Interview and a Chinese poem on Urban Diary

Urban Diary, an online journal supported by Oval Partnership, has featured my Chinese poem ‘Turtle Jelly’ from my poetry collection Goldfish and an interview on writing poetry in English. To read the full text in Chinese, please go to http://www.urbandiarist.com/012 For the benefit of non-Chinese speakers, an English version of the feature article is appended here: Urban Diary article…

Peppering independent bookshops with arts leaflets

I’ve been helping to put together and distribute poetry contest leaflets for Magma – a nation-wide contest opening this month (16 October). Having dished out a considerable batch to the bookshops in London last month, I am most delighted to come across this gem booklet issued by the Guardian last week – the directory on…

Murakami’s birthday girl

‘The Birthday Girl’ is one of the best short stories I’ve ever read. Published initially in the Guardian in 2006, Haruki Murakami’s story tells of a girl who made a wish when she was twenty, working her shift in a restaurant. I loved it when I first read this story, and to tell the truth,…

West kowloon arts hub in Hong Kong part 1

Graham Sheffield, former artistic chief of Barbican Centre in London has decided to quit his role as CEO of Hong Kong’s HK$21.6 billion (£1.8 billion) West Kowloon arts hub project after five months. He has resigned due to health reasons, although many think that there must be more that triggered his abrupt decision to leave….

Musings on mind boggling social media

Today a friend of mine told me that not replying an email from a boss within three minutes is considered under-performance in her industry. This is probably more acceptable since she is in banking. No wait, I don’t think so. The world is changing too fast, and users are adapting to the digital world or…

Poem inspired by Surreal House show at the Barbican

This is the floor of my mind. The floor. You can curl your limbs and your mind as if in yoga. Fold up your thoughts, one by one, then undo the positions. The stove is hot. Don’t touch it. Don’t touch. And don’t surf. Or I’ll stab your hands with pencils. I mean it. Girl…

Picasso and the Mediterranean mood

Looking at the exclusive family-owned collection of his paintings, sculptures and drawings exhibited at the Gagosian Gallery this summer, it is wonderful to be reminded how irrelevant age is to one’s imagination and creativity. That flamboyant body of work was what Picasso, in his 60s, created in the Mediterranean. The colourful ceramics featured in the…

Arab world in Knightsbridge, London

The London Evening Standard reported a traffic accident of two Arab drivers crashing their Lamborghinis in the streets in Knightsbridge, London, damaging four other expensive cars along the way. Allegedly from wealthy families in Abu Dhabi, these car owners reassured shocked passers-by that they would pay for the damages. Two weeks ago, we had stood…

Oxford: a trip down memory lane

It’s a long time since I’ve gone back to Oxford. Last weekend, we took the one hour train to get there. The sceneries haven’t changed: fields, trees and the occasional cows and sheep. The college is still protected by the same heavy wooden gate the height of two persons or more. They have a new…

My Cultural Life on Observer

I was quite pleased to find out that my contributed article (‘my cultural life’) was published by the Observer, 27 June (p50).