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© 2019 by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé



Seven Hundred Lines: A Crown of Found//Fount Sonnets

Date: Sat, 9 Nov, 4:30–5:30pm

Venue: The Arts House, Gallery II


This year’s bicentennial festivities have raised awareness of how Singapore’s history goes back some 700 years. This commemorative anthology, Seven Hundred Lines, revolves around the found//fount sonnet, a Singaporean version of the traditional poetic form. With 50 contributing authors, this epic poem features 50 loose instalments within a 700-line sonnet cycle or crown, a fitting tribute poem for such a monumental event. This sprawling, expansive lyric narrative is, indeed, a grand birthday poem to the country. Contributors read their stellar poems from the anthology. Hosted by: Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé. This is an event of the Singapore Writers Festival.


For more details, please visit the SWF website HERE.

My Language, My Narrative?

Date: Sun, 3 Nov, 5:00–6:30pm

Venue: The Arts House, Gallery II


How does language influence the way we think? Eight writers read from their works and speak on the peculiarities of their mother tongue(s), from concepts that only exist in one language to the influence on cadence and syntax. Their works will consider how language has shaped their narratives and the stories that they tell. Featuring: Harkaitz Cano, Inga Gaile, Hwang Jungeun, Roja Chamankar, Miguel-Manso, Wong Yi, Hamid Roslan, Sujata Bhatt. Moderated by: Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé. This is an event of the Singapore Writers Festival, made possible with the assistance of Literature Across Frontiers, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, the Embassy of France and the Embassy of Portugal.

For more details, please visit the SWF website HERE.

New Fiction from Penguin Random House SEA

Date: Sun, 3 Nov, 1:30–2:30pm

Venue: The Arts House, Gallery II


Penguin Random House SEA launches two new fiction titles. Beauty Queens of Bishan by Akshita Nanda tell the story of thirteen small beauty parlours that co-exist quietly in Bishan, until a swanky new salon opens. In the battle of beauty parlours, who will be crowned the winner? In Beast by Krishna Udayasankar, Assistant Commissioner of Police Aditi Kashyap and Enforcer Prithvi solve a gruesome triple homicide in the terrifying world of the Saimhas—werelions—who have lived alongside humans since ancient times. Join the authors for a discussion on their writing inspirations and experiences. Moderated by: Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé. This is an event of the Singapore Writers Festival.


For more details, please visit the SWF website HERE.

Go Your Own Way

Date: Sat, 2 Nov, 7:30–9:00pm

Venue: The Arts House, Chamber


Amidst the expectations of genre, readership demands, and social norms, some writers have chosen to go off the beaten path and pursue a more unconventional or experimental process. Hear from these writers as they share the pressures and challenges they have faced in charting a path of their own, and finding their voices and readership. Featuring: Jorge Franco Ramos, Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, Marylyn Tan, Tse Hao Guang. Moderated by: Daryl Qilin Yam. This is an event of the Singapore Writers Festival, made possible with the assistance of the Embassy of Colombia.


For more details, please visit the SWF website HERE.

New Non-fiction from Penguin Random House SEA

Date: Sat, 2 Nov, 3:00–4:00pm

Venue: The Arts House, Gallery II


Penguin Random House SEA launches two new non-fiction titles. The War on Terror by Rene Acosta provides details on how the military broke the operations of the al-Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiyah, and the Abu Sayyaf Group in the Southern Philippines. The Good Day I Died by Desmond Kon relates his near-death experience in 2007 and his transformed life after he returned. Framed as a quasi-memoir, this is Desmond’s most confessional writing yet. Join the authors for a discussion on their writing inspirations and experiences. Moderated by Eric Tinsay Valles. This is an event of the Singapore Writers Festival.


For more details, please visit the SWF website HERE.

Positions of Identity: Exhilarating Treatments

Date: Sat, 24 Aug, 9:00am–12:00pm

Venue: Raffles Institution

How does one employ voice, form and speaker presence to articulate positions of identity in a poem? In this workshop, participants read some of the most exciting writers today, who approach with such refreshing aesthetics the following themes revolving around identity: race, belief, nationality, gender, social class, eco-consciousness, among others. Join award-winning poet Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, as we discuss the newness brought to these familiar and tried tropes. Participants also try their hand at such textual innovations, while receiving a set of readings specially curated for this session.

Poetry Today: Image, Sound, Idea, Feeling

Date: Tue, 13 Aug, 1:45am–3:15pm

Venue: Changkat Primary School

How do poets today use imagery and sound to create poems that exhibit good craft? How do they reauthor personal experience, and reproduce emotion in their lyric? In this workshop, students will read two poems in the confessionalist mode, discussing their structure and meaning. In the second half of the workshop, they will engage in a writing activity that highlights these important aspects of contemporary poetics. They will read their poems aloud, sharing the intentionality behind their new poems.

