Saturday, August 8, 2015

Call for Anthology Submission – A Luxury We Must Afford

For us Singaporeans, 2015 has been a year for burying hatchet-wielding legends, letting old dogmas lie, and ultimately looking forward into a great wide absence, which is also a great wide space.

Singapore at 50 stands on the cusp of a mid-life crisis with a multitasker’s schizophrenia – even as she mourns the loss of an almost all-defining founding father, she celebrates a significant birthday; even as she seeks to refine or redefine her interpretation of history, she awaits an election that could be a milestone or, well, just another election.

So what does the future hold?

In 2014, Christine Chia and Joshua Ip edited the first poetry anthology about Singapore’s greatest mythical figure, titled “A Luxury We Cannot Afford.” The title of the book was inspired by his famous declaration in 1969 that “poetry is a luxury we cannot afford.” This year, we believe we can finally assert that a Singaporean poetry, here and now, is a luxury we must afford.

Looking forward and beyond, the editors have added Cheryl Julia Lee to their number, and seek to gather new hopes, daydreams, nightmares and considered perspectives about the future of our island nation. We would like to consign the topic of the previous anthology to the past, and instead look forward.

These pieces will be gathered into an anthology titled “A Luxury We Must Afford,” to be published by Math Paper Press in end 2015.

In a year where SG50 fatigue may be de rigueur, we invite you to consider a SG that can be so much >50.

Submissions should follow these guidelines:
  • UPDATE: The deadline for submissions has been extended to 25 September 2015 (originally 18th).
  • The work should deal with the future of Singapore – it must not linger on the past.
  • Once again, we hope to present diverse opinions and approaches to a complex subject. Magical fairy dreamlands, policy papers, economic analyses and post-apocalyptic scenarios are all equally acceptable.
  • Writers need not be from Singapore. Writers of other nationalities are welcome.
  • Writers need not be “Published Poets”. Or “Famous Writers”. Or Lit-degree holders. Or English teachers. Or even self-identify as “Writers”. Anybody also can submit.
  • While we would prefer unpublished work, we will accept work that has been published before or that has been simultaneously submitted. Please provide us the details of previous publication or simultaneous submission, if applicable.
  • Each submission is limited to 3 poems per writer.
  • Writers who wish to submit variants of poetry such as “prose poetry”, “play extract poetry”, “creative nonfiction poetry”, “argumentative essay poetry,” or “interpretative dance poetry” should be aware that their work will be assessed on its literary merit, and not on the definition of what a “poem” is or is not. (See “A Luxury We Cannot Afford” for samples).
  • Please send your work as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) to Include your name and contact details in the body of the e-mail.

Poets whose works are selected for publication will receive a free copy of the published anthology and a 40% author discount on future copies.

About the Editors
Cheryl Julia Lee is a member of the Burn After Reading (Singapore) collective. Her work has been published in QLRSIcarus, and Prick of the Spindle, among others. Her poetry collection, We Were Always Eating Expired Things, was published in 2014 by Math Paper Press.

Christine Chia is the author of the critically acclaimed The Law of Second Marriages (Math Paper Press) and a sequel, Separation: a history (Ethos Books), a collection of prose poetry that weaves together the stories of the Separation between Singapore and Malaysia and the separation between her parents. She is a featured writer at the Singapore Literature Festival in New York and contributed poetry to Washington SquarePrairie Schooner, UNION: 15 Years of Drunken Boat, 50 Years of Writing From Singaporesoftblow, Blue Lyra Review, Drift Index, the Substation Love Letters Project and W!ld Rice’s theatrical production of Another Country. She is working on her first novel.

Joshua Ip is the Singapore Literature Prize-winning author of two volumes of poetry from Math Paper Press: ‘making love with scrabble tiles’ (2013), and ‘sonnets from the singlish’ (2012). He won the Golden Point Award for Prose in 2013, and was runner-up for Poetry in 2011. He has co-edited two poetry anthologies: ‘A Luxury We Cannot Afford’ (2014) and ‘SingPoWriMo 2014: The Anthology’ (2014). He is working on his first graphic novel, ‘Ten Stories Below’ (2015). He organized the inaugural Singapore Poetry Writing Month in 2014, and the first Singapore Manuscript Bootcamp in 2015.  You can find more at

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