Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Poetica: Hear Singapore's Finest Poets on ABC website

off the ABC Poetica website:

Meetings with contemporary Singaporean poets, Part 1


In July 2010, Mike Ladd spent a week in Singapore interviewing its leading poets from Chinese, Malay, Indian and other backgrounds to find out what they really think of the place and how it influences their writing. He spoke to the elder statesman of Singaporean poetry, Edwin Thumboo, who was born in 1933 in the British colonial period, lived through the war and Japanese occupation, the post-war independence movement, the rule of Lee Kuan Yew, and is still active as a poet and lecturer today.

Alfian Bin Sa'at is a dissident playwright and poet of Malaysian descent who has written a harangue called 'Singapore You Are Not My Country', a long, Ginsberg-like wail of a poem, and we also hear a reading of this work in the program.

Aaron Maniam gives us an insight into life as a Muslim poet in Singapore, and Pooja Nansi into her writing as a young woman of Indian descent, pushing up against Singaporean conventions.

We also hear from leading poet and editor Alvin Pang, who gives us a briefing on the phenomenon of 'Singlish', that characteristically Singaporean reworking of English, and he reads a poem written in Singlish.

Additional readings by Daniel Browning and Mei Wong.
Thanks also to Chris Mooney Singh, Savinder Kaur and Alvin Pang for assistance with research.

Sound engineers: Tom Henry and Graham Knowles
Production: Mike Ladd

List of poems:
The Birth of a Name
by Ting Keng Siong
From Tumasik Contemporary Writing from Singapore.
Autumn Hill Books

May 1954
Arts House Smith Street
by Edwin Thumboo
From Over There: Poems from Singapore and Australia.
Ethos Books.

Singapore you are not my Country
by Alfian Bin Sa'at

Pantum for a Drink Seller
Old Wives Tales
by Aaron Maniam
From Over There: Poems from Singapore and Australia.
Ethos Books.

Listening to Mukesh
A Rant
by Pooja Nansi
From Stiletto Scars
Word Forward Limited

by Alvin Pang
From Over There: Poems from Singapore and Australia.
Ethos Books.

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