Books: Prize-winning poetry from the supermarket

Supermarkets feature in poet Samuel Lee's debut collection A Field Guide To Supermarkets In Singapore (2016), which received the Singapore Literature Prize for English poetry earlier this month.
Supermarkets feature in poet Samuel Lee's debut collection A Field Guide To Supermarkets In Singapore (2016), which received the Singapore Literature Prize for English poetry earlier this month.PHOTO: LIN ZHAOWEI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - 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", and how, despite being a place packed with food, there are no smells.

"It's very productive for creative writing, this juxtaposition of the commonplace and the miraculous," says the 26-year-old. "I always go in for a good giggle."

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