Olivia Ho speaks to three Singapore poets of note, all proteges of Lee Tzu Pheng, who have new works out

Writing to understand

In When The Lights Went Off, Paul Tan ruminates on ageing, love and loss.
In When The Lights Went Off, Paul Tan ruminates on ageing, love and loss.PHOTO: NATIONAL ARTS COUNCIL

"There was no time," begins the first poem in Paul Tan's new collection When The Lights Went Off (inset), "to write the poem".

And indeed that is a challenge when one juggles two roles in the arts - that of creator and administrator. "With tasks undone,/ the ink cannot run."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2018, with the headline 'Writing to understand'. Print Edition | Subscribe