Writer Felix Cheong is releasing a new anthology 9 years after 'retiring' from poetry

Singaporean author and poet Felix Cheong (PHOTOS: Felix Cheong)

Singaporean writer Felix Cheong is back with an anthology nine years after he announced his retirement from poetry.

The new book – launching on 31 August – brings together his poetry work over some 30 years.

It includes his recent experiments with rap and scat rhythms, his previously unpublished pieces from his creative writing masters thesis, and his poems written as an undergraduate.

The book’s title, B-sides and Backslides, is a playful riff on the B-side singles that musicians sometimes release.

As to why he published another poetry collection despite having “retired” from the genre, Cheong said: ““I wanted to leave poetry but poetry has never left me. It’s like an old flame whose embers are still glowing even after nine years!”.

The 53-year-old last released a poetry collection – Sudden in Youth: New and Selected Poems – in 2009.

He was once voted as the 29th most trusted Singaporean by readers of Readers Digest in 2010, and his 2012 short story collection Vanishing Point was longlisted for the prestigious Frank O’ Connor Award.

Cheong will be performing a few poems during the book launch held at the Arts House, set to classical music reworked by two local musicians, Mervin Wong and Natalie Ng.

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