Back with its third edition in Singapore, the Migrant Worker Poetry Competition will be held at the National Gallery on the 11th of December 2016.

Following its debut in 2014, a number of previous contestants have gone on to showcase their work in Singapore’s literary scene, participating and collaborating with fellow artists in events such as the Singapore Writer’s Festival. Some have also published their poems with local and international presses alike.

The wave hit Malaysia too, where the event targeting migrant workers and refugees has been running for two years. Plans are in the works to organise the competition in the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong in 2017.

In total, seventy submissions were received this year, featuring seven languages; Bahasa Indonesia, Tamil, Bengali, Mandarin, English, Tagalog, and Cebuano. Similar to last year, two-thirds of the submissions received were from female domestic workers.

The competition will feature readings by shortlisted finalists, in addition to a cultural programme put together by migrant worker artists in Singapore.

Assisting with the outreach for the event were organisations such as Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2), Aidha, H.O.M.E., Healthserve, and Banglar Kantha. Though, informal networks of migrant workers also helped spread the word.

Poet Alvin Pang will return as a judge for the finals, and will be joined by playwright Haresh Sharma of the theatre company The Necessary Stage, and Yu Yuan, winner of Singapore’s Golden Point Award for Chinese poetry in 2015.

Judges for the preliminary rounds include Gopika Jadeja, Shane Carreon, Anindita Dasgupta, and Looi Siew Teip.

Hosted by members of the migrant worker community, the event this year is supported by The Embassy of the United States of America in Singapore, The Literary Centre and venue sponsor, the National Gallery of Singapore.

Event Date: 11th December 2016
Venue: The National Gallery
Time: 4.00pm

For more information:

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