Three new writers-in-residence appointed to Nanyang Technological University

(From left) Canadian novelist Madeleine Thien, poet Pooja Nansi and author Yeo Wei Wei.
(From left) Canadian novelist Madeleine Thien, poet Pooja Nansi and author Yeo Wei Wei. PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - Three new authors have been appointed as writers-in-residence at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), under a scheme supported by the National Arts Council.

They are Canadian novelist Madeleine Thien, Singaporean author Yeo Wei Wei and local poet Pooja Nansi. Former authors from the writing residency programme, first mooted in 2011, include Malaysian author and Man Booker Prize nominee Tash Aw from Malaysia and Singapore playwright Jean Tay.

The three writers will conduct creative writing workshops and lectures for NTU students and the public, while working on their own writing projects.

Thien, 41, who was born to Malaysian-Chinese parents, has three books and a clutch of accolades to her name. Recently, her short story titled The Wedding Cake, was shortlisted for the 2015 Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award in Britain, the richest prize in the world for a single short story.

She was a writer-in-residence at the Simon Fraser University in Canada, and part of the international faculty at the City University of Hong Kong's MFA in Creative Writing programme. The programme was shuttered in May, a controversial move that drew criticism from many authors, Thien included.

Yeo, who has a PhD in English from Cambridge, will publish her first collection of short stories titled These Foolish Things & Other Stories with Ethos Books later this year. She contributes book reviews to The Straits Times.

Nansi, who is also part of the spoken word and music duo The Mango Dollies, looks forward to having time to teach and write: "I think engaging in dialogue, listening to people's stories, their ideas and struggles make me better at what I do."

jianxuan@sph.com.sg