Showing posts with label literary festivals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label literary festivals. Show all posts

Friday, 6 September 2019

Looking ahead: Singapore Writers Festival 2019

The 22nd annual Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) returns this November with the theme A Language of Our Own. This edition seeks to examine the role of languages in the formation of identities and communities at a time when the world is becoming increasingly globalised, yet fractured. The theme invites authors and audiences to reflect on how they talk about different types of language, including non-standard ones such as emojis and Singlish, the local blend of English with words taken from Malay, Tamil and various Chinese dialects. Sessions will explore how, as systems of communication, languages have both the power to create a sense of belonging and also to cause displacement.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Circumstance / A Yellow House

If you're in Singapore do come along to the Asia launch of Circumstance by Rosie Milne, editor of Asian Books Blog, at the Singapore Writers Festival.

Circumstance is launching alongside A Yellow House  by Karien Van Ditzhuijzen.

Details: Sunday 11 Nov, 3.30 pm, the Arts House. See you here, I hope!!

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Elaine Chiew Talks to Ng Yi-Sheng, author of Lion City


Photo Courtesy: Epigram Books
 Ng Yi-Sheng is a Singaporean poet, fictionist, playwright, journalist and LGBT+ activist. He has just published Lion City, his first collection of short stories, inspired by speculative fiction, Singaporean history and myth. He’s currently working on a novel as part of a Creative Writing PhD at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and a performance lecture for the Singapore Fringe Festival, titled Ayer Hitam: A Black History of Singapore.

His books include the poetry collections last boy (winner of the Singapore Literature Prize 2008), Loud Poems for a Very Obliging Audience, and A Book of Hims; the movie novelisation Eating Air and the non-fiction work SQ21: Singapore Queers in the 21st Century. Additionally, he translated Wong Yoon Wah’s Chinese poetry collection The New Village and he has co-edited publications such as GASPP: A Gay Anthology of Singapore Poetry and Prose, Eastern Heathens: An Anthology of Subverted Asian Folklore and SingPoWriMo 2018.

He has also been active in the professional theatre since the age of 17, collaborating with companies such as TheatreWorks, W!ld Rice, Toy Factory and Musical Theatre Ltd to create plays like Hungry, 251, Georgette, The Last Temptation of Stamford Raffles and Reservoir. He is a founding member of the spoken word troupe the Party Action People and co-organised the annual queer literary reading ContraDiction for twelve years.



Photo Courtesy: Epigram Books

EC:      Welcome to AsianBooksBlog, Yi-Sheng. A real honour to have you.

First, congratulations on the publication of Lion City (Epigram Books), which will be launched at the Singapore Writers’Festival 2018. It’s a fantastic read, full of mordant humour, allegorical fabulism, political heft, and a willingness to say the unsayable.

NYS:    Thanks so much! I’m so pleased you liked it.

EC:      Praise for the book, notably Sharlene Teo, likens your stories and voice to Etgar Keret. Also Neil Gaiman. Are they influences?   

NYS:   Neil Gaiman’s been a massive influence on me: as a teenager in the 90s I read the Sandman and Books of Magic comics while they were coming out, and had my mind utterly blown by the idea of this globally (and cosmically) unified mythology and by the idea that magic’s just lurking at the edges of the contemporary urban world. Neverwhere, Marvel 1602, Smoke and Mirrors and The Graveyard Book have been great favourites too.

I’m afraid I’ve never read Etgar Keret, but I must: Lavie Tidhar also said I sounded like him.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

On translation, by Nicky Harman

Nicky Harman, Yan Ge, Natascha Bruce

Let’s talk literary translation, or how to keep audiences riveted by swearing at them

Last week, I was at Cheltenham Literary Festival, appearing on a panel with Yan Ge and Natascha Bruce. We had carte blanche to talk about Translating China, but decided to focus on Yan Ge’s new novel, The Chilli BeanPaste Clan (Chinese: 我们家) because (let’s be honest) it helps sales, and because the three of us all had plenty to say about the book.

The Chilli Bean Paste Clan is set in a fictional town in West China and is the story of the Duan-Xue family, owners of the town’s lucrative chilli bean paste factory, their formidable matriarch, and her badly-behaved, middle-aged son. As the old lady’s eightieth birthday approaches, her children get together to make preparations. Tensions that have simmered for many years come to the surface, family secrets are revealed and long-time sibling rivalries flare up with renewed vigour. 

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Interview with Singapore Unbound Founder Jee Leong Koh

This is Lucía Orellana Damacela first column as International Correspondent for Asian Books Blog. Interview with New York-based Singapore Unbound founder and organizer Jee Leong Koh.
 
How was SG Unbound born, when, who created it?
It all began when writer and arts administrator Paul Rozario-Falcone and I got together one wintry afternoon in Cornelia Street Café, in New York City, to discuss the possibility of organizing a Singapore literature showcase in our adopted home. The literary scene in Singapore was growing, with new writers, presses, and publications, and we thought it was time to introduce the Big Apple to the Little Red Dot.

To rally support from the creative community in NYC, we started the Second Saturdays Reading Series, a monthly gathering featuring an open mike and a published author, and hosted in different private homes around the city. The first Second Saturdays gathering was held in Paul and Al’s home in Carroll Gardens in February 2014.

With the support of this community, we mounted the first Singapore Literature Festival in NYC in October that year, showcasing 14 Singaporean writers. The festival was so warmly received that I
was encouraged to make it a biennial event. At the 2nd Festival in September 2016, Singapore Unbound was officially launched.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Off to The Script Road, the Macau litfest

 Yao Feng in conversation with Han Dong, March 2018

The Script Road in Macau has always had a reputation for being a good place to get invited to – a serious litfest and, most of all, a lot of fun. And so it proved. The first few days focussed on writers such as Ana Margarida de Carvalho (Portugal), Rosa Montero (Spain), Li-Young Lee from the US, Chan Ho-Kei from Hong Kong, and writer and translator, Jeremy Tiang, and children’s author Bao Dongni, Han Dong, Yu Jian and Yin Lichuan from China. The last three, who largely made their name as poets, also direct films, so while I was there we saw Han Dong’s One Night at the Wharf and Yu Jian’s Jade Green Station.