One-Day Literary Writing Lodge in Hong Kong Voices
(Saturday 15 December 2018)
We are excited to announce that the Department of English Language and Literature at the Hong Kong Baptist University is collaborating with the award-winning Cha: An Asian Literary Journal and PEN Hong Kong to organise a very special One-Day Literary Writing Lodge in Hong Kong Voices (Saturday 15 December 2018). Some of the best-known writers in Hong Kong will team up with our linguistics and literature professors to create an exciting daylong writing experience for higher secondary school students.
The idea of the Writing Lodge is to encourage youngsters to write authentically in their own Hong Kong voices in a way that is also intelligible and expressive to a global readership. This is likely to be the next frontier of English literary writing in Hong Kong, and we are enthusiastic to help nurture the best writing talents from among our city’s young people.
We would like to invite teachers from local secondary schools to nominate up to five students per school to participate in the Writing Lodge. The nomination must include:
1) Student’s name and year of study,
2) Name of the school,
3) Name and position of the nominating teacher, and
4) A writing sample (it can be in the form of a poem, a classroom composition, or something that the student has composed creatively on their own initiative) by each of the nominated students.
Nominations should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org (Tammy Lai-Ming Ho) no later than Monday 29 October 2018. We would appreciate it if your set of nominations encompasses students of different backgrounds.
|31 Oct 2018||
❀ Receive nominations of up to five students from each school to participate in the Lodge.
|5 Nov 2018||
❀ Selected students and their teachers will be notified.
|19 Nov 2018||
❀ Receive confirmation of attendance of accepted nominees, with information on dietary constraints, health and physical limitations, to facilitate planning and logistic support.
To ensure that the students benefit maximally from the esteemed writers invited to lead at the Writing Lodge, no more than 30 students will be selected from across Hong Kong.
The Writing Lodge is planned for Saturday 15 December 2018, and will take place at the Hong Kong Baptist University (Kowloon Tong). It is a whole-day event that begins at 9:00am and it will end at around 6:30pm. Students who complete the day’s event will each receive a certificate of participation. The event is sponsored by the Faculty of Arts, HKBU and is free of charge to the participants. Young Post will be the media partner for this event.
Accepted students (and their schools)
Information will be made available presently.
Tammy Ho Lai-Ming is a founding co-editor of the Hong Kong-based international publication Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, an editor of the academic journals Hong Kong Studies and Victorian Network, and the English Editor of Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine. She has also edited or co-edited seven literary books and her literary translations have been published in World Literature Today, Chinese Literature Today, Drunken Boat, Pathlight, among other places, and by the Chinese University Press. Her first poetry collection is Hula Hooping, for which she won the Young Artist Award in Literary Arts presented by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. She is an Associate Professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, where she teaches fiction, poetics, and modern drama. She also serves as the Vice President of PEN Hong Kong, a Junior Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities and an Advisor of the Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing. Her second poetry collection Too Too Too Too and her first collection of short stories Her Name Upon the Strand are forthcoming. She also has two single-authored academic books to be published by Palgrave and Springer. She is the co-organiser (with Eddie Tay) of the Cha Writing Workshop Series, and she is currently co-editing a poetry anthology promoting cross-cultural understanding between the West and Asia for Goldfish Press (USA).
Tammy’s Workshop: If Hong Kong Could Speak
This is a session about using multifaceted voices to narrate Hong Kong, a city that belongs to members of more than one language group. We will begin by reading poems by three locally born poets who use English—their second or third language—to tell uniquely Hong Kong stories that exhibit multilingual characteristics and familiar images of the city and the family. These poems demonstrate that writers in the city can feel comfortable telling stories of their own choosing (be they personal, aspirational or political) using elements from different cultures and languages. Participants are then invited to recall and share one memorable event or incident, either in Hong Kong or in their own daily experience, that took place in 2018, and use this as the inspiration for poems that speak to a Hong Kong ethos. Particular emphasis will be put on the use of the conversational and casual first-person storytelling voice. Collectively, the poems by participants from the workshop will form a poetic snapshot of Hong Kong in 2018.
Akin Jeje is an active poet, a spoken-word performer and a member of PEN Hong Kong. His works have been published and featured in both Canada and Hong Kong. His first full-length poetry collection, Smoked Pearl: Poems of Hong Kong and Beyond was a semi-finalist for the 2009 International Proverse Prize, and published by Proverse Hong Kong in 2010. Akin served as the MC for Hong Kong’s Peel Street Poetry collective from 2007 to 2014, and he is currently one of the three directors of the group. He was also an advisor to the Hong Kong International Young Readers’ Festival, and had been a volunteer moderator for the Hong Kong International Festival from 2012 to 2016. He has performed his poetry for public events and in schools, and has been presenting educational seminars on poetry for primary and secondary school students since 2014.
