We Can be Heroes, Just For One Day




5 Nov, Sun 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM


The Arts House, Chamber
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This session is in English


Marc Nair


David Bowie released his song ‘Heroes’ in 1977, and it has since become the musician’s most-covered song. In this special reading-and-performance event, eight artists from around the world talk about their personal heroes, and perform original texts and songs inspired by them.

This session is made possible with the assistance of International Literature Showcase.


William Beale

Australia - Singapore

William Beale is an Australian spoken word poet and the author/composer of They Call Us Loud (2015/16). He has performed at the Sydney Opera House, the Esplanade, George Town Literary Festival, Ubud Writers Festival, White Night Melbourne, and more. The former creative producer of the Slamalamadingdong poetry slam and co-founder of poetry open mic night If Walls Could Talk, William’s latest work is the forthcoming album Homecoming, which combines poetry and house music.

William Beale is featured in the following SWF event(s):

Deborah Emmanuel is a Singaporean writer, performer, and four-time TEDx speaker. Her performance work has taken her to places such as Melbourne, Berlin, London, Bali and Kathmandu​​. ​Deborah​ has published the poetry collection When I Giggle in My Sleep (2015) and the memoir Rebel Rites (2016). When not writing or performing poetry, she is an actor​ on stage and screen,​​ and​ makes music with her bands Wobology and The Ditha Project​.​

Deborah Emmanuel is featured in the following SWF event(s):
Sholeh Wolpé

Iran - USA

Born in Iran, Sholeh Wolpé has lived in Trinidad, the UK and the US. A recipient of the 2014 PEN/Heim grant, the 2013 Midwest Book Award, and the 2010 Lois Roth Persian Translation Prize, she has published four poetry collections, a play, three books of translations, and three anthologies. Her translation of The Conference of the Birds by 12th-century mystic poet Attar was hailed by Reza Aslan as ‘timeless as the masterpiece itself’. Sholeh’s own works have been translated into 11 languages. 

Photo credit to Bonnie Perkinson

Sholeh Wolpé is featured in the following SWF event(s):

Abby Oliveira is a performance poet, writer and actor based in Derry. She has performed her poetry at the Lingo festival, Glastonbury, Electric Picnic, the Dublin and Belfast book festivals, and elsewhere. She was the 2014 and 2015 Lingo poetry slam champion. In 2016, she received two Arts Council of Northern Ireland awards to write a solo show, Cast Away Your Compass, and tour it in Australia. She is currently working on her first play and her first poetry collection.

Abby Oliveira is featured in the following SWF event(s):
Bani Haykal


Bani Haykal experiments with text and music. He considers music-making and processes as a metaphor for cybernetics. His projects revolve around modes of interfacing and interaction in feedback/feedforward mechanisms. He is a member of rock band B-Quartet and the Soundpainting ensemble Erik Satay & The Kampong Arkestra. In his capacity as a collaborator and a soloist, Bani has participated in festivals including Wiener Festwochen (Austria), Media/Art Kitchen (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Japan), and Liquid Architecture (Singapore).

Pooja Nansi


Pooja Nansi is Singapore’s first Youth Poet Ambassador. She has published two poetry collections, Stiletto Scars and Love Is an Empty Barstool. Since April 2013, she has curated a monthly spoken word and poetry showcase, Speakeasy, which plays to packed audiences. Her one-woman show, You Are Here, explores her own family’s history of migration; she has performed it at the Esplanade Studios Series and the Queensland Poetry Festival. She was the NTU-NAC writer-in-residence for 2015-2016. 

Pooja Nansi is featured in the following SWF event(s):

Caleb Femi is Spread the Word’s Young People’s Laureate for London. He is also an English teacher, filmmaker and photographer. He has received commissions from the Tate Modern, the Royal Society of Literature, St Paul’s Cathedral and The Guardian. A winner of the Roundhouse Poetry Slam and Genesis Poetry Slam, he is currently working on his debut pamphlet. Caleb has also released two documentaries: What Did Love Taste Like in the 70s? and Heartbreak & Grime.

Caleb Femi is featured in the following SWF event(s):

Charlene Shepherdson’s work includes interactive narratives, visual poetry, and the intersection where environment, heritage and education meet. She uses language in written, performative and visual forms to bridge communities and empower voices. She is one-third of the spacer.gif collective, which runs Singapore’s oldest interdisciplinary open mic, destination:INK. Her writing has appeared in anthologies in Singapore and the Philippines, including From Walden to Woodlands and A Luxury We Cannot Afford.

Photo Credit: Jon Gresham

Charlene Shepherdson is featured in the following SWF event(s):


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