2020 Winners' Interviews 

Chinese Category

Find out more about our winning poets and the inspiration behind their writing and works!

Elizabeth Lim (林伊静)

Winning Poem:

"死亡 " (“Death”)

(15- to 18-Year-Old Category, First Prize)

1. What is your philosophy towards your poetry works?

I perceive life as an illusion and a temporary solution before death. We are all awaiting death in a different manner, some of us die with little regrets while others are taken away through seemingly “unnatural “ methods such as illnesses. I wrote the poem to emphasise to people that death is not something we should fear, it is a natural course of life. There is a beginning and there would be an end.


2. Where do you get your inspirations from?

I was wondering out of the blue why is life so meaningful for people and why do we try to do things to make life seem meaningful, I realise that if we had all the time in the world, we would not be so motivated to achieve goals. It is because we have a time limit, death , then we are compelled to make life interesting and memorable. Hence, I understood the concept that death brings meaning to life. 


3. What do you wish for people to take away from your poem?

I hope people can understand the meaning of life and somewhat appreciate it, not to fear death and but to accept the emotional nature of it and understand it instead. Also enjoy the movement you have with each person u love, It could easily be your last interaction. 


4. Do you have a favourite poet/author?

I do not particularly have a favourite author as I read a wide variety of books, from comic and mangas to fantasy stories and memoir of famous people. For example, stories like about the Greek gods and mystical beasts. 


5. If you could tell your younger writer self anything, what would it be?


Read more, dream more, those thoughts and fantasies in your mind are enough to write a whole story ..

 

6. Where do you see yourself in the future in terms of writing and poetry?

 

I see myself writing and taking inspiration from my own experience and what I believe in . I intend to convey feelings and reality in what I write and compose. 


7. What do you wish to see more in the literary world in Singapore?

I  wish for composers to not stick to the same concept of writing all the time. The way we write is not as appealing to readers as compared to foreign writers. We need to attach an emotional string and attachment with the reader immediately if we wish to expand the local literature. Stories need to have an more unexpected climax that isn’t too illogical but still relatable to experience. I hope our writing can improve to the fact where readers who are not locally knowledgeable can also understand the Singapore culture and be fascinated, however, not completely unrelated to their experience. 


8. Describe what a poem means/is to you.

A poems is a deeper summery of emotions and thoughts that the writer is trying to convey. An indirect story told through deep thoughts. 


9. How does a literary success look like to you?

An immediate response from readers and emotional attachment to the characters to the story. To make the reader fascinated and capture the minds of readers simply through writing is incredible. Hence, that’s what make up literary success. 

Lou Shixun (卢士勋)

Winning Poem:

"我是语文创造出来的节奏 " (“I am the rhythm of these words”)

(19-Year-Old and Above Category, First Prize)

1. What is your philosophy towards your poetry works?

More a preference but I like reading clear and balanced writing so I try to write that way too.


2. Where do you get your inspirations from?

From feelings! Could be an article, a podcast, a dance. From honesty.


3. What do you wish for people to take away from your poem?

Empathy and optimism.


4. Do you have a favourite poet/author?

Lin-Manuel Miranda.


5. If you could tell your younger writer self anything, what would it be?

Hang in there.

 

6. Where do you see yourself in the future in terms of writing and poetry?

 

I would like to write more songs!


7. What do you wish to see more in the literary world in Singapore?

I don’t know enough to comment well.


8. Describe what a poem means/is to you.

A poem is a thoughtful arrangement of words.


9. How does a literary success look like to you?

It is an honour to be recognised in National Poetry Competition 2020. Thank you so much!