Saturday, April 11, 2009

I'm going to Zurich to work on a book about rent-boys.

I'll be gone until 11 May; then on 13 May I'm flying off again to the States for my brother's graduation. I'll only be back in Singapore for a respectable time from 6 June onwards. So don't call my cellphone.

I have of course set up a blog as a diary for my voyage, but it won't be open to the public to read. I'll put up little excerpts on my personal blog occasionally, or maybe I won't. This is the first sentence I've written:

I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m fucking scared.

Complete the short story with the sentence, with emphasis on correct grammar and spelling. (25%)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Poet X Poet X Photos!

That's me squirming while Prof Lee read my early adolescent juvenilia. I eventually retaliated by performing "Prospect of a Drowning" in Singlish.

Ooh, did I mention we had an audience?

They stuck around for two hours - some of them standing! - while we gabbed about each other's poetry (with brief anecdotal excursions about our personal lives, and those of others, for which I sincerely apologise). Very good response, according to Kenny: someone said it was the best Singapore lit event s/he'd been to in a long time.

This was thanks in no small part to our moderator, Gwee Li Sui. (Edwin Thumboo also interjected a fair number of times. He's being hidden by the stack of plastic cups.)

And really, it was a gorgeous place to have the event:

Photos courtesy of Alvin Pang.

While we're at it, why not some photos from the Life! Theatre Awards? Here's Wong Chee Wai/Ng Tze Wei getting his Best Set Design for "The Last Temptation of Stamford Raffles".

And here's the crowd: (from left to right: Brian Gothong Tan, members of ZingO Drum Group, Fran Borgia, Elizabeth Tan, K Rajagopal):

And our (unnervingly precocious) entertainment:

Now that they've scaled it back to a nominees-only ceremony, it's unlikely that I'll be invited back next year. Ah well, I've decided to concentrate on books rather than drama this year, and there's a price for every venture. (More on that in a later post.)

Now to file my taxes.

Friday, April 03, 2009


“Poet x Poet” series
Session No. 1: Lee Tzu Pheng x Ng Yi-Sheng
Moderated by Dr. Gwee Li Sui


Date // 3 April, Friday
Time // 7 pm
Venue // BooksActually (No. 5 Ann Siang Road. T / 6221 1170)

Poet x Poet is a dialogue session where two well-known poets are invited to read and critique each other's works. This is a first in Singapore where poets from different generations and practice engage in intellectual critical dialogue regarding their craft. The audience is welcome to pose any questions and/or participate in the dialogue. Moderated by Dr. Gwee Li Sui. Organized by BooksActually.

Lee Tzu Pheng was born (May 13, 1946) and educated in Singapore. She has a Ph.D in English from the University of Singapore from where she has recently retired as a Senior Lecturer in its English Department. She has four volumes of poems to her name; of these, the first three, Prospects of a Drowning(1980), Against the Next Wave, (1988) and The Brink of An Amen(1991) were winners of the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) Award. Aside from literary studies, her other interests include children's literature and church work.

Ng Yi-Sheng (b. 1980) is a Singaporean writer. He has published a collection of his poems entitled Last Boy (2006) and SQ21: Singapore Queers in the 21st Century (2006). He won the Singapore Literature Prize in English in 2008.