Theophilus Kwek (b. 1994)
Theophilus Kwek began writing as a student at Raffles Institution under the mentorship of Alvin Pang, Aaron Maniam and others. He has since authored three collections, They Speak Only Our Mother Tongue (2011), Circle Line (2013)—which was shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize in 2014—and Giving Ground (2016). He has also been nominated for various other awards, winning the Martin Starkie Prize in 2014, the Jane Martin Prize in 2015, and the inaugural New Poets’ Prize in 2016. His translation of Wong Yoon Wah’s poem "Moving House" was also placed Second in the Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry in Translation in 2016.
His work has appeared in journals both in Singapore and abroad, including The Irish Examiner, Southword, The London Magazine, The North, and the Quarterly Literary Review of Singapore (QLRS). Having served as President of the Oxford University Poetry Society, he currently serves as a Co-Editor of Oxford Poetry and Features Editor of The Oxford Culture Review, and is also a Singapore Editor-at-Large at Asymptote. In 2016 he co-founded The Kindling, an online poetry journal.
Theophilus co-edited Flight, an anthology of poetry in response to the European refugee crisis, published by the Oxford Students’ Oxfam Group, and UnFree Verse, an anthology of formal poetry in Singapore. His long poem, Terezin, was performed at the Oxford New Writing Festival (2016) and—adapted as a chamber opera by Daniel Bonaventure Lim—at the "Performing the Jewish Archives" project at the University of Leeds. He also wrote the libretto for This World Lousy, a new musical by Peter Shepherd which premiered in Oxford in 2016. His reviews and essays have appeared in The London Magazine, The Lonely Crowd, The Oxonian Review, The Oxford Culture Review, Mackerel, and QLRS.
Finally, a short pamphlet of his new poetry, The First Five Storms, was published in 2017 by Smith | Doorstop Press in the UK.
Author Photo © Jon Gresham. Author Biography © Theophilus Kwek. All rights reserved.