The Award-Winning Poem: Writing for Competitions

Date: Fri, 9 Aug, 2:00–5:00pm

Venue: Sing Lit Station

What makes for an award-winning poem? What would impress a panel of judges? Does one send in a traditional form or something more experimental? Should a writer even care for literary contests, and are awards important? If a writer decides to submit work for competition, what are things he or she should look out for? This is a workshop exclusively organised for the writing collective, /s@ber.

Exploring History Through Poetry

Date: Sun, 21 Jul, 4:15–5:15pm

Venue: The Arts House, The Living Room

What insights can poetry bring into notions of history? What of past narrative is included, and what left out? What are some of the writings that have used history deftly? Three authors bring the audience on a walk down memory lane, and share how they have written about and been influenced by histories, both national and personal. Poet Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé facilitates this illuminating discussion with the distinguished authors Christine Chia, Gwee Li Sui, and Robert Yeo. Organised by Poetry Festival Singapore, this is a ticketed event ($10).

To register for the event, please do so HERE.

CONTOUR Marathon Reading

As part of Poetry Festival Singapore 2019, contributors to the anthology, CONTOUR: A Lyric Cartography of Singapore, have been invited to be featured poets in this online marathon reading session. This e-activity will comprise videos of poems selected for the anthology. The videos may feature poets reciting their own pieces, or be creative interpretations of these texts. The video clips may be found on PFS’ Instagram stories and kept in their Instagram highlights, titled “CONTOUR Marathon Reading”. These video clips have been posted continuously since 12 July 2019. The highlights will remain on PFS’ Instagram page for a good span of time.

Opening of Singapore Botanic Gardens Seed Bank

Date: Sat, 13 Jul, 9:00–11:30am

Venue: Singapore Botanic Gardens Seed Bank, 1D Cluny Road

In conjunction with Singapore Botanic Gardens Heritage Festival 2019, this is the opening of Singapore’s very first seed bank, with the aim to conserve the seeds of threatened plant species from Southeast Asia. The seed bank will have the capacity to store seeds from up to 25,000 species of plants, about half of all seed plant species within the region. Distinguished author Edwin Thumboo launches the anthology, The Nature of Poetry, with contributing writers in attendance.

[Read! Fest 2019] Writing About Art: The Beauty of Ekphrasis

Date: Sat, 6 Jul, 1:00–3:00pm

Venue: National Library Building, Visitors Briefing Room


From art can emerge the most imaginative writing. How do authors interpret artworks, and create beautiful texts of their own? Commissioned by the National Arts Council, the anthology, Eye/Feel/Write: Experiments in Ekphrasis, features twenty eminent Singapore authors, who penned pieces inspired by artwork at the National Gallery Singapore and Singapore Art Museum. Introducing some of these stellar collaborations, editor Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé helps participants unleash the imaginative power of ekphrastic writing, encouraging them to write beyond “what they see”. Participants realise how different art forms may inform and inspire other art forms, thereby expanding their creative practice.


To register for the event, please do so HERE.

#BuySingLit: Spot The Author

Date: Sun, 17 March, 1:00–3:00pm

Venue: Yong Siak Street

Come down to the #BuySingLit Yong Siak Street Party, where selected authors will appear during special two-hour slots. Authors may be milling about, chilling in a café, or attending events. Visitors simply have to identify an author and take a photo with him or her to win #BuySingLit vouchers. Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé is slated to be at the party on Sun, 17 March, 1–3pm.


The #BuySingLit Yong Siak Street Party is organised by BooksActually, with the support of the Singapore Book Council and National Arts Council. 

Habits of Creativity: Exploring Writing Methods 


Date: Sun, 10 Mar, 2:00–4:00pm 

Venue: The Arts House, Council Room

Tickets: $10


How do you generate new ideas for your writing? Are there established methods out there? How does one go about carving out craft as discipline? In this workshop, Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé invites participants to discuss their own effective writing habits and process, in an inclusive environment that welcomes both emerging and established practitioners. The writing segment will have participants engaging with Desmond’s book of creative prompts, The World According to Ms Erasure.


The first 15 participants will each receive a complimentary copy of the book. This programme is a part of Textures 2019 at The Arts House. 


To register for the event, please do so HERE.




