Started in 2014, the biennial Singapore Literature Festival in NYC is an independent, volunteer-run event that brings together Singaporean and American authors and audiences for in-depth conversations about literature and society. Between festivals we organize the Second Saturdays Reading Series, a monthly platform for the reading of Singaporean and American literatures in various intimate venues in New York City. The 2nd edition of the festival will take place from Wednesday to Saturday, September 28 – October 1, 2016. For more information, please contact festival organizer Jee Leong Koh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Organizing Committee of the 2nd Singapore Literature Festival in NYC
Jee Leong Koh (Organizer) is the author of four books of poems and a book of zuihitsu. His latest book of poems Steep Tea (Carcanet) was named a Best Book of 2015 by UK’s Financial Times, and a Finalist by Lambda Literary. His work was shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize and translated into Japanese, Chinese, Russian, and Latvian. Originally from Singapore, Jee now lives in New York City, where he runs the arts website Singapore Poetry, the Second Saturdays Reading Series, and the Singapore Literature Festival in NYC.
Maureen Hoon (Communications and Non-profit Arts Consultant) has extensive expertise in non-profit arts management and marketing communications. To date, she has worked with over 30 global clients on high-profile media campaigns, Corporate Social Responsibility outreach, and community engagement. She is also a New York-based visual artist with her studio based in Long Island City, Queens. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and graduated with a Master’s degree from Pratt Institute’s School of Art & Design.
Flora Chan (Design Consultant) is a Singaporean designer living and working in New York City, and a graduate of the Communication Design program at Parsons School of Design. Aside from transforming brands and designing identity systems, she is also deeply invested in exploring language and linguistics and their relationship to visual design.
Dr. Hong-Ling Wee (Fundraiser) is a scientist-turned-ceramicist whose work straddles sculptural objects and functional art. Her creations are in several public collections including the National Gallery (Singapore) and the Guangxi National Art Center (China). Besides art-making, Hong-Ling is also interested in bringing to fruition projects that have never been done before. In 2015, to celebrate Singapore’s Golden Jubilee in New York City, she organized Something To Write Home About, the first grassroots Singapore Arts Festival, held at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club.
Originally from Singapore, Marcus Yi (Drama Producer) is an award winning writer, director, and performer based in New York. He has created work in Singapore, Atlanta, and New York, and is the artistic director of Living Room Theater. He has worked on over 100 productions. Marcus was also named one of Indie Theater Now’s 2014 People of the Year and is an Indie Theater Now Playwright.
Kimberley Lim (Event Manager) is a professional audience member and consumer of various art forms. When she’s not volunteering for Singapore-related arts events in New York City, she works as an assistant editor at Skyhorse Publishing, an independent publishing house, and runs the online literary magazine www.OfZoos.com.
Raised in Singapore and educated in the United States, Bonnie Bee (Event Manager) specializes in music industry marketing, publicity and branding, as well as non-profit performing arts management. She has rubbed elbows at Carnegie Hall, Warner Music Group, The Boston Symphony Orchestra, New York City Ballet, Capacity Interactive and more. Bonnie is an avid fan of tennis, football and golf. Her dream is to attend all four tennis Grand Slams and so far she’s been to the U.S Open and Australian Open.
Currently doing her Master’s in Forensic Psychology at John Jay College, Genevieve Lim (Event Manager) would travel the world for the rest of her live if she could and occasionally go back to Singapore for her all-time favorite drink: Teh C peng siew dai.
Born in Malaysia, raised in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the San Francisco Bay Area, Tomson “T-$$$” Tee (Video Director and Producer) is an award-winning filmmaker based in NYC. Tomson likes to spend his free time … well he doesn’t really have any. He’s usually off finding ways to make his next project.
Kimberly Charles (Intern) is a recent graduate student in the M.A. Journalism program at Hofstra University. She received her B.A. in Communication Arts and Media Studies at Dowling College in 2012. She is dedicated to finding stories that will impact, inform, and entertain readers. A multimedia journalist, she loves to tell a story through a lens and create a lasting impression on viewers. She loves music, writing, theater, and being around good people.
Special thanks to our volunteers Celeste Teng, Denise Shu Mei, Genevieve Ang, Marie Ee, Mathilda Chua, Patsey Yeo-Ramaker, and Sam Stevenson-Yang.
