The Viewing Party
by Yong Shu Hoong
Winner of the 2014 Singapore Literature Prize for English Poetry
Singapore Literature Prize winner Yong Shu Hoong’s latest book features more than just poetry. There is also a ghostly tale at its core, complete with prose poems and micro fiction of exactly 100 words each, as well as annotated excerpts from an abandoned work.
In this viewing party, readers are invited to take a peek into the domain of death and cinema. You are part of a mob of dispassionate onlookers. Sometimes, you get to play the voyeuristic judge.
About the Author
Yong Shu Hoong has published four books of poetry: Isaac (1997),do-while (2002), Frottage (2005), which won the 2006 Singapore Literature Prize, and From within the Marrow (2010).
His poems have been included in literary journals like Quarterly Literary Review Singapore and Asia Literary Review (Hong Kong), as well as anthologies like Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond (W.W. Norton, 2008). His short story, ‘The Handover’, was featured in the National Library Board’s reading initiative, Read! Singapore, in 2012.
He has been invited to read at literary festivals and events in Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Australia, England, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and the United States. From August 2013 to February 2014, he is a writer-in-residence at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
As a freelance journalist, he has written articles for publications likeThe Straits Times (Singapore), South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and Esquire Singapore. From 2008 to 2013, he reviewed films for the English section of the bilingual freesheet, My Paper (Singapore).
“There’s a warm easiness to Yong’s voice that’s balanced by a sharpness of insight. He cuts through the layers of familial and social habit to the unseen images and urges that give the mundane the sheen of the numinous. If the book is a viewing party, Yong is a genial and attentive host, inviting us in to absorbing scenes of everyday curiosity and surprise.”
– Jen Crawford, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Creative Writing Programme at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
“...a gentle, spacious, and insouciant lyrical commentary on life's little passings... This has, of all Yong's books, the most rewarding frame over a selection not just because of its ambitious, philosophical bent and self-consciousness — rather, we get a sense that the writer has finally understood his place in literature and found the right moment where our private considerations open into something deeper and larger than ourselves to meet us.”
– Gwee Li Sui, literary critic, poet, and graphic artist, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore
“The Viewing Party, a collage of poetry and prose, skilfully explores the penumbral worlds of death and the cinema. From funeral wakes to the darkness of the picture house, Yong draws us into intimate spaces where distinctions between "witness" and "voyeur" slowly fade out. ”
– Mags Webster, Cha, Asian Literary Journal
• • •
Dimension: 120mm x 200mm