Kim Cheng Boey



EXPLODE Editorial: Awfully Passionate Egregious Demagogueries … reflections on absolutes, straying, anguish and bees

If poets are in the business of cultivating ‘voice’ then, logically enough, to which ends? Is there an onus not only to learn how to speak but to also become versed in what to speak of? If 20c. English-language poetry can be characterised at least partly as a constellation of non-dogmatic radicalised tropes making response to authorising discourses of power / knowledge, then which impetus remains (if any) to adopt transgression as a foremost rhetorical mode?

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On the Sidewalk: Towards an Ethopoetics of the Streets

In his prose poem ‘The Eyes of the Poor,’ Baudelaire stages a Parisian tableau that brings together the disenfranchised poor and the privileged bourgeoisie in an awkward moment of encounter. The lyric / narrative ‘I’ and his female companion were …

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Time is a river, time is a bridge

Time is a river that passes through you, crossing and recrossing, rippling score of silence under the bridges of your life, and you wonder if it can be the same river or the same person twice, the amber glide of …

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Kim Cheng Boey Reviews Eileen Chong

PeonyIn a suite of three poems praising the legendary beauty, Consort Yang Guifei, the Tang poet Li Bai draws on the virtues of the peony, a flower that with its luxuriant petals and luminous colours embodies feminine beauty and allure.

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Justin Clemens Reviews Poetry and the Trace

Poetry and the TraceSometimes irritating, often informative, occasionally incisive and sporadically genuinely interrogatory, the thoughtfulness evinced by (many of) the writings collected in Poetry and the Trace triggers further chains of association and dissociation. This is a genuinely critical collection in various senses of that word: at once analytic, hortatory, and urgent.

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Kate Middleton Reviews Kim Cheng Boey

Clear BrightnessWith Clear Brightness Kim Cheng Boey offers a slim volume that, in addition to addressing notions of place, exile and travel, carries with it a deep melancholy of being written in ‘the lone wastes of middle age’. His explorations of worldliness are welcome, and Boey offers portraits of interconnectedness even as he displays and explores alienation. Moving from markets to Chinatowns, from Singapore’s National Theatre to California’s Santa Barbara, this collection often shows the objects that connect the past to the present, keepsakes available to keepers and gleaners alike.

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Timothy Yu Reviews Contemporary Asian Australian Poets

Contemporary Asian Australian PoetsA decade ago, Cordite Poetry Review asked me to write a review of its tenth issue, ‘Location: Asia-Australia.’ In my review, I wrote that while the issue did a splendid job of showing the intersection between two separate places called ‘Asia’ and ‘Australia,’ it was less clear whether the ‘Asian-Australian’ could also be a thing unto itself, a kind of writing that might be visible within domestic as well as international spaces.

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Review Short: Toby Davidson’s Beast Language

Toby Davidson: Beast LanguageIn the introduction to the collected poems of Francis Webb, Toby Davidson observes that the immediate influences behind Webb’s poems ‘do not supersede his locales.’ Webb’s poems are informed by a topophilia, a love of place and its ambient lore, a topographical attentiveness to detail that includes not just spatial but also temporal resonances. Davidson has inherited this attentiveness to space and place, and his debut collection, Beast Language, attempts a topo or ecopoetics that traverses a spectrum of geographies, mapping the Australian continent from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific seaboard, attempting not only terrestrial readings but taking cosmological measurements as well.

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Asian-Australian Diasporic Poets: A Commentary

Diaspora Bell“This essay provides a survey of the poetry of some Asian Australian poets, and does not attempt to be definitive. Diasporic poetics raise more questions than they answer and are just as much about dis-placement as about place, just as much about a ‘poetics of uncertainty’ as about certainties of style/nation/identity.”

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Nick Terrell Reviews Kim Cheng Boey

Between Stations by Kim Cheng Boey Giramondo Publishing, 2009 In 1997, Kim Cheng Boey's feelings of alienation from his homeland had reached critical mass. After years of watching the Singapore of his childhood succumb to ‘the cycle of tear and …

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