Contour: A Lyric Cartography of Singapore front cover
Contour: A Lyric Cartography of Singapore back cover

Contour: A Lyric Cartography of Singapore

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edited by Leonard Ng, Azhar Ibrahim, Chow Teck Seng, Kanagalatha Krishnasamy, Tan Chee Lay

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How do we understand the history and landscape of our country? In this bicentennial year, Contour charts a lyric cartography of Singapore, taking in events from the past seven hundred years while also reflecting on the current state of our nation. Drawing on poems written in all four of Singapore’s official languages, this anthology weaves them into a lyrical tapestry showcasing both the unity and diversity of Singapore’s poetic voices. 

About the Editors

Leonard Ng serves as Chief Editor of Contour. He is the author of the poetry collections This Mortal World and Changes and Chances, the former shortlisted for the 2012 Singapore Literature Prize. He is also the translator of several classical Chinese works into English, including the Laozi Dao De Jing, The Art of War, The Complete Poems of Yu Xuanji, and Lu Ji’s Rhapsody on Literature. His work has also appeared in the journals Asymptote, Ceriph, Kitaab, and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, as well as in the anthologies Love Gathers All, Coast, From Walden to Woodlands, and Union.

Azhar Ibrahim, PhD., is a Lecturer and Deputy Head at the Department of Malay Studies, National University of Singapore. He teaches Malay-Indonesian literature and ideologies of development at the Department. His research interest includes sociology of religion, sociology of literature and critical literacy, and Malay-Indonesian intellectual development. Amongst his published books are: Emancipated Education (2019), Historical Imagination and Cultural Responses to Colonialism and Nationalism: A Critical Malay(sian) Perspective (2017), Menyanggah Belenggu Kerancuan Fikiran Masakini (2016), Contemporary Islamic Discourse in the Malay-Indonesia World: Critical Perspectives (2014), Narrating Presence: Awakening from Cultural Amnesia (2014).

Singapore-born, Chow Teck Seng writes poetry primarily in Chinese. Frequently contributing to literary journals, anthologies and the Chinese press in Singapore and abroad, he has won awards such as the Singapore Literature Prize (2014) and Golden Point Award (2009). His poems in English translation are found in &Words (Ethos Books), Union (Ethos Books), SG Poems 2015–2016 and poetry at Sangam and have been adapted into short films by LASALLE students. A former lecturer in Chinese- language Literature at NUS and NIE, he is currently pursuing a PhD at Cambridge University.

Kanagalatha Krishnasamy has published three collections of poetry in Tamil: Theeveli (Firespace) (2003), Paampuk Kaattil Oru Thaazhai (A Screwpine in Snakeforest) (2004) and Yaarukkum Illaatha Paalai (No Man’s Desert) (2016). She has also published a short story collection Naan Kolai Seyium Penkkal (The Woman I Murder) (2007), which won the biennial Singapore Literature Prize in 2008. The English translation of her short story collection The Goddess in the Living Room was published in 2014. Her poems and short stories have been published in multilingual anthologies in Singapore and various Tamil literary journals in India, Malaysia, France and Sri Lanka. Her works have been translated into English, French and German. Kanagalatha is one of the founding directors of Poetry Festival Singapore. She is currently the Associate Editor of Tamil Murasu, Singapore’s Tamil daily newspaper.

Tan Chee Lay has lived in Singapore, Taiwan and the UK, and has studied Chinese Literature, English Studies and Business Administration. He completed his doctorate in Oriental Studies (Chinese literature) at St John’s College, Cambridge University. He was awarded the Young Artist Award and the Singapore Youth Award (Culture & the Arts). He is currently an Associate Professor in Chinese in NIE, NTU. Chee Lay has published and edited over 20 creative writing or academic books.

About Poetry Festival Singapore

We are a community organisation that works with Singapore poets to create literary works and promote the Singapore poetry scene.

With our advisor and visionary, Emeritus Professor Edwin Thumboo, we will hold true to our vision of using poetry as a common platform to integrate the multilingual culture of Singapore and to help each Singaporean define an identity for himself/herself.

What we aim to do can never be an individual effort. Together with our collaborators, supporters, and friends, we hope to offer a multilingual, multicultural and multi- generational platform for literary artists and literature enthusiasts in the appreciation of the art of poetry in Singapore. We market public readings, keynote addresses, craft workshops, panel discussions and curated publications.

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ISBN: 978-981-14-2161-7
Published: 2019
Dimension: 200mm x 125mm
Extent: 180 pages
Finish: Paperback
Published by: 
Poetry Festival Singapore



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