WIX Chic Chair.jpg

EVENTS CALENDAR

2021

Off The Cuff

Date: Sun, 14 Nov, 4:30—5:30pm
Venue: Facebook Live

Spontaneously quoting poetry has its perks. Perhaps you’ve been wanting to channel your inner Robin Williams after watching Dead Poets Society? Listen to some of Singapore's foremost poets recite their favourite poems from memory and talk about why you might want to keep a poem or two at the back of your mind  because who knows when you might need an inspirational speech or a literary mic-drop?

 

Hosted by Ow Yeong Wai Kit, this panel features authors Desmond F. X. Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, Jennifer Anne Champion, and Robert Yeo. 

 

This programme includes a live Q&A towards the end of the session. This is an event organised for the Singapore Writers Festival, co-presented with Poetry Festival Singapore.

 

To register for the event, please do so HERE.
 

Things Your Mom Calls Trash

Date: Sat, 13 Nov, 12:00—1:00pm
Venue: Projector X: Riverside

Madonna once said that we live in a material world, and we couldn’t be more guilty of that nearly two decades later. As you cue up another haul video, add a few more items to your cart, dust off your knick-knacks, or rearrange old memorabilia, tune in to this discussion about poetry as a kind of collecting. What do the objects we consume and surround ourselves with say something about us (even if your mum always calls them trash)? Hosted by Marc Nair, this panel features authors Ann Ang, Desmond F. X. Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, and Krishna Udayasankar. This programme includes a live Q&A towards the end of the session.

This is an event organised for the Singapore Writers Festival.
 

To register for the event, please do so HERE.

NEW SALVES / NEW WORKS | Holding Space:
Sustaining Conversations on Mental Health

Date: Sun, 17 Oct, 3:30—4:30pm

Venue: Online

 

Mental health inclusivity is an industry-wide effort that includes editors, publishers, book-sellers and advocates. In this edition of NEW WORKS, hear from both sides of the industry as editors and writers share their reflections on their publications on mental health. What gatekeepers did they encounter in developing narratives about mental health? How can one uplift and protect writers as they produce deeply personal work? What does one need to consider after a publication is published and the conversation starts? Join Xiangyun Lim, Desmond Kon and Kum Suning for a meaningful discussion on how to navigate stigma and biases in publishing.

 

This event is organised by Sing Lit Station.

This event may be viewed online HERE.

Working the Archives: International Poet Feature

Date: 10—31 Oct 2021
Venue: Online (Zoom)

This series of discussions focuses on the poet as archivist, featuring artists from the USA, Singapore, and Japan. These international authors include Desmond F. X. Kon ZC-MD, James E. Cherry, Mariko Nagai, Nikky Finney, and Tyehimba Jess. Festival director Kimberly K. Williams speaks with Desmond Kon on poetry and working the archives. 

This event is organized by Poetry on the Move Festival 2021, a major initiative of the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research, University of Canberra.

This event may be viewed online HERE.

The Epistolary Form:

The Understated Brilliance of Letter-Writing

Date: Fri, 15 Oct, 4:00—6:00pm SGT (7:00—9:00pm AEST)
Venue: Online (Zoom)

The epistolary novel is both admired and criticized for its confessional intimations. What are the limitations of framing a poem through this lens? What are the perks? Why do poets take up the genre, and what kinds of documents—apart from letters—are used? What are the narratological complexities that an author may experiment with? What distinct techniques may be employed to manipulate and further narrative elements? Join Desmond F. X. Kon ZC-MD, as we discuss the beautiful demands of the genre for both author and reader. Participants will also try their hand at such textual ingenuity.

This event is organized by Poetry on the Move Festival 2021, a major initiative of the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research, University of Canberra.

To register for the event, please do so HERE.

