March 27, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

The Lounge Chair Interview: 10 Questions with Loh Guan Liang

2 min read

By Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé


Let’s get down to brass tacks. Why do you write?

The ability to write well is a gift, much like the ability to hold a tune, draw, shoot hoops or execute a perfect roundhouse kick. And like a muscle writing is something that demands practice, experimentation and reflection in order to improve. This drive to better my craft is why I write.

Tell us about your most recent book or writing project. What were you trying to say or achieve with it?

Bitter Punch is my second book of poems. This collection extends and expands on themes in my first book Transparent Strangers, such as the experience of urban living and the breakdown of human and spatial relationships. Bitter Punch is a collection hardened by age and well aware of what it seeks to accomplish through writing.

Describe your writing aesthetic.

Accessibility. Poetry, as with any art form, is artifice. Let’s not kid ourselves: poetry is difficult, pointless even, to most readers due to its abstract, technical nature. Poetry puts people off because that pretty pile of words they see/hear is hard to get into, not to mention the misinformed notion that poets are weirdoes. But we are not—not all of us, at least. Poetry can be relatable without obtuse technicality getting in the way of conveying experience.

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