2020 poet in residence
Yeow Kai Chai
Yeow Kai Chai is a poet, fiction writer, and editor from Singapore. He has two poetry collections, Pretend I’m Not Here (2006), and Secret Manta (2001), which was adapted from an entry shortlisted for the 1995 Singapore Literature Prize. He graduated with a Master of Arts in English from the National University of Singapore where he won top prizes in poetry and creative prose for two years in the Literary Society’s annual competition.
He co-wrote a collection of short stories, The Adopted: Stories from Angkor (2015) and a collection of verse, Lost Bodies: Poems Between Portugal and Home (2016), with three other authors. His writing has appeared in journals like Sweden’s Ars Interpres and France’s La Traductiere as well as anthologies like the W.W. Norton & Co.’s Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond (2008). He co-edited Reflecting On The Merlion: An Anthology Of Poems (2009). He was the deputy editor of the Life! section, The Straits Times, where he reviewed music and wrote on pop culture.
He later became the editor of My Paper, a bilingual free-sheet. He curated the multi-sensory performance, Modern: Resonance, which was commissioned by Goethe-Institut Singapore, as part of the Bauhaus centenary, in 2019. A co-editor of Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, he served as Festival Director of the Singapore Writers Festival from 2015 to 2018, and helped launch the nationwide music platform, Hear65, for Singapore’s National Arts Council, in 2018.