edited by Ow Yeong Wai Kit and Muzakkir Samat
From Walden to Woodlands is an interfaith anthology of poetry about nature in Singapore. Showcasing a diverse range of writings from a kaleidoscope of faith perspectives, this collection draws inspiration from native flora, fauna, and natural habitats, besides exploring humanity’s relationship with the environment. Poets featured include familiar names in the Singapore literary landscape like Alfian Sa’at, Wena Poon, and Gilbert Koh. Accessible and compelling, this anthology is a timely and essential source text for individuals interested in faith, nature, or the environment, as well as students and teachers of literature. The writings provide a glimpse of the imaginative richness, penetrating insights, and haunting beauty that can be found in nature and spirituality.
Listen to a short audio interview of Muz and Wai Kit, the editors of From Walden to Woodlands, by Wardah Books here!
About the Editors
MUZAKKIR SAMAT is training to be a Civil Engineer at NUS. Born and bred in Yishun—home of the Yishun Dam and Yishun Park—Muzakkir has been a big fan of green spaces, wide landscapes and rising suns. He volunteers regularly with FiTree, a Muslim youth environmentalist group, advocating a greener lifestyle for the Muslim masses. Considering the likes of John Muir and Ralph Waldo Emerson as his heroes, Muzakkir would love to walk the path of enlightenment through nature. He believes that the relationship between reading nature and reading poetry is an intersection worth exploring.
OW YEONG WAI KIT is a teacher of English and Literature. Schooled at Raffles Institution and Raffles Junior College, he graduated as valedictorian of the University Scholars Programme at NUS, with first-class honours in literature. He also holds an MA (with distinction) from University College London, where he was awarded the John Oliver Hobbes Memorial Scholarship in Modern English. His articles have been featured in journals such as Interreligious Insight and Think Pieces: A Journal of the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Aside from heading the Youth Committee at Poh Ming Tse Temple, he serves as an interfaith advocate as part of the Moulmein Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circle (IRCC). His favourite writers include Karen Armstrong, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Geoffrey Hill.
“Spirituality and the natural environment are two resources often overlooked in Singapore. In linking them, the path-breaking poems in From Walden to Woodlands provide new spaces of openness and questioning, offering possibilities for renewal, contemplation and then action in the social world.”
– Prof Philip Holden, Department of English Language & Literature, National University of Singapore
“When Muzakkir and Wai Kit first introduced me to this initiative, I wondered how these two young gentlemen could cultivate such interest in going back to nature and simplicity in this current consumerist world. The message of this anthology moves me and I applaud this important effort. It is very heartening to see passionate young people come together to express their views on nature and diversity through poetry. Such efforts bring hope towards the preservation of our natural environment as well as the strengthening of our unity in diversity.”
– Ustaz Muhammad Fazalee bin Ja’afar, Head of Harmony Centre, Singapore
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Dimension: 120mm x 200mm