NTU Unmasked: Atelier of Healing Reading

Date: Fri, 8 Oct, 7:00—8:30pm
Venue: Online (Zoom)
 

We have all experienced pain of some kind—heartbreak, illness, distress, abuse, violence, disaster, loss, grief. As one of the great traditional healing arts, poetry can be a remarkable way to enhance personal healing, wellness and change. It can be as mending as it is ameliorating, as renewing as it is restorative. This anthology features an array of luminous voices from around the world. Featured contributors include such stellar authors as: Andrew Kirkrose, Bidhya Limbu, Eunice Chin, Lim Yi Tian, Luke Ow, Matthew C. Zhang, Hilman Rosli and Sarah Mak.

This event is hosted by Desmond F. X. Kon and Eric Tinsay Valles, with support from Jon Gresham and Wan Khalisah Wan Kamaruddin. 

This event may be viewed online HERE.

Atelier of Healing: Anthology Launch

Date: Sat, 7 Aug, 5:00—6:30pm
Venue: Online
 

We have all experienced pain of some kind—heartbreak, illness, distress, abuse, violence, disaster, loss, grief. As one of the great traditional healing arts, poetry can be a remarkable way to enhance personal healing, wellness and change. It can be as mending as it is ameliorating, as renewing as it is restorative. Edited by Eric F. Tinsay Valles and Desmond F. X. Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, this anthology features an array of luminous voices from around the world.

 

Featured contributors include such stellar authors as: Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, D. R. James, Hedy Habra, Jason Eng Hun Lee, Jendi Reiter, Jerrold Yam, Joseph Stanton, Lauren Camp, Lydia Kwa, Neil Shepard, Noelle Q. de Jesus, Topaz Winters, etc. Listen to these poets bear witness to such diverse, profound human experiences. 

 

This event is organised by Poetry Festival Singapore. 

This event may be viewed online HERE (Part 1) and HERE (Part 2).

Truth Vis-à-Vis Language: The Performance of Poetry

Date: Sun, 1 Aug, 4:00—5:00pm
Venue: Online
 

How is truth particularly expressed in poetry? What are the aesthetic demands of confessional poetry? If the sentence is truth-bearer, how does poetic language work with fact, reality, opinion, value, prejudice, belief? What of representation and agency? Join Desmond F. X. Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, as he facilitates this conversation with eminent poets D. S. Martin and Kazim Ali. This event is organised by Poetry Festival Singapore. 

This event may be viewed online HERE.

Creative Writing as Therapy for Trauma

Date: Sun, 1 Aug, 11:00am—12:00pm
Venue: Online

This panel will draw on lived experience as well as narrative and trauma theories to consider the complexities of writing about trauma. The panellists will discuss storytelling, imagery, repetition and other means of mediating incommunicable traumatic conflicts within the family or in the larger society. The panellists find a commonality in creating personal agency, facilitating healing—that is, self-advocacy from victimhood to victory—and giving witness to the dignity of the individual. They seek to appreciate how language allows the individual to reclaim the parts of the self lost to trauma.

Join Genevieve Wong, as she hosts this panel discussion with authors Desmond F. X. Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, Eric F. Tinsay Valles, and Nicole K. This event is organised by Poetry Festival Singapore. 

This event may be viewed online HERE.
 

MiniMasters in Publishing:

Publishing in Contemporary Singapore

Date: Sat, 10, 17, 24, 31 Jul 2021, 1:00pm–4:00pm
Venue: The Hive, Nanyang Technological University

This module examines the present state and developing trends in the Singaporean publishing industry. Emphasis will be placed on book publishing in various languages and the specific business dynamics for each, in addition to Singaporean policy governing the book trade. Attention will also be given to the greater realities of publishing in SE Asia and to the post-colonial context of Singapore as a hub of Anglophone literature in Asia. Offered under NTU’s MiniMasters in Publishing, this four-session course is conducted by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé.

These courses are open to public. Participants may use SkillsFuture Credit to offset course fees payable. For more information, email NTU School of Humanities at: MiniMA_SOH@ntu.edu.sg

The course listings for the MiniMasters in Publishing may be viewed HERE.

