MIND YOUR (INTER)CULTURE
A book club hosted by Constance Singam
Welcome to Mind Your (Inter)Culture, our new book club that aims to open up intercultural exchanges through books. This May, we will analyse Get Lucky: An Anthology of Philippine and Singapore Writings, edited by Migs Bravo-Dutt, Manuelita Contreras-Cabrera, and Eric Tinsay Valles.
Glimpse into the lives of Filipinos in Singapore, and see Singapore from their eyes. This Philippine-Singapore anthology presents a spread of concerns written in three genres by 30 contributors. The essays, stories and poems trace well-travelled routes of family, friendship, faith, and love; they enter intimate spaces opened up by the sleight of the writer's hand, experiences that would have been closed to the naked eye and an unimaginative heart.
A natural complement to Love Gathers All, the first-ever anthology of Philippines-Singapore love poems, Get Lucky nourishes the bonds between members of these two countries by furthering the understanding of assumptions, beliefs as well as behaviours that are common or that divide.
The session is hosted by Constance Singam, and will be in English. Join us for an afternoon of reading and discussion with guests Migs Bravo-Dutt, Eric Tinsay Valles, Felix Cheong and Desmond Kon!
Get your copy of Get Lucky at Grassroots Book Room today!
Mind Your (Inter)Culture
A book club with a difference, this monthly get-together showcases translated works from Singapore and Southeast Asia. The readings and discussions broaden the exposure of the general public to works written in different languages, and promote intercultural understanding among the communities through books.
About the writers
Migs Bravo-Dutt has contributed poetry to SingPoWriMo: Anthology; From Walden To Woodlands: Anthology; and Ceriph Literary Journal. Her short fiction 'Must Love Dog' is included in 22 New Asian Short Stories 2016. She has also written for Druk Air's Tashi Delek, annual travel guides for Expat Living, the newsletter for Metta Welfare Association, and Pagdiriwang 2015. Migs is co-editor of Get Lucky an anthology of short fiction and poetry launched at the Singapore Writers Festival in 2015. She is a member of the Write Forward Class organized by the British Council/Birkbeck College in 2011, and a participant of the Iceland Writers Retreat 2014.
Felix Cheong is the author of ten books, including four volumes of poetry and a collection of short stories, Vanishing Point, which was longlisted for the prestigious Frank O'Connor Award. His latest book is a collection of satirical flash fiction, Singapore Siu Dai.Conferred the Young Artist of the Year for Literature in 2000 by the National Arts Council, he was named by Readers Digest as the 29th Most Trusted Singaporean in 2010. Cheong has been invited to read at writers' festivals all over the world: Edinburgh, West Cork, Austin, Sydney, Brisbane, Christchurch and Hong Kong. Cheong, who holds a master's in creative writing from the University of Queensland, is currently an adjunct lecturer with Murdoch University, University of Newcastle, Temasek Polytechnic and LASALLE College of the Arts.
Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé is the author of an epistolary novel, two hybrid works, and six poetry collections. A former journalist, he has also edited more than fifteen books and co-produced three audio books. Trained in book publishing at Stanford University, Desmond studied sociology and mass communication at the National University of Singapore, and later received his theology masters (world religions) from Harvard University and fine arts masters (creative writing) from the University of Notre Dame. He is the first-ever winner in both Poetry and Visionary Fiction categories at the Beverly Hills International Book Awards; to have two collections tie for Poetry at the National Indie Excellence Book Awards; to clinch prizes in both Metaphysical (Bronze) and Inspirational Fiction (Silver) categories at the Living Now Book Awards; as well as to sweep seven wins under Adult Fiction, Anthology, Poetry, and Spirituality in four territories (Northeast, West, Midwest, Southwest) at the USA Regional Excellence Book Awards. His other honors include the PEN American Center Shorts Prize, Poetry World Cup, IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Award, and Independent Publisher Silver Book Award, among other accolades. An interdisciplinary artist, Desmond helms Squircle Line Press as its founding editor.
Eric Tinsay Valles has published two poetry collections, A World in Transit and After the Fall (dirges among ruins), and co-edited the 2015 Singapore Writers Festival bestseller Get Lucky anthology of Singapore-Philippine writings [Ethos Books]. His poems have appeared in Routledge's New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, the Hispanic Culture Review, Jet Fuel Review, Reflecting on the Merlion, & Words: Poems Singapore and Beyond, Under the Storm Anthology of Contemporary Philippine Poetry and the Southeast Asian Review of English. He has won prizes in the Goh Sin Tub Creative Writing Competition (2013) and the British Council's Writing the City competitions (2011). His critical work is featured in The Creativity Market: Creative Writing in the 21st Century, Writing Diaspora and The Asiatic. He has been invited to read poetry or commentaries at Baylor, Melbourne and Oxford Universities. He has taken up writing residencies at the Vermont Studio Centre, Centrum (Washington) and Wellspring House (Massachusetts). He writes about the migrant experience and personal trauma with humour and empathy.
About the host
Constance Singam is an author and civil society activist. She began her career in journalism, before taking a degree in English Literature in her forties, and a Master's degree in her sixties. She has been a columnist in several publications. Her works include "A History of the TWC: Building Social Space in Singapore", and "Re-Presenting Singapore Women" which she co-edited. She released her memoir "Where I Was: A Memoir from the Margins" in 2013. She blogs at: http://connie.sg/