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Boey Kim Cheng's Singapore

GWEELISUI

No other writer from Singapore influences the country's current batch of poets more than Australia 's new citizen Boey Kim Cheng. One may be tempted to suggest Alfian bin Sa'at - another poet who appeared on the literary scene almost a decade later in 1998 - but Sa'at's clinical assault on Singapore's socio-political life, through a series of performed scenarios, makes him a darling more of social observers, national educators, and lovers of drama. Stylistically, thematically, and atmospherically speaking, Boeyreaches much further and affects even the poet in Sa' at, whose other acknowledged inspiration of similar place-origin is a Modernist craftsman, the late Arthur Yap. 1 Like Sa'at, Boey's genius has been recognised from the moment he began publishing, with his own mentor, the grande dame of Singaporean verse Lee Tzu Pheng, remarking that "[ t ] here is no denying the power of his poetry, a .poetry so often, one feels, energized by its need to break through,"? The younger poet Paul Tan Kim Liang hailed him in 1996 as "one of the leading writers of his generation in Singapore" and defended his poetry's lack offamiliarnational markers against a general myopia that would judge a writer's worth "based on whether he selfconsciously creates a 'Singaporean' voice (whatever that may be).'? Recently, all three finalists of the 2006 Singapore Literature Prize, the.nation's highest literary award, registered their own staunch admiration for Boey's humane and acutely sensitive lines."

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Newspaper reviewers continue to bechanned after eighteen years:

Koh Buck Song; in 1989, had found Boey's maiden volume Somewhere-Bound "already a mature and accomplished work of art," "marked by an insistent energy straining against the limitations of life. " In 2006, three years after Boey became Australian and in response to his latest fourth volume After the Fire, Kristina Tom confesses: "Only one Singapore poet - Arthur Yap - has made me cry before, but Boey made me weep. "5

Yet, no other established writer held in such high regard for an oeuvre with reliable flair and effectiveness has received less concerted academic attention than Boey, and this is curious. The fact can be illustrated by means of two fairly recent ambitious collections of essays: Singaporean Literature in English, edited by MohammadA. Quayum and Peter Wicks and published in 2002, is perhaps more notorious for having stuck to what critic Rajeev Patke pointedly calls "a staid and sedately dated canon. ''6 This study, to be fair, does consider the later works of fiction writers such as Christine Suchen Lim, Rex Shelley, and Philip Jeyeratnam as well as another Australian immigrant Lau Siew Mei, whose first novel Playing Madame Mao actually appeared that same year. Its failings lie principally in a survey of poetry that still centres on old masters such as Edwin Thumboo, Robert Yeo, Yap, and Lee and ignores not just the exciting batch of poets emerging from 1997 onwards but also, more damningly, Boey's long bridging presence. The expanding Interlogue series on Singaporean literature treads with much greater care and commits a whole volume to the genre of poetry; its shrewd and ironically earlier publication of 1999 even

'. identifies Boey - the first critical text to do so - as "the most significant voice to emerge in the 1990s." However, Kirpal Singh's editorial wony that Boey's lines, 'while drawing one in, also let one out" is somewhat telling; it allows him to assert more than he can

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prove that such works "go down very well with academics and scholar-critics but not, I am told, with the general readers."? The conclusion itself still does not translate into Boey's academic expansion here: with the exception of Dennis Haskell's briefuse to illustrate a resource of strong inner knowledge in Singaporean . poetry, again the poet fades into a mere shape for passing mention. Both of these instances, as recent variations of a career-spanning neglect, are not coincidental at all; when Singapore celebrated its forty-first year of independence in 2006 by producing an authoritative 640-page Singapore: The Encyclopedia, an entry on Boey, its lauded National Young Artist a decade back, was simply left out. 8

'My current essay aims to examine not so much academic practices as Boey's own "Singaporean" poems - that is, those from Somewhere-Bound, Another Place of 1992, and Days of No Name of 1996 - for a way to understand the particular social trends critics themselves follow. Indeed, given his clean and often emotionally controlled lines, whose poetic persona Lee-describes best as a wanderer "in the country of the spirit," it should not have