To register for this course, please do so HERE.

MiniMasters in Publishing:

Editorial Theory and Practice

Date: Sat, 22, 29 May, 5, 12 Jun 2021, 1:00pm–4:00pm
Venue: Nanyang Technological University (Online via Zoom)

What are the attributes of a great editor? In the first half of this module, students are given the opportunity to understand the ethical issues and rhetorical standards that guide editorial conduct. The second part of the module examines practical applications, allowing students to demonstrate theoretical knowledge and hands-on editing skills. Offered under NTU’s MiniMasters in Publishing, this four-session course is conducted by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé. 

These courses are open to public. Participants may use SkillsFuture Credit to offset course fees payable. For more information, email NTU School of Humanities at: MiniMA_SOH@ntu.edu.sg

The course listings for the MiniMasters in Publishing may be viewed HERE.

To register for this course, please do so HERE.

Head2Head Conversations Between Writers:
The Pleasures of Poetry

Date: Tue, 13 Apr, 7:00pm–8:00pm
Venue: Online (Hosted by Public Libraries Singapore) 

Is it all about Shakespeare or can it be something more? The award-winning poets Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé and Yong Shu Hoong will introduce the many pleasures of poetry writing, connecting emotions by embracing nuances, ambiguity and metaphors to structure and form. Hosted and moderated by Crispin Rodrigues. Organised by Public Libraries Singapore, Head2Head is a series of literary dialogues that pair authors of different genres and interests to negotiate their works in a new light.

This event may be viewed on Facebook Live HERE.
 

MiniMasters in Publishing: Book Editing

Date: Sat, 10, 17, 24 Apr, 8 May 2021, 1:00pm–4:00pm
Venue: The Hive, Nanyang Technological University

This module examines the lifespan of a full-length book, from acquisitions, development, author relationships, design, typesetting, production, and printing to its eventual distribution. Offered under NTU’s MiniMasters in Publishing, this four-session course is conducted by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé. 

These courses are open to public. Participants may use SkillsFuture Credit to offset course fees payable. For more information, email NTU School of Humanities at: MiniMA_SOH@ntu.edu.sg

The course listings for the MiniMasters in Publishing may be viewed HERE.

To register for this course, please do so HERE.

MiniMasters in Publishing:

Introduction to Contemporary Publishing

Date: Sat, 27 Feb, 6, 13, 20 Mar 2021, 1:00pm–4:00pm
Venue: The Hive, Nanyang Technological University

This module is an overview of issues and concerns seminal to the success of ventures in the world of contemporary publishing. Considerable time will be spent on three foci: examining the nature of the publishing industry as a cultural/informational node, theory and practice in production and marketing, and the legal territory publishers must navigate. Offered under NTU’s MiniMasters in Publishing, this four-session course is conducted by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé.

These courses are open to public. Participants may use SkillsFuture Credit to offset course fees payable. For more information, email NTU School of Humanities at: MiniMA_SOH@ntu.edu.sg

The course listings for the MiniMasters in Publishing may be viewed HERE.

To register for this course, please do so HERE.

Words in Progress 2021: Crit Pedagogy and The Personal

Date: Tue, 23 Feb, 10:00am–1:00pm
Venue: Cendana Rector’s Commons, Yale-NUS College 

 

Reflexivity regarding your own writing is arguably as important as the writing itself. How do we do crit? As in, how do we go about productively reading our own writing and others’? What does good feedback look like? How do we take this feedback? What do we do with it?  When is it productive to ask for and give feedback? What happens when the work is personal? How do we hold boundaries for ourselves in this space? Moderated by Phoebe Mak and Jack Xi, this panel features authors Danielle Lim and Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, culminating in a workshop of original work by select participants.

This is an event exclusive to Yale-NUS College.

