I’m experimenting with critical writing as critic-in-residence at the Southernmost festival organised by experimental performance company Emergency Stairs. The festival, which emphasises artistic process and intercultural collaborations, runs from Nov 3 to 11, 2018 at Centre 42 in Singapore. You can read my official blog here.
As a creative challenge to myself, I've decided to participate in the annual Singapore Poetry Writing Month (SingPoWriMo): 30 poems in 30 days. This isn't a form I'm comfortable with and I haven't written poetry regularly in something like 15 years, but here goes. This poem was from Day One, with a prompt by Stephanie Chan.
MAP OF 17TH CENTURY SINGAPORE
(with apologies to Imran Tajudeen and William Jamieson)
1690, and the Johor strait is still a river.
Sincapura is a slab, stoppering sea with its
sandbank and barbed tail of coral. It will be
three centuries before the chisel of Changi’s
cheekbone begins to show. Ubin and Tekong
fade in and out on the tide. Nipa, southeast sentry,
marks safe passage through the rocks.
For now, the island squats and plots,
new skin itching at the elbow of the shore.
Dreaming itself larger, dredging for
its missing pieces in the sand: shell, bone, gut.
A very quick round-up of what I've been up to:
- Here in London, I'm writing for Everything Theatre and Exeunt Magazine as a contributing reviewer. So far I've reviewed A Wonderful Town at Ye Olde Rose & Crown Theatre Pub, and Tomorrow I Was Always A Lion by the Belarus Free Theatre. I'll be reviewing about 2-4 shows a month.
- Come for the Battersea Arts Centre's upcoming production, London Stories: Made By Migrants (Nov 4-26). I'm a volunteer and you might be in one of the small groups I'll be bringing around their lovely space.
- Back home in Singapore, my translation of Wu I-Wei's short story The Mountain Road is part of BooksActually's Gold Standard 2016, an anthology of short fiction previously unpublished in English edited by the wonderful Julie Koh. You can go for the launch on Nov 13 at the Singapore Writers Festival.
If you're in London and would like to meet up, do drop me a line.