November 26, 2022

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Literary News: Gaudy Boy releases New Singapore Poetries – Edited by Marylyn Tan & Jee Leong Koh

4 min read

Gaudy Boy releases New Singapore Poetries- a poetry collection touted to be a bold showing of voice, uniqueness, nerve, and precision from a new generation of Singapore poets.

Edited by Marylyn Tan and Jee Leong Koh December 1, 2022 / ISBN 978-0-9994514-9-6 $22.00 / Paperback / 350 pages / 6” x 9” Gaudy Boy, Distributed by Ingram

“Vital, form-busting gorgeousity made flesh… New Singapore Poetries breaks—and makes—new ground with the ardency and agency of these fresh voices.” 

—– Amanda Lee Koe, author of Delayed Rays of a Star 

Wrapping itself, tasting, luxuriating in the recurrent themes of the body, family, sexuality, spirituality, neo-colonialism, geographies, identity, and nationalism, New Singapore Poetries (December 2022) brims with the ambition and talent of 18 of Singapore’s newest voices, many hitherto unpublished. 

Showcasing an expansive body of work by each poet, New Singapore Poetries is a breathtaking testament to the imagination and nerve of what poetry in Singapore can be—an interrogation of the very nature of what constitutes a poem; a straddling of national identity and personal grief; a remembrance of erased history and rewritten trajectories—a way to tell the truth anew. 

Mired against the backdrop of Singapore the country, Singapore the city-state republic, and “Singapore” the concept, bearing witness to the past and crystallizing the present, New Singapore Poetries architects’ futures yet unseen, but yearned for. 

About the Editors

Marylyn Tan is a sensuous and queer writer-artist-reprobate. Her work aims to subvert, revert and pervert, to disrespect respectability, to take pleasure seriously, and to reclaim power. Her first child, GAZE BACK (Ethos Books, 2018; Singapore Literature Prize, 2020), is the lesbo trans-genre grimoire you never knew you needed.  

Jee Leong Koh is the author of Steep Tea (Carcanet), named a Best Book of the Year by UK’s Financial Times and a Finalist by Lambda Literary in the US. His collection of zuihitsu The Pillow Book was shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize. His second Carcanet book Inspector Inspector was published in August 2022. Originally from Singapore, he lives in New York City.

Gaudy Boy, an independent press publishing Asian Voices 

Praise for NEW SINGAPORE POETRIES  

“An overwhelming collection, each voice is singular, every page yields surprises. One is no longer certain where the boundaries are in the bounty of talents. True to the spirit of Gaudy Boy, an exciting poetry enterprise that enlarges one’s vision of Singapore.” 

Wong May, author of In the Same Light: 200 Tang Poems for our Century 

“New Singapore Poetries challenges us to question and unsettle known tropes, to leave one shore of definitions in search of other possible meanings. The poets featured in this anthology are varied in their styles, subject matter and poetics; some include the use of other languages to unbind us from habitual reliance on a colonial legacy and to center instead their vital cultural experiences. Others dismantle the normative through queer subversions and investigations.” 

—Lydia Kwa, author of Pulse and sinuous 

“The word ‘renaissance’ has been used to describe the unprecedented emergence of poets in 1990s Singapore… Another renaissance is happening, one that is more varied, diverse in gender, race and culture, bolder and more adventurous in poetics and politics. Reading these poems, one is struck by the astonishing array of distinct, arresting voices and styles, the poets’ attentiveness to words and the in-between spaces, their readiness to push the boundaries of form and technique, and the quest to be free of the shackles of identity politics, to explore and extend the possibilities of what it means to be Singaporean and a poet in these challenging, fast-changing times.” 

Boey Kim Cheng, author of The Singer and Other Poems 

“Skeptical of sentiment and yet full of feeling, these poems are built not out of tired angsana trees and the weary merlions but of this new conglomeration of form and discontent, desire and humor and dare I say joy, or a version of it, that makes me want to say more, more!” —Lawrence Lacambra Ypil, author of The Experiment of the Tropics 

“Singapore’s Anglophone poetry hasn’t received nearly as much attention as it so evidently deserves, and this first-rate anthology effectively helps to remedy that state of affairs, introducing us to work that is passionate, sardonic, cosmopolitan and conversant in the city-state’s multiple and layered identities, adroitly spilling out of the island’s physical confines to set its ambitious sights on the whole world.” 

—André Naffis-Sahely, editor of Poetry London 

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