Literature Prize winner Samuel Lee's fresh look at supermarkets

The unlikely setting features greatly in Singapore Literature Prize winner Samuel Lee's debut poetry collection

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Poet Samuel Lee, who received the Singapore Literature Prize for English poetry earlier this month, reads excerpts from his debut collection A Field Guide To Supermarkets In Singapore.
Samuel Lee's A Field Guide To Supermarkets In Singapore received the Singapore Literature Prize for English poetry earlier this month.
Samuel Lee's A Field Guide To Supermarkets In Singapore received the Singapore Literature Prize for English poetry earlier this month. PHOTO: LIN ZHAOWEI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Samuel Lee's A Field Guide To Supermarkets In Singapore (above) received the Singapore Literature Prize for English poetry earlier this month.
Samuel Lee's A Field Guide To Supermarkets In Singapore (above) received the Singapore Literature Prize for English poetry earlier this month. PHOTO: LIN ZHAOWEI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
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Poet Samuel Lee likes supermarkets. He frequents them four to five times a week. There is something "inherently funny" about them, he says - the lurid colours in the sterile aisles, the meandering paths some spatially challenged shoppers take, the disembodied announcements of "Paging the store manager to the exotic foods section".

How, despite being a place packed with food, there are no smells.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 21, 2018, with the headline Literature Prize winner Samuel Lee's fresh look at supermarkets. Subscribe