, been this difficult to find keen approaches to his rather universal insights." The oddity here reveals to us why the work of practical criticism itself is never enough: Boey, more than any other poet, draws attention to an invisible coating over a young nation's creations which automatically entitles its more experienced generation of engagers to keep reading for relevance to the life of the state. On this level, with a culture for whom the irony of its natural identity must be taboo, even thematic absences and a failure to gesture at its wider determinism take on bodies of meaning in a reader's mind To believe conversely - as many new discoverers ofBoey do - that Boey's own writing bears no relation to such dimensions is also presumptuous, and herein lies the fascinating situation. In view of his constant provocations by refusing to clothe: or socialise, his

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poeticvoice and being increasingly decentred and self-marginalising in theme, there also arises an accompanying suspicion that his musings may not be as detached and innocent as they seem. A good case in point is the titles ofhis Singaporean volumes themselves:

Somewhere-Bound, Another Place, and Days of No Name all suggest a poetic indulgence in feelings of wanderlust, thoughts on otherness, and plain youthful abandon. Yet, in consistently steering its perspective here and rehearsing its enjoyment of alternatives and less stable identities for self, each instance also insinuates mental deviance, a refusal to cooperate in acts of nation-building, and a preference for existential flux and vagueness.

Indeed, such rascally invitation to over-read has defined Boey's writing from the start: despite Lee's foreword to his first volume stating how it centres - an ironic word to use - on "the idea of movement, of search, and also of displacement," his early verse was swiftly greeted by others as a clutch of"anny poems" and "social satire." 10 An older andwiser Lee would call the dominant style preceding Boey's "a poetry of externals," "poetry in the

. doldrums," by which she meant an art- form so keen on erecting a national image that it would internalise a whole checklist of local sights and sounds and socio-historical concerns. II At this time, it was precisely such barefaced enthusiastic edginess that was strong enough to misrecognise Boeyas a similar artist and, on the basis of some poems, a bard of full-time National Service, a military obligation all young male Singaporean citizens must observe. A short selfreferential poem "The Poet" shoujd have roused some contrary opnnons;

You stand baffled

by the huge blocks of silence you have been commissioned to slice into speech.

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The only tool is your heart; a frail chisel,

to bring these Colossuses to their knees. 12

This poem casually appears to conflate the arts of poetry and sculpture to show how verse-writing is itself a delicate but spontaneous physical challenge with potentially monumental consequences. From a subversive angle, Boey's "Colossuses" can also refer to national leaders and model citizens, Thumboo's "powerful men" who, in that iconic poem from Singapore's early years of independence "Gods Can Die", are tom by the demands of their grave responsibilities. Thumboo has argued that such persons need the understanding and support of those like poets, "powerful with compassion" and able to mind "our gods / Who lived but now are dying in our friends. "13 Yet, by Boey's time, the same heroes have already outgrown their proper ethical powers as stiff, selfcongratulatory, and overrated figures, and their absolute control over even discourse is now what a true poet must contend with. The poem's own "commissioned" self-incarceration to the standards of social realism in grand public art deepens the reading further; . once co-opted, this word-sculptor chooses rather to break against stone - the body of cruelty - his own heart and end the silence of art that cannot be spoken for.

The double entendre continues into another short poem called "Paradise," which plays on both the possibility of achieving a rich and highly advanced social utopia and the underlying suspicion that this may lead to a fool's paradise. What is barely cloaked here is Boey's thoughts on the official Singaporean dream as pursued through economic, mechanical, and statistical determinations, the "arcs / of trade-routes," "ferreting ships," and "the itinerary's telescope." The title, as the detached exact answer to what

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subsequent lines reach for but fail to name, undermines the poem's own mottled descriptiveness:

It has slipped the laborious arcs

of trade-routes, sealing the spices' scent from ferreting ships, sitting beyond the itinerary's telescope. Only when the mind has peeled off reason and history will you see

it, and perhaps then give away

. all these cloud-capped towers and Utama's crown,

for a place where we can begin again, in the opposite direction

from what we are. 14

The phrase "cloud-capped towers" is Shakespearean in origin and alludes to the dream of worldliness Prospero, at the end of The Tempest, says will, "like this insubstantial pageant faded, / Leave not a rack behind." 15 Incidentally, the great magic man Prospero is also the subject ofa different piece in SOmewhere-Bound marvelling at the strange charm of despotic powers to command unquestioning work. The other key image is Sang Nila Utama's crown, which this legendary Malayan prince and founder of fourteenth-century Singapore, then called Temasek, threw into the sea to calm a great storm obstructing his trip to the island. The poem appears then to be saying that a social dream of paradise intuitively outweighs the