Akin’s Workshop: Representing the Plurality of ‘Me’ or ‘Myself’
Poetry has been thought of as a means for representation for individuals to express themselves. Numerous writers have discussed different parts of the ‘self’ in their work, most notably W.E.B. DuBois in his essays on race Souls of Black Folk that talked about the idea of “double-consciousness” where black people dealt with both how they saw themselves and how their immediate society viewed them. In poetry, poets such as Pablo Neruda, Langston Hughes, Leung Ping Kwan, Paul Lawrence Dunbar and Jane Hirshfield have all written poems where two or more identities are created to resist stereotypes imposed by society. We will examine how each of these poets from different backgrounds creates different identities within the same speakers to be able to resist being typecast by the outside world. We will then analyse how each speaker in the poem balances between public selves and private selves. Finally, in pairs, we will write poems which show tension between private and imposed identities that the speakers in the poems (not necessarily the poets themselves) negotiate in representing identities. Workshop participants may draw inspiration from personal experience, but they may also draw inspiration from the experiences of others close to them, or simply from observed experience in Hong Kong, greater China or elsewhere in the world.
Collier Nogues’s poetry collections are (Drunken Boat, 2015) and On the Other Side, Blue (Four Way, 2011). Her work has been supported by fellowships and grants from the MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, and Lingnan University. Poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in Jacket2, The Volta, At Length, Jubilat, Pleiades, Massachusetts Review, Cha, and other journals, and as the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day. Her bilingual, digital collaboration with Hong Kong poets and programmers about the ongoing aftereffects of Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement launched in June 2016. She teaches creative writing in the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s MA Programme in Literary Studies, and is a PhD Fellow at the University of Hong Kong, where she studies contemporary poetry’s response to US militarisation. She also co-edits poetry for and and curates Hong Kong’s English-medium poetry craft talk series.
Collier’s Workshop: Using Local Vernacular for a Global Audience/Readership
How can you make your world in Hong Kong come alive for a reader, using your own everyday language? What if that reader lives thousands of miles away and has never been to Hong Kong? In this workshop, we’ll talk about how every poem makes its own world, and how to invite readers in, no matter how far away they may be geographically or linguistically. We’ll look closely at contemporary poems written by Hong Kong poets to see how they incorporate colloquial idioms, Cantonese words, and Hong-Kong-specific scenes for global audiences. And we’ll get a good start on new poems ourselves, generating lines and images that could only happen in Hong Kong, but that can reach any English-language reader.
Eddie Tay is a poet, street photographer and literature professor at the Department of English, Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he teaches undergraduate courses on creative writing, children’s literature and poetry. He also teaches a postgraduate course on autoethnography, photography and social media. He is the author of four volumes of poetry. His first, remnants, consists of renditions of mythic and colonial history of Malaya as well as an homage to the Tang Dynasty poets Li Bai, Du Fu and Li He. His second volume, A Lover’s Soliloquy, extends his interests in Tang Dynasty poetry through renditions of the erotic poetry of Li Shang-yin. It also explores the language of eroticism in the modern city life. His third, The Mental Life of Cities, is a winner of the 2012 Singapore Literature Prize. In it, he experiments with bilingual (English-Chinese) poetry. His fourth collection is Dreaming Cities, which features his street photography and poetry. He is serving as the Reviews Editor at Cha: An Asian Literary Journal and he is the co-organiser (with Tammy Ho Lai-Ming) of the Cha Writing Workshop Series. He has conducted photography and creative writing workshops for primary and secondary school students. He has also conducted workshops for teachers on behalf of the Education Bureau.
Eddie’s Workshop: The Voice of Hong Kong through Images and Imagery
This session will emphasize the importance of the image in poetry. We will look at 3 short poems. I will discuss Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro” and William Carlos Williams’ “The Red Wheelbarrow” to show how images work in poetry. I will then go on to talk about my own poem, “fence”, which comes with an accompanying photograph. I will explain how visual images can be used as a prompt for writing poetry. I will then provide a handout of a few photographs of Hong Kong with a few writing prompts so as to encourage the students to write short poems of their own.
