Singapore Literature in English


The literature of Singapore offers a glimpse of the various aspects of the Singaporean society. The literature is based on the four main languages of the nation: English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. The credit of introducing English literature in Singapore goes to the Straits-born Chinese community during the colonial period. Our site focussingapore offers detailed information about Singapore literature in English.Although there are no such written evidences that clarify the first work of literature in English published in Singapore but some evidences reveals the first publication of Singapore English literature dates back to the period of 1830s.

F.M.S.R, a pastiche of T.S.Eliot is the first Singaporean work of poetry published in London in the year 1935. Francis P. Ng wrote it. A new wave of writing started to fill the sky of literature in Singapore with the advent of independence in 1965. The new traits of writing were lead by Edwin Thumboo, Arthur Yap, Goh Poh Seng, Lee Tzu Pheng and Chandran Nair. The English poetry in Singapore received a new momentum during the late 1990s when a whole new generation of young poets started to publish their works of art both in Singapore and also in the international field.

Some of the major poets of the region are Boey Kim Cheng, Alvin Pang, Cyril Wong, Felix Cheong and Alfian bin Sa'at. The poetical works of this young generation is often politically aware, transnational and cosmopolitan. Goh Poh Seng a notable poet and novelist have also made a significant contribution in the field of English drama. In this context the contributions made by the late Kuo in the local theatre renaissance during 1980s and 1990s should not be left behind. Some of his finest plays are regarded as the classics of the genre.



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