Thanks to the folks of CERIPH and the Singapore Writers Festival 2011, I got to go to the launch and reading of the latest issue of CERIPH – CERIPH #4: The White Issue.
It was a free event held at the Festival Pavilion, the biggest tent set up on Singapore Management University (SMU) Green, where Select Books, the main bookstore, had books up for sale and the information counter as well. Sarah went to take a look as well as to help me take photographs.
This issue of CERIPH is rather special, having five booklets wrapped in translucent paper instead of a full bind. The White Issue consisted of five different shades of white – Amber Shift, Ivory, Sleet, Wheat, and Cosmic Latte. My poem, 五形, was in Amber Shift.
So Sarah and I arrived at the Festival Pavilion early because it was raining like crazy. It was then when the other writers and familiar faces came trickling in – Guan Liang, Kenny & Karen (from Books Actually), Siok Tian (I am SO SORRY I forgot your name! I mixed you up with Prof Koh) and many others.
When Wei Fen (one half of the editors of CERIPH) entered, we started.
There were quite a few writers reading for this session, but I really liked Verena Tay’s “Pride” and Mary-Jane Leo’s “$trategic KPI + %Synergy% = Love” for this issue. Again, because “Pride” is rather relatable (reminded me of how my grandfather expresses his dislike of people who count their calories) and “$trategic KPI” is just so amusing yet tragic at the same time.
I read 五形 towards the middle-end of the session and like I said there and then, it’s rather ironic that my poem title is to be in Chinese because I can’t speak Chinese for nuts. And I shall be honest here, my knees were shaking while I was attempting to read the Cantonese.
(I don’t have that problem with conversational Cantonese, what the heck?!)
Just to sum up the motivation behind the poem again, it has a lot to do with the Hung Gar Southern Style of Martial Art (a.k.a. Wong Fei Hung’s main style), which encompasses patterns modelled after different animals. The stage on which I set the poem on was very much like a castle coming under siege, with these animals protecting the castle.
So thanks to Sarah for the photographs =)
Thanks to the CERIPH Team for this great opportunity and bringing us writers together =)
Thanks to Math Paper Press for publishing this piece of work =)
And now, a recap on how embarrassingly nervous I was, you can enjoy this video (courtesy of Sarah Coldheart) of the reading itself (and yes, I pronounced 五形 wrongly in Cantonese. It’s Ng Ying, not Ng Xing. My bad.) by clicking here.
Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more muse moments and other fun stuff as NaNoWriMo continues =)