edited by Tse hao Guang, Joshua Ip, and Theophilus Kwek
published by Ethos Books
"Rhyme is Shakespeare. Rhythm is rap. Sing Lit is free verse. If you’ve ever had such thoughts, let this book demolish them. With poems drawn from 80 years of print and online material, UnFree Verse illuminates an important but overlooked aspect of Singapore’s literary history: formal poetry in English. It features poets beloved and forgotten, immigrant and emigrant, Malayan and cosmopolitan, challenging readers to explore the dynamic landscape of poetry from, about, and around Singapore. In this collection, the formal poem becomes a focal point for the duelling forces of repetition and improvisation, standards and Englishes, freedom and boundaries. Might these constraints be fertile soil for creativity in a city like Singapore? If you think so, UnFree Verse belongs on your shelf."
Featuring the works of
Alfian Sa’at, Ann Ang, Hedwig Anuar, John Augustin, Boey Kim Cheng, Jennifer Anne Champion, Felix Cheong, Christine Chia, Grace Chia, Justin Chin, Amanda Chong, Eileen Chong, Ian Chung, W. J. Crewe, Ee Tiang Hong, D. J. Enright, Goh Poh Seng, Goh Sin Tub, Gwee Li Sui, Heng Siok Tian, Denis Horle, Joshua Ip, G. Kanagabai, Bilahari Kausikan, Koh Buck Song, Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, Theophilus Kwek, Aaron Lee, Anne Lee Tzu Pheng, Lee Jing-Jing, Madeleine Lee, Samuel Lee, Leong Liew Geok, Margaret Leong, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Nicholas Liu, Lo Kwa Mei-en, Aaron Maniam, Chris Mooney-Singh, Nabilah Said, Rohan Naidu, Devan Nair, Marc Nair, Leonard Ng, Ng Yi-Sheng, Ong Teong Hean, Alvin Pang, Cécile Parrish, Alistair Paterson, George Puthucheary, Charlene Shepherdson, Sng Boh Khim, Fiona Sze-Lorrain, George Szirtes, Tan Hui Shan, Ruth Tang, Eddie Tay, Simon Tay, Teh Su Ching, Teng Qian Xi, Teo Kah Leng, Teo Poh Leng, Tham Zhen Teng, Paul Theroux, Edwin Thumboo, G Toh, Toh Hsien Min, Samantha Toh, Tse Hao Guang, Eric Tinsay Valles, Wang Gungwu, Jason Wee, Cyril Wong, David Wong Hsien Ming, Eleanor Wong, Ian Wong, Wong Wen Pu, Angeline Yap, Arthur Yap, Robert Yeo, Yeow Kai Chai, Yin C. H., Zhang Ruihe
See the Straits Times review here, and pre-order the second edition here - the first print run has sold out in two months!
"What is also noticeable this year is an interest in poetic forms. This is, in a way, a contrast to the freer approach to the writing of poetry of Singapore’s first generation of postcolonial poets. Joshua Ip, whose attraction to more formal poetry was illustrated by the publication of Sonnets from the Singlish (2012), reinforced this interest in co-editing two anthologies of poetry during the year: Twin Cities and Unfree Verse. These volumes bring into focus the fact that within the context of Singapore poetry the interest in form is historically more widespread, and has in fact grown with the younger generation of poets."
- Ismail S. Talib, "Malaysia and Singapore", The Journal of Commonwealth Literature 2018.
• • •
Dimension: 130mm x 200mm
Extent: 352 pages
Design: Sarah and Schooling