Monday, February 22, 2016

Anne Lee Tzu Pheng

Anne Lee Tzu Pheng is a Singapore poet whose collections include The Brink of an Amen, and most-recently Standing in the Corner (2014, Landmark Books). She was awarded the Singapore Cultural Medallion for Literature in 1985, and Chile's Gabriela Mistral Award in 1995. She has recently retired from her position as a senior lecturer in the English Department of the National University of Singapore.

She is one of her nation's most distinguished poets, and along with Edwin Thumboo is a pioneer of Singapore poetry. Her book Short Circuits: Through the Catchments of Faith and Writing is a collection of short vignettes about her experiences with poetry, writing and God. Singapore poet Aaron Lee directed her work to my attention.

All Crooks

we are all crooks
caught in the hand
of the Chief Shepherd
he uses us as hooks
to bring the strays back


As my years burn down
you put me to new use,
place me upon the palm
---held up to you,
---that I may light
---a way for two:
---just so, in time,
---his light may be
---upon another hand
outstretched, like me.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection, Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis, is available from Wipf & Stock as is his earlier award-winning collection, Poiema.