After The Fall: Dirges Among Ruins
by Eric Tinsay Valles
Shortlisted for the 2016 Singapore Literature Prize (Poetry)
This collection explores the creative space of poetry as a means to unravel feelings evoked by the violence of war or by everyday traumatic events. One may come to terms with uncomfortable, including unspeakable, feelings by describing them with imagery from nature and one’s immediate environment. By participating in grieving, the self can better face any lingering effects of trauma. In this creative space, dramatic speakers retell stories and give vent to contradictory feelings through silences and free play. Their accounts attest to the dappled beauty of the human condition even if the full nature, scope and effects of traumatic memories are always beyond their grasp.
About the Author
ERIC TINSAY VALLES draws inspiration from all the places that he has called home. His poetry has been featured in & Words, Sound of Mind, Reflecting on the Merlion, Ceriph, Southeast Asian Review of English, Routledge’s New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing and other journals. His critical essays have appeared in The Asiatic and Writing Diaspora.
Eric 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 has won a Goh Sin Tub Creative Writing prize for poems that form the core of his second poetry collection, After the Fall (dirges among ruins). His previous poetry collection is A World in Transit.
“Eric Valles’s After the Fall (dirges among ruins) is a striking literary achievement, I think it no exaggeration to describe it as a small epic for our time.”
– Preston M. Browning, Jr., Associate Professor Emeritus of English, University of Illinois at Chicago
“After the Fall departs from and extends the poetic journeys which Eric Valles has taken you since his debut collection. His keen eye for observation is still suffused with a wry perspective, packed with references and inferences. But a sudden turn of phrase lets on that the writing has grown older and the poet’s craft, more matured.”
– Felix Cheong, NAC Young Artist of the Year (2000) and author of Singapore Siu Dai I and Singapore Siu Dai II.
“Eric’s new collection is a dazzling and moving collection that looks at international events of the past and present.”
– Dave Chua, Singapore Literature Prize (Commendation), Recipient (1996)
“After the Fall adds significantly to Southeast Asian Literature in English and to our poetry, as much of the work is set here. Valles brings to the act of poetry a distinctly Catholic sensibility, grounded in its theology and metaphorical reach. The subjects are wide-ranging, suggested by his reading, his travels, and his Singapore experience, which ranges from visiting our history to the recent Little India riots. But above all, his work celebrates the power of the human spirit, embodied vividly and energetically, in the images and metaphors that reach directly into and sum up the experiences they address.”
– Edwin Thumboo, Emeritus Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, National University of Singapore
“This collection is the best kind of ambush. Ideas, subject, literary forms, even languages come together as Eric speaks of multiple things in multiple, eloquent ways. There is a palpable energy to his words: a poetic Brownian force as he deepens and extends the erudition and range of ideas that already shone through his earlier collection.
– Aaron Maniam, Author of Morning at Memory’s Border; Mentor, National Arts Council Mentor Access Project
“This collection reveals Eric Valles as a poet with the nose of an investigative archaeologist, as exemplified by his penchant and courage for mining the dark corners of psychological wastelands. Eric writes with steely resolve and dry-eyed candour, peeling back layers of flawed assumptions to uncover molten truths about hotspot issues and faceless personalities.”
– Lim Siew Yea, Educator
“Eric Tinsay Valles’s eye is drawn to ruptures in the social fabric, to the places where pain, conflict and violence disturb the presumptions of peace. The book ranges across histories and nations seeking what these moments have in common, and returns us, with grace of phrase and mind, to each moment’s sacred particularity.”
– Jen Crawford, Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University
• • •
Dimension: 120mm x 200mm