Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Seksan's in June

Sorry. You must have wondered where the write-up of Saturday's Readings@Seksan had got to. Here 'tis with photos nicked from Azwan Ismail's Facebook album.

Michelle Gunaselan is a freelance journalist and her articles have appeared in Off The Edge, Tell, New Man, and KLUE (where she has a monthly column). She is also involved with Project Malaysia - an online journal of issues.

I've been pushing Meesh (as she is better known) to read for a while, and I'm so glad she let herself be bullied into it. Both her pieces were heartfelt and personal. The first piece was about the prejudice she suffered going out with a boy of another race. The second a very beautiful piece meditation on the subject of hands.

Michelle was followed by poet Alina Rastam who last read at Seksans two years ago, when her first collection Diver and Other Poems was launched. Now she was reading from her second book, All the Beloveds, launched in March.

She linked to Michelle's piece on hands beautifully with her poem My Lover's Hands, and her second poem To Poetry was dedicated to a young man called Tim who came along to Readings for the first time, and had told Alina how he was torn between the course his parents wanted him to do and his desire to pursue a writing career. She also read Persephone's Song from the second collection.

Jerome Kugan is a poet and one of my favourite singer/songwriters (listen to him here) and played five songs for us, two before the break and three at the end of the afternoon, mixing older and new material and one delicious cover On The Street Where You Live. I'm happily anticipating Jerome's forthcoming album.

Robert Raymer, over from Kucing to help judge the MPH Short Story Prize, read a couple of very amusing extracts from his latest book is Tropical Affairs: Episodes from an Expat's Life in Malaysia which is due out later this year with MPH.

Chuah Guat Eng has recently relaunched her first novel, Echoes of Silence (first published in 1994) on her own imprint. Loved the way that she gave us a taste of the novel, dipping in to give us a medley of extracts which had upset readers when the book first came out. (They included a rather nice sexy bit.)

We finished early so that those who wanted to go to the tenth anniversary party at Silverfish could pop over there ... and the rest of us ended up at La Bodega!

Many thanks to Seksan for his ongoing kindness, lending us the space. Thanks to all who came and all who read. Thanks to Shahnim for washing glasses. Thanks again to Shahril Nizam for the poster.

Hope to hold the next Readings@Seksan on July 25th when guests will include Shamini Flint who can finally read us a bit of her Inspector Singh novel, poet/editor Dipika Mukherjee, and (at long last!) Yusuf Martin.


Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Oooh, I just picked up Chuah Guat Eng's book at Border's today. Just touching the texture of the paper makes me happy. hehe. I hope to finish it before Readings. :-)

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Oh waitaminute. That was the previous Readings, right? Aaarggghhh.

Elizabeth Tai said...

I really should attend a Seksan session one of these days ... but I seem to always miss it. I guess I'll try make it for the July 25 one.