Friday, October 28, 2011

SPORE Art Salon 10 - the Halloween Edition!

Just a reminder to everyone that this month's SPORE Art Salon is coming - on Halloween itself! Guests include filmmaker Shaun Koh, artist Ila and sound artist Bani Haykal, and storyteller Kamini Ramachandran. Do also note that the price is now $20, and that it's now a free drink instead of free food.

In the spirit of 31st October falling on the very last monday of the month, we present to you, our first ever, themed salon - the SCARY EDITION! Don on your craziest costume creation, and come on out to The Loft to be spooked by a very special SCARY LINE UP of performing and visual artists who will be sharing the stage!!! It will be a night of halloween-inspired art making, nothing like another, so make sure you don't miss this spine chilling, mind blowing experience!

LOCATION: The Loft - 289A South Bridge Road (Corner of Smith Street & South Bridge Road)
Doors open at 7:30PM
$20/ticket donation/person
FB Event Page :

More info here.

Monday, October 24, 2011


1. I've been published in the wonderful Singaporean literary journal CERIPH, edited by Lee Wei Fen and Amanda Lee.

This is its 4th edition, branded as the white issue, launched last Saturday at the Singapore Writers Festival. I've got a poem to open each of the five themed sub-chapbooks in the journal (they like to monkey a lot with design): a poem on ivory, a poem on wheat, a poem on amber shift, a poem on cosmic latte, a poem on sleet.

Copies are $20 from BooksActually and the Select Books store at the Festival Pavilion, over at the SMU Green. You should totally pick one up.

2. I'm also being published in the mono-titular anthology Coast, edited by Lee Wei Fen and Daren Shiau.

Mono-titular means that every single story and poem in the book has the title "Coast". Contributors include every significant Singapore writer from Edwin Thumboo to Alfian Sa'at to Pooja Nansi to Theophilus Kwek.

Don't know how much it costs yet, but it'll be launched at the following free Singapore Writers Festival event:

date : 26 October 2011, Wednesday (Deepavali)
time : 2 pm ~ 3 pm
venue : Singapore Management University (Festival Pavilion, Campus Green)

Be there or be square.

3. I'm also hosting an event at SWF: the screening and discussion of the short film Civic Life: Tiong Bahru. I'll be interviewing co-director Joe Lawlor, bookstore owner Kenny Leck and someone else.

Tiong Bahru Trailer from Desperate Optimists on Vimeo.

The timing of the event is:

date : 30 October 2011, Sunday
time : 2 pm ~ 3 pm
venue : National Museum Gallery Theatre

Right now, the free advance tickets have been snapped up, but further tickets will be available at 1pm on the day itself from the Museum Box Office. More info here.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Reading tonight!

Just thought I'd say: my NTU students have forced me to do a poetry reading.

Epiphany Literary Society's first Open Nic Night
Fri 14 Oct, 7pm
HSS Building B2

Hope there'll be some kind of audience!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Call for Entries to EASTERN HEATHENS: an Anthology of Fiction Based on Asian Folklore

Dear Writers,

We love Asian folklore. We grew up listening to Chinese legends, Arab fairy tales, Malay ghost stories and Indian sacred epics, and their fabulous images have continued to inhabit our imaginations ever since.

But as adults, we’re sometimes bugged by the moralistic, simplistic way these fables are told. We’re aching to hear these tropes subverted, perverted or simply adapted to reflect our times.

So, we’ve decided to reinvent our heritage. We’re putting together ‘Eastern Heathens’: an anthology of short stories based on folklore from our continent. We're looking for intelligent, imaginative myths, retold for adult connoisseurs.

We’d like you to base your story on a pre-existing Asian folktale. To help you out, we’ve included a list of our favourite traditional stories and sagas at (Do feel free to interpret a story that’s from a culture other than your ‘own’.)

Our deadline is 31 January 2012. Entries should be in prose; poetry will not be accepted. Please include your name and your contact information in your submission. Also include the title of the original folktale that’s inspired your story, as well as a brief summary of that folktale for our reference.

Please e-mail for enquiries and submissions.

Yours sincerely,

Amanda Lee and Ng Yi-Sheng

P.S. Both of us editors are based in Singapore, but we welcome international submissions.

Saturday, October 01, 2011


I've helped to put together this little event for the Singapore Writers Festival Fringe. It'll be on 21 October, 8:30pm, at the SMU Steps. Basically, we were programmed in the middle of a bunch of acts extolling the virtues of poetry, so we've decided to create an event where we ritually execute bad poems instead.

Help us make the event a success by uploading some bad poems on the Facebook page!


A time of reckoning is upon us. Bad poetry must die!
For too long, we have tolerated its presence in our libraries, bookstores, schools and festival programs. We have been tortured by its slipshod rhythms; we have been oppressed by its tyranny in literature syllabuses. We have been scandalized by the repugnant politics of some of its texts – why, some of the damned things just won’t stay banned!

But just as a good poem should be praised, a bad poem deserves to be punished. (Never mind subjectivity – we’re readers, dammit, we know what we like!)

We have therefore resolved to hold a series of bloody executions, so that these miserable verses may die for their sins. And we look to you, the audience, to nominate those worthy of death.

