Writing blog tour

Thanks to Penny Boxall for inviting me to take part in this writing blog tour! What am I writing on?  At the moment I am obsessed with anything to do with identity, history and visual art: Matisse’s colourful cutouts, butterflies, lost keys, misplaced library books, children’s innocent remarks, train journeys when one looks out of…

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…

Thoughts after Michael Marks Poetry Pamphlets Awards

After the Michael Marks Poetry Pamphlets awards and poetry reading event, I am now in possession of three award-winning pamphlets by James McGonigal, Olive Broderick and Sophie Robinson. These very slim and yet thoughtfully made volumes are absolute gems. For one thing, they rarely sit smugly on bookshelves in chain bookstores. You have to make…

The Guardian and me

I am having fun with my Guardian style book, which is a precious gift from someone. A few of the entries are particularly inspiring, in some cases amusing ideologies. Oxford comma A comma before the final “and” in lists: straightforward ones (he had ham, eggs and chips) do not need one, but sometimes it can…

Coffee break reading

I was rereading my automatic writing the other day and quite enjoyed it. Just a snippet to share here: Nothing kills boredom this spectacular air conditioned smart suit finger drumming existence everyone waiting for a holiday amusing to have even a useless chat with colleagues and to spend some time alone in front of a…

Chinese language: the imagery in slangs

I have been thinking about the fascinating gaps in meaning for English-Chinese translations and vice versa. Meanings hidden, those creeping up your side unawares and words  paradoxical. Some of these slangs or catch-phrases commonly used in Cantonese are highly telling, and a plain translation of its meaning is almost impossible. Yet the mere attempt of…

And

The English has done wonders to the conjunction ‘and’. There is hardly anything that cannot be fit together with that magic word. The starker the contrast, the more memorable and endearing. Many lovely brand names and pub names are formed this way. Anchor and Hope  (old gastropub fit for a king) Elephant and Castle (a most fascinating…