Unfree Verse (Second Edition) edited by Tse Hao Guang, Joshua Ip, and Theophilus Kwek front cover
Unfree Verse (Second Edition) edited by Tse Hao Guang, Joshua Ip, and Theophilus Kwek back cover

UnFree Verse

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edited by Tse Hao Guang, Joshua Ip, and Theophilus Kwek
Second Edition

Read the editor's introduction and selected poems


Rhyme is Shakespeare. Rhythm is rap. Sing Lit is free verse. If you’ve ever had such thoughts, let this book demolish them. With poems drawn from 80 years of print and online material, UnFree Verse illuminates an important but overlooked aspect of Singapore’s literary history: formal poetry in English. It features poets beloved and forgotten, immigrant and emigrant, Malayan and cosmopolitan, challenging readers to explore the dynamic landscape of poetry from, about, and around Singapore. In this collection, the formal poem becomes a focal point for the duelling forces of repetition and improvisation, standards and Englishes, freedom and boundaries. Might these constraints be fertile soil for creativity in a city like Singapore? If you think so, UnFree Verse belongs on your shelf. This new edition contains an expanded glossary, a list of further reading, and a new essay on rhyme. 

Featuring the works of

Alfian Sa’at, Ann Ang, Hedwig Anuar, John Augustin, Boey Kim Cheng, Jennifer Anne Champion, Felix Cheong, Christine Chia, Grace Chia, Justin Chin, Amanda Chong, Eileen Chong, Ian Chung, W. J. Crewe, Ee Tiang Hong, D. J. Enright, Goh Poh Seng, Goh Sin Tub, Gwee Li Sui, Heng Siok Tian, Denis Horle, Joshua Ip, G. Kanagabai, Bilahari Kausikan, Koh Buck Song, Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, Theophilus Kwek, Aaron Lee, Anne Lee Tzu Pheng, Lee Jing-Jing, Madeleine Lee, Samuel Lee, Leong Liew Geok, Margaret Leong, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Nicholas Liu, Lo Kwa Mei-en, Aaron Maniam, Chris Mooney-Singh, Nabilah Said, Rohan Naidu, Devan Nair, Marc Nair, Leonard Ng, Ng Yi-Sheng, Ong Teong Hean, Alvin Pang, Cécile Parrish, Alistair Paterson, George Puthucheary, Charlene Shepherdson, Sng Boh Khim, Fiona Sze-Lorrain, George Szirtes, Tan Hui Shan, Ruth Tang, Eddie Tay, Simon Tay, Teh Su Ching, Teng Qian Xi, Teo Kah Leng, Teo Poh Leng, Tham Zhen Teng, Paul Theroux, Edwin Thumboo, G Toh, Toh Hsien Min, Samantha Toh, Tse Hao Guang, Eric Tinsay Valles, Wang Gungwu, Jason Wee, Cyril Wong, David Wong Hsien Ming, Eleanor Wong, Ian Wong, Wong Wen Pu, Angeline Yap, Arthur Yap, Robert Yeo, Yeow Kai Chai, Yin C. H., Zhang Ruihe

About the Editors

Tse Hao Guang was assembled with parts from Hong Kong and Malaysia. His first full-length poetry collection, Deeds of Light (Math Paper Press, 2015), was shortlisted for the 2016 Singapore Literature Prize. He co-edits the cross-genre, collaborative journal OF ZOOS, and serves as the critical essays editor of poetry.sg. He is a 2016 fellow of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program.

Joshua Ip is the Singapore Literature Prize-winning author of sonnets from the singlish upsized edition (2015), making love with scrabble tiles (2013), and sonnets from the singlish(2012). He has placed in three different categories of the Golden Point Award. He co-edits two series of anthologies: A Luxury We Cannot Afford and SingPoWriMo; and edits Ten Year Series, an imprint of Math Paper Press. He is working on a graphic novel, Ten Stories Below. He is the founder of Sing Lit Station, a non-profit that runs multiple community initiatives, including SingPoWriMo, Manuscript Bootcamp, poetry.sg, and
several workshop groups. www.joshuaip.com.

Theophilus Kwek has published four volumes of poetry: They Speak Only Our Mother Tongue (2011), Circle Line (2014, shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize), Giving Ground (2016), and The First Five Storms (2017, winner of the New Poets’ Prize). He
recently won the Berfrois Poetry Prize, and was placed Second in the Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry in Translation; his work has also been widely published in international journals and anthologies. He served as President of the Oxford University Poetry Society, and is currently Co-Editor of both Oxford Poetry and The Kindling. He is the Chief Executive Assistant at Asymptote, a journal for world literature.


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ISBN: 978-981-11-5789-9
Published: 2017
Dimension: 130mm x 200mm
Extent: 364 pages
Finish: Paperback



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