Conversations—Everyone Has a Story to Tell

Date: Fri, 19 Feb, 3:00pm–4:00pm
Venue: Online (Hosted by Asian Civilisations Museum) 

 

This special exhibition, Faith Beauty Love Hope: Our Stories, Your ACM, showcases 60 objects handpicked by museum staff, featuring a mix of ceramics, jewellery, decorative items and textiles. Each object is accompanied by a personal reflection submitted by museum staff. Hear from a panel with diverse backgrounds, featuring Kan Shuyi, Aravinth Kuramasamy, Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, Kamini Ramachandran, and Malik Mazlan. Rishi Budhrani moderates. Everyone has a story to tell. What’s yours? Join us for this online webinar where we discuss what faith, beauty, love, and hope mean to you in these extraordinary times.

This event may be viewed on Facebook Live HERE.
 

World Anthropocene Manifesto

Date: Fri, 29 Jan, 6:00pm–7:00pm SGT
Venue: Online (Via Zoom, Hosted by École Urbaine de Lyon) 

We have entered the anthropocene. We are anthropocene. We are the earthly community. We are living together the climate change, the ocean acidification, the sea level rise, the species extinction, the pandemics, the famines, the soil pollution, the fires spread, the migrations, the floods, the droughts, the generalized urbanization, the social inequalities. We no longer control our effects. Everything around us is shifting. And whether we like it or not, we are newly exploring our own lives and environments. From our close environments, our daily practices, our lives, what do we want to express? What is offending our moral conscience and our sense of justice? What makes us angry or happy? What are our ideas and intentions to change the situation? 

Let us speak up, give our word and engage in dialogues. We all have creative leads, ideas, objects, actions. Alone, they seem anecdotal, but together they articulate, feed and spread. An open letter and worldwide invitation, World Anthropocene Manifesto is organized by École Urbaine de Lyon, Université de Lyon, in France. Representing Singapore is Desmond Kon who will share his thoughts and words, as well as a video poem specially produced for World Anthropocene Manifesto. This event is coordinated by Jérémy Cheval, and moderated by Anne Laure Garcin.

 

The livestream was recorded, and may be viewed HERE.

The Votive Pen: Writings on Edwin Thumboo 

Date: Fri, 22 Jan, 5:00pm–7:00pm 
Venue: Inner Chamber, NUSS Kent Ridge Guild House 

Published by Penguin Random House, The Votive Pen: Writings on Edwin Thumboo is a riveting look at the fiercely original, intellectually brilliant mind of Singapore’s unofficial Poet Laureate, Edwin Thumboo. Born of Tamil and Teochew parents, he embraced the Protestant faith late in his life. What happens when a mind which is such a melting pot of brilliant ideas and contrary emotions tries to unscramble the identity of a country like Singapore which is complex, multiracial, has known a fierce economic growth that has often elbowed aside everything else? Authored by Nilanjana Sengupta, The Votive Pen sets out to see Edwin Thumboo’s poetry—steadily and see it whole—without the intervening static of earlier critical writing and with an intense alertness to the text.

Officially launching the book is Guest-of-Honour Mr Hsieh Fu Hua, Chairman of National University of Singapore and National Gallery Singapore. Author Nilanjana Sengupta will open with her address, followed by a panel discussion featuring Meira Chand, Gwee Li Sui and Simon Tay. Hosted by Desmond Kon.

 

This is an invitation-only event.

2020

Pandemic Time: Art Project Launch

Date: Mon, 28 Dec
Venue: Online

Launched with Phase 3 in Singapore, Pandemic Time is the brainchild of 
conceptual photographer Joshua Wong Weng Yew. This art project is a collection of 24 diptychs, each representing one hour of the day, and each paired with a poem contributed by one of 24 Singaporean poets, including Eddie Tay, Jennifer Anne Champion, Marc Nair, Daryl Lim Wei Jie, Yong Shu Hoong, Heng Siok Tian, Gwee Li Sui, Eric Tinsay Valles, Samuel Lee, Andy Ang, Annaliza Bakri, Stephanie Chan, Cat Chong, Aaron Lee, Amanda Chong, among others. 

