ooh, lots to say.
SG:IO at London was fun, and i will write a few words about it soon.
A Luxury We Cannot Afford and SingPoWriMo were gifted the honor of a great review by Collier Nogues in Cha: An Asian Journal, which you can read here. it's called "Singapore, Anthologised".
on that note - i don't think I'll be able to finish my graphic novel, or my short story projects, or my novel, or a new poetry collection in the next 12 months. work is swarming up and it'll be a very busy year, with hardly any room for creative space. however, i've had the luck to meet some great writers who i am excited to collaborate with on editorial projects over the past couple of years, and have begun to outsource some of the more administrative aspects of putting books together to a very dedicated team of interns.
there are different flavors of joy and challenge in putting together an anthology of other people's work, vs a collection of one's own. the creative process is more intensive in some ways - the right brain cannot really be rushed. it needs the time to percolate, to generate. conversely - anthologising is a slightly more left-brain process, demanding more critical skills, organisational and administrative skills. pattern recognition and sequence forming, standard-imposing. and left-brain work can always be jammed into those short half-hour gaps between or after work, unlike right-brain work. i can't write a poem in that kind of space but i can sure edit one. equally importantly, i can outsource some aspects of editorial work, but i can't outsource any creative work.
so ironically, as my workload piles up, i'm becoming more of an anthologiser/publisher rather than a writer per se. not ideal, but at least i'm doing my part in populating the scene and giving new people a chance to shine.
here are some books you can look forward to in the next 12 months:
- the first two collections from a new imprint of math paper press - TEN YEAR SERIES! they are Tse Hao Guang's "Deeds of Light" and David Wong's "For The End Comes Reaching". i think these are two of the most exciting new collections by young Singaporean poets... ever. Ten Year Series seeks to put new manuscripts through the grinder - of a full-scale manuscript bootcamp incorporating publishers, poets, academics and editors to whip those books into shape, combined with a year-long developmental process. i'm really looking forward to bringing these books to you.
[launch target - Nov 15 (SWF)]
- SINGPOWRIMO 15: THE ANTHOLOGY - a collection of the best work from this year's Singapore Poetry Writing Month, is becoming a reality. Jennifer Anne Champion and Daryl Yam have signed on as the other two co-editors, supported ably by Chief Administrator Natalie Wang. The whole team are alumni of last year's SingPoWriMo - Champion is one of the six poets who went on to Manuscript Bootcamp, whereas Yam holds the undisputed honor of Most-Poems-Ever-Published-In-SPWM14:The Anthology. it really embodies the community and nurturing spirit of SPWM that poets who found opportunities and inspiration in the previous year can move on to be editors in the next year to help give back to the community, and gain new literary experience as well. in the same spirit, it's going to be crowd-funded, so look out for us coming for your money very very soon!
[launch target - Dec 15]
- UNFREE VERSE - is an anthology of Singapore poetry that stretches all the way back to the 50s and 60s - we're looking to put together a full body of poetic history that disproves the oft-held view that Singapore poetry is "all about free verse". a country of constraints and OB markers should, if anything, thrive in producing a poetry of restraint and measured meter. my fellows in the editorial team are the super-hardworking Tse Hao Guang and Theophilus Kwek, who lend a high level of academic rigor to this project that i feel somewhat inadequate to sustain. (I'm currently looking for a Chief Administrator for this project - do pop a mail if you're interested)
[launch target - Feb 16]
- A LUXURY WE MUST AFFORD - is a sequel of sorts to last year's "A Luxury We Cannot Afford". If ALWCA was all about The Man, and by extension, SG<50, ALWMA looks beyond those storied years and into the future, towards SG >50 and our certainly uncertain hopes and dreams. Christine Chia and me are now joined by fresh editorial blood in the form of the immensely talented Cheryl Julia Lee, who will help give us old fogies the credibility to talk about young people stuff.
[launch target - Feb 16]
a singaporean poet with an unhealthy addiction to forms.
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