 2011, first prize in the British Council's History and the City Competition, and is the youngest Singaporean to be nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He has been featured at Interrobang, London Book Fair and Singapore Writers Festival, among others. His poems have recently been translated to Spanish.

Jerrold will also be launching 'Scattered Vertebrae' at Poetry Thingy #4, with a short discussion moderated by Ng Yi-Sheng.

http://jerroldyam.com/

█ NG YI-SHENG

Ng Yi-Sheng is a full-time writer of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and drama. Since 2006, he has curated the annual LGBT literary event ContraDiction, and also co-edited "GASPP: a Gay Anthology of Singapore Poetry and Prose". His books include "SQ21: Singapore Queers in the 21st Century" and "last boy", which won the Singapore Literature Prize. He is currently pursuing an MFA in Norwich, UK.

____________________________________________________

Directions: Woolfson & Tay Bookshop is 5min walk from Southwark Tube station. (Follow the orange Tate Modern lamp-posts onto Union Street, turn left onto Great Suffolk Street, and turn left again once you see The White Hart pub.)

Buses: 45, 63, 100, 381, RV1.

** Open-mic slots up for grabs! For enquiries, send Platform 65 a private mesage on FB or email cui@platform65.org.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

I won't be at the Singapore Writers Festival...

... but my books will! Gonna take this opportunity to publicise the book launches I'm part of. (Sadly, Diary of a Stone Monkey is still being delayed at the publishers.)


The Last Lesson of Mrs De Souza by Cyril Wong | Ministry of Moral Panic by Amanda Lee Koe | The Epigram Books Collection of Best New Singaporean Short Stories: Volume One
2 Nov, Sat
 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM, 
Free 
Festival Pavilion, Campus Green, SMU

The Epigram Books Collection of Best New Singaporean Short Stories is a new biennial anthology series, with this premiere volume showcasing the best short fiction from Singaporean writers published in 2011 and 2012. Join Jason and five notable contributors—Alfian Sa’at, Yu-Mei Balasingamchow, Alvin Pang, Stephanie Ye, and Wei Fen Lee—in a discussion of their works.

Featuring: Alfian Sa’at , Alvin Pang , Amanda Lee Koe, Cyril Wong, Jason Erik Lundberg



The Substation Fairytales: Stories in The End
6 Nov, Wed
 7 PM - 8 PM, 
Free
Binary Pavilion, Campus Green, SMU

The Substation Fairytales: Stories in The End are modern tales of love, identity, and belonging for adults. Reasons for the Rain is a poignant tale of serendipity and chance, of two strangers crossing paths in the concrete jungle. The Crocodile Prince is about a boy finding himself in a magical jungle of mystery. Jack and Alice is a story built from inner thoughts and how the lives of the title characters are built both parallel and divergent from that of each other and in the fairy tales. There will be readings followed by a book signing, Q&A session and reception.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

VIDEO & PRESS RELEASE: ASEAN SOGIE Caucus launches regional campaign criticizing declarations on women and children


By ASEAN SOGIE Caucus


On October 14, a regional network of LGBT rights organizations launched a video in response to the exclusion of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity/Expression (SOGIE) from the language of two recently adopted declarations protecting women and children from violence.

The video is part of a bigger campaign called “We are #ASEANtoo!” which was launched a week before the 23rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit on October 9 to 10, in Brunei. The Declarations on the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Elimination of Violence Against Children (DEVAW and DEVAC respectively) were set to be adopted at the said summit.

The campaign also included an ASEAN-wide virtual conversation using the micro-blogging site Twitter. Dubbed “#ASEANtoo! Queer Tweets,” the virtual conversation coincided with the ASEAN summit. It drew Twitter users from all over the region and aimed to raise their awareness of issues related to SOGIE. The virtual conversations also aimed to expose the lack of transparency of ASEAN processes.

“The ASEAN Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity/Expression Caucus (ASC) started this campaign because of the many challenges we faced in ensuring that the two declarations explicitly mentioned SOGIE. Even with the help of our allies, we felt there was a high possibility that SOGIE would be dropped,” said Ron de Vera, ASC spokesperson. “When we saw that the officially adopted declarations didn’t mention SOGIE, we were very disappointed. We are also deeply concerned that there is an emerging pattern of SOGIE exclusion from human rights declarations in the ASEAN,” added de Vera. This is the second time SOGIE was not mentioned in the language of an ASEAN declaration. The first was in the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration adopted by the ASEAN on November 18, 2012.

The process of drafting the two declarations required national consultations by each country’s women’s caucus. This was meant to ensure participation of civil society organizations (CSOs). However, the drafts were not widely circulated, prompting CSOs to call out the ASEAN for its lack of transparency.