Each artwork consists of a long exposure of exactly one hour, and a multi-exposure of 60 photographs taken every 60 seconds over the same hour. The entire series was taken over a few weeks to capture every single hour of the day (and night), using 1,464 raw images taking up 117Gb in total. The prints are personally printed using pigment ink on Hahnemühle Museum Etching cotton paper, and framed with non-reflective glass and acid-free backing.

Desmond will donate half of the proceeds from the sale of his limited edition framed pieces to charity.

To purchase Desmond’s work, please go HERE.
 

For the project’s premise and to see all the 24 works, please go HERE.
 

Singapore Book Council Community Night 2020

Date: Mon, 21 Dec, 5:45pm–7:00pm SGT 
Venue: Online (Via Zoom, Hosted by Singapore Book Council)

The Singapore Book Council celebrates its 52th anniversary online, looking back at a year of great challenge and change. Fun activities will happen in several breakout rooms, such as the Trivia Room, Blackout Poetry Room, Performative Poetry Room, and Live Illustration Room.

Hosted by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, this is an invitation-only event.

Love Radio on Night Spin 182.7

Date: Sun, 8 Nov, 9:30pm–9:50pm SGT 
Venue: Online (Hosted by Singapore Writers Festival)

The spectacular Deborah Emmanuel provides her lovely rendition of three poems by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, in a suite titled “Trio of Poems”. For this series of shows, Deborah works with over twenty poets, including such stellar voices as Amanda Chong, Joshua Ip, Marc Nair, Stephanie Chan, among others. Love Radio is on from 30 Oct to 8 Nov (9:30pm–9.50pm daily, except 5 Nov). Night Spin 182.7 runs everyday (8:00pm–11.00pm) during the Singapore Writers Festival.


To experience this show, please go HERE

Poetry on the Move Closing Ceremony

Date: Wed, 4 Nov, 6:00pm–8:00pm AEDT (3:00pm–5:00pm SGT)
Venue: Online (Zoom, Hosted by International Poetry Studies Institute)

Poetry on the Move 2020 draws to a close, inviting wonderful friends—new and old—to send off the festival in style. Featured is a special appearance by Judith Beveridge. Poetry on the Move is a fully curated festival, run by the International Poetry Studies Institute as a major initiative of the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research, Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra. IPSI’s objectives are to promote poetry as a globally valuable art form through the engagement with international, national and local poetry communities. Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé reads his winning poem, “In Bed With _______”, which received the 2020 Meniscus Poetry Award.


To register for the event, please do so HERE.

The Changing State of Singapore Poetry

Date: Sat, 29 Aug, 2:30pm–3:40pm

Venue: The Arts House

As an artform, is poetry of any relevance today? What can poetry do, and not do? What makes up the canon, and what does it mean to even speak of a literary canon? How may poetry be useful in personal or social agency? Join literary heavyweights Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, Koh Tai Ann and Yeow Kai Chai as they share their insights on these broad issues. Facilitated by Margaret Louise Devadason.

This programme is organised by Poetry Festival Singapore. To register for the event, please do so HERE.

Spoke & Bird #37: Alfian Sa'at & Desmond Kon

Date: Sat, 8 Aug, 8:00pm–10:00pm

Venue: Online (Facebook, Hosted by Spoke & Bird Poetry Open Mic)

After an epic and unforgettable Spoke & Bird with Tania De Rozario and Jenifer Park, Spoke & Bird is excited to welcome in August with two legendary Singapore poets, Alfian Sa'at and Desmond Kon. The splendid Stephanie Chan hosts.