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pragmatic interests taken up to achieve it, but its assumed subsequent

call for more innovative national self-reinvention - so peeling off "reason and history" - is hardly obvious. In fact, the burden of "reason and history" can be understood as part and parcel of the current commitment to material success; after all, both Prospero's . and Utama's legacies represent a conflation of dreaming and realising as well as the will to do so by exploiting Western and regional layers

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Boey Kim Cheng's Singapore

of cultural history, both a colonial and native past. By saying that "Paradise" may be found "in the opposite direction" is technically right since to do so in reading requires one to move backwards to the title; yet, it also implies that, to rediscover some chance for real happiness, one has toreverse Utama's journey by adopting his readiness to renounce wealth, to reach for that dream Temasek by giving up on modem Singapore.

It is no wonder that two years on, between his ftrst and next book, critic Koh Tai Ann would warn against Boey's kind of multilayered self-possessed introspection in verse. To be sure, despite her apprehensions about his thematic and stylistic trajectories, Koh at the time was possibly the most penetrating thinker of his relation to the small canon of Singaporean writing already in place. She explained in 1991 how older regional writers such as Thumboo, Ee . Tiang Hong, Lloyd Fernando, Wong Phui Nam, and Lee KokLiang had emerged after World War Two with heroic "attempts to 'domesticate' the landscape and the language, to make them Malayan." Yet, having been British subjects, Japanese subjects, British again, then Malayan, Malaysian, and at length Singaporean, the first national poets were also marked by conflicting clear-eyed purposefulness and "chronic insecurity." By contrast, voices like Boey's, in moving ''from the physical to the metaphysical landscape," "from assertions ofbelonging to explorations ofbeing," were sirenlike heralds of a dangerous less visionary culture to come. What Boey represented more than he could express was a new selfalienation - unknown to both his readers and even himself-that would spurn bard-won "images and sentiments of national identity" for a reflectiveness enabled precisely by collective achievements in mind and society, an escapism that disregarded both external realities and demands, and a preference for easier more private identities. The call Koh proceeded to issue was very significant in how it renewed for the 1990s the case for a celebration of public poetry \

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which had begun with Thumboo: her new nationalism argued that an anti-social metaphysics could never help literature fulfil its situated role as "an indicator of spiritual well-being" even if, on its own, it could display prophetic insights. As such, new poets like Boey must work intelligently "to make themselves at home, on this tiny island, full of gargantuan contradictions"; they must, in other words, contradict their own impulses to self by confronting ''what history has left," a story of "the colonial experience, the political hotbed of the '60s and the era of great economic success but little cultural and spiritual inroads of the '70s and '80S."16

"Another Place," the title poem ofBoey's second book, can be read in part as a direct response to such an advice and is thus not as straightforward as Kirpal Singh, reading in 1999, would imply. 17 An insistence on what a focussed Utamanjoumey must mean for modem times should be palpable:

Another place, another life, another book, we go on without a return ticket, on the trail

of the vanished song, the elusive lines unlocking a whole library of meaning, our lives shelved

in comprehensive order.for us who will arrive

;

clothed in dust and dusk, to sit at the appointed desks

and pore over the pages, search out the thread stringing together all arrivals and departures

which our hands will tell, over and over,

as ifin prayer, as if in peace. IS

Here are lines searching for lines, art exploring what has been staved offbut is still-retrievable for art, poetry "on the trail of the vanished song"; the piece belongs to his "another book" but, as Another Place's conclusion, also to books that are not this one and yet to come. By seeking some transcendental "thread/ stringing together all arrivals and departures," a vague and ultimately imaginary

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great chain of meaning, the poet clearly rejects vision for faith, certainty formystety, reason for imagination, and history fortextuality. In each of this choice is his persona's careful untangling from the routines and values of more socialised Singaporeans as if its committed voyage out of Singapore's ideological hold has now left shore in earnest Where Boey nonetheless agrees with Koh is in an artist's need to respond cerebrally to his condition and destiny first, but Boey will enter not the self-determining social but a more egalitarian textual world and do ironically no more than "to sit ... / and pore," words casting into the distance the name Singapore. We fmd more definitively here the "country of the spirit" Lee spoke about, a Laputa-like space allowing Boey to hover over other lands and cultures and make short and often exoticised connections that outrageously reaffirm an instinctive Singaporean belief: that, in direct society, poetry is indeed useless.

