With #BuySingLit less than a month away, cue the flurry of bibliophiles scrambling to get our literary fix—be it scooping up SingLit titles from independent bookstores, or collating our favourite homegrown authors. With activities happening across hole-in-the-wall nooks and crannies all over Singapore, the buzz of intellectual stimulation sits just beyond reach, set to kick off only in March. If you can’t sit still in your reading chair and when flipping through well-worn paperbacks just won’t cut it anymore, grab your cat-motif calendars and mark down these upcoming events.
Deep Cut: The Secret Lives of Food (Feb 16)
Author Charmaine Chan, who will be sharing about her connection with food
Coming in first in this year’s Deep Cut line-up, Ethos Books organises a literary crossover of printed narratives onto the authors’ personal ones. With a special focus on food for this month’s edition, author Charmaine Chan expounds further on food’s role in her own childhood memories, as carried forth from her poignant accounts in The Magic Circle. For Charmaine it’s popiah, pandan cake, and tah mee pok that stirs fondness from her girlhood years with her sisters; for you it could be tutu kuehs or pineapple jam biscuits in metal tins, who knows. This session invites anybody and everybody to share about whatever triggers nostalgia from the tip of the tongue. Housed within the quaint and cosy Littered with Books, here’s where you can talk and read about food, and the way it features itself in our own personal stories.
Mindfulness Writing Session (Feb 13)
Let the onset of literary celebrations drive your own aspirations as a struggling writer, and attend a workshop or two so you’ll feel less miserable in the pursuit. Experienced writers will guide you through mindfulness meditations and exercises that will help uplift and extract your organic creative voice from the practiced inner cynic. Hydrate the creative drought and break through that writers’ block, all while further nurturing your craft as a writer by working off constructive responses to your pieces. Who knows? Maybe in #BuySingLit editions to come, you’ll see your own name in print.
New Homes / New Works: A Reading (Feb 25)
Books are best enjoyed in the classic sense; words read off from pages, cover to cover. Featuring a trifecta of literary masters both local and international, prepare to ponder over the age-old tug between the old and the new, the lost and found. As part of Young People’s Laureate for London Momtaza Mehri’s Words Go Round tour in Singapore, an evening of poetry unravels, that explores ideas around belonging and becoming. Sip on cups of tea, listen to poetry come to life in the voices of local icons Pooja Nansi and Cyril Wong themselves, and steep yourself in good vibes. Oh, and there’s even a cat you can attempt to snuggle up with.
Spoke & Bird #18 – Poetry Open Mic (Feb 27)
Saturate yourself in creative spontaneity and booze at this Poetry Open Mic, if you’re looking for someplace a little livelier to draw inspiration from. Hosted by Australian spoken word artist William Beale, listen and watch 12 open mic-ers passionately perform their own pieces, or sign up to go onstage yourself if you’re ready for some vigorous self-expression. Held in Singapore’s only full-time comedy club Merry Lion, it’s a great space for catching some witty laughs and knocking back a few beers; all while appreciating organic new voices as they try to build up their own narratives too. It doesn’t get more underground for local lit than that.
For those that would rather not take their lit too seriously, let loose and have fun at this literary-improv crossover. An improvisational comedy troupe based in Singapore, the Latecomers take over the stage at Merry Lion and are set to bring the laughs, alongside book authors Danielle West and Suffian Hakim. Authors of the spunky Girls Can’t Be in the Mafia and Harris Bin Potter and the Stoned Philosopher respectively, they’ll supply their dark personal stories as fodder for improv, giving you ample dark laughs paired well with booze.