So from now until 14th October, we ask you to post bad poems on this wall, along with your accusations thereof (e.g. banal rhyming, flaccid imagery, inciting civil unrest). You may also submit poems that you feel have been wrongfully charged as 'bad' and deserve a fairer trial in public.

At our event on 21st October, your poems shall either be acquitted or found guilty as charged. You will have the power to choose their fate: whether they enjoy a swift and painless death or suffer the agony of disemvowelment, or worse.

Let the killing begin!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Two literary events ahead!

First of all, there's the upcoming SPORE Art Salon:

The featured artists that I rustled up include singer/songwriter Bani Haykal, poet Yong Shu Hoong and visual artist Lip.

DATE: Monday 26 September 2011
TIME: 7PM - 11PM
LOCATION: The Loft @ 268A South Bridge Road #02-01 (Corner of Smith Street & South Bridge Road)
There is a ticket donation of $15/person to cover event costs, and proceeds go to efforts of featured artists.

FB Event Page:

Second, there's the next Word Forward slam at Blu Jaz! I'm hosting!

DATE: Thursday 29 September 2011
TIME: 8PM - 10+PM
LOCATION: Blu Jaz Cafe, 12 Bali Lane, Singapore 189848

Still waiting for the event page to go up online...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

SPORE Art Salon 9!

Monday 29 August, 7-11pm
ECHO LOFT, Chinatown, Singapore, Singapore 162005

In the month of AUGUST, we are proud to present you a mish mash of artistic wonders! Doors open 7pm at ECHOLoft, a local short film screening will commence at 7:30PM... life drawing sessions, a stage play, poetry reading, an acoustic trio n then some!

SPORE Art Salon is a non-profit opportunity created for visual artists to meet, mingle, inspire, and share with performing artists. During the event, we alternate between drawing sessions with live models, and performances from musicians, contortionists, poets, dancers, actors and more. We also feature works of, and demonstrations by visual artists, individually or collaboratively.

For those who are new to the art salon, our event is modeled after world famous Giles Larrain's Art Salon in NYC, with a distinctly Singaporean twist and flavour!

There is a minimum donation of $15/person at the door, and proceeds will benefit ECHOLoft and our featured artists. There will be alcoholic drinks for sale, and a small spread of 'tapas'! Come meet, mingle and inspire with fellow creatives of various disciplines. Guests are encouraged to participate in the life drawing sessions in between performances, so, bring your charcoal, pastels, paints, drawing pad, ipad...... you are also welcomed to take the stage at the end of the evening during our 'open mic'!


JOW ZHI WEI (film maker)

Born in Singapore, Jow Zhi Wei graduated with first-class honours from The Puttnam School of Film, Lasalle in 2010. He believes in making films that deeply examine the human condition through compassionate, intimate observation of behaviour, discovering the cycles of life and death, the fragility of relationships and the emotional isolation that characters feel in urban spaces.

During his two year study at the school, he wrote and directed two short films. His first, Outing, was selected for competition at the 58th San Sebastian International Film Festival in Spain. His graduation work, Waiting, had its international premiere at the 15th Busan International Film Festival in South Korea. It also received the award for ‘Best Script’ at the 2nd Singapore Short Film Awards 2011, and a ‘Jury Special Mention’ for both ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Performance’.

Both his films have screened at the National Museum of Singapore’s Cinematheque programme, the Singapore Short Cuts, a showcase of outstanding short films from Singaporean filmmakers.
Collectively, they have screened in over 20 countries.

He is an alumnus of the Golden Horse Film Academy in Taiwan, organized by illustrious Taiwanese filmmaker, Hou Hsiao-hsien and is due to pursue his studies at Le Fresnoy - National Studio of Contemporary Arts in France.

'WAITING' will be screened at 7:30PM.


BECCA D'BUS (host)
Eugene Tan is an artist who works in performance, garments and drag. Till recently, Eugene was based in Boston, MA, where he worked he directed A Street Theater Named Desire, a guerrilla AIDS activist performance troupe that did work in gay cruising areas in the middle of the night, he also created Come As You Are: Celebrate Queer Sex!, a performance series that looked at queer sexual values 40 years after Stonewall, versions of Come As You Are were seen in 13 cities across the US, from major gay capitals like San Francisco to cities such as Cedar Rapids, Iowa. As an artist in research at the Berwick Research Institute in 2005, Eugene started an exploration of garments as performing objects, this, he has continued this work with costume design for plays, and also in the creation of Becca D’Bus, his drag persona. Eugene is currently a theater reviewer for The Flying Inkpot.

ALL I WANT - a stage play by Ren Robles
“What are you looking for in a partner?” Watch Vince and Amy try to answer this age-old question that has plagued single people all over the world in the charming romantic comedy ALL I WANT. A lighthearted romp through the perils of singledom and the quest to find The One, this one-act play is written and directed by playwright Ren Robles. ALL I WANT stars Jason Miller as Vince and Crista Leopardi as Amy, two old friends who stumble, bumble, and fumble their way to finding out just what they’re looking for.

