The first is a public lecture by Dell Visiting Professor, Edwin Thumboo (who is sometimes described as Singapore's unofficial poet laureate!) :
Tilting Paradigms: Creativity in EnglishesThe second is a poetry reading. (Click on the poster to read the details.)
Abstract: The decision to write poems, plays, short stories and novels is a personal one. If we are bi- or tri- lingual by the time we decide, it is our main – or strongest – language that chooses us. Few have the ability to create in two languages, let alone three; it is difficult enough in one. For the ex-colonial, it is either the language of one’s race or the language of former colonisers. If we chose English, as many have, we face a number of challenges. What English and why? What shapes the substance of our experience behind our writing, and to what extent? And how is that substance influenced by the history and the politics of national recovery and nation formation? Issues such as those arising from the fact that English is the leading international language, the influence of literary traditions and content of other languages, and the relationship between the various national literatures, will be noted as well as discussed in terms of their creative and critical implications. The language in this case is English and the focus is on poetry.
DATE: 12 AUGUST 2009
TIME: 10 AM – 12 NOON
VENUE: HS SEMINAR ROOM, IIU
Professor Edwin Thumboo is a distinguished poet and academic who has been teaching at the National University of Singapore (NUS) for over forty years. His publications include six volumes of poetry, two collections of nursery rhymes, over twenty academic books, and articles in leading literary journals around the world. He has received several literary awards including the Singapore National Award for poetry (1978, 1980 and 1994), the Southeast Asia Write Award (1979), the Singapore Cultural Medallion (1980), the ASEAN Cultural and Communication Award in Literature (1987), and the Raja Rao Award (2002). Currently an Emeritus Professor, Professor Thumboo was the Head of the Department of English Language and Literature, NUS, for sixteen years (1977-1993) and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences for eleven years (1980-1991).