Blog

Proving Patience

Over the second SWF weekend, I met two friends at the Festival Bookstore, who had browsed through Deeds of Light and were unimpressed. Their main gripes seemed to be 1. an aversion to any treatment of the local, 2. the book being too cerebral, and 3. a mixture of both, i.e.: “what are you doing to Bak Kut Teh? That’s not how Bak Kut Teh is supposed to be written about!”. The book is all about conceiving the local in a different, perhaps defamiliarising manner; clearly, I’m on the right track.

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Hao Guang Tse
Essaying Manila, or, Nothing Happened

At her APWT panel on The Poetry of Tomorrow Conchitina Cruz told us a story that shed some light on the monetary value of poetry, sharing how, on one hand, poets get paid next to nothing for their efforts, and on the other how publishers and editors invoke copyright law, which imposes fines of PhP50,000-150,000 for each count of violation.

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Hao Guang Tse
Some Thoughts on Editing

I’ve just finished editing slightly more than 60000 words on Singapore English-language poetry. In two weeks, I’ve read and re-read more words written about local lit than I have in the past few years combined. This is for the earlier-mentioned poetry.sg initiative, and I’m very excited to be part of that team. Partially because the local academy has failed to give as much attention to local writing as I believe it deserves, and partially because I’ve learnt so much about writing and editing through the entire process.

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Hao Guang Tse
On Breathing

Inspiration is a vexed word. It means both breathing in, inhalation, as well as the root and more common divine guidance. These meanings seem to be at odds with each other: breathing is such a prosaic act, an everyday occurrence, while the divine, surely, visits only occasionally? But the act of breathing is also a second-by-second reminder that the human being needs things outside of itself to survive, is a dependent creature.

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Hao Guang Tse