REN ROBLES (Playwright and Director) finished with a degree in Psychology but pursues his passions in theatre as a veteran of Repertory Philippines Children’s Theatre as well as the Asian premiere of the stage version of HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL directed by Chari Arespacochaga for Ateneo Blue Repertory in Manila.

JASON MILLER (Vince; Ba. Musical Theatre at CQUniversity) has played Lennox and understudy for Banquo and Malcolm in MACBETH: THE CONTEMPORARY ROCK OPERA (2009), directed by Beth Child at Cremorne Theatre, QPAC.

CRISTA LEOPARDI (Amy; BS in Dance Management) is mostly a dancer but proudly credits roles in CHILDREN OF EDEN (Ensemble), BEND (an Original staging), and ANNIE GET YOUR GUN (Winnie).

ACE BIGCAS is Stage Manager for this production.

The Russian Dolls (acoustic trio)
Fuelled with the passion for music, Sarah E., Fauzo, and Ed came together in the spirit of this one mutual love, to try a hand at a new collaboration. The results weren't surprising... not yet anyway! But are increasingly entertaining, sparked off by the great chemistry within this unexpected trio! Let The Russian Dolls bring you a night of entertainment and laughter!

Stephanie Dogfoot (performance poet)
Stephanie is a performance poet who toys with ideas about identity, foreignness, (not) growing up and river snails. She won the Annual Singapore Poetry Slam in 2010, and represented Singapore in the Indian Ocean Poetry Slam on Reunion Island that same year where she competed against poets from countries like Botswana, India and Madagascar and bridged geographical, cultural and language barriers with a universal ode to hawker food. She was also runner-up in the Vancouver Queer Slam 2008.

Stephanie is in back in Singapore for the moment but is more often found in London where she performs poetry and hosts spoken word events in various spaces around the city (especially squatted buildings) and sometimes finds the time to study law. She recently came to the conclusion that lawyers and poets are more similar than they would like to think because both are in the business of arranging words to change people’s feelings. Stephanie is inspired by things in the world (but especially Singapore) that make her enraged, being righteously enraged, then laughing at them. Her work has been described as ‘spiritual lyrics for the human journey’ (some guy named Sky) and "um...a bit chim. A bit embarrassing for our family. But nice." (her sister).

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

CONTRADICTION 7, Sat 13 Aug, 7:30pm!

Hi guys,

Some of you might know about IndigNation, Singapore's annual queer pride festival. It's on now, and the calendar's up here:

I'd just like to plug my own little event, which is part of the festival: CONTRADICTION 7!!!

Our annual queer literary reading is back! Prepare for a sumptuous salon with Singapore’s most talented new GLBT writers, curated by Ng Yi-Sheng, Jasmine Seah and Amanda Lee.

Featured artists include singer/songwriters Iris Judotter and Roy Lim, poets Teng Qian Xi and Mika Yamaji, playwrights Joel Tan and Drayton Hiers, author/artist Tania de Rozario, slammers Stephanie Chan, Atiqah Lukman and Deborah Emmanuel, Golden Point Award winner Jeremy Tiang, and heterosexual guest star, accordionist Faizal Bochtiar. Hosted by drag queen Becca D'Bus.

Date: Sat 13 August (this weekend!)
Time: 7:30 onwards
Venue: 72-13, Mohamed Sultan Road (TheatreWorks office)

Free entry! Refreshments provided!

Rated R-18 by MDA - we just got the licence. :D

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I'm a little brain-dead right now, so I'll just advertise this quickly: there's a SPORE Art Salon tomorrow, only it's at THE PIGEONHOLE, a lovely little shophouse bar, instead of the normal venue.

In short:

SPORE Art Salon 8
Mon 25 July, 7pm drawing, 8pm performances
$15 entry (inclusive of food, catered by the Pigeonhole)

Directions are as follows:

From Tanjong Pagar MRT Station: EXIT A
Choon Guan Street - Wallich Street - cut through Orchid Hotel - Craig Road - 52&53 Duxton Road

From Outram Park MRT Station: EXIT G
Cantonment Road - Neil Road - Craig Road - 52&53 Duxton Road

But you want to know what's actually happening on the day itself, don't you? Well, here's the info:

SPORE Art Salon is a non-profit opportunity created for visual artists to meet, mingle, inspire, and share with performing artists. During the event, we alternate between drawing sessions with live models, and performances from musicians, contortionists, poets, dancers, actors and more. We also feature works of, and demonstrations by visual artists, individually or collaboratively.


NG YI-SHENG (featured model)

SUZANNE SUBHA CHEW (Laughter yoga artist)

Suzanne zests for continuous learning and upgrading herself has motivated her to sign up for the Certified Laughter Yoga teacher (CLYT) course. She was trained under the world renowned guru Dr. Madan Kataria and had successfully obtained a certificate on the course in January 2010 conducted in Bombay, India. She is convinced, upon completion of the CLYT course, that the world could go HOHO-HAHAHA !!! and enjoyed the cheapest way to a healthy and happy living with little and best no medication. It can also be said that laughter is the best medicine to a stressless life.