Living Galleries Ekphrasis Poetry Tour & Workshop


Date: Sat, 9 March, 3:30–6:30pm

Venue: National Gallery

Free with registration


Lim Cheng Hoe: Painting Singapore presents social and cultural narratives of Singapore in paint. Three generations of Singapore poets will do the same in verse. They will be accompanied by a guitarist, dancers and a choir. Featured poets include: Loh Guan Liang, Angeline Yap, Tan Chee Lay, Kamaria Buang, Swetha Senthikumar, Yeow Kai Chai, Cheong Yun Yee, Heng Siok Tian, Djohan A. Rahman, Werner Kho. Hosted by Khoo Lilin.


How does one verbalize intimate feelings about home? Art becomes a muse for the poets drawn from all the official linguistic traditions in Singapore. The poems engage in the imaginative act of narrating or reflecting on situations limned in paintings. In its latest iteration, this popular poetry tour will explore representations of home in the paintings of watercolorist Lim Cheng Hoe in National Gallery Singapore.


Participants may sign up for 1 of 2 tours and/or 1 of 2 ekphrastic poetry workshops from 3.30pm to 6.30pm (Saturday).


Tour with Poets


Group 1: 3:30–5:00pm

Group 2: 5:00–6:30pm


Workshop with Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé


Group 1: 5:15–6:00pm

Group 2: 4:00–4:45pm


This is a Poetry Festival Singapore-organized event for #BuySingLit, in partnership with National Gallery Singapore. Supported by National Arts Council.


To register for the event, please do so HERE.




Contemplations: Religion, Myth & History 


Date: Sat, 9 Mar, 11:00am–12:00pm 

Venue: The Arts House, Blue Room

Free with registration


How does a poet or fictionist engage with history, myth or religion to create a great literary work? What of the author’s own belief or spirituality—how is that navigated along with the art creation? What are the challenges and highlights of such intriguing work? Poet Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé facilitates this illuminating panel discussion, featuring eminent authors Gwee Li Sui, Krishna Udayasankar, and Nuraliah Norasid.


The first twenty participants receive a complimentary journal with a limited edition broadside. Lucky participants receive #BuySinglit vouchers to purchase Singapore titles. This programme is a part of Textures 2019 at The Arts House. 


To register for the event, please do so HERE.




Poetic Forms: Experimenting With Structure


Date: Fri, 8 Mar, 3:00–4:00pm 

Venue: Central Public Library, B1 Multi-Purpose Room

Free with registration


In Singapore, new poetic forms have been invented, including the twin cinema, asingbol and anima methodi. Are traditional forms still relevant today? What are the challenges of working within such structural limitations? In a discussion facilitated by editor Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, we’ll hear three established voices—Eric Valles, Pierre Vinclair, and Yeow Kai Chai—read their own poems, and share their ideas on the complexities of poetic creation.


Lucky participants receive #BuySinglit vouchers to purchase Singapore titles. This event is presented by Squircle Line Press, in partnership with National Library Board. Supported by National Arts Council. 


To register for the event, please do so HERE.




Eye/Feel/Write IV: The Light Between Objects


Date: Sun, 24 Feb, 4:00–5:30pm 

Venue: National Gallery, City Hall Chamber, City Hall Wing, Level 2 

Free with registration


Writers and spoken word artists read and discuss their works in response to the exhibition Minimalism. Space. Light. Object. Hosted by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, this reading features these eminent writers: Momtaza Mehri, Charlene Shepherdson, Tse Hao Guang, Jennifer Anne Champion, Marc Nair.


This reading is organised in collaboration with Words Go Round, an outreach programme by the Singapore Writers Festival. It is co-presented with National Gallery Singapore, and made possible with the support of Spread the Word and the Garfield Weston Foundation.


To register for the event, please do so HERE.




Get Lucky: Writing Across the Sea


Date: Sun, 17 Feb, 1:00–3:00pm

Venue: Library@Orchard

Free with registration


Get Lucky: An Anthology of Singaporean and Philippine Writings, published in 2015, is an anthology of everything Filipino in Singapore. Through this collection, Get Lucky has fostered a fellowship in mutual trust among Filipinos and with Singaporeans. This is a reading and panel discussion co-presented with Poetry Festival (Singapore). Featured readers include: Annabelle Fabia-de Arroz, Cathy Limpe Candano, Eric Tinsay Valles, Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, Felix Cheong, Miel, Migs Bravo Dutt, Min Lau, Ng Kah Gay, Noelle De Jesus, Ton Garcia.


This event celebrates 50 years of diplomatic ties between Singapore and the Philippines. There will also be a photo exhibit of Filipino costumes, curated by the University of the Philippines Alumni Association in Singapore (UPAAS). The exhibit showcases traditional Filipino costumes across the three main island groups of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. 


To register for the event, please do so HERE.