i've been really bad at sending out work to journals in years past - but a trickle of amusement through my subconscious in the last few months has finally gotten a couple of pieces by me into two of my favorite asian journals.
Cha: An Asian Literary Journal first published me in 2013, and i've been wanting to submit more to them for a while - the "Writing Japan" issue poked me in the eye and a poem called shigata ga nai (仕方が無い) popped out. i have written pieces about Japan (in the context of Singapore) before - one called 'Liang Court', about Japanese stereotypes in Singapore, one called 'oh green frog', about sakae and the extended metaphor of conveyor belt sushi, but the piece that made it in is in one of my favorite forms - the meditative, elegiac pantoum, and is not immediately discernable as being about japan - but i am glad that the editors found it to contain a sliver of that particularly (to me at least) Japanese sentiment. The Writing Japan issue drops in Jun 2017. (Separately, the current rhino issue also has an essay by me about Sing Lit Station and the good-ish work we do that reads more like an infomercial/advertorial, but i must declare that no financial gain accrued to the editors of Cha as a result.)
Quarterly Literary Review Singapore is the old grand-daddy of Sing Lit, and young me coming up through the ranks always saw having work in QLRS as the gold stamp of achievement. i was rejected several times before, and thought i was lucky enough to sneak a piece in in (coincidentally) 2013: ingrown from making love with scrabble tiles. however, MLWST actually dropped before the QLRS issue, and it had to be pulled it from the journal as a result. a few years on, and several books into my literary career, i finally have a piece in QLRS - defensive architecture. my precociously talented intern who is more than a decade younger, Ang Shuang, also has her first pieces published in QLRS at the same time, but i'm just happy to finally be there too.
i do have one person to thank for both poems and getting into both journals, but she knows who she is.
separately, i've kicked off a couple of different projects. after kicking myself off the editorial team for SingPoWriMo 2017: The Anthology this year (three years in a row is enough), and terminating the A Luxury We X Afford series, i've found myself anthology-less after spending the past few years doing two series of them. (Unfree Verse, being a historical anthology - doesn't immediately lend itself to a sequel). but in the past few months i've found myself (to various degrees) walking down the paths of two more anthos!.
1. i wrote a twin cinema about the Hong Kong elections that went down pretty well, and Eck Kheng of Landmark messaged me shortly after about the possibility of doing a twin cinema anthology dedicated to the form. i was already in talks with a friend about doing a HKG-SIN anthology, and it seemed like the perfect marriage of form and theme - a twin cinema, twin cities anthology. hence, i'm excited to be editing the first ever twin cinema anthology, titled Twin Cities: a twin cinema anthology of Hong Kong and Singapore poetry, together with the irrepressible Tammy Ho Lai-Ming. open call ends 3 Jun 2017 - check it out!
2. in the middle of SingPoWriMo, this happened. Stephanie Dogfoot dropped a prompt that said "Write a poem about a place in Singapore that no longer exists" and nostalgia-crazy Singaporeans went all over the map. in the end, there might well be enough pieces for an anthology of its own - but again, a publisher came forward to chope this idea, and we should soon be having an open call for an anthology of lost location-based poetry in Singapore. I do need a co-editor, though...
- excited to be doing new work, with new partners.
a singaporean poet with an unhealthy addiction to forms.
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