JURANE (musician)
21-year-old Jurane Solano has been singing since the age of 4 in her native country, the Philippines where she spent a part of her childhood. “Growing up, music has always been a huge part of my life, and I think it always will be.” When she migrated to Singapore, she joined and won a few singing competitions, spurring her to purse her passion in the performing arts. Her latest achievements include being the central female character in a musical ‘Paul the Musical’ staged in NUS University Cultural Centre (2009) and also lead actress in the musical ’13:34’ staged in Singapore EXPO (2010) to sold-out.

ZUNI (poet)
Metaphorically speaking, Zuni is part-lion (not lioness), part-flying whale, part-fastest mealworm in the world. Literally speaking, she is a young woman who sang before she spoke, told stories before she learnt to read, speaks with respectful intent to people and objects and is grateful to her pillows for listening to her early compositions which were altogether incomprehensible, violent and vulgar. It is most shameful that she did not discover poetry slams until she turned 19, but throughout her life she has always tried to put words in a hear-worthy order. She tells stories through spoken word or music and she does not compose fiction; everything she writes has either happened, is happening or will. There is a peace sign in her signature and it is easy to forge.

As a poet, she has stuck her toes into Blu Jazz poetry slams and Open Mics at TAPAC. As a musician, she’s performed originals at post-museum and other places with a feminist-male/partner-in-c​rime . She is currently a philosophy student who spends her time in the company of Descartes, an ever-creasing dysfunctional poet family and deathly reassuring music. She writes everyday, half of which is discarded by the evening. Please give her your opinions because she's always up for more angles to frame the English word. Also, persons without opinions simply don't care.


MELISSA TAN​tan/weixiang

Melissa is interested in the idea of the push and pull of opposites. Elements and processes that are seemingly contrasting, and discovering the harmony of the in between, that gives her work its balance. Lately, she has been exploring materials, and learning to manipulate them differently. Merging them with other mediums, allows her to incorporate fragility that harmonizes into organic forms, translating a certain dialogue between the materials to inspire a certain ethereality of the work.

The theme for her recent work is on the transience of reality. Inspired by accidental mark makings, the uncontrollability of change and the constant act of trying to control. Merging the accidental marks with her own renderings, make it difficult to differentiate the two processes, however, the delicate line works that harmonizes the piece, aims to elicit the fragile beauty of the ephemeral.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Moving Words Slam, this Saturday, 630-8pm, Esplanade XChange Burger King!

As stated before, I'm devoting a full post to this event, because I'd really like it to be successful. It's the first poetry slam I've organised (with the blessing of Word Forward), and also the first I've emceed in quite some time.

It's part of the Moving Words festival to promote Singaporean poetry, organised by The Literary Centre, who also published GASPP, doncha know. The event's held in conjunction with the featuring of Singaporean poems on MRT trains, a nationwide poetry competition, and the run-up to this year's Singapore Writers Festival.

Also! It features some really cool writers!

RAFA'AT HAMZAH, guest poet: A director, producer, performer and poet in the Malay language; Creative Director of COKELAT Events.

MIRIAM NASH, sacrificial lamb: A young and amazing poet from the UK, currently heading the Writing the City project at the British Council.

MARC NAIR, competitor: One of the young stalwarts of the Singapore slam scene who's represented us in the World Slam Finals. Author of Along the Yellow Line and Chai.

POOJA NANSI, competitor: Another young stalwart, author of Stiletto Stars and one half of the phenomenal music-poetry duo the Mango Dollies!

BANI HAYKAL, competitor: One of our most inventive slammers, frontman for indie-unclassifiable band B-Quartet, founder of multidisciplinary collective mux and associate artist with the Substation.

CHONG KOH YOU, competitor: An emergent voice and one of several of these writers to be jamming in the upcoming Lit Up! performance, The City Limits.

STEPHANIE MILANI, competitor: An Indonesian brought up in Singapore who's performed at the Singapore Writers Festival and the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival.

BENJAMIN CHOW, competitor: A former contestant on Singapore idol and one of our most consistent winners at the Blu Jaz slams!

Seriously, these are some of Singapore's best performance poets. I kid you not. And it'll be a real slam, with tension and competition and prizes.

Judging will be Rafa'at Hamzah, Word Forward co-founder Savinder Kaur, student writers Almira and Azura, as well as a few random audience members.

So once again:

Moving Words Poetry Slam
Saturday 25 June, 630-8pm
Esplanade XChange Burger King!/event.php?eid=180821831975252

The slam is supported by BooksActually, Word Forward and the Esplanade Xchange.

Also click on the above to find out about the Moving Words open mic on Thursday 7 July from 7-9pm at 15 Minutes Cafe. And if you want to find out more about the MRT poetry prize, go to the Moving Words website.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Poetry Readings Galore!

I'm just back from Southern Africa! And I suppose photos may emerge at some point, but right now I have to gear up for the ridiculous number of readings I'm hosting, reading at, or curating in the next week and a half:

The Contemporary: An International Conference of Literature and the Arts
Friday 24 June, 815pm
NTU, Creative Studio, HSS-B2-01

... I'll be reading 5 minutes at the university to academics. Suchen Christine Lim will also have a bit. There's also going be a launch of Spark, the Singapore Poetry Archive.

