by Jerrold Yam
At home with loneliness and passing encounters, can we be familiar with another or even ourselves? Does love outweigh the uncertainty of its memory? In his third and latest collection, award-winning poet Jerrold Yam ushers us into a traveller's world through sensitive and enquiring eyes, navigating a landscape of flitting figures, thoughts and emotions.
Informed by expansive travel across Asia and Europe, Yam's poetry is as varied as his journey, exploring geysers, horse riding and Picasso, while building on his preoccupations with family, sensuality and displacement. His poems make fresh the contradictions of young adulthood, its heady mix of determined restlessness, bold insecurities, desire for intimacy and fear of commitment. In his unflinchingly honest treatment of these themes, Yam exhibits new range and complexity as he describes a shifting terrain, where moving on is as difficult as letting go.
Above all, Intruder is an attempt to make sense of the impermanent structures that hold up one's life. Home, like love, may be a fiction that we must resist claiming for our own. After all, can we--and should we--be more than intruders?
About the Author
Born in 1991, Jerrold Yam is a law undergraduate at University College London and the author of three poetry collections, Intruder (2014), Scattered Vertebrae (2013) and Chasing Curtained Suns (2012).
His poems have been published across twenty countries in more than eighty literary journals, including Axon, Counterexample Poetics, Mascara Literary Review, Poetry Pacific, Prairie Schooner, Third Coast, Wasafiri and Washington Square Review, as well as featured by the Overseas Singaporean Unit, Poetry Society (UK), Singapore Memory Project, Southeast Asia Globe, The Arts House, The Straits Times and The Substation. His work has been selected for anthologies such as Manoa (2014), Fatherhood (2014), Off the Rocks (2014), Mildly Erotic Verse (2013), Petua (2013), Ayam Curtain (2012) and Moving Words(2011). They have also been translated into Spanish.
Jerrold won first prize and three honourable mentions at the National University of Singapore Creative Writing Competition 2011, first prize at the British Council History and the City Competition 2011, was runner-up at the Poetry Book Society Student Poetry Competition 2013, and in 2012 became the youngest Singaporean to be nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
He has been featured at the Interrobang Book Fair, Ledbury Poetry Festival, London Book Fair and Singapore Writers Festival, educational institutions such as the National University of Singapore, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and Anglican High School, and events such as Singapore Day 2014 and the Southbank Centre's Festival of Love 2014. He is listed by the National Arts Council as one of the "New Voices of Singapore 2014″.
"Jerrold Yam writes with an old voice and the youthful abandon of a poet out of his safe shell; a strong conviction of his depthless solitude yet weak in the presence of love and desire. His poems are lamentable etudes of one-word titles so vocal of absence and longing they are heartrending to those in the thick throes of love's discovery, loss and reconciliation."
- Grace Chia, author of Cordelia and womango
"Continuing the grace and eloquence of Yam's earlier collections, Intruder at once strips back and finely embroiders the moments of connection, strangeness and longing between us. Each moment of excavation is touched by the sting of hard-won, lost and lived experiences. Still, there is a grace in Yam's seamless skate -- from thought to thought, between people, places, and the changing faces of home. In these poems, Yam braves a deepening that is at once reflective and tense, with a sensual voice that is fast attaining heat."
- Jasmine Ann Cooray, Poet
"Jerrold's poems have always been startlingly tender, soulful and enigmatic. But there's an intriguing new wave of experimentation with form in this volume, as he strives to map out his relationship with his father and his years abroad as an undergraduate in the UK."
- Ng Yi-Sheng, author of last boy
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ISBN: 978-981-09-1372-4 (paperback) | 978-981-14-1667-5 (e-book)
Dimension: 120mm x 200mm