A rojak* of items that caught my eye this week…
SEA Write Awards
The S.E.A. Write Awards, or the Southeast Asian Write Awards, are presented annually to poets and writers from countries which are part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The country awards are sometimes given for a specific work, and sometimes for lifetime achievement. The types of works honoured vary, and have included poetry, short stories, novels, plays, folklore, and scholarly and religious works.
It has just been announced that Singapore-based Tamil writer Jamaludeen Mohamed Sali has won 2015 the S.E.A. Write Award for Singapore, for the body of his work. Meanwhile, Veeraporn Nitiprapha has won the award for Thailand, with her novel Saiduan Ta Bod Nai Khaowongkot (A Blind Earthworm in a Labyrinth). So far as I can ascertain, these are the only two awards made this year.
The S.E.A. Write Awards were initially conceived by the management of The Oriental hotel in Bangkok, and the award ceremonies are held there, with a member of the Thai royal family presiding. The ceremony for 2015 is tomorrow, Monday December 14.
Writing Through crowdfunding initiative
Writing Through, the Cambodia-focussed charity which promotes language fluency, conceptual thought and self-esteem through creative writing, has launched a crowdfunding campaign. Sue Guiney, the founder of Writing Through, says: “I know that this holiday season is the time of many requests. I find myself inundated with solicitations, too, and so I do hesitate to add one more to the list. But Writing Through provides a different way to help a world that so often seems crazy. It is a truly international initiative that believes literacy, conceptual thought and self-esteem are some of the most powerful tools in the global fight against poverty. And we are a young organization - help in any amount will have a direct and immediate impact on the work that we do.” To contribute, click here.
About the book: The Cantonese call anyone lecherous, and anything salacious, harm sup - literally salty and wet. And the code word for all things harm sup is kitchen tiles. Anyone who has stepped into a Chinese kitchen knows it is like a war zone, with broth and condiments spilt all over the place; hence the tiles are deemed salty and wet.
Kitchen Tiles: A Collection of Salty, Wet Stories from the Bar-Rooms of Hong Kong looks at the more lascivious aspects of Hong Kong society. These 50 stories of gamblers, drinkers, masseuses and millionaires are based on the real-life experiences of Feng Chi-shun, author of the Hong Kong bestseller, Diamond Hill, a memoir of his childhood in a Kowloon squatter village. Names and circumstances have been changed, but the sentiment and spirit remain authentically Hong Kong, and the emphasis is always on humour.
About the author: Feng Chi-shun’s day job is as a pathologist – one of the most respected in Hong Kong.
Details: Kitchen Tiles is published by Hong Kong-based Blacksmith Books, in paperback. It is available outside Hong Kong through the US Amazon site.
Each week I make a suggestion of an interesting Twitter account you may like to follow. This week,Michael Vatikiotis, @jagowriter, the Asia regional director of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, an organisation concerned with armed conflict mediation, and an author of both fiction and non-fiction, with thirty years’ experience in Asia.