Moving Words Poetry Slam
Saturday 25 June, 630-8pm

Esplanade XChange Burger King!/event.php?eid=180821831975252

This deserves a whole post to itself. Akan datang!

SPORE Art Salon
Monday 27 June, 7-11pm
ECHO Loft, Chinatown
Corner of Smith Street and South Bridge Rd, Second Floor
$15 for entry (including performance, sketching and food)!/event.php?eid=126847487396738

I've curated Indonesian slam poet Stephanie Milani for this multidisciplinary performance!

Carnal Stash, the House of Incest Reading
Tuesday 5 July, 730-9pm
Post-Museum, 107 Rowell Road.

Erotic texts and artworks curated by Amanda Lee. I'll get 15 min to read alongside folks like X'Ho, Alvin Pang, Pooja Nansi, Madeleine Lee and Tania de Rozario, in front of works by Genevieve Chua! The art show's opening tonight, in fact.
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hello 2111!: a collaboration with Michikazu Matsune

If you happen to be in Vienna/Wien, Austria, this coming week, why not head down to a performance art/art installation I've helped to create called Hello 2111?

It's featured in Wiener Festwochen's "Survival Strategies", and it's initiated and mostly created by Michikazu Matsune, a Japanese artist working in Austria whom I last met at the Flying Circus Project 2007.

The performance segment is a letter to the people of the year 2111, performed by Mich himself. I helped generate the text (in fact, I just got off Skype with him as we hammered out the final version). Can't fly over because I'm currently in Zimbabwe.

Anyhow, details are:

13 to 18 June 2011
Kunsthalle Wien, project space karlsplatz
brut at Künstlerhaus

(The performance is on 18 June!)

More info about the exhibition here.

Friday, June 03, 2011

I'm being featured in "Utter", directed by Natalie Hennedige, Sat 18 June!

I've only got a single poem in the programme: "Ne Zha", from my collection "last boy". But I wuv Natalie, and the YouTube keeps gliding over "GASPP", so I'm pretty damn chuffed.

Sadly I'll still be in South Africa on the date of the performance, so I can't watch. But maybe you can!

Here's the synopsis, from the bookings page on Gatecrash:

utter : to give audible expression to (something), to articulate (words); pronounce or speak. Example: He can hardly utter a sentence without swearing.
utter : carried to the highest degree; absolute, complete, total. Example: Utter madness

What do you get when you add three exciting talents from the theatre, television and film circles to a mixed bag of creative writers from Singapore? Three utterly riveting evenings of highly dramatised readings you don’t want to miss.

Utter is curated and directed by Natalie Hennedige (Nothing, Cuckoo Birds), Lee Thean-jeen (The Pupil, Singapore Short Story Project) and Ken Kwek (Kidnapper, It’s a Great, Great World). These directors will draw fresh content from anthologies Telltale: 11 Stories, & Words and upcoming writers and screenwriters. Watch them breathe new life to these Singapore texts and brew a heady concoction for your enjoyment!

June 17: Curated and directed by Lee Thean-jeen

One moment, savour the quiet of the written word, and the scent of the flipped page and the next, put on new spectacles as characters take on new life - phrases shout out with new emphasis while other words are whispered or uttered into your ear. Observe how your fellow audience member reacts to the mounting tensions, the shattering relations and increasing distances even whilst you settle into your own seat. Thean-jeen turns the reading upon the reader as every gesture adds a different layer of interpretation to the text, and filmed footages add a new dimension to themes and topics explored in Singapore content including Dave Chua’s ‘The Drowning’ and Alfian bin Sa’at’s ‘Autobiography’.

Cast: Lim Kay Tong, Christina Sergeant, George Young

June 18: Curated and directed by Natalie Hennedige

'Thirteen Ways of Looking and Other Observations' utters naked truths and offers poignant and tender observations of life from the perspective of Singaporean writers. It weaves poems written by Yong Shu Hoong, Madeleine Lee, Ng Yi-Sheng, Cyril Wong, Alfian bin Sa’at, Toh Hsien Min, Alvin Pang and Felix Cheong into Alfian bin Sa’at’s short story ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Hanging’. Directed by Natalie Hennedige and performed by Julius Foo, Noorlinah Mohamed and Lim Kay Siu, it is a celebration of the diversity, honesty and power in Singaporean writing.

Cast: Julius Foo, Lim Kay Siu, Noorlinah Mohamed

Sound Designer: Philip Tan

June 19: Curated and directed by Ken Kwek

What happens to a society of pragmatic Singaporeans when it falls under the spell of a magical, soporific haze? Applying the cinematic technique of time fragmentation, filmmaker Ken Kwek deconstructs Jeffrey Lim’s dazzling short story, ‘Haze Day’, and introduces a new chaos to the parallel lives of Evan, Fathul, Nallini and Hwee Leng as they unravel in a blanket of narcotic smoke.

Cast: K Rajagopal, Lim Kay Siu, Sukania Venugopal, Koey Foo

Advisory for 19 June 2011 performance: Mature content and some coarse language. Recommended for ages 16 and above.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

SPORE ART SALON, Monday 30 May, 7-11pm

The SPORE Art Salon, our monthly multidisciplinary showcase of performance poets, artists and musicians, is back! Be at Echo Loft in Chinatown tomorrow night to check us out!

