footnotes on falling is my first full-length original collection after a 5 year hiatus since making love with scrabble tiles (i'm not counting sonnets from the singlish upsize edition, which added 44 poems to the original 44 from sonnets from the singlish), and represents a shift from the light-hearted local-flavored sonnets that i'm known for. the collection brings together a grab-bag of love poems from the past five years, charting the rise and fall and picking-up-after of various relationships. i hope you like it.
you can buy it from booksactually at this link or in kino and other bookstores.
""(I)n certain urgent/ cities," writes Ip in his fourth poetry collection, "words left too/long out cool, curdle/ or clot." In 44 wry, self-deprecating poems, he navigates the detritus of relationships with a smattering of ekphrasis, wordplay through translation and poetic forms, such as the twin cinema and the liwuli. Mind the endnotes." - Olivia Ho, The Straits Times (link)
Footnotes On Falling, a collection of 44 poems by award-winning poet Joshua Ip, has no shortage of clever footwork as it delves into themes local and personal - from sex to senescence; from hostile architecture to the Housing Board staircase a Lasalle student paved with gold foil... Footnotes On Falling is not governed by the formal constraints of the sonnet, yet there is a subterranean pattern that binds the pieces together. The endnotes, gathered in lists at the end of the book, spawn new poems when they are read all at once. ... [it] prompts the reader to think long and hard about our motives for writing poetry, why we read it, and what makes a good Singapore poem in this age of mobile phones and Twitter-shortened attention spans. - Toh Wen Li, The Straits Times (link)
"Ip recognises that moving on is a matter of perspective, where things that seem to fall are in reality moving upwards, where words that once felt devastatingly serious, and names that once seemed significant, are in reality unimportant as time goes on. This, and not defensive erasure, is how closure is eventually found." - Jerome Lim (full review)
"...as we progress through the text the sheer eccentricity of Ip's worldview come to the fore with unexpected images and daring games of language--all this mixed in with genuine accounts of dealing with heartbreak....Ip manages to balance a commitment to experimentation with honest emotion." - Ng Yi-Sheng
"Footnotes on Falling is as much a pensive meditation on the poet's passage through life, with all its vicissitudes, as it is a love letter to the Singaporean form. It is equal parts bitter and acceptance, love and apathy, falling and being caught."
- Valen Lim
"there is a quiet poignancy and playfulness in this collection, something subdued and sad but doesn't take itself so seriously. one may call it a dignified resignation, a cynicism, a play on play on words. or perhaps, it's just the slow maturity of life not unlike the ripening of a fruit, transforming from fresh sour to bittersweet." - Jocelyn Suarez
"This is a post-UnFree Verse Joshua, seemingly more aware of his poetic prowess, and with great power comes great trollsponsibility."
- Crispin Rodrigues
"Enthusiastic in its extremity, Ip’s work binds together the morbid curiosity of our sourest livelihoods and the relief of wordplay. It is a joy to watch the poet’s mind explore both itself and the world that surrounds it."
Greg Bem, RainTaxi (full review)