Grace Chia

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Grace Chia is a Singaporean writer, poet, journalist and editor.


She has published numerous books, including poetry, non-fiction and fiction books. Cordelia was published by Ethos Books in 2012 and shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize; and womango was published by Rank Books in 1998.[citation needed] The Cuckoo Conundrum was featured in The Straits Times as one of the choice picks from a box set series of chapbooks published by the NAC-NTU Writer-in-Residencies.[citation needed]

womango engages confessional poetry, poetic prose, concrete poetry and performance poetry to explore themes of identity politics from an Asian, female point of view. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, former Director of the Singapore Writers Festival, Paul Tan, described her work, along with Cyril Wong, as "sensuous and provocative".[1] Publishers Weekly singled out her short story, "Dewy", amongst many others in the speculative fiction anthology, Fish Eats Lion: New Singaporean Speculative Fiction edited by Jason Erik Lundberg for being one of two "uncomfortable takes on domestic employment's darker side".[2]

Her poetry and short stories have been anthologised in literary journals and educational textbooks in Singapore, the US, Australia, Germany, France, and Serbia, including Singapore Literature in English: An Anthology, Understanding Literature, Mining for Meaning, Merlion: An Anthology of Poems, Fish Eats Lion, SilverKris, Di-Verse-City, HOW2, Stylus Poetry Journal, die horen, La Traductiere and Knijzevne Novine.[citation needed]

She edited a selection of poetry by women from and living in Singapore titled Modern Singapore Poetry for an edition of HOW2, an online journal based in Arizona State University.[3]

Chia has been invited to read at various international literary festivals, including the Austin International Poetry Festival, Queensland Poetry Festival, National Young Writers' Festival (Newcastle, Australia) and Singapore Writers Festival. In the UK, she performed her poetry as part of an artistic multimedia ensemble at the Royal College of Art and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with Vuk Krakovic and Len Massey. Along with a group of literary activists in the wake of the late 90s literary renaissance of Singapore, including Alvin Pang, Toh Hsien Min and Cyril Wong, Chia was invited to read at the University of California-Berkeley, the University of California-Santa Barbara and the University of California-Santa Clara.[citation needed]

Chia was the 2011-2012 national NAC-NTU Writer-In-Residence at Nanyang Technological University.[4]

A day after Singapore Literature Prize winners were announced at an awards ceremony on 4 November 2014, Chia, whose poetry collection Cordelia was shortlisted but did not win in the English Poetry section, delivered a speech in absentia at the Singapore Writers Festival. Chia wrote, "The fact that the prize has been given to two co-winners who are both male poets is deeply informing of choice, taste and affirmation. A prize so coveted that it has been apportioned to two male narratives of poetic discourse, instead of one outstanding poet - reeks of an engendered privilege that continues to plague this nation's literary community." In response, poet and literary critic Gwee Li Sui, said, "All entries have an equal chance of consideration for winning, and we discussed it based on that point alone, and on the strengths of the collections." The other poetry judges were poets Leong Liew Geok (who echoed Gwee's views) and Boey Kim Cheng.[5]


  1. ^ "50 Shades of Desire: Bringing Sex to the Singapore Writers Festival". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  2. ^ "Fish Eats Lion: New Singaporean Speculative Fiction". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  3. ^ "Modern Singapore Poetry". Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  4. ^ "NTU-NAC Creative Writing Residencies, 2011-2012 Writers in Residence". Creative Writing Programme. Nanyang Technological University. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  5. ^ Tan, Corrie (9 November 2014). "Poet accuses Lit Prize of gender bias". Singapore Press Holdings. The Straits Times. Retrieved 17 December 2014.