April 27, 2013
In one fascinating conversation, Singaporean poet Alvin Pang discusses language identity, Singapore literature and poetic practice with at the StAnza 2013 poetry festival. Alvin reads his poems and a selection from his anthology TUMASIK: Contemporary Writing from Singapore. Alvin has a great sense of humour, a marvelous reading voice, and shares some razor-sharp perspectives on the political power of both his poetry and its playfulness. Elsewhere, he talks about how Seamus Heaney influenced his work, his grandmother’s deadly Cantonese aphorisms and he reads a poem of his written in the distinctive unofficial language of Singapore, Singlish, the existence of which, he argues, has huge potential political power. I learned a lot, and if you click the play button, I just know you will too.