The Texts of Inspiration



4 Nov, Sun 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM


Empress Lawn, SWF Empress Tent
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This session is in English


Arianna Pozzuoli


Everybody has a book which has made a lasting impact in his or her life, proving to be a valuable guide during good times and bad. Authors are not only drawn to certain texts, they have drawn sustenance from them, and fine-honed their literary skills. Come listen to this panel of poets and fiction writers who will share excerpts from their favourite texts, as well as their own literary responses to them.  


Romesh Gunesekera

Sri Lanka - UK

Romesh Gunesekera is internationally acclaimed for his novels and short stories, including the Booker-shortlisted Reef. He explores political, environmental and economic themes through stories of wide appeal. Noontide Toll, his most recent book about the aftermath of Sri Lanka’s civil war, was featured in The New Yorker. Born in Sri Lanka, he now lives in London and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Photo Credit: Marzena Pogorzaly

Romesh Gunesekera is featured in the following SWF event(s):
Alvin Pang


A fellow of the Iowa International Writing Program and a board member of the International Poetry Studies Institute, Alvin Pang was Singapore’s Young Artist of the Year for Literature in 2005. Listed in the Oxford Companion to Modern Poetry in English, he has been translated into more than 20 languages, including Swedish, Macedonian, Croatian and Slovene. His latest book is What Happened: Poems 1997–2017.

Alvin Pang is featured in the following SWF event(s):

Boey Kim Cheng has published five collections of poetry, a travel memoir entitled Between Stations, and a historical novel entitled Gull Between Heaven and Earth. Born in 1965, he emigrated from Singapore to Australia in 1997. He taught creative writing at the University of Newcastle for 13 years before joining Nanyang Technological University in 2016.

Boey Kim Cheng is featured in the following SWF event(s):

Josephine Chia has published 12 books of fiction and non-fiction in the UK and Singapore. Goodbye My Kampong! is her sequel to her 2014 Singapore Literature Prize winner, Kampong Spirit: Gotong Royong. Her first YA fiction novel, Big Tree in a Small Pot, and her middle-grade non-fiction book, Growing Up In Kampong Potong Pasir, were both launched at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in September 2018. 

Josephine Chia is featured in the following SWF event(s):
Jinny Koh


Jinny Koh is the author of The Gods Will Hear Us Eventually (Ethos Books, 2018) and was recently shortlisted for the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Her work has appeared in Carolina Quarterly, Pembroke Magazine, Kyoto Journal, Columbia Journal and Best New Singaporean Short Stories: Volume Two.

Jinny Koh is featured in the following SWF event(s):
Kirstin Chen

Singapore - US

Kirstin Chen’s new novel, Bury What We Cannot Take, has been named a “most anticipated upcoming book” by Electric Literature, Harper’s Bazaar and InStyle, among others. She is also the author of Soy Sauce for Beginners. An NTU-NAC National Writer-in-Residence in Singapore in 2017, she has received awards from the Steinbeck Fellows Program, Sewanee, Hedgebrook, and the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference.

Kirstin Chen is featured in the following SWF event(s):
Darryl Whetter

Canada - Singapore

Darryl Whetter is the author of three books of fiction and two poetry collections. His novels are the bicycle odyssey, The Push & the Pull, and the multi-generational smuggling epic, Keeping Things Whole. A Canadian, he is the inaugural director of the MA creative writing programme at Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore. 

Grace Chia


Grace Chia is the author of the short-story collection, Every Moving Thing That Lives Shall Be Food; poetry collections, womango and Cordelia; and the novel, The Wanderlusters. She also edited the fiction anthology, We R Family. An NTU-NAC writer-in-residence at Nanyang Technological University from 2011 to 2012, she has also completed residencies in Macau and Korea. Mother of All Questions is her latest poetry collection.

Grace Chia is featured in the following SWF event(s):


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6 Nov, Tue 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
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