Discrimination, harassment, and violence against individuals of diverse SOGIE continue to be a heightened human rights issue in the region where laws related to SOGIE vary from one state to another. According to Social Action For Equality (SAFE), a Manila-based organization that monitors hate crimes against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) people, there have been more than 164 LGBT killings in the Philippines since they started monitoring media reports in 2009. Figures on violence against LGBT people remain underreported due to poor protection mechanisms and legislation in the region.

“Lesbians, bisexual women, and trans women (LBTs) in all ASEAN countries face violence too. Their experience is further aggravated by the hate and stigma that come with their gender and sexuality, and that is why we need SOGIE to be explicitly mentioned in ASEAN declarations. Why exclude them? They are productive members of the ASEAN community too!” said de Vera.

The (ASC) is a network of activists and organizations in ASEAN member states who work to ensure people of diverse SOGIE are not marginalized from ASEAN-level mechanisms and processes.

The video may be viewed by clicking this link: http://bit.ly/aseantoo-video

For further information please contact ASC spokesperson Ron de Vera at rondevera@gmail.com
###

Saturday, October 05, 2013

I've got a gig in London!

It's going on next Wednesday! I'll be taking the train down from Norwich, performing 15 minutes of slam with some UK artists in Forget What You Heard (About Spoken Word). 

The Facebook page is here.




My fellow Singaporean poet, Stephanie Dogfoot, programmed me in - she recently represented the UK in the World Cup for Poetry Slam in Paris! It's also her farewell gig, 'cos she's returning home soon - hopefully developing our own scene.

Date: Wednesday, 9 October
Time: 19:30-23:00
Venue: Ryan's Bar, Stoke Newington Church St N16, London


That's the best photo I took of Steph when we met up in London the second day I was here. The blurb for the event's below!

Autumn is upon us, cold weather is approaching, the year 2013 is drawing to a close so what does this mean?

NOTHING! Except that the October edition of Forget What You Heard is round the corner and its the LAST ONE where we'll have co-host Stephanie Dogfoot before she moves back to Singapore....
So come down and join STEPHANIE DOGFOOT and MATT CUMMINS and celebrate/commiserate/bid farewell, and October's three spell-binding features you will definitely remember for a long time coming..fireball Anna Kahn, one of the most exciting & funny & accomplished young poets from Singapore today Ng Yi-Sheng and the tender yet ferociously compelling Alex Etchart.

and of course, YOURSELVES on the open mic! As always, entry by donation.
p.s. Since our open mic is so consistently packed out nowadays, we'll only be letting half of the open-mic slots go BEFORE the night, so that there's still room for people to rock up on the day and take part. So that means there are SIX spots up for grabs to you eager social networkers. Go, go, go!

ANNA KAHN Anna Kahn writes letters for a living and poems because apparently thinking about words for eight hours a day is not enough thinking about words. She once beat Scroobius Pip in a Golden Gun contest judged by a lady with questionable taste (true story). She writes everything from PG-rated poems about sexual deviancy to firmly 18-rated poems about her own grandmother, but she promises that if you'd ever met her grandmother this would make perfect sense. She's never been published, partly because she's one of those dreadful spoken-word impostors the Independent says is killing poetry by never actually submitting anything to anyone.

NG YI-SHENG Ng Yi-Sheng is a Singaporean poet-playwright-journalist-fictionist and LGBT activist. He's the youngest ever winner of the Singapore Literature Prize, which he received for his debut poetry collection "last boy". Recently, he co-edited two literary collections: "GASPP: a Gay Anthology of Singapore Poetry and Prose" and "Eastern Heathens: An Anthology of Subverted Asian Folklore". For the past few years, he has taught in his country's only university-level creative writing program and co-organised the monthly multi-disciplinary arts event SPORE Art Salon. Right now, he's based in Norwich, doing his Masters in Creative Writing (Prose) at the University of East Anglia. He was possibly the first slam poet Stephanie ever saw and got inspired by in one of the first queer literary readings in Singapore in 2005.

ALEX ETCHART Alex Etchart is a community musician, folk singer, poet, activist, clown, drama teacher, workshop facilitator and all-round decent human being. He has been involved with and inspired by Occupy London, Friern Barnet library and Balcombe anti-fracking Community Camp. Taking a page from folk singers from Woody Guthrie to David Rovics, his poetry is urgent and unapolagetically critical of the world as we know it, and unflinching in its call to unfuck-it-up, with a solid dose of heart and humour.