Spoke & Bird is a poetry open mic based in Singapore which provides a welcoming space for new and seasoned poets. Founded in a bar in 2017, it also provides a platform for established local and international writers, performers, storytellers and musicians to showcase their work.

The show is free, but people may support by paying what they want HERE. The livestream was recorded, and may be viewed HERE.

Finding Inner Peace: The Art of Spiritual Writing

Date: Sat & Sun, 11 & 12 Jul, 3:00–5:00pm 

Venue: Online (Zoom, Hosted by The Arts House)

What meaning does life hold for you? What spiritual lessons have been especially illuminating? If you could pen these contemplative insights, what wisdom or struggle would be articulated? In a world that has slowed down, many people are finding time to reflect on their own life purpose. In the first session of this two-part workshop, participants discuss some contemporary texts exploring spiritual identity and practice; at the same time, we will share our own personal journeying in such introspection. A writing exercise will help participants generate new work, which we will together read and discuss in the second session within this safe, open space. Facilitated by award-winning author Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, this event will be conducted online. Participants receive a set of readings specially curated for this event.

 

This workshop, conducted on Zoom, is limited to a small group, to afford greater sharing and interaction. This programme is a part of The WFH (Write from Home) Workshops, organised by The Arts House. To register for the event, please do so HERE.

Creativity Under Constraint: Finding Peace in Isolation

Date: Sat, 9 May, 11:00am–1:00pm

Venue: Online (Zoom, Hosted by The Arts House)

How does being cooped up at home feel? Are you suffering from cabin fever? Are you lapping up the seclusion? In these interesting times, how might one immerse oneself in this unique situation, and use it to generate writing? In the first half of this session, participants share their personal experience navigating this circuit breaker. In the second half, we’ll engage in a writing exercise, and read aloud our new work in this safe, open space. Facilitated by poet and fictionist Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, this 2-hour workshop will be conducted online. Participants will receive a set of readings specially curated for this event.

 

This workshop, conducted on Zoom, is limited to 15 participants. This programme is a part of The WFH (Write from Home) Workshops, organised by The Arts House. To register for the event, please do so HERE.

Contemplating Mortality: Writing About Illness & Death

Date: Sat, 14 Mar, 3:00–5:00pm

          Sun, 15 Mar, 3:00–5:00pm

Venue: The Arts House, Council Room

Death and illness are difficult things to write about. In understanding both as universal phenomena for all of us, we are moved to contemplate their presence, their importance. Beyond denial and taboo, there is a vast good that arrives with such coming to terms. There is great comfort in reflection, honesty, succour, and acceptance. Join Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé in this safe and open workshop space, where participants share their own insights on how to navigate these complex subjects.

This is a ticketed event ($15). The first 15 participants will receive a complimentary copy of the quasi-memoir, The Good Day I Died. Lucky participants receive #BuySinglit vouchers to purchase Singapore titles. This programme is part of Textures 2020: A Weekend with Words. To register for the event, please do so HERE.

Crossing Writing Genres: The Demands of Craft

Date: Sat, 14 Mar, 1:00–2:00pm

Venue: The Arts House, Living Room


What are the challenges for the writer dabbling in different writing genres? What does each genre demand of the writer in terms of literary craft? What of cross-genre or hybrid textual creations? Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé facilitates this illuminating conversation with two eminent writers, Gwee Li Sui and Yeow Kai Chai. The first 20 participants will each receive a journal and a limited-edition poetry broadside.

 

Lucky participants receive #BuySinglit vouchers to purchase Singapore titles. Free admission with registration. This programme is part of Textures 2020: A Weekend with Words. To register for the event, please do so HERE.

