A World In Transit


The world is on the move. As a result, people everywhere are increasingly caught in hybridity or cultural mixing even as they assert their individuality. Indeed, migrants, the subject of many of Eric Tinsay Valles’ poems, yearn especially for an escape or exile from the messy present. But they and their motivations are not always understood. Eric Tinsay Valles’ poetic reflections on this new world order and its protagonists move subtly from one geographical space to another. He interprets these spaces sometimes with humour and always with empathy for otherness. 

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A World In Transit

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“Eric’s poetry has a keen traveler’s eye for detail and a child’s appetite for curiosity.” — Felix Cheong, NAC Young Artist Award recipient (2000), and author of Singapore Siu Dai I and Singapore Siu Dai II.

“A poet who lives within and between different cultures, Eric Francis Tinsay Valles wears different skins and shows a ruthless curiosity for diverse ways of seeing and feeling. This collection of poems is a refreshing read in the way it unravels the lives of unsung heroes and places with gentle humor and charming honesty.” — Lim Siew Yea, Arts Educator

“This is the very first collection of Eric Tinsay Valles’s work, which is already so well known in literary journals. A World in Transit contains poems that speak in many voices, though certain motifs recur and intersect. Rhythm and colour shift from page to page; rhyme-schemes vary, or vanish; fact and invention jostle each other as poetic form is explored from many angles. The poems reflect upon time and destiny, on culture, language, love, on politics and art, on the sacred and the mundane. They investigate terrains both social and inner, proving our daily confrontations with the self in a world in flux. The relation between thought, language, symbol and meaning is a central concern. Read this sequence through from page one, or start at any point and let its circles widen, or perhaps go to the lovely, light-syllabled final lyric and discover surprising ways back.” — Dominique Hecq, Poet and Creative Writing Professor, Swinburne University of Technology

“A World in Transit is a lively window on life in emerging, changing Asia. Its themes which include the interaction between people, nature and the urban environment, and the plight of migrant workers as they search for a better life, rest on sharp observation and a sense of grace dissolved in place. Valles’s work distills the acute drama in human behavior and celebrates the transcendence of limits.” — Edwin Thumboo, Emeritus Professor, Department of English


Eric Tinsay Valles