Ethos 18th Birthday

Dear friends,

Ethos Books was conceived in 1997 to give a platform to aspiring and unknown Singapore writers. We were specifically inspired by the works of 2 young writers in their early twenties who had come to us, each with his own collection of poems, which they felt established publishers would decline.

At that time, poetry, writing and even literature had been worn down by the incessant waves of “tangible outcomes” in our education system. I felt that we would be just trying to hold back the waves over which we had no control. But the energy and enthusiasm of the young writers were strangely rejuvenating, and more important I could imagine the fun we would have, trying to push back the waves.

And then, a new community sprouted. More and more writers came forth, feeding on goodwill and good literature and good writing.

Today, these 2 fine young men, together with a whole host of others, are among the most highly regarded writers in Singapore. Today, we have a thriving community of Singapore poets and writers, booksellers and small independent publishers. And I am pleased to say that at one of our recent events “5 Under 25”, even more young writers have surfaced to join hands with those before them.

In the same way, Ethos Books itself has seen a new, a young and a vibrant group of colleagues populate its ranks. New ideas, new ways of doing things, new relationships. Whether they are full-time or just passing through, they have made this journey even more meaningful for Ethos. I invite everyone here to continue with us on the new adventures that lie ahead.

The sea will always be there. And with it, the waves. Sometimes we want a destination against the flow. We swim against it. We stand and with hands and bodies push forth. Then tired, we sometimes have no choice but let the waves carry us back. Then rested, we stand and push the waves again.

But always, we must have fun. Always, we must remember our final destination.


With best wishes and gratefulness to the Singapore literature community

Hoe Fang, Ethos Books

(For more pictures, visit our 18th Anniversary album on Facebook!)