No Other City: The Ethos Anthology of Urban Poetry

There is no other city quite like Singapore, and yet, no other city which these voices might call their own. No Other City: The Ethos Anthology of Urban Poetry brings together a rich spectrum of poetic voices and visions at work in Singapore today, from published poets such as Boey Kim Cheng, Lee Tzu Pheng and Arthur Yap and to new poets such as Alfian Sa’at, Ng Yi-sheng and Teng Qian Xi. All have one thing in common: they have known the city for most of their lives, and their sense of identity is deeply intertwined with the urban and cosmopolitan landscape of the modern Asia metropolis.

This anthology attempts to capture the dynamic interplay between people and places caught in the throes of a new urban reality, wrought within one generation of independence.

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No Other City: The Ethos Anthology of Urban Poetry

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"I have just finished this book and am savouring the exhilaration! It is an anthology of urban poetry, published in 2000, after an invitation to the public to submit poetry that expresses something of life in this ever-changing city of Singapore. The outcome is a vibrant mixture of old established and brand new poems, of voices from across the generations and cultures that inhabit this city. It tells stories of change, of sorrow, of hope and anxiety and meaning. It laments the temporariness of trees in the garden city, with its concrete-encased heart. It strives for meaning amid the constant buzz of development and the absence of skyline and thrushes. It questions the injustices and inequalities facing migrant workers and the have-nots and the invisible who are part of every city. At the same time it is a book full of creative energy and love of life and colour and humanity. One of the things I really enjoyed about this book is the way it is presented. It is not just a dipping-in book, though obviously one can do that too. But for me the book feels as if it compels you to read it from beginning to end, like a narrative. The poems are arranged without authors' names (these are indexed) and are grouped together by theme. The theme is not named - the poems simply progress from one to the other, with a feeling of forward momentum, evoking curiosity, unfolding more and more of a picture, a picture of a city, yet at the same time, an intimate glimpse into the human lives which constitute it." —Jo, Goodreads


Aaron Lee, Alvin Pang