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Singapore Writers Festival returns to the Arts House next year with new director

Published on Aug 25, 2014 11:00 PM
Former Straits Times journalist and poet Yeow Kai Chai will take over as director of the next edition of the Singapore Writers Festival in November 2015. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Come November 2015, the Singapore Writers Festival will be under new leadership and will return to The Arts House and hold its activities in the Empress Place Civic District.

The new director will be poet and former Straits Times journalist Yeow Kai Chai.

Current director Paul Tan, who is also deputy chief executive officer of the National Arts Council, says: "We look forward to Kai Chai joining the SWF team in December. He is in Iowa now for a writing residency programme as he is a poet in his own right. We'll be sharing more details when he comes onboard."

Mr Tan, 43, says that it being Singapore's golden jubilee, next year's literary programmes would "have a strong focus on Singapore authors and themes", but did not reveal any names.

He adds: "We are also publishing an anthology of 50 original works by Cultural Medallion and Young Artist Award recipients in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.

"This will be launched during the festival. We expect an exciting read spanning the genres of short fiction, poetry, plays and even graphic novel extracts."

No authors have been confirmed, though 47 have been approached.

Since 2011, when Mr Tan took over, the festival has been held in tents on the Singapore Management University campus green because of the restoration works at Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall.

The Arts House, which co-hosted the 2007 and 2009 editions of the festival when it was a biennial event, has remained a festival partner.

Mr Tan says: "This will be our 18th edition and we are definitely looking forward to being part of the arts and culture buzz around the area next year."