Friday, August 30, 2013

ContraDiction's tomorrow!

TheatreWorks, 72-13 Mohamed Sultan Road, Singapore 239007
7:30pm, Sat 31 August.

And here's my lineup of writers!


I'm also doing Southeast Gaysia, a talk on ASEAN gay culture and rights, at 4pm, same venue!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

IndigNation notes

Just for everyone's info: Akka is all set for Thursday night! It seems it's going to be a full-on performance rather than a staged reading. Here's a photo I took on site of Sonia Pravinaa (a transgender dancer and DSC volunteer) and Suresh Subash (actor), who'll be playing the characters Kamini and Vijay.


That's the playwright G. Selva hiding in the foreground btw!

Might as well regale you with some shots of the very successful queer sci-fi reading, Gaylien Invasion, while I'm at it:


My persona for the evening was High Priestess Marikita Pondan-Pondan, a being from an alternate dimension where gender is optional and sex is compulsory.



Audience!


My partner-in-crime for Eastern Heathens, Amanda Lee! (The other presenting writers were Nicholas Deroose, Joel Tan, Jeremy Tiang [in absentia] and the genuine sci-fi writer JC Yang.)


Did I mention I made rainbow cake balls for the event? Arduous task.



Wednesday, August 14, 2013

IndigNation 2013!

August is here, so I'm gonna talk about the various literary and political events I'm doing for the IndigNation LGBT Pride Festival. (Click here for the full calendar!)


THURSDAY 15 AUG // 8PM
Gaylien Invasion : A Night of LGBT Science Fiction (Facebook)

Imagine what queer life might look like in the future… or on different planets… or with robots! Join us for readings of new short stories by local writers like Amanda Lee, Joel Tan, JY Yang and Jeremy Tiang. Curated and hosted by Ng Yi-Sheng.

Venue: Select Books, 51 Armenian Street



FRIDAY 23 AUG // 8PM (SOLD OUT!)
Akka (அக்கா): a reading of Singapore’s first queer Tamil play


Organised by Avant Theater and The Purple Alliance. In 1990, the playwright G. Selvanathan wrote and starred in Akka, a short play in Tamil about the life of a transgender woman. Join us for a staged reading of this play, followed by a discussion on language, race and gender. English subtitles will be provided.

Venue: Artistry, 17 Jalan Pinang


SATURDAY 24 AUG // 6PM

In July, the Russian parliament adopted legislation banning the dissemination of information on “non-traditional” sexuality. The government claims that the law is meant to protect children and young people from information and propaganda that are harmful to their well-being and development. There has also been widespread increase in the number of violent incidents, assaults, harassment and bullying of Russian LGBT people and their allies. A few days ago, a young man died as a result of being tortured by an anti-gay group.

Join us at Hong Lim Park to take a stand against the homophobia that is sweeping across Russia and express solidarity and support to our LGBT comrades there. There will be speeches from activists, poetry readings and the signing of a petition which will be submitted to the Russian embassy in Singapore. Come with a placard, or a message and let your voice be heard!

Venue: Hong Lim Park


SATURDAY 31 AUG // 4PM
Southeast Gaysia! 

Organised by Sayoni. We all know about LGBT problems in Singapore, but have you heard about the queer rights revolutions happening in Cambodia, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian nations? Jean Chong and Ng Yi-Sheng, members of the ASEAN SOGI CAUCUS (sexual orientation and gender identity) group, will talk about different regional trends in queer rights.

Venue: 72-13, 72-13 Mohamed Sultan Rd


SATURDAY 31 AUG // 7:30PM
ContraDiction: an evening of LGBT literature

Our annual reading of LGBT Singaporean writing is back to close IndigNation 2013! We’ll be featuring poetry, fiction, drama, essays and more from an eclectic bunch of Singapore’s queer writers! Curated by Ng Yi-Sheng and Jasmine Seah.

Venue: 72-13, 72-13 Mohamed Sultan Rd


Ooh, and one extra thing that only got just added to the calendar: a queer art exhibition!


THURSDAY 15 AUG  // 6PM OPENING... EXHIBITION UNTIL SAT 31 AUG
No Approval

Grey Projects presents 'No Approval', an exhibition in conjunction with Indignation 2013. Works by Ezzam Rahman, Khai Rahim, Sarah Choo, Guo Yixiu, Marla Bendini, Loo Zihan, Ghazi Alqudcy, Elvin Ching, Lee Gwo Yinn, Farah Ong, Angela Guo, Felicia Low. Please see our Facebook page () and our website for directions and hours.

Venue: 6B Kim Tian Road,  Tiong Bahru,  Singapore 169246