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Migrant Worker Poetry Competition 2017

Back with its fourth edition in Singapore, the Migrant Worker Poetry Competition will be held at The National Gallery on the 3rd of December 2017.

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 Writers Festival.

A number have also published their poems with local and international presses alike, and film documentaries have been produced as spin-offs.

Similar to previous years, the event was also held in Malaysia for a third time, seeing a huge jump in participation from migrant workers and refugees a like. A separate event was also held in Hong Kong by local Non-Governmental Organisations.

This year, the organisers in Singapore received 107 submissions, in eight different languages, from poets of seven different nationalities. Judges for the preliminary rounds include Han Zaw (Burmese poems), Elancharan Gunasekharan (Tamil poems), Looi Siew Teip (English and Bahasa Indonesia poems), Yu Yan Chen (Mandarin poems), and Anindita Dasgupta (Bengali poems).

Besides the readings by shortlisted finalists, the event will include the book launch of ‘Songs From a Distance’, a compendium of poems submitted in 2015 and 2016 and published in collaboration with Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2), Potato Productions, and the Migrant Worker Poetry Competition Singapore.

In addition, audiences can also look forward to a theater performance by migrant workers, written and directed by members of the community under the mentorship of Haresh Sharma, of the The Necessary Stage.

Assisting with the outreach for the event were organisations such as TWC2, Aidha, H.O.M.E., Healthserve, and Project X. And continuing their strong support as event sponsors over the years is The Embassy of the United States of America. As with last year, the National Gallery of Singapore serves as the venue sponsor.

Poet Alvin Pang, playwright Haresh Sharma, and winner of Singapore’s Golden Point Award for Chinese poetry, Yu Yuan, all return as judges for the finals this year.

For enquiries please contact: [email protected]