Uncanny Yishun: A Literary Tour

Date: Sun, 8 Mar, 10:00am–12:00pm

Sun, 8 Mar, 10:15am–12:15pm

Sun, 8 Mar, 2:00pm–4:00pm

Sun, 8 Mar, 2:15pm–4:15pm

Venue: Yishun MRT

 

Welcome to Yishun, Singapore's most in/famous territory. Allow us to bring you on a guided tour of poetry, flash fiction and news stories that blends the strangeness and the splendour of Yishun with the physical sensation of walking the streets, parks and void decks of this intriguing estate. Whether you are a resident, a visitor or a social media voyeur, Uncanny Yishun captures the town as a living, breathing and believing experience. Featuring poetry and flash fiction from Low Kian Seh, Clara Mok, Marc Nair, Eugenia Tan, Cyril Wong, Crispin Rodrigues, Alvin Pang, Desmond Kon, Vanessa Ng and Gavin Lee.

To register for the event, please do so HERE.

City Hall: If Walls Could Talk (Workshop and Poetry Reading)

Date: Sat, 7 Mar, 3:00–5:35pm

Venue: National Gallery Singapore

Revel in Singapore poetry and architecture with a poetry reading and a workshop. Multi-awarded poet Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé will facilitate a workshop from 3:00–3:45pm at the National Gallery, Seminar Rooms 3 and 4. Thereafter, Desmond Kon will join Crispin Rodrigues, Grace Chia, Andrea Yew, Hamed Ismail, Lim Rong Chan, Tan Chee Lay, MK Kumar and Ayilisha in weaving poetry readings with the immersive multimedia exhibit from 4:00–5:30pm at the City Hall Foyer, City Hall Chamber & Singapore Courtyard. There will also be special performances to enhance the audience’s discovery of our history and Singapore Literatuer (Sing Lit). Limited capacity. This event is organised by Poetry Festival Singapore, as part of #BuySingLit.

To register for the event, please do so HERE.

Singapore Literature Book Club:

The Good Day I Died

Date: Thur, 20 Feb, 7:00–8:30pm

Venue: Central Public Library, Multi-Purpose Room

From NLB’s Singapore collection comes a book club with a unique local flavour. Here are discussed books by both well-known and emerging Singapore authors touching on topics close to home. It’s a great way to get acquainted with local literature and discover national literary treasures right here at the libraries. In this evening session, the book club will be discussing The Good Day I Died: The Near-Death Experience of a Harvard Divinity Student by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé. The author will be present, to share in the discussion.

To register for the event, please do so HERE.

[ALT TXT] The Legacy of Literary Movements:

Lyric Postmodernisms

Date: Sun, 2 & 9 Feb, 10:00am–1:00pm

Venue: Central Public Library, Multi-Purpose Room

In the rarefied world of literature, some modern literary movements were game changers, in provoking new ways of writing, and thinking about writing. The result has been breathtaking—such transformative aesthetics, shifts that remain self-aware, and open to further evolution. Is it possible to work in the traditional lyric, and yet explore avant-garde experimentation? In this seminar, participants gain insights into what the postmodern lyric might look like, and in a follow-up session, share their own original writing in an open creative space. Each participant gets to take home a set of readings, specially curated for this event.

 

To register for the event, please do so HERE.

Promenade Theatre Performance: Something About Home

Date: Sat, 11 Jan, 1:00–2:00pm

Sat, 11 Jan, 4:00–5:00pm

Sat, 18 Jan, 1:00–2:00pm

Sat, 18 Jan, 4:00–5:00pm

Venue: National Gallery Singapore

Guided by the captains of your ship, embark on a journey through four different islands-cities — CALIBRATION, EVOCATION, AFFIRMATION and CONTEMPLATION — before arriving at your final destination. The Ports of Call are crafted by Peter Sau in collaboration with six pan-disabled artists, namely Dawn Joy-Leong, Claire Teo, June Chua, Shannen Tan, Cavan Chang and Timothy Lee. Collective to take the audience on a sensorial journey through the themes.

