Happy New Year from Singapore Unbound

"What reprieve the streets could be, what rain
falling endlessly from the eaves of shophouses
as a line of trees becomes the token gesture
nature makes to signify an elsewhere here
where a woman slowly rises to become the shadow of a shadow of me."

—from Lawrence Lacambra Ypil's forthcoming book THE EXPERIMENT OF THE TROPICS

2018 changed into 2019 on a rainy night in New York City. The rain, however, did not dampen the merrymaking on the streets much. Instead, with the right pair of eyes, or pair of light-up glasses, you could have seen the rain signifying both here and elsewhere, as Ypil's lines above evoke, both past and future, not in the style of transformation, but in the method of what English poet William Wordsworth called interfusion, which is the art of both poetry and photography.

Gaudy Boy publishes Ypil's lyrical meditation on photographs of colonial Philippines in April, together with its fellow winner of the first Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Award, Jenifer Sang Eun Park's hypnotic Autobiography of Horse. Jenifer and Larry launch their books in NYC on Saturday, April 6. Please join us for these two poets' exciting American debut.

In 2019, Seconds Saturdays Reading Series continues to feature a fantastic line-up: Gina Apostol (Jan 12; see below); Dale Peck (Feb 9); Celina Su and Thomas March (Mar 9); Philip Holden (May 11); and Jericho Brown (Jun 8). We also present thrilling new poetry, fiction, and literary non-fiction, and thoughtful new book reviews on SP Blog. Read India-based Ankita Anand's piercing poems below.

The Singapore Unbound Fellowship (NYC), for an emerging Singaporean writer to spend two weeks in NYC, accepts submissions in February; the Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Award in March; and the Singapore Poetry Contest at a new time, in June. See details on our website.

You can expect us to continue to track developments in human rights and free expression in Singapore, Asia, and the USA, and to take fitting actions where possible. If you have any ideas for actions and collaborations, please write Jee at jkoh@singaporeunbound.org.

To enable us to do all that we plan to do, our non-festival year budget is USD17,580. We enter 2019 with USD12,380 in the bank, thanks to the generous contributions of our champions in Singapore and the USA. We need another USD5,200. All the funds are used to pay writers and the presentation of their work, as Singapore Unbound is run by volunteers. If you like what we are doing, please consider making a generous donation here, or write to Jee at jkoh@singaporeunbound.org.

We wish you inspiration and satisfaction, as we all work towards a fairer world in our own neck of the woods.

Best wishes,
Jee Leong Koh

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