Co-published by Ethos Books. Poetry. Fiction. Drama. Literary Nonfiction. Interview. Visual Poetry. Digital Literature. Asian & Asian American Studies. Postcolonial Studies. Poetics. UNION: 50 YEARS OF WRITING FROM SINGAPORE AND 15 YEARS OF DRUNKEN BOAT traces the intertwining trajectories of two dynamic communities: the cosmopolitan Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore, commemorating 50 years of national independence and writing, to celebrated literary journal Drunken Boat, marking 15 years as one of the most innovative and inclusive literary platforms in the US and the world. This groundbreaking anthology brings together for the very first time a spectrum of diverse voices at play with language and its inventive possibilities—from prominent Singaporean authors such as Alfian bin Sa'at, Suchen Christine Lim and Edwin Thumboo to American Pulitzer Prize winners Norman Mailer, Franz Wright, Kay Ryan and Vijay Seshadri. In math, union is a shared set, and in textiles, union is a yarn made of two fabrics. In proof and stitch, this anthology invites connection and conversation on matters of timeless interest and global concern.
"In the essay 'In Praise of Error,' gathered in UNION: 15 YEARS OF DRUNKEN BOAT, 50 YEARS OF WRITING FROM SINGAPORE, Cole Swensen writes, '[D]on't look to translations to bridge cultural gaps.' Well, where translation fails, this anthology succeeds. What a marvel its editors, Alvin Pang and Ravi Shankar, have produced. What resonances, what juxtapositions, (what peaches, what penumbras)—what bridges! At one hundred twenty-nine entries, spread over six hundred pages, UNION bridges oceans, genres, poetics, and eras in fresh, vital ways. To wit: dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson's eulogy for Bernie Grant, Singaporean poet Alfian bin Sa'at's howl, 'Singapore You Are Not My Country'; Paul Stephens's assessment of Billy Collins, Jee Leong Koh's reinvention of The Pillow Book. The entries from Drunken Boat showcase the journal's cutting edge aesthetics. The entries from Singapore demonstrate the nation's place, to paraphrase Somerset Maugham, in the theater of first-rate writing: the very front row. Together, they form an essential volume that successfully translates the global moment, and provides a bridge readers will delight in crossing."—Tim Tomlinson
Alvin Pang is a poet, writer, editor and cultural activist. His two volumes of poetry, Testing The Silence (Ethos Books, 1997) and City Of Rain (2003) were listed among The Straits Times' Top Ten Books of the Year. He is also co-editor of several acclaimed anthologies, including the urban collection No Other City: The Ethos Anthology of Urban Poetry (2000) and the bilateral initiatives Love Gathers All (Philippines), Over There (with Australia) and Doubleskin (with Italy). A Fellow of the Iowa International Writing Program, his writing has been featured in major publications, productions and festivals around the world. He is a founding director of WORDFEAST – Singapore's first international poetry festival, and CATALYST – a non-profit organization promoting interdisciplinary capacity, multilingual communication, and positive social change.
Ravi Shankar is an award-winning poet, author, translator, professor and founding editor of Drunken Boat, one of the world's oldest electronic journals of the arts. His many books include Autobiography of a Goddess, translations of the 8th century Tamil poet/saint Andal done with Priya Sarukkai Chabria; W.W. Norton & Co.'s Language for a New Century, called a "beautiful achievement for world literature" by Nobel Prize winner Nadine Gordimer; the winner of the 2011 National Poetry Review Prize, Deepening Groove; and the finalist for the 2005 Connecticut Book Awards, Instrumentality. He has been featured in The New York Times, on NPR and the BBC, held fellowships from the Corporation of Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, and has performed his work around the world.
Author City: SINGAPORE SIN