Two writers appointed to the Singapore Creative Writing Residency - First time for programme
Singapore, 17 July 2013 – In an unprecedented move, two writers – one from Singapore and the other from the UK – have been appointed to the 2013 Singapore Creative Writing Residency. Singapore writer Daniel Koh and UK poet Jasmine Ann Cooray will start their joint residency this July till December, in the prestigious writing programme co-funded by The Arts House and the National University of Singapore University Scholars Programme (NUS USP).
Says William Phuan, Director of The Arts House and a member of the selection committee: “This year, we received more than 60 applications from about 20 countries. The selection committee, which comprised members from The Arts House and NUS USP, as well as publisher Goh Eck Kheng and playwright Eleanor Wong, went through a few rounds of selection and interviews. We finally narrowed down to Dan and Jasmine in a highly competitive field of high quality applicants. Instead of choosing one over the other, the committee decided unanimously to award it to both of them.”
Professor John Richardson, Director of NUS USP and another member of the selection committee, adds: “This is the first time we have tried a double residency, and we don't quite know how that will work. But one of the great things about these residencies is that everyone is different. Perhaps, Dan and Jasmine will produce something together. But however that works out, we know that we have two excellent young writers living with us for the next six months, and working with our students. And that's an exciting prospect.”
Jasmine and Daniel will be staying at the USP residential college in the University Town in NUS for six months, mentoring students and working on their writing projects. At the same time, they will be conducting public programmes at The Arts House, including workshops and readings.
Singapore-born Daniel, who co-founded POSKOD.SG an online magazine about modern Singapore, as well as co-authored Gila Bola!, an e-book about home-grown football in 2012, is drawn to the stories of the kampongs (villages) in Singapore. He intends to explore this concept further through the creative non-fiction genre during this residency.
The NUS English Literature major says: “It is a great honour to be selected for this residency, a real dream come true as a writer, and I'm looking forward to contribute back to my alma mater as best as I can.”
Jasmine, whose debut collection Everything We Don’t Say was published in 2009, is a London-born poet, workshop facilitator and training psychotherapist who is known for her vivid images, finely crafted verse and inclusive performance style.
She says: “This residency is an incredible and humbling opportunity to develop work and skills in the challenge of a different cultural context. I am excited – not just for the adventure of Singapore, but because rarely have I had such a gift of time to really develop my writing and dare to make real the dreams continually shuffled down the priority list. Never did I imagine an opportunity like this would come forward so early in my career. My wish is that I’m to give back in whatever way possible, redress the balance, push myself, and live here fully and deeply, so that I might write deeply in turn.”
The Singapore Creative Writing Residency aims to promote creative writing in Singapore by giving emerging writers the time and place to write, and work with the literary community in Singapore.
The general public is invited to meet Jasmine and Daniel at their first public programmes at The Arts House. Jasmine will share her experiences of performing poetry slams in London in a session moderated by Singapore poet Marc Nair on 26 July at 7.30pm. Daniel’s session will be held on 15 August at 7.30pm where he will share some excerpts from his short plays and his plans for the residency. For more information, please visit www.theartshouse.com.sg.
To download the media release, event listings and biographies of Daniel Koh and Jasmine Ann Cooray, please click here.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Marketing & Communications
The Arts House
Tan Ai Lian
University Scholars Programme, NUS