Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm gonna be MIA until Saturday.

I'm going for the first Arvon Writers' Retreat on Pulau Ubin from Monday 19 Oct to Saturday 24 Oct - which is, of course, the day the Singapore Writers' Festival opens its doors to the public.

Do I think it's been particularly well organised this year? No, I do not. Witnessed its wonderful ambitious themes fall apart due to lack of budget and lack of luck.

But it still is the first year I'll be a featured participant. So here's the events I'm involved in (including one I'm moderating!):

24 Oct 2009, 12:30 pm
Listen to This

Price: Free
Venue : Living Room

Featuring: Madeleine Lee, Ng Yi-Sheng, David Leo

Moderator: Eleanor Wong

Cutting beneath Singapore’s sceptic veneer, Madeleine Lee, Ng Yi-Sheng and David Leo lyrically weave the nation’s essences into poetry. These poets are politically aware, transnational and cosmopolitan, frequently presenting their intensely focused, self-questioning and highly individualised perspectives of Singaporean life, society and culture via their collections. Listen in and find out how Singapore has inspired and challenged them.

Event end: 1.30pm

30 Oct 2009, 6:00 pm (TIME AND DATE CHANGED!!!)
Launch of Tumasik: Contemporary Writing from Singapore

Price: Free
Venue : Play Den

Co-published with the Iowa Writing Program, University of Iowa, the anthology Tumasik features the works of Singapore’s finest writers hailing from the four official languages of English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. Edited by poet Alvin Pang, the anthology includes Singaporean writers such as Anuar Othman, Madeleine Lee, Quah Sy Ren, Johar Buang, Toh Hsien Min, Kirpal Singh, Verena Tay, MK Narayanan, Latha and Wong Yoon Wah.

Event end: 7.00pm

31 Oct 2009, 5:00 pm
Award-Winning Writers from Singapore

Price: Free
Venue : Blue Room

Featuring: Ng Yi-Sheng, Chia Hwee Pheng, Yeng Pway Ngon, Mohd Latiff Bin Mohd, Latha
Moderator: Kirpal Singh

Singapore’s multi-language and multi-cultural landscape is reflected best in its varied and colourful literary scene. Join Singapore Literature Prize winners and Cultural Medallion award winners as they discuss their roles as writers, their literary adventures in the four official languages of English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil, and their hopes for literature in Singapore.

Event end: 6pm

01 Nov 2009, 3:00 pm
Evolution: The Curious Case of Books

Price: Free
Venue : Blue Room

Featuring: Thangavel Palamalai, Appala Narasiah, Meira Chand, Robert Yeo
Moderator: Ng Yi-Sheng

How do books affect or change our lives? What is this medium that moves and transforms? Does it have any place in our visually saturated and fast moving world? Join four of our top writers from India and Singapore as they share their favourite books and debate on the contemporary role of books and literature.

Event end: 4pm

01 Nov 2009, 5:00 pm
Dissecting the Merlion

Price: Free
Venue : Chamber

The Merlion is a many-splendoured thing, alternatively praised and parodied. From its birth as a uniquely Singaporean tourism symbol to its reputation for endless literary exposition since its lyrical lionisation by Edwin Thumboo, the completely made-up creature has earned much currency. How it has come to take on the baggage of a nascent nation is a compelling phenomenon. Dissecting the Merlion brings together eight writers from different backgrounds and generations for a fun, no-holds-barred debate to expound on the topic: the Merlion has been maligned.

Writers include Alfian Sa’at, Desmond Kon, Leong Liew Geok, Ng Yi-Sheng, Alvin Pang, Adrian Tan, Teng Qian Xi and Ovidia Yu. The moderator-host is Eleanor Wong. Also to be launched at the event is a poetry anthology inspired by the Merlion across the four national languages.

Event end: 7pm


Anonymous said...

Methinks the Singapore Writers Fest are poorly organised too, though my grips are different than yours.

For instance, it's really pathetic that the books written by the featured international writers are not imported to Singapore. NLB, Kino, Borders doesnt has it. And neither does the SWF-endorsed bookstores. (BooksActually and Times) Which means to say, the discussions of most featured writers will most probably be a continuous series of nodding heads and vacuous smiles.

Nah, you dun know me.


Ng Yi-Sheng said...

I'm afraid that from my experience, this is a pretty common problem. When I'm invited overseas, they can never get my books in advance.