Organizing Committee of the Inaugural Festival
Paul Rozario-Falcone (Co-chair) is a New York-based Singaporean writer and editor. He is the author of Zheng He and the Treasure Fleet 1405-1433: A Modern Day Traveler’s Guide from Antiquity to the Present. He was previously an arts administrator at The Arts House in Singapore, where he organized literary events such as the Singapore Writers Festival and the Malay language and literature lecture series Cita. Paul has a MA degree in jurisprudence from Oxford University, a MA degree in Eastern and African Christianity from the University of London and a MS degree in publishing from New York University. He divides his time between Singapore and Brooklyn.
Jee Leong Koh (Co-chair) is the author of four books of poetry, including Seven Studies for a Self Portrait (Bench Press). His latest collection The Pillow Book (Math Paper Press) will be translated into Japanese and published by Awai Books in 2014. A new book of poems is forthcoming from Carcanet Press in 2015. A former vice-principal of a secondary school in Singapore, Jee now teaches English in an independent school in Manhattan. He also curates the website Singapore Poetry. A council member of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics and Writers, he has a BA from Oxford University and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.
Damon Chua (Fundraiser) writes plays, poetry and short stories. As a playwright, Damon is published by Samuel French, Smith & Kraus and Independent Playwrights. He received an Ovation Award (Best World Premiere Play) for “Film Chinois,” a full-length play set in 1940s China, and has had his works staged in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and at least 5 other states. Damon is a proud member of The Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group and Ma-Yi Theater’s Writers Lab in New York. As a poet, Damon’s first and only anthology Traveler’s Tale and Other Poems was published in 2011 by Ethos Books. His poems have also been seen in the following collections: Journeys: Words, Home and Nation – Anthology of Singapore Poetry, Memories & Desires: A Poetic History of Singapore, and & Words: Poems Singapore and Beyond. 2014 will see the publication of Singapore Noir, a collection of noir-inspired short stories on Singapore, featuring Damon’s contribution “Saiful and the Pink Edward VII.” Damon is working on his first collection of short stories.
Kimberley Lim (Publicity Chair) is a newly minted University of Virginia alum with majors in writing poems, deciphering Nabokov, and anthropologising. She divides her time between Singapore and New York. Favourite foods (among many) include 50-cent maggi mee (soupy ramen), 50-cent Indomee (dry stir-fried ramen), and 20-dollar Tonkotsu ramen, extra oil. She zookeeps her online poetic journal OF ZOOS and (re)blogs at Loud Amusement Park.
Kenneth Lim (Publicity Team) is a Singaporean poet and journalist currently based in New York City. He reads and edits poems for West 10th, New York University’s undergraduate literary journal, and is currently working on his first book of poetry. Also a competitive table tennis player, Kenneth was awarded the 2014 ITTF Media Scholarship to work with the ITTF at the ZEN-NOH 2014 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Tokyo, as part of their media team. He will be graduating from New York University in May this year with a B.A. in journalism, philosophy and creative writing. You can find samples of his work at kennethlim.contently.com.
Kiat-Sing Teo (Publicity Team) is a New York-based actor from Singapore. Some credits include: Trojan Women (Classical Theatre of Harlem), House of Bernarda Alba (NAATCO), and Basket Bronx (short film – 21 international awards). Although she sometimes writes under a pseudonym, she always eats blueberries by the pint, and believes Shakespeare, along with Confucius, is a Bodhisattva. Kiat-Sing has a BA from National University of Singapore and an MFA from Columbia University.
Originally from Singapore, Marcus Yi (Video Director and Producer) is a writer/director and performer based in New York. He has created work in Singapore, Atlanta and New York and is the artistic director of Living Room Theater. He has worked on over 100 productions and his recently created work include Micro Shrimp The Musical, 29x/y, Pretty Little Mouth, The Procedure, The Ephemeral Lightness of Dreams: the dream plays, Thicker Than Water: the blood plays and Baby Baby!. His work has been seen at the Midtown International Theater Festival, Planet Connections Theater Festivity, Fresh Fruit Festival and the Midwinter Madness Theater Festival.
Shellen Teh (Design Consultant) is a Visual Communication graduate from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. She is a book designer at Math Paper Press, the publishing arm of BooksActually. She has designed the covers of many festival books, including Pooja Nansi’s Love is an Empty Barstool and the second edition of Joshua Ip’s sonnets from the singlish. Easily amused, Shellen is often inspired by the things happening around her. She finds joy in translating ideas into reality as well as creating fictional worlds through her imagination. Her designs are clean and simple, with each element being edited down to its essence.
Special thanks to our volunteers Alphonse Falcone, Annette Tan, Anurak Saelow, Ashish Ravinran, Belinda He, Cheryl Koh, Cheryl Naruse, Guy E. Humphrey, Hui Qun Ong, Karlyn Koh, Sabrina Sng, Yanping Soong, and Yi Lin Cheng.