dragon.paper.wind. (龙卷风)

Launch Details

The first public showing of dragon.paper.wind. by Crispin Rodrigues at Monk's Brew Club, a modern coffee house with the soul of a social club:

  • Meet Crispin Rodrigues, a poet who explores the complexities of mixed race, identity and language in Singapore.

  • Listen to readings from dragon.paper.wind. Enjoy special performances by featured poets Wong Cheng Him (Dustin Wong), Tricia Tan (author of Patient History), Cara Ow, and one of Crispin's talented students, Ben.

Words spoken in a safe and intimate space enter intimate spaces within your soul.

1 June 2024 (Saturday), 7.30 - 8.30pm [Limited Slots]
MBC at 57 East Coast Road, Singapore 428773

Get a ticket to the launch. Each ticket includes a copy of dragon.paper.wind. Collect your pre-ordered copy of dragon.paper.wind. from the Ethos team at Monk's Brew Club on the day of the event.

About the Book

dragon.paper.wind. (龙卷风) is a poetry collection that explores mixed race, bilingualism and the complexities of living in a society still entrapped within the CMIO model of race. In this collection, Crispin Rodrigues approaches themes of growing up as a mixed-race person, and draws upon the history of mixed-race depictions in history, literature and popular culture to further illustrate the question of hybridity. From poems about monstrosity to poems about the superheroes, the collection calls back to the history of mixed ethnicities in order to draw a path forward.

dragon.paper.wind. (龙卷风)

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Book + Poetry Readings (Self-collect on 1 June)


$33.00 SGD

Paperback (Delivery, available after 1 June)


$18.00 SGD

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"Crispin Rodrigues’s dragon.paper.wind. forges its own poetics of movement and many-faceted self-exposure. History lives on in the body and in bodily shame. Nonetheless, as Rodrigues writes in ‘comprador’, “i am determined to love this body. its illnesses. its calamities.” These are poems full of attention – a form of love – as much to the body as to the body politic under the duress of global capital. From the imperial conquests of Alfonso de Albuquerque to a Patek Philippe billboard outside a shopping mall in Singapore, nothing escapes Rodrigues's wide-angled gaze. The scope of dragon.paper.wind. is ambitious, but it also drills down into the minutiae of language, drawing out the contradictions in ‘apology’, the swerves between subject and object, and the punning links between Mandarin, Malay and English. The result is a visionary exploration of mixedness as a mode of inquiry." — Will Harris, author of RENDANG and Brother Poem

"In dragon.paper.wind., Crispin Rodrigues dissects his own body as a site for cultural wars. From skin to tongue to organs to umbilical cord, the poet bares his imperfect entirety as an act of recolonisation and self-empowerment in response to a climate of overt and unconscious biases. Embodying an X-ray vision through a superpower lens, he lasers through societal hypocrisy and habituated behaviour acted upon towards minority citizens. Exquisitely tender, honest and clear-eyed, this book reveals the poet’s turmoil of being mixed race in Singapore and his attempts at claiming back his sutured humanity. Bold, polyglottal and earnest, this is a watershed collection about identity in SingLit." — Grace Chia, author of How to Hunger and Cordelia

In unravelling dragon.paper.wind – the title is a literal translation of the Chinese term for cyclones (and perchance a reference to one of Taiwanese musician Jay Chou’s hit singles?) – one hears, no, feels a new, visceral, pulsating music rushing up. In his first three collections, Crispin Rodrigues assiduously tests the waters, but here, his best, most audacious adventure yet, he has broken through. It’s both his most conceptual and oddly most “freeing” work thus far, in theme, structure and metaphor. The poems are most incandescent when revelling in that strange music, composed not from logic but from an ironic abandonment of ego. Sure, you could study the mechanics, but why not just taste the delicious joy these words ooze, buoyed along in a whirlwind sweep of English, Chinese and Malay phraseology, and fascinating portraits dunk in genealogy, fantasy and archival deep-dive? It’s a fulfilment of peripatetic impulses – to seek answers, to find beauty and refuge in the interstices of race, language and family, and to forge one’s own peculiar identity. So, who am I? This is me, says Crispin, in an often glorious, sometimes funny, and absolutely honest admission that he hasn’t quite figured everything, let alone himself, out yet. — Yeow Kai Chai, One to the Dark Tower Comes (2022 Singapore Literature Prize)


Crispin Rodrigues