Plus, we've lowered the donation price to $15 to make it more affordable. Proceeds benefit the ECHO Music Sponsorship Program for disadvantaged kids.

There will be models posing between performances and you are encouraged to take part in these mini live drawing sessions. I'd really like to recommend Miriam Nash (a splendid British performance poet who's leaving Singapore soon) and Ben Chow (a splendid Singaporean slam poet, full stop).

SPORE Art Salon
Tuesday 29 March, 7-11pm
ECHO Loft, Chinatown
Corner of Smith Street and South Bridge Rd, Second Floor
$20 for entry (including performance, sketching and food)!/event.php?eid=206097452746078


Bill Leary is a master jazz musician, who aims to educate and entertain people with his music. He will remove some of the mystery and myths about jazz music, and make it accessible to all listeners. Many times people are turned off by jazz because they don't truly understand the art form. Allow Bill to be your tour guide through this organic and ever-changing art form.

BEN CHOW: Benjamin spends most of his time slouched over a desk in a dark cobweb infested basement. He survives on rats and the occasional snake while crafting short little horror stories that often don't scare people as much as he would like. However, during those rare moments when Benjamin does crawl out from beneath the woodwork, he has been known to sing, loudly and annoyingly, and sometimes even tap dance. Benjamin sightings have been few and far between, but he has been recorded to have been seen at Blue Jazz, during their monthly poetry slams, at TAPAC (the Telok Ayer Performing Arts Centre), during their fortnightly Open Mics, and every now and then in one or two really off-off-OFF Broadway musicals. Nowadays, Benjamin is spending more and more time masquerading as a Student of Lasalle's BA (Hons) Acting Programme, while secretly using the basement there for his dark and mysterious purposes. It's more spacious. And they have a great theatre. Go figure.

MIRIAM NASH: Miriam Nash is a British poet, currently sneaking around Singapore. She has performed her poetry in London, Chicago and Singapore, at the Esplanade, the Arts House, Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, Young Chicago Authors and too many bars and cafés to count. She appears regularly at Word Forward’s Blu Jaz SLAMs and her work has been featured on 938LIVE. She coordinated England’s first national youth poetry SLAM and regularly runs workshops in schools. Her first book of poems will be published this year by flipped eye publishing.

NOLUYANDA MQULWANA: Is an engaging and passionate choreographer and dancer from South Africa. She brings a genuine and heartfelt authenticity to all her projects. She is looking forward to inspiring the art salon with her sensitivity and strength...a performance that MUST be seen!


AVA TAN: This talented artist was born in Shan Dong province of China where she came to experience painting through the master Ma Yan Hong and later came to love painting as she continued to fervently pursue numerous summer programs in Beijing before enrolling at the local art high school. Her current work explores an inward turning world that appears incongruent from the workings of a sensing body. Through a voyueristic glass that is turned upon the human self and its various participants, it is at once a sympathetic and disparate view of an amorphous body image when the lines between performance and reality are blurred in the eyes of others as they are turned in upon oneself.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Moving Words launch today, 4-6pm @ Esplanade XChange!

Have you heard about Moving Words, the new initiative by The Literary Centre to promote Singapore poetry? It'll be launched today at 4pm, Esplanade XChange, right next to Dunkin Donuts.

There'll be poetry readings from Singapore’s established poets whose works are gonna be featured on the SMRT train network. Poets such as Gilbert Koh (aka blogger Mr Wang Says So), Chia Hwee Pheng, Liang Yue, Rasiah Halil, Grace Chua and KTM Iqbal will read their featured poems.

The Proletariat Poetry Factory will provide poetry-on-demand for passing commuters using typewriters as a medium with accompanying local 3-piece Jazz band – The Reflections, entertaining the crowd.

Plus, we'll have the Moving Words Poetry Competition will also officially open for entries. The first 20 people to submit their poems for the Competition at the launch will receive a Books Actually voucher worth $20.

Here's some info on the competition:

We invite all aspiring poets, young and old, to participate in an open Moving Words Poetry Competition. This is a great opportunity for budding poets to showcase their poems, in any of the four languages, on a national platform – the SMRT train network!
Call for submissions for the Moving Words Poetry Competition. This competition is open to all Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents. The competition period is 21st May to 15th July 2011. The 12 best entries will be shortlisted by a panel of judges for display on the SMRT train network from August to October 2011. The public will then get to vote for their favourite entry and the public’s votes will decide the winning poem. The winner receives a brand new iPad2 and there will be two consolation prizes of Books Actually vouchers worth $200. Voters also stand a chance to win attractive prizes like the iPod Touch and Books Actually vouchers. Details about the competition can be found at .
The 12 best entries will also be published in the Moving Words Anthology together with the works of established Singaporean poets, and launched in October at the Singapore Writers Festival 2011, Singapore’s largest literary event.

The website is - it'll be live later today!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm acting in a show in the Singapore Arts Festival!

