Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé (b. 1971)
Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé is the author of an epistolary novel, five hybrid works, nine poetry collections, and several chapbooks. He has also edited more than twenty books and co-produced three audio books, several pro bono for non-profit organisations including Sok Sabay Cambodia, Riding for the Disabled Association, the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre, and SAGE Counselling Centre. These titles span the genres of ethnography, journalism, creative writing, and corporate literature.
Trained in book publishing at Stanford University, Desmond studied sociology and mass communication at the National University of Singapore, and later received his theology masters (world religions) from Harvard University and fine arts masters (creative writing) from the University of Notre Dame. A former entertainment journalist with 8 Days, Desmond has travelled to Australia, France, Hong Kong and Spain for his stories, which have included features on Madonna, Björk and Morgan Freeman, culminating in the authorship of the limited edition Top Ten TCS Stars for Caldecott Publishing.
Widely anthologised, his writing has appeared in over 200 literary publications, including such prominent journals as: AGNI, Ambit, Asymptote, Blackbird, Confrontation, Copper Nickel, Cutback, DIAGRAM, Drunken Boat, Faultline, Fence, Gulf Coast, Harvard Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Jacket2, New Orleans Review, PANK, Pinch, QLRS, Seneca Review, Smartish Pace, Sonora Review, The Massachusetts Review, The New Guard, and Versal. At Kitaab.org, on which he acts as poetry editor, Desmond created the Lounge Chair Interview Series as another space to promote writers and/or writing with an Asian focus.
Desmond is the first-ever winner in both Poetry and Visionary Fiction categories at the Beverly Hills International Book Awards; to have two collections tie for Poetry at the National Indie Excellence Book Awards; to clinch three prizes under Metaphysical (Bronze), Inspirational Fiction (Silver), and Death & Dying (Gold) categories at the Living Now Book Awards; as well as to sweep seven wins under Adult Fiction, Anthology, Poetry, and Spirituality in four territories (Northeast, West, Midwest, Southwest) at the USA Regional Excellence Book Awards.
His other honours include the PEN American Center Shorts Prize, Poetry World Cup, IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Award (Poetry), Independent Publisher Silver Book Award (Multicultural Fiction), Singapore Literature Prize (Poetry), Vallum New International Poetics Award, Cyclamens & Swords Poetry Prize, Swale Life Poetry Prize, Little Red Tree International Poetry Prize, Stepping Stones Nigeria Poetry Prize, USA Best Book Award Finalist (Multicultural Fiction; Visionary Fiction; Death & Dying), Eric Hoffer Book Award Category Finalist (Fiction), Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist (Anthology), International Book Award Finalist (Cross Genre Fiction), Hiew Siew Nam Distinguished Academic Award, and four teaching excellence awards.
His poetry and prose has placed in literary competitions in Australia, Canada, England, France, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Scotland, Singapore, and the United States.
Recipient of grants from the National Arts Council and Singapore International Foundation, Desmond has enjoyed literary appointments at the Notre Dame Poetry Fellowship, NAC Writer-in-the-Gardens Residency, and NTU-NAC Creative Writing Residency. Chosen as a featured Singaporean in the commemorative tome, Living The Singapore Story: Celebrating Our 50 Years, Desmond later became the lyricist for the commissioned choral work to mark the Singapore Youth Festival’s 50th Anniversary. He also invented Singapore’s very own poetic form, named the asingbol, followed by the anima methodi, which he conceived with Eric Tinsay Valles. He has also invented three poetic forms, namely the asingbol, the found//fount sonnet, and the anima methodi (conceived with Eric Tinsay Valles).
Desmond helms Squircle Line Press as its founding editor and publisher.
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