Tuesday, 2 August 2011

World Voices: Eddie Tay | 11 August 2011

Is there space for poetry in the mental life of people in Singapore and Hong Kong? How does one survive and thrive in these two ultra-modern, pragmatic and cosmopolitan cities and stay true to one’s artistic calling? How does one balance the contemplative, aesthetic and hermit- like endeavours of a poet with globalised Asian environments that celebrate business, busy-ness, and wi-fi connections?

For the August edition of World Voices, HK-based poet, literature professor and reviews editor Eddie Tay will be reading from his recent poetry collection, The Mental Life of Cities, and talking about how he draws inspiration from urban life in these two frenetic Asian cities. 

About Eddie Tay

Eddie Tay grew up in Singapore and has been living in Hong Kong for the past eight years. As a poet, literature professor, researcher, and reviews editor of an online literary journal, he has come to see poetry (and literature) not just as words on a page, but as social and aesthetic impulses working their way through local and global communities.

Eddie Tay is the author of three poetry collections, Remnants, A Lover’s Soliloquy, and most recently, The Mental Life of Cities. The first two collections consist of free translations of Tang Dynasty poetry as well as original poems, while his most recent collection which features bilingual poems is inspired by how English and Chinese intertwine and take root in the modern Asian cities of Singapore and Hong Kong. Colony, Nation and Globalisation: Not at Home in Singaporean and Malaysian Literature, his study of colonial and contemporary literature of Singapore and Malaysia, was published this year.

Tay teaches children’s literature and the reading and writing of poetry at the Department of English, Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is a member of the Poetry OutLoud collective based in HK. He was a featured poet at the Hong Kong International Literary Festival 2011. He is also serving as Reviews Editor at the online journal, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal.

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