Jun 8, 2009

My Book Launch! (And No, I Was Not Born in Minnesota)

I was planning to announce the details a little closer to the actual launch date. But in the meantime it turns out that there's nothing else that I feel like blogging about anyway. So - I might as well make the announcement now.

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Ethos Books has previously published books by award-winning local poets such as Alfian Saat, Edwin Thumboo, Alvin Pang and Felix Cheong. Ethos Books is well-known among literature buffs in Singapore as a serious producer of the good literary stuff.

Interestingly, Ethos Books is also the same publisher which brought to Singaporeans the boldly political book "Days of Being Wild" which chronicles the 2006 general elections from the opposition's perspective. The book was written by Dana Lam. Does the name sound familiar? She was the former president of Aware who has become President of Aware again, following the recent old guard vs new guard saga .

Anyway, if you wish to attend the launch event for Two Baby Hands and Carrots, do send an RSVP (as mentioned in the poster). It will help Ethos Books to plan the event appropriately.

My thanks also to the National Arts Council, the National Library Board and the National Book Development Council of Singapore, for supporting the publication of the book and sponsoring the launch event.

Wait ... Before I go, one last sample poem from the book. This one is for those of my readers who wish that my poetry were a little more image-filled and complex.There are several layers of meanings in this poem too, and I've deliberately created room for each reader to bring his own interpretation to the table. Guess who's the old man in this poem?
Garden City

Let there be trees, the man said, and lo and behold,
there were trees – rain trees, angsanas, flames of the forest,
causarinas, traveller’s palms and more – springing up against
the steel and concrete of the expanding city.
Even as the true towers of the city climbed higher
and higher for the heavens, the trees were planted, replanted,
transplanted, watered, fertilised, and groomed to grow
and grow. They appeared overnight, abandoned the
chaos of jungle, bent to the will of man, grew in straight lines,
in squares and rectangles, in allocated corners,
in car parks, along highways, outside banks and buildings,
faithful to the commandments of urban developers.
The hard lines of architecture were softened,
the rain did fall, the green did gently, gently grow,
and in his seventieth year, the man was pleased,
as he rested, as he viewed his work, as he felt the weight
of a nation’s soil run slowly through his old green hands.


Ting said...

I guess who he was before clicking on the link :D

Anyway, congratulations on the launch of your new book. I am not a poem person; I didn't study literature and stuff, but I would love to support you by buying your book when I am in town. Is that alright?

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, if you're referring to S'pore in "Garden City" then I think the variety of trees need restating. The Flame Of The Forest is one of the nicest trees to have as they're gorgeous when they bloom, but for pragmatic reasons we've only been having green trees and more green trees all over the island. Garden City is an exaggeration, more like Green City actually. I wish the government would change their stand and let us have more flowering trees like FOTF. Imagine driving through a canopy of FOTF trees on the expressway during its season. The golden yellow blossoms will be a wondrous sight to behold.

Unknown said...

So Mr. Wang is not Mr. Wang!
Congratulations on your new book, will get it the next time I return home.

Anonymous said...

omg gilbert koh!!! i read ur works at readerseye and was thoroughly impressed. i have no idea u are mrwang too!!! ARGHHHH IM A FAN!!!

- jon

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Ting, thanks for the support. Just want to add that you don't have to have studied literature, in order to enjoy literature (or poetry). :)

From 19 June onwards, The book will be on sale at Kinokuniya (Taka); and at Select Books (Tanglin Shopping Mall) and I believe, also at Books Actually (which I think has a new location now, Ang Siang Hill?). You can also order online from the publisher.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Anon 12:34 am:

yes I think they find FOTF a bother, when the flowers fall down ...

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Hey Ahmad, still reading my blog, I see ... :)

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...


Nice to know that people still remember R.E. ... :)

Onlooker said...

I think Angsana(Pterocarpus indicus) is quite nice too but Flame of the forest(Delonix regia) Does have that (overly) dramatic flare.

And Mr Wang What About this :) Tree Planting Campaign

Congratzs on your book launch :)

Ting said...

Thanks for the info. I will probably do it online.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I really enjoy your poems. Excellent :D

小肥与阿宝 said...

I love the mango trees in front of my block of flats. At least they're nicer to look at than into the kitchens of my neighbours next block.

And who can deny that he's our good lord. ^.^

Becky Cheung said...

So Gilbert Koh = Mr. Wang.

I am a little fan of yours, you know! Congrats on the book launch. ( clap clap )

Anonymous said...

Without clicking on the link I'll have to say the septuagenarian is our mr you-know-who. And yes, the poem leaves lots of room for interpretation...

Care to tell us the story behind the title of your blog?

xiangyeow said...

everyone's being coy...kind of funny that no one's voicing out the actual name of the person in the poem...let me guess...hmm, is he barack obama? kim jong 2? johanesson patricia ithacamo marilee? or is he mr lee kuan yew?

btw...is ur name supposed to be 'naughty'?