When the Lights Went Off
- About the Poet
As the poet navigates through middle age, beset by questions on ageing, love and loss, and the incipient awareness of mortality, these poems give shape and meaning to those attendants, oft-unspoken anxieties. Through coy irony, imagined personas and leaps of creative faith, Tan’s fifth collection of poetry interrogates the redemptive possibilities of art, promising a journey through the familiar and the off-kilter.
“Frost’s criteria for good poetry - wisdom and delight - are abundantly manifest here, carried by a voice that is characteristically modest, beguiling, and honest.”
—Boey Kim Cheng
“Paul Tan’s new poems are graceful, meditative explorations of the edge in its various avatars. These tensile, tonally rich poems resonant with the teachings of wabi sabi, he transforms the depredations of time and nature into jewel-like reflections.”
“Growing old with Paul Tan is a distinct pleasure … his art has gained new rhythms even as it keeps re-establishing familiarity.”
—Gwee Li Sui
Paul Tan Kim Liang is a poet and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the National Arts Council. He graduated from the National University of Singapore (NUS), where he won the NUS Literary Society Poetry Competition’s first prize in both 1992 and 1993.
Under the Singapore Literature Prize, his debut collection, Curious Roads (1994), won a Commendation in 1993 and his second collection, Driving Into Rain (1998), was awarded a Merit in 1998. Tan has since published three more collections of poetry, First Meeting of Hands (2006), Seasonal Disorders/Impractical Lessons (2014) and When the lights went off (2018).
Prior to being appointed Deputy CEO of the National Arts Council, Tan served as director of the Singapore Writers Festival from 2011-2014.
