UnFree Verse (2017)
poetry anthology — singapore: ethos books
Rhyme is Shakespeare. Rhythm is rap. Sing Lit is free verse. If you’ve ever had such thoughts, let this book demolish them. With poems drawn from 80 years of print and online material, UnFree Verse illuminates an important but overlooked aspect of Singapore’s literary history: formal poetry in English. It features poets beloved and forgotten, immigrant and emigrant, Malayan and cosmopolitan, challenging readers to explore the dynamic landscape of poetry from, about, and around Singapore. In this collection, the formal poem becomes a focal point for the duelling forces of repetition and improvisation, standards and Englishes, freedom and boundaries. Might these constraints be fertile soil for creativity in a city like Singapore? If you think so, UnFree Verse belongs on your shelf.