Technically, it's part of Flipside. It's a 10-minute play called "The Tent" by Wee Lilin, to be performed as part of Tisch Asia's "Love and Other Disasters" on Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 May, 7:15pm and 8:15pm at the Esplanade Concourse.

Come come! It's free entry. Facebook page here:

The Esplanade and The Department of Dramatic Writing at Tisch Asia team up to bring you two nights of short plays about love, loss, and zombies.

Performing on the Concourse Stage, Tisch Asia writers will be showcasing some of the most popular plays from the past two years.

This is a free event, and is part of the Flip Side, the Esplanade's companion event to the Singapore Arts Festival.

Featuring plays by Josh Billig, Adeline Food, Lou-Lou Igbokwe, John Marsh, and Wee Li Lin.

Direction by Maxim Dashkin, Drayton Hiers, Dean Lundquist, and Wee Li Lin.

And starring Michael Chua, Tim Garner, Sophie Khoo, Bill Kovacsik, Jacqueline Landsman, Ng Yi-Sheng, Glory Ngim, Adeline Pang, and Erik Wayne.

With Philip Leung as the Emcee.

TWO SHOWS NIGHTLY: May 18 & 19 at 7:15 and 8:15. Each performance is the same set.

Monday, April 18, 2011

SPORE Art Salon, Tue 26 April

I was involved in curating this one. Come down and watch young slam poet Deborah Emmanuel - she's really cool.

SPORE Art Salon
Tue 26 April, 7-11pm
ECHO Loft, 268A South Bridge Road

Here's the blurb:

This month we will be featuring a live art installation/creation, featuring the visual artistry of ART SASPUTROWARDOYO and DAWN ANG. They will be combining their talents for improvisational line drawing, to absorb the atmosphere and produce a fantastic and imaginative landscape in real-time. This must be seen to be believed!! As always, we will be conducting live model drawing sessions throughout the evening, so bring your pencils, charcoal, pads and paper. Let our engaging and eclectic models inspire your creativity. All guests are allowed and encouraged to participate in the drawing sessions.


ALICE RENOU BOUILET: Miss Alice hails from Paris, France, where she has enjoyed an exciting performance career. Having performed as a dancer at the world famous Lido theater, and distinguishing herself as an accomplished modern dancer, harpist, choral singer and actress, she now joins the SPORE Art Salon to weave her wonderful blend of cabaret, jazz, and sophistication. A truly tempting treat!

DEBORAH EMMANUEL: Deborah Emmanuel is a full-time learner, part-time teacher and performer who has newly discovered her love for telling stories. Most of the stories she has told have used theatre and drama as their medium. Within the last year, she has started using performance poetry as the way to tell hers and other people's. Most of her poetry is based on snatches of time or striking life experiences which explore raw emotion. Deborah believes that it is this essence of each story which brings people together, since every person has been sad, happy, angry or afraid- even if they pretend not to be. She hopes that you hear her stories with an open heart and mind, and that they make you feel.

EDMUND LEE: Sir Edmund Lee is a heartfelt and passionate singer/songwriter. Deeply inspired by the work and stylings of Jason Mraz and John Mayer, Edmund continues to create welcoming and warm pictures and stories with his music. Come let him speak to your soul.

You don't want to miss a single minute of this month's event. The cost of the evening is $20 CASH ONLY. Proceeds go to fund the ECHO music school.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

By the way, there's an interview with me on Writing the City.

I share my top five writing tips!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I've a bunch of gigs coming up!

1) I've got a poem in Man/Born/Free: Writings on the Human Spirit, edited by Gwee Li Sui. It's being marketed in South Africa right now as part of Spotlight Singapore. I hear it's doing rather well.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I'll be speaking on a panel at the Singapore launch! Here's the info:

Launch of "Man/Born/Free"
Friday 26 March, 11am-12pm
Living Room, Level Two, Arts House

And here's a blurb from this site:

"This literary anthology – centred on the travails of the human spirit – is like none other published in Singapore. It testifies to the social reflections of generations of Singaporean writers and their inquiries into issues of freedom, equality, humanity, and hope. The selection brings together works originally written in English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil across almost six decades of Singaporean life. They are arranged here in a compelling way that argues for the inevitable interconnections of these concerns. Man/Born/Free is an exciting initiative to commemorate the relationship between Singapore and South Africa as extended through the 2011 event, Spotlight Singapore in Cape Town.

2) I'm performing stuff at the
SPORE Art Salon. It's an event cooked up by Ryan Beck, a dancer at Resorts World's Voyage de La Vie circus show (no, I'm not kidding). He and his fellow artist/performers have been longing for a way to connect with the greater Singapore arts scene, which is really hard for them since they're usually working Wednesday to Sunday.

They've set up this monthly event where they can gather and showcase works by both Singaporean and expat artists - plus, there's live models present for sketching, so you can practise your drawing skills. Unfortunately, it costs $20, but the proceeds go to charity, and there'll be a lovely tapas spread to boot.

This month's will feature myself, musicians/comedians Jacqueline and Bill Landsman, pianist/songwriter/performer Johnny Kim and accordionist/singer/songwriter Faizal Bohtiar.