 

Hear their myths. Unravel their mysteries. Learn about their uniqueness. Be intrigued by their similarities. Acknowledge their invisibilities. See beyond their disabilities. Be moved by the four found//fount sonnets — penned by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, Kevin Martens Wong, Marc Nair, and Nuraliah Norasid —  which are their stories. As each of them makes themselves heard, seen and felt, realise they could be saying something about you and your home — our home.

For details and registration, please visit the event page HERE.

Shadows of Dust and Clouds

Date: Fri, 10 Jan – Sun, 19 Jan

Venue: Asian Civilisations Museum, ACM Green

“It is from the mirror,” Foucault writes, “that I find myself absent from the place where I am as long as I see myself there.” This outdoor installation by Vertical Submarine is a response to Desmond Kon’s sonnet, “This Mirrored Dias of History and Signs”, and Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. The mirror is adopted as a metaphor to frame the dialogue of the encounter between the East and West. In Chinese literati painting, the mirror is considered an illusionary picture and a view to what is behind us, reflecting our past. This melting mirror, which reveals hidden messages during the night, blurs the distinction between dreams and memories, confusing shadows and ink. This process of disintegration is a reminder of materiality, and how forms and interpretations emerge over time.

For more on Light to Night 2020 events at the Asian Civilisations Museum, please visit the event page HERE.

En(light)en: Light to Night 2020 Festival Forum

City on the Edge of Imagination

Date: Sat, 11 Jan, 2:00–2:45pm

Venue: National Gallery Singapore, Level 4, Glass Room 

“These cities are all inventions,” Italo Calvino said, “born out of the heart of the unlivable cities we know.” It’s the end of another decade and the crisis of urban life only continues snowballing: overgrown cities, degradation of nature, A.I. surveillance, and increased loneliness. In this conversation, four core artists and writers featured in the festival will elaborate on their ideas and philosophies they hold for our city in the next decade. Featuring author Nuraliah Norasid, author Kevin Martens Wong, architect Kenneth Koh, and Justin Loke from Vertical Submarine. Moderated by interdisciplinary artist Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé.

For details and registration, please visit the event page HERE.

Light to Night 2020: Invisible Cities

Date: Fri, 10 Jan – Sun, 19 Jan, 10:00am–12:00am

Venue: The Civic District

Art, innovation and inspiring ideas intersect in this marquee event of Singapore Art Week. This fourth edition of the Festival is based on the theme Invisible Cities. The array of programmes — which span from day to night — draws us into the rich imaginary worlds of artists, writers, musicians, designers, filmmakers, performers and many other creative talents. Light to Night Festival will be celebrated across five of the Civic District’s most iconic cultural institutions: National Gallery Singapore, Asian Civilisations Museum, The Arts House, Victoria Theatre & Victoria Concert Hall, and Esplanade–Theatres on the Bay.

For more on the festival highlights, please visit the event page HERE.

To frame this year’s festival, four eminent Singapore authors — Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, Kevin Martens Wong, Marc Nair, and Nuraliah Norasid — were commissioned to pen four found//fount sonnets, each designated a zone within the Civic District for ekphrastic inspiration. This is an ideal form of choice, the found//fount sonnet being a quintessentially Singaporean version of the classic poetic form. How may a form lend itself to ruminations and articulations of this island city? How do our four Singapore authors extend that conversation, to say something eloquent and meaningful about the Civic District, with its deep historical significance?

To read the commissioned sonnets, please visit the event page HERE.

2019

Meet-The-Authors:

Elaine Chiew, Tunku Halim & Laksmi Pamuntjak

Date: Sat, 30 Nov, 2:00–3:00pm

Venue: Kinokuniya Singapore Main Store

 

Authors Elaine Chiew, Tunku Halim and Laksmi Pamuntjak make a special appearance at Kinokuniya’s Main Store to share with you more about their latest publications: The Heartsick Diaspora and Other Stories, Scream to the Shadows, and Fall Baby. Moderated by Desmond Kon.

 

For more details, please visit the Kinokuniya event page HERE.

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.