Sing Lit 101: The Arts House’s New Literary Series To Reignite The Spark In Singapore Literature
Singapore, 12 August 2013 – Singaporeans who think they cannot – or do not know how to enjoy – Singapore literature can now discover for themselves the depth and breadth of our literary heritage in Sing Lit 101, a new series programmed by The Arts House which begins on 17 August.
Conducted by the respected literary critic and poet Dr Gwee Li Sui, each Sing Lit 101 session is a relaxed academic discussion on a piece of Singapore literature beginning with its history before diving headlong into a close analysis of the work. It is kept outwardly simple to encourage participants to look at Singaporean works in new light.
The inaugural series will focus on six major English poems from Singapore’s early decades: Edwin Thumboo’s Ulysses by the Merlion; Arthur Yap’s 2 mothers in a h d b playground; Wong May’s Dragon-fly; Lee Tzu Pheng’s My Country and My People; Goh Poh Seng’s Bird with One Wing; and Chandran Nair’s After The Hard Hours, This Rain. These poems are a mix of themes and a balance between famous poems and poems that have become less familiar with time.
Gwee, who thinks Sing Lit 101 fills a need among Singaporeans, says: “While reading in general brings great pleasure, we need to move on as a society to know how to talk about books, our books. The writers’ thoughts and words ought to be more a part of our conversations. We tend to hear that literature is about life – but do we know why that is so? This kind of knowledge shouldn’t be locked away in schools and universities.”
Adds William Phuan, Director, The Arts House: “The heated debate about the decline of literary studies in Singapore reflects the yearning of Singaporeans to preserve our own literary culture and heritage. The Arts House, as Singapore’s literary arts centre, is always looking for ways to offer everyone a chance to tap their inner literati and embrace literature as a lifestyle. Sing Lit 101 is one such platform.”
Sing Lit 101: How To Read A Singaporean Poem is supported by the National Arts Council and is open to anyone aged 15 and above. Season passes as well as per session passes could be purchased fromwww.bytes.sg. For more information, please visit www.theartshouse.com.sg.
To download this media release, profile of Dr Gwee Li Sui and event synopsis, please click here.
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