SPORE Art Salon
Tuesday 29 March, 7-11pm
ECHO Loft, Chinatown
Corner of Smith Street and South Bridge Rd, Second Floor
$20 for entry (including performance, sketching and food)

3) I was involved in a collaboration between artists and writers, organised by the literary journal CERIPH and the Substation. Not a lot of publicity materials out yet, but I'm just gonna announce the launch of the art exhibition:

Synaesthesia Launch
8-17 April (launch 7pm on Friday 8 April)
Substation Gallery, 45 Armenian St

Thankyee, y'all!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Singapore Biennale 2011 Young Art Writers Programme

I'm leading creative workshops at the Singapore Biennale on Wednesday and Thursday!

If you're interested in finding out more, e-mail

Friday, March 11, 2011

I'm writing for the Canvas!

Just wanted to let you know that I'm now a member of the Council, i.e. the unpaid staff who write for the National Art Gallery blog, the Canvas.

Why? Because I frickin' love art and writing about it is a good way to waste my time and hasten my death. E.g. I recently wasted time blogging about photographer Alecia Neo, plus I vomited up a piece called 10 Gloriously Cheesy Merlion Artworks, in honour of the Singapore Biennale 2011.

Speaking of which, I'll be attending the opening of that event in eight hours. No costume this time, sadly.

Monday, February 14, 2011

ROJAK 17, this Fri 18 Feb, @ 5 Magazine Rd, Central Mall

Dearest friends,

Come to ROJAK 17! (I'll be hosting.)

Welcome to our first ROJAK of 2011, this Friday,18th February, co-curated by BBH and FARM. It promises to be alot of FUN, with live performances scattered throughout the night.

We are hosted by BBH at their lovely courtyard space at 5 Magazine Road (Central Mall). Syndicate will start spinning at 7pm, and presentations starts at 8pm. Come early to support and see!

Our presenters for the evening, are, in no particular order:

1. Syndicate, Visual & Music
2. Colin Seah, Architecture & Design
3. Yuki Mitsuyasu, Jewellery Design
4. Quek Kiat Sing, Chinese Art
5. Hunn Wai, Product Design
6. Douglas Hamilton & Adrian Chan, Advertising
7. Abednego Trianto, Photography
8. Andree Weschler, Fine Arts & Performance
9. Felix Ng, Design
10. The Observatory, Music

Remember to bring drinks and beer to share for the beloved ROJAK dinghy. Bring your friends and family too! It's all in the spirit of ROJAK sharing. :)

P.S. This salivatingly-fabulous poster is designed by BBH (lotsa thanks!!)

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

PANEL DISCUSSION: From Ideas to Theatre Idols

(I'm moderating this!)

Meet three past winners of Theatre Idols, an annual event where staged readings of original new plays are held and the winner decided by public voting for a full staging of his/her play. These upcoming talented playwrights - Jacke Chye, Edgar Liao and Yak Aik-Wee - will chat about their experiences writing plays and taking part in Theatre Idols and also discuss real challenges facing new playwrights in the Singapore theatre scene.

Organised by the National Arts Council's Mentor Access Project and supported by The Arts House.

Free Admission.

Friday 11 February 2011,
7pm - 8.30pm ,
Arts House Play Den

Event details from: For enquiries, contact The Arts House at: 6332 6900.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Friday reading, Gay's the Word, London, 7pm

As you know, I'm in London promoting GASPP: a Gay Anthology of Singapore Poetry and Prose (in addition to some of my own work.) As part of the tour, I'm doing a reading at the UK's only GLBT interest bookstore.

If you're in London, please come! There'll be wine and Chinese New Year goodies.

Friday, 4 February, 7-8pm
Gay's the Word
66 Marchmont Street
(Russell Square Tube), London WC1N 1AB
020 7278 7654
By the way, the event's been set up by Clara Yee, part of the amazing informal cultural promotion group Creative SINergy. Thanks so much, guys.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I'm going to London!

And I'll be appearing at these two events. Possibly a third, if we get our act together. :)

Count on Queers, Singapore!
Friday, 28 January 2011, 5:30-7pm
Room 104 (Senate House, First Floor), Institute of Commonwealth Studies
School of Advanced Study, University of London

Part of a public seminar series on Singapore Politics at the University of London. Queer Singaporean writers Ng How Wee and myself will be chairing the first part of the event, followed by a talk by Dr Simon Obendorf (University of Lincoln) on queer politics in Singapore.

Monday, 7 February 2011, 6.30pm onwards.
RADA Foyer Bar, Malet Street, London WC1E 7JN.

Birkbeck's monthly readings event, organised in partnership with Oxfam. I'll be one of the featured readers.

Facebook event page:!/event.php?eid=174827652553310
writLOUD official page:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Crime Night, 29 January, 8pm at Prologue, Orchard ION

Haven't mentioned this before, but I'm in Crime Scene: Singapore, and anthology of crime writing set in this country, edited by Richard Lord and published by Monsoon Books. Buy it! I get royalties. :D

There's an event happening later this month, but unfortunately I'll be in London at the time (never mind what the poster says). Go support these writers anyways.

N.B. It's on Amazon too!