Bitter Punch by Loh Guan Liang front cover
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Bitter Punch

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by Loh Guan Liang

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Shortlisted for the 2018 Singapore Literature Prize 


Bitter Punch is Loh Guan Liang’s second collection of poetry. With a wry eye for the everyday and its often forgotten characters, Loh explores what it means to live and love in the city. Even as it depicts the tension between ourselves and the spaces we inhabit, Bitter Punch still seeks sweetness in life’s hard, bitter moments.

About the Author

Loh Guan Liang is the author of the poetry collection Transparent Strangers (2012) and the co-translator of Art Studio (2014), originally written in Chinese by Singapore Cultural Medallion recipient Yeng Pway Ngon. Winner of the 2011 Moving Words poetry competition organised by SMRT and The Literary Centre, his work has been featured in the Singapore Memory Project and The Substation Love Letters Project. He updates at


"Like a keen flâneur, Loh Guan Liang collects penetrating snapshots of the everyday in the city, and, like an artful cinematographer, turns them into silent moving images. His observations offer no false consolation, only the unsweetened taste of reality, acerbic as black coffee. Drink from this book of poems. Let it wake you up."
Wong Shu Yun, author of Do You Fear the Line

"The journey through our emotions rarely has a destination. Or a map. Guan Liang’s Bitter Punch, however, provides a beacon as we walk the roads of pitch-black uncertainty and brutal realities."
Joelyn Alexandra, editor of fiction zine Pulp Toast / Roti Bakar

"Most strikingly, it is his last lines that pack a punch, leaving one high on a lethal mix of imagery, form—and imagination."
Chew Yi Wei, Postdoctoral Fellow at Nanyang Technological University

"This is a mesmerising collection full of wit, wordplay and wisdom."
Felix Cheong, NAC Young Artist of the Year (2000)

"At the heart of Bitter Punch is the passing of love. Loh Guan Liang has constructed a personal map of elegiac half-escapes although his book is also a love letter to the enigmatic city that has been sustaining him. These poems will haunt you with its cool detachment, its overthinking, and its sombre rhythm in search of connection through words."
Gwee Li Sui, poet and critic

    • • •

    ISBN: 978-981-09-7427-5 (paperback) / 978-981-14-1214-1 (e-book)
    Published: 2016
    Dimension: 120mm x 200mm
    Pages: 136
    Format: Paperback



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