Such admission, cast in the form of truth and not struggle, is unseen in Singapore's writing before this, and the opening poem "The Howrah Station" asserts it through an experience of the face of mundane poverty and sickness at India's historic station. It is Boey's signature idee 'fixe of a travel ticket - "To purchase a ticket out / I pick my way through the carnage" - that takes us into the book and is, in fact, a thinly veiled reference to the journey of his own poetic choice into the responsibilities of real reflection. At once, he realises:

If poetry could drum up courage,

- correct the economists, reform the politicians, and bake a million loaves, my presence needs no apology.

But who eats poetry?"

The implicit critique here strikes at the very heart of all for a national - or at least public-minded -

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aesthetics in shattering any grand illusion that poetry can ever provide actual social aid or benefit Of course, by setting Singapore against places like India, Thailand, Greece, and Spain, realism at home against another kind of realism for a traveller, Boey firstly uses what is a favourite national hobby to expose the truth of social constructivism and the possibilities of having difference. More importantly.however, Boey reveals that, if a people indeed choose to pursue collective well-being along the broad road of economic success, then there should be no pretension that poetry qua poetry could ever matter. As poetry is not messianic and can do nothing for the poor and ill, surely it is as irrelevant to enhancing orpreserving riches and health; all that is possible, rather, is a communication of intense private experiences to rediscover one's own raw humanity. Another poem "'Sudder Street, Calcutta" makes this critique of nation clear in again highlighting poetry's helplessness:

The hands of this poem are useless stumps. They cannot even begin to tum the page.

I come from a race that has no word for despair. My culture is purged of poverty's germs, its language a propaganda of faith in absolute health.

I even doubt my ABC.20

Language - "my ABC" - is a poet's most elementary tool, and yet, in his visit to Kolkata's famous Sudder Street, the mere sight of real poverty denied the common affluent Singaporean becomes an indictment of the national conscience. The ontological differences between destitution and wealth and between sickness and hygiene extend into irresolvables between language and silence and between life and artificial propaganda-driven living, poor because it simply "has no word for despair." Boey's own attempt to speak - with lines such as "death tunnels underground / with tonnes of dynamite," "pedlars offering passages to temporary

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nirvana," and "karma heaped up like the bodies in Auschwitz" - becomes tactless, defensive, and ironically distant as the inept answer of language at its best. This realisation that speaking is already patronising transforms the poet into an invalid twice over as both his physical hands and his creative self-extensions are recognisably "useless stumps." Crucially, the silence here is different from those "huge blocks of silence" a younger Boey tasked himself"fo slice into speech"; it is not imposed through systematic socialisation and artistic co-option but itself a natural limit within art when it comes against the Real of life. Such insight can perhaps be imagined as clear betrayal by some practitioners of art, as exemplified that year in 1992 not just by lukewarm reactions to Boey's seemingly inane postcard poems, doomed to be "left unread on most shelves," but also by criticisms from "poets of externals" like Koh Buck Song

. who would recoil and conclude that great Singaporean writing was the business ofThumboo only." Yet, it is this truth about art that allows Boey both his most valuable critique of Singaporean writing on the one hand and, on the other, an entry into the broadest world

. of transcultural friendships and humane connections. On the one hand, the responsibility to unmediated life is set against that to mere nationhood in the question ofliterature's first love; on the other hand, he posits how a poet, as one person in writing and another in living, need not be at odds within as each part can serve its own silences best.

When, in that well-known and most influential of all volumes to date Days olNo Name, Boey reached his clearest resolution to a conflict of poetic identity, his readers were instead led down a different path with frequent reviews misreading it as his postcards now on "people he met in the United States."22 Perhaps, it is this same volume that brings clarity to critic Peter Nazareth too in his most recent comment that Singaporean writers "arehelping to build a nation, even when some of them like Singaporean writer Boey

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Kim Cheng think they are loners running away from it. "23 What Boey imagines for and as his homeland - with both multiculturalism and even America as only tropes - is a point of absolute beginning always in the presence of otherness, as best illustrated in the title poem, the volwne's first and so closest, for a follower, to "Another Place." A trip among newly made international friends to Lake MacBride in Solon, Iowa, forms the backdrop; yet, on this day, the motley crew of artists, "people who try to make sense / of our lives," decide to be "simply men, women, the sun, the shadows linking our hands." From here on, life hits them with a largeness that is wholly out of reach to language and art:

To name this moment, what this poem fails to name, I'd have to find a word embracing these words: sun, water, rock, trees,

Marc, Helena, Amir, Choi, Win ...

and behind them the void

shining, hurtless."

