Launch @ Play Club!

The place was packed, and we sold about 100 books! We also got (slightly) advance publicity from Fridae.com.

Here’s a bunch of photos from TLC co-founder Alvin Pang:

More info soon!

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GASPP is on the shelves!

You can buy it at BooksActually, 86 Club Street, as well as online at this link:

http://www.ethosbooks.com.sg/store/mli_viewItem.asp?idProduct=258

Select Books has already placed their orders, Kinokuniya is dithering, and Borders is being difficult because their purchaser is in Australia. Not to worry: I fully expect it to be in all major bookstores soon, which means we’ll get to do events there.

And it’s already on shelves in KL – I’m going to find out where very soon.

GASPP in KL!!!

Here’s us at the Queer As Books event at 2pm, Sunday 17 Oct in the Annexe!

Remember, this was a joint launch (for us, technically a pre-launch event) of three books.  So from left to right: Matahari Books publisher Amir Muhammad, Diana Dirani and Azwan Ismail, co-editors of the Malaysian Malay language queer anthology Orang Macam Kita; Alfian Sa’at, playwright of the Asian Boys Trilogy; and myself, Ng Yi-Sheng, co-editor of GASPP.

(The photographer is our own publisher, Fong Hoe Fang of The Literary Centre/Ethos Books.)

And here’s GASPP itself!

We had a promotion going on: for every copy of GASPP or  Collected Plays Two: The Asian Boys Trilogy we sold, you got a free copy of Charlene Rajendran’s Taxi Tales.  (No, she’s not gay herself.  But she’s supportive!)

The launch was actually a private event, hence the low levels of publicity.  Folks were afraid of attracting undue attention to Orang Macam Kita, a real danger since the queer Malaysian English language anthology, Body2Body, recently got pulled from the shelves after a complaint.

But still, we had readings from the contirbutors, such as Nizam Zakaria (wish my Bahasa Melayu was good enough to follow what was going on) before I goaded Alfian to go up and read something from our own book: Irfan Kasban’s short prose work Dua Lelaki.

Yes, that is an expression of consternation on Alf’s face. Dua Lelaki is kinda provocative.

Here’s a shot of me reading from my short story Lee Low Tar, gleaned from the Facebook album of Dib Jual Kata. Yeah, we sure established ourselves as unsavoury types.

Adrianna Tan was originally supposed to come too, but she had to cancel suddenly for health reasons, so the event really ended up being quite a sausagefest.  Hopefully this won’t be the case for our Singapore launch!


This last shot’s by Malaysian artist Jun Kit.  At one point during the Q&A, I got asked whether we’d be able to sell the book openly on the shelves in Singapore.  And I had to admit, well, actually, things are much easier for us in Singapore than in KL.  Yes, we complain about censorship, but that hardly ever happens to books (only when important government figures get directly insulted) and what happens to plays is R-ratings and funding cuts and text changes: the whole production does not get shut down.

When we compare ourselves to London or New York or Stockholm, our freedom of speech record is lousy.  But we’re in a better situation than Malaysia, and we should remember that.

Plus, we should buy their books.  Orang Macam Kita can be bought from Matahari Books by mail or from Amazon.  Alfian’s book should be available in all major Singapore bookstores, and if it’s not, demand it.

And as for us, we’re coming soon… 🙂

Seksualiti Merdeka

Sorry I’ve been quiet for so long – the KL launch and Seksualiti Merdeka kind of tuckered me out. But in a good way!

Now I understand why Alfian and The Necessary Stage people love to go up there so much: because there’s this young, idealistic community of activists and intellectuals and artists who can’t afford to take for granted the values that Singaporeans are utterly blasé about: secularism, racial harmony, non-corruption, and the right to even heterosexual romance.

Unfortunately, I ended up with very bad photos of the event. That’s a washed-out, blurry shot from the hit cabaret Rainbow Massacre, for example, featuring Sheila and the Vodka Vulvas.

Here’s Thilaga, doing a simultaneously-illustrated presentation on the persecution of transgendered Malaysians by the law, as part of the lecture series “Even Educated Fleas Do It”.

Here’s Malaysia’s sexiest historian Farish Noor, displaying his collection of Peranakan lingerie.  (He teaches at NTU!)

And here’s our long-suffering publisher Fong Hoe Fang, selling copies of GASPP and Alfian Sa’at’s Asian Boys Trilogy!  They sold rather well (even though they cost almost twice as much as the Malaysian books).

I’m not going to post about the launch yet, because I want to make sure we have an okay to feature the faces of the editors of Orang Macam Kita, the Malaysian Malay language queer anthology that was launched at the same time as we were.

Meanwhile, I’m stoked for the Singapore launch!  Preparing for it on 29 Oct… Remember to come.  🙂

It’s in print…

Copies were just delivered to the publishers at 5:30pm today. We caught it at Yeng Pway Ngon’s book launch at the Arts House at 7pm.

Whoa. None of us can believe it’s here. But it is! And it looks good.

Selling for $25 – less if you happen to be at a special event.

Now I’m catching a bus to Kuala Lumpur for the Seksualiti Merdeka festival!

Launch of the translated poems of Yeng Pway Ngon

We’re promoting this ‘cos it’s a project by The Literary Centre, the same folks who’re publishing GASPP: a Gay Anthology of Singapore Poetry and Prose. The launch is this Friday night at the Arts House Play Den – come if you can!

Yeng Pway Ngon

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=148281591880449

The Literary Centre (Singapore) cordially invites you to the launch of Yeng Pway Ngon’s Poems 1 [Rebellion] at The Arts House.

Poems 1 [Rebellion] is a translated selection of Yeng Pway Ngon’s works published between 1967 and 1970, a period in which his poetry openly confronts issues of urban modernity, consumerism and apathy, social decadence and cultural decay, moral hypocrisy, and the corruption of power. This is the first of a series of chapbooks in translation which will explore the range of Yeng’s poetry from the 1960s to the present.

Born in 1947, Yeng Pway Ngon is a poet, novelist, playwright and critic who has published 24 volumes of poetry, essays, fiction, plays and literary criticism in the Chinese language. He has previously been translated into English, Malay and Dutch. He is also the recipient of Singapore’s 2003 Cultural Medallion for Literature.

Date: Friday, 15 October 2010
Time: 7pm – 9pm
Venue: Play Den, The Arts House

Featuring: Mr Yeng, and translators Alvin Pang & Goh Beng Choo

We’ve gone to press.

Just thought I should let you guys know. 🙂

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