the singapore literature prize
the good news: i co-won the singapore literature prize in english poetry for sonnets from the singlish, with yong shu hoong (the viewing party). other winners here.
since then it's been a mixed 48 hours, dealing with downstairs neighbor from hell, missing the SLP ceremony and finding out i won (tragicomic moment), overflowing with gratitude, hosting a reading in a bar of the best young Singaporean talent around (with Pooja Nansi and Ann Ang), coming home to read something affecting and having only this to say in indirect response, watching the fallout the next morning and wondering where to put my mouth, deciding to put my money instead, observing the lively and respectful debate by fellow writers, and being generally overcome by the whole kerfuffle (kerfluffle?).
this is the best and most honest advice i got all day, and i'll hang on to it.
"The worst part of me wishes, this morning, that you will be spoiled by the prize and churn out the same stuff as sonnets and scrabble tiles, and so never progress beyond this level of achievement. The better part of me wants you to move beyond, and so make a permanent contribution to literature."
i do think it's time for me to take a break from poetry, and let it all steep for a while. i took a ten-year break once, which turned out to be an incredibly good idea. i don't think the next one will be that long, but hey. who knows.
the emotional stages were wtf, omgomgomghappy, TANKS EVERYBARDY TANKS, ooerghherghhoherghgrrrgh, and now, what am i going to do now?
so back to the drawing board.
if 2011-2013 were all about personal productivity, i'd like 2014-2016 to be about collaboration. (well, and prose.) every dollar of prize money i win will continue to go to publishing projects i believe in.
and this is the list:
- poetry anthologies - A Luxury We Cannot Afford co-edited with Christine Chia, SingPoWriMo 2014: The Anthology co-edited with Ann Ang and Pooja Nansi. (ALMOST DONE)
- critical anthology - UnFree Verse co-edited with Alvin Pang and Tse Hao Guang (OPEN CALL)
- mixed-medium anthology - Why I Stopped Writing co-edited with Marcia Vanderstraaten (CALLING SOON)
- workshops - Math Remedial, the Image-Symbol Department, the Ministry of Noise, and Burn After Reading. perhaps time to cut them loose and form new groups. perhaps a prose workshop. (STILL RUNNING)
- SingPoWriMo 2015. (LOOKING FORWARD)
- graphic novel - Ten Stories Below (previously titled After The Flood) with Tim Wang and Adam Jay (PATIENT PLODDING)
- short story collection - Ex Machina (SLOW BURNER)
- novel - Beautopia (BACK BACK BURNER)
moving on moving on moving on.
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a singaporean poet with an unhealthy addiction to forms.
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