This rupture between the text of life and the text of the text has already split open back in 1989 when writing, to Boey, was all in all because the lived experience in Singapore had been intuitively false. What widens, in Another Place, into an geographical exploration - this too being a trope - arrives, in his last volume as a Singaporean citizen, at a triumphant coexistence of art and life on the soil of equal admiration and mutual elevation. The ''void/ shining, hurtless," is a mark of memory, the leftover of inwardly more

• •

tumultuous times that can be overcome and can also return, but

such is the context of living, where our moments of certainty and epiphanies are always framed by doubts before and after, these our only fixed points of arriving and leaving again.

The volume's sheer power and simplicity should have provided readers finally with a means to grasp the trajectory of this very

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remarkable poetic voice, but, by its publication year in 1996, the year Boey was made aN ational Young Artist, also his last year living in Singapore, a different struggle was about to rage in the country. It took off with Days of No Name's loss of the 1995 Singapore Literature Prize to Roger Vaughan Jenkins's place- and community-inspired From the Belly of the Carp, a collection of poetic human histories tied to the life of the Singapore River published later in 1996. Although the state judges declared Jenkins's win unambiguous, many found the aesthetic standards jarring, lending much force to an erstwhile quiet suspicion that the way to win a state award was simply to write for the state." To be sure, the perceived injustice affected budding writers more severely than it did readers, and the fact cannot be said often enough that the current intense support for Boey is misleading since, until he left for Sydney, critical evaluation - if any at all- had been fiercely double-edged. Paul Tan stood alone in the media for years in arguing not just the case of misplaced allegiances when one would find Boey's writing less relevant to Singaporeans because it did not "directly deal with the country, its physical and human geography." Moreover, he often stressed in vain the need for vocal concern that would signal in the popular press or an academic journal the feeling that "the establishment has privileged the 'wrong' works"; revealingly, he found many grouses so private that, for all that could be said about the award, silence would still mean consent, and ''you become part of the problem. "26

No doubt, some amount of collective guilt over Boey's emigration therefore plays a role in the rise of his respectability, as may be seen in the almost neurotic need by readers, new writers, and the media to keep revisiting the affair of 1995 ever since." Having considered the history ofBoey's reception, it should at least be clear to us that recent acclaims are not what they seem in how ... they essentially seek not just to commemorate but, in effect, to renew

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Boey's status among Singapore's most important literary voices as ifhe never left. While the attention is surely positive where it matters, it is ironic that such embrace has also generated the latest misrepresentation of Boey: for example, in discussions on the relevance of public verse today, poets regularly cite Boey's defeat by Jenkins as though he is undisputedly one of them, indeed, the first among the young private poets. This case is bizarre as, in believing so, the new poet-critics - while insisting on a rupture in Singapore's poetic tradition since 1997 -join older poet-critics and scholars in continuing to misread Boey in the same way and for the same reason of guarding an aesthetic centre. Boey himself may have admitted of late that the country's development in the 1990s was among the reasons why he packed up and left, but this is still not the same as saying that his own verse was unprepared for the actual social calculations he knew that he needed to make." It is such manner of having his finger on his own pulse that makes the latest poems in Boey's fourth collection4fler the Fire so refreshingly different as he is, for once, willingly engaging his own past through his roots in Singapore and his present and future through his family in.Australia, 29 The persistent politicising ofhis image is another thing, however, and has led to a strange scenario where, given how Boey was once criticised for his unpatriotic aesthetics, he is now imagined as a displaced Singaporean, as Australian, a status requiring him to remind his audience during a visit in 2006: "I am not an exilef"30 Yet, what has Freudian psychoanalysis taught us before about the relationship between trauma and neurosis, and may we not extend this into our own understanding of how Singaporean poetry is evolving, and how the private voices of art seem to have gained momentum precisely because of a perceived scapegoating for which the culture now feels absurdly guilty? Indeed, Boey may have proverbially moved on, but Singapore still lives with its ghosts, and, while the spectre of a Singaporean Boey lingers to fuel thebreaking

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of new grounds in poetic endeavours, Boey the poet himself is already beginning anew somewhere else, humanely elusive to the core as ever.

