this is somewhat late, but i had a blast last Dec at the Goa Arts and Lit Fest - my first time in Goa as well as in India. to say the very least it was a colorful experience, and i took a bit of time to get my bearings in an exceedingly unique and idiosyncratic country. but once i got into the swing of things (and found out where the alcoholics were) everything was fine.
i'd never met prof edwin thumboo in person before the trip, and one would expect a healthy generation gap and all that comes with that - but he was the personification of generosity and friendliness throughout, giving me the chance to read more than my fair share during his panel, and never shying from being a human photo opportunity as the conference guest-of-honor.
a few things have happened since 2015 has swung round:
1. I've moved house - to something much more roomy and of a significantly higher (hipsterier) quality of living. Basically, I now have ace workshop space - a long table that sits 8 beside an airy stairwell with tons of natural light, with high ceilings and wooden floors on the second floor of a shophouse in Kampong Glam, just between Haji Lane and Artistry Cafe. I continue to share the space with elite design firm - Sarah and Schooling, who have insisted on naming me "Writer-in-residence" - yeah, i sleep here.
I've already tried out the space for a couple of the regular workshop groups I host - Burn After Reading, Image Symbol Department, and Math Remedial - I also made the octogenarian Prof Thumboo climb up the flight of stairs twice (apparently he drove himself and found parking in the area too!) so it can't be that hard to get to. Manuscript Bootcamp will be hosted in this space, too.
I've also started referring tongue-in-cheek to the space as "Banana Arts Center" - so many possibilities!
2. Manuscript Bootcamp is happening and the list is firmed up:
Samuel Lee, Amanda Chong, Daryl Lim, David Wong, Jennifer Anne Champion and Tse Hao Guang will be the first batch of 6 to graduate (hopefully) from the programme, and be released as the Class of 2015 (or the class of SG50, erk). I've set aside the money to publish them, and intend to launch them simultaneously in the month of October after a good 9 months of polishing. The only question is - what do I intend to publish them under?
3. I've set aside the prose writing group for a while, but the news that a talented young lad is finishing up his first manuscript has led me to thinking of resurrecting it in a digital format - a mailing list, basically, of serious prose writers with or working towards a full-length manuscript, hammering through each other's work online. basically a prose version of what i've been doing with the poets.
And hell, if it turns out well enough, maybe I'll publish them too.
Any ideas for what to call the imprint / new press / programme?
a singaporean poet with an unhealthy addiction to metrical forms.
you can buy any of my titles at:
- booksactually (9 yong siak st)
- online here (they deliver internationally). the buylinks are below:
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