About poetry.sg – its origins, and its future.
poetry.sg is built upon a significant database of material from the Singapore Poetry Archive (SPARK), the brainchild of Jen Crawford. With the support of NTU and noted documenters of the literary scene like Alvin Pang, Jen and her NTU students and research assistants began putting together a sizable collection of poetry, biographies, critical introductions and audio-visual materials across four languages. When she departed Singapore, a small team comprising Alvin Pang, Koh Jee Leong, Jennifer Anne Champion and Joshua Ip inherited the project, renamed it poetry.sg, and widened its scope to be an initial database of 50 poets, complete with critical introductions, biographies, bibliographies, selected poems, and accompanied by videos from SPARK.
A group of young writers involved in a parallel project, The Field Guide, decided to merge their efforts, and when the dust settled, poetry.sg had expanded to a team of 9, and secured National Arts Council funding to cover operating costs for two years, beginning with a launch at Singapore Writers Festival ‘15.
poetry.sg hopes to be the first online venue that people think of when they think of Singapore Poetry – be they scholars seeking critical analysis, teachers looking for rich multimedia resources to engage their students, or just a curious lit-lover wanting to find out more about a poet they came across.
We want to gather in one space the best local verse, arranged and critically examined by author. Beyond just text, we also hope that our video repository will give viewers insights into how poetry is read and performed, adding another dimension to the work.
We have two editorial arms that manage our repository of content:
- Critical: We aim to provide rich and timely critique, both in the form of critical introductions to the poets in our database, as well as wider analyses on topics such as spoken word and formal verse. We also provide accurate biodata and bibliographies of our local poets, and also curate a selection of their most notable and representative works, for accessible and convenient public access.
- Multimedia: We want to enrich the experience of someone new to poetry by presenting poetry in audio/visual forms, inclusive of live performances, intimate personal recordings, and directed poetry-film collaborations.
We hope to increase the amount and quality of scholarship Singapore literature and poetry, in order to benefit both the general reader looking for a quick conceptual inroad to our poets, as well as teachers, scholars, and students.
poetry.sg further aspires to be a multilingual platform. We began featuring Malay poets in 2017, and want to include poets and poems from the other two national languages. Our desire is to see this platform represent all aspects of our poetry.
Our original logo, in use since our inception in 2015, is still used in all of our multimedia content. It was created by the graphic designers behind our original website, Sarah and Schooling.
Sarah and Schooling is a two-woman graphic design studio based in Singapore. An ardent supporter of Singapore’s literary scene, the studio is actively involved in designing books and publications across multiple genres.
Sing Lit Station is a literary non-profit organisation based in Singapore. Through our programmes and initiatives, we want to be a platform where writers and readers can meet.
Our mission is to grow the local literary community. We aim to achieve this through three core lines:
- providing professional development for both established and developing writers;
- creating a one-stop portal for new and existing readers of Singaporean literature;
- building a participative community within the literary scene and the general reading population.
We are supported by a team of volunteers and part-timers, donations from patrons of the arts, and the National Arts Council. All of our staff are writers, with a personal investment in making this something we can build for the community.
We would like to recognise Dr. Jen Crawford, formerly of Nanyang Technological University, and her team of research assistants involved in building the Singapore Poetry Archive (SPARK), without which poetry.sg would not exist.
English: Agape Liu, Nicholas Liu, Pan Huiting, Tissina George, Nuraliah bte Norasid, Esther Ng, Lee Ruo Xuan, Aw Ching Yi, Zhang Jieqiang, Hazel Tan, Goh Jiamin.
Malay: Muhammad Jailani Abu Talib.
Mandarin: Koh Xin Tian, Teo Eng Hao, Lee Ruo Xuan, Liz Ng.
Tamil: Tamilavel, Hemma Balakrishnan, Bhuvaneswary Narayanan.
poetry.sg is fully supported by Sing Lit Station under a seed grant by the National Arts Council, Singapore.