Notes and References

1 Audrey Lim, "Deny Thy Country, Young Man: An Interview with Alfian Sa'at," Aaoria 4 (1999).

2 Lee Tzu Pheng, Foreword, Somewhere-Bound, by Boey Kim Cheng (Singapore: Times Books International, 1989), 7-9, 7.

3 Paul Tan Kim Liang, "A Poet Bound to Go Somewhere," The New Straits Times (28 Aug 1996).

4 These finalists were Yong Shu Hoong, Cyril Wong, and Aaron Maniarn, and the former two were eventual joint winners. Kristina Tom, "Prized Poet;" The Straits Times (24 Sept 2006).

5 Kristina Tom, "Hot off the Press," The Straits Times (20 Aug 2006).

6 Mohammad A .. Quayum and Peter Wicks, eds., Singaporean Literature in English: A Critical Reader (Serdang: Universiti . Putra Malaysia Press, 2002). Rajeev Patke, "Good Intentions Point to Critical Needs,"Quarterly Literary Review Singapore 2.1 (Oct 2002).

7 Kirpal Singh, Introduction, Interlogue: Studies in Singapore Literature, vol. 2, ed. Kirpal Singh (Singapore: Ethos Books, 1999),9-17, 16-17.

8 Tommy Koh, Timothy Auger, Jimmy Yap, and Ng Wei Chianeds., Singapore: The Encyclopedia (Singapore: Editions Didier Millet, 2006).

9 Lee, 7.

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10 Koh Buck Song, "Anny Poems and Social Satire,",The Straits Times (20 Sept 1989). Koh, "Poetry of Loss," The Straits Times (9 Aug 1991).

I I Felicia Chan, Silence May Speak: The Poetry of I.ee Tzu Pheng (Singapore: Times Books International, 1999),56-58.

12 Boey, Somewhere-Bound (Singapore: Times Books International, 1989),55.

I3 Edwin Thumboo, Gods Can Die (Singapore: Heinemann Educational Books, 1977).

14 Boey, Somewhere-Bound, 22. This poem may be paired with another entitled "The Sculptor (Rodin)."

15 William Shakespeare, The Tempest 4.1.148- 58.

16 Chua Mui Hoong, "Confronting History," 'The Straits Times (23

, Feb 1991).

17 Sirigh, Introduction, 6-17.

18 Boey, Another Place (Singapore: Time Editions, 1992),80. 19 Boey, Another Place, 9-10.

20 Boey, Another Place, 11-12.

21 Koh Buck Song, "Is This the Great 'Singapore Book?," The Straits Times (30 May 1992). Chua Chong Jin, "Not to be Missed," The Straits Times (25 JuI1992).

22 "Evocations of Singapore Life Wfu Literature Prize," The Straits Times (6 Dec 1995). Koh Buck Song, "There's Money in Poetry, Literature Prize Proves," The Straits Times (7 Dec 1995).

23 Tom, "Di- Versify," The Straits Times(24 Nov 2005).

24 Boey, Days of No Name (Singapore: EPB Publishers, 1996), 3-5.

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25 "Evocations of Singapore Life Win Literature Prize." The judges . that year were Lee, Leong Liew Geok, and Lim Chee Seng.

26 Tan, "A Poet Bound to Go Somewhere."Also see Tan, "Why Winning Isn't Everything," The Straits Tzmes(25 Dec 1996); and Tan and Singh, "Forging Ahead: An Interview with Paul Tan," interlogue, vol. 2, 183-89, 185.

27 For example, see "Bellyaching, Perhaps?,"The Straits Times (24 Aug 2006); and Stephanie Yap, "Poets in Motion," The Straits Times (19 Nov 2006).

28 Tom, "Back to Beginnings," The Straits limes (20 Aug 2006). 29 After the Fire,.issued by Firstfruits Publications in 2006, also carries selections of poems from Boey's earlier three volumes, but these contain minor editorial variations from their original forms,

30 Boey made this remark during his seminar Between Stations held at the National University of Singapore on 13 September 2006.

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