Lian-Hee Wee is Professor of Linguistics and Associate Dean of Arts at the Hong Kong Baptist University. He designed the HKBU Phonology Laboratory in 2009 and served as the lab master until recently. His research is largely in phonology with occasional excursions to syntax, semantics and the extensions of phonology to music, mostly in the Chinese languages and in Asian varieties of English. He has published numerous book chapters and journal articles, and has (co-)authored/edited eight books, the most recent being Phonological Tone (Cambridge University Press) and Social Conflict in Hong Kong: Angles on a Coherent Imaginary. Lian-Hee is author of the popular smart phone learning APP Interactive Phonetics which had been downloaded more than 60,000 times globally and has been translated into Russian. He received the HKBU President’s Award for Outstanding Young Researcher in 2015. Lian-Hee’s poems can be found in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal and in Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine. He occasionally appears in readings organised by Cha. He is also an apprentice and executive committee member at the Choi Chang Sau Qin-Making Society, which is a Protected Unit of Traditional Musical Arts, listed under the National Intangible Cultural Heritage, China.
Lian-Hee’s Opening Lecture: The Beauty in the Real Voices of Poets
The lecture will explain how when the voices of poets are not valued, the poem becomes muted and loses much of its original colour. Through an example of an ancient couplet in the Song Dynasty, we shall get a taste of the extent of the loss. This leads us to the issue of the Hong Kong voice, which can be eloquent and articulate while also fully preserving its distinctive local character. The sound system of English in Hong Kong can be demonstrated to effect a cascade of tonal melodies akin to a spectacular mountain landscape. However, its full potential has yet to be developed, and today, Anglophone writers of Hong Kong stand at the juncture to be the James Joyce and Robert Burns of our time and space.
❀ Dr Tammy Lai-Ming Ho (see “Workshop Instructors”)
Co-Founding Editor, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal
Vice President, PEN Hong Kong
Associate Professor of Literature, HKBU
❀ Professor Lian-Hee Wee
Associate Dean of Arts, HKBU
Professor of Linguistics
Event Organising Assistant
A full-time communication and event management professional by day, Suzanne Lai is also an ardent bibliophile and cinephile by night. With a Bachelor Degree in Comparative Literature specialising in Media and Communications Studies, she straddles both Chinese and English narratives with linguistic agility and untethered imagination. Suzanne has worked in several global integrated communications agencies, as well as news media outlets in Hong Kong and London. She has had a stint in the field of creative writing, as well as journalism, covering topics from lifestyle trends to environmental news. Suzanne’s recent writings, translations and photography works have been published in Twin Cities: An Anthology Of Twin Cinema From Singapore And Hong Kong, Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine, Hong Kong 20/20: Reflections on a borrowed place, and Cha: An Asian Literary Journal.
Nicola Chan has an MA in Comparative Literature from King’s College London, and a BA in English Language and Literature at Hong Kong Baptist University. She is currently a reporter for the South China Morning Post‘s Young Post. Some of her creative writing has been featured on Agora, EDGE: HKBU Creative Journal, HKBU University Library’s Short Edition (Short Story Dispenser), as well as the HKBU’s Faculty of Arts newsletter Arts Fanfare.
Cheng Tim Tim obtained a BA in English Language and Literature & BEd in English Language Teaching from Hong Kong Baptist University. She is currently teaching at HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity. She is one of the co-founding editors of EDGE: HKBU Creative Journal. Her poetry can be found in Voice and Verse Poetry Magazine. She also writes food reviews for greedyvegans.com and makes her friends haiku certificates. She hopes to promote liberal arts education in local secondary schools.
Janet Lau received her BA in English Language and Literature & BEd in English Language Teaching from Hong Kong Baptist University. She was also formerly a Research Assistant at the Department of English at HKBU. Her creative pieces and reviews have been featured on Agora and EDGE: HKBU Creative Journal.
William Ng Wai-Lam is a teacher of English Language at CCC Kung Lee College. He obtained his BA (First Class Honours) in English Language and Literature & BEd (First Class Honours) in English Language Teaching from Hong Kong Baptist University, and an MA in English Literary Studies from The Chinese University of Hong Kong where he studied creative writing. He is interested in learning and writing about the affective aspects of language and reading. His creative and personal works appeared in Agora, EDGE: HKBU Creative Journal, and PEN Hong Kong’s PEN Voices (2017). His favourite writers include John Berger, Carl Phillips, Susan Sontag, Wisława Szymborska, and Oscar Wilde.
(Spiral design in the header image © Ricky Garni.)