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Unveiling SG Poems - A Prelude to Poetry Festival 2017 - Seminar & Forum

Date: 20 May 2017 Saturday / Time: 11am - 1pm / Venue: Blue Room, The Arts House

SEMINAR: sgPoems 2015/16 Anthology

This seminar discusses the Singapore poetry landscape based on the first publication by the Poetry Festival (Singapore). The anthology showcases poems by finalists in Poetry Festival’s competition over the last two years as well as featured poets during the festival in 2015. The event unveils with a discussion on the anthology by Hazirah Mohamed, Gwee Li Sui and Subramaniam Kannappan, there will also be a forum on Our Poetry: Giving Meaning to Poetics & Politics. With panelists Gwee Li Sui, Annaliza Bakri, Ramchander and Zhou Hao, the forum aims to unravel the role of poetry in today’s social and cultural imagination, where poetics and politics have been encapsulated, blended or even relegated. It will be moderated by Dr Azhar Ibrahim.

Speakers’ Profiles


Ram arrived in Singapore to study Computer Engineering at NUS in 2007. He did enough coding at a startup that he decided to retire after a few years and is now a freelance writer. One of his Tamil short stories won second prize at the Golden Point contest 2013. With the belief that literature can enrich cinema, he is now working on adapting local short stories into films. He hopes to get his first book published this year so he can call himself an “author”. On his desk, you may find photos of Isaac Asimov, Steve Jobs and Buddha.

Subramaniam Kannappan

A former civil servant with more than 16 years’ experience in Marketing and Brand Promotions. An avid reader who believes that writing is a means by which the soul of a person – and indeed, of a community and nation – is captured. He is currently an independent researcher and digital marketer.

Annaliza Bakri

Annaliza Bakri is an educator and translator. She believes that literary works could be the subliminal voice that cultivates greater understanding, awareness and consciousness of the past, present and future. An ardent advocate of works that are beautifully penned in Singapore’s national language, she strongly believes in the divine art of translation. Her translations of Malay poems have been published by US-based journal, Prairie Schooner and Singapore’s Text in the City. Adding ‘storyteller’ to her many personas, she performed her translation of an award-winning novel, Batas Langit, at the Singapore International Storytelling Festival 2014. She is currently working on 2 bilingual poetry anthologies.

Gwee Li Sui

Gwee Li Sui is a poet, a graphic artist, and a literary critic. His works of verse include Who Wants to Buy a Book of Poems? (1998), One Thousand and One Nights (2014), Who Wants to Buy an Expanded Edition of a Book of Poems? (2015), The Other Merlion and Friends (2015), and Haikuku (2017). Back in 1993, he wrote Singapore’s first long-form graphic novel in English titled Myth of the Stone. A familiar name in Singapore’s cultural scene, Gwee has also edited several acclaimed literary anthologies and written and lectured on a range of subjects.

Siti Hazirah Mohamed

Siti Hazirah Mohamad has a deep interest in the various facets of Malay literature and culture. A graduate of the Malay Studies programme at the National University of Singapore, her passion for literature and issues surrounding the Malay community were developed at a much younger age through her voracious appetite for Malay books and film. She is curious about the ways in which Malay literature intersects with popular culture, especially through the translation of literature into film. She is also fascinated by the beauty and richness of the Malay language, particularly in its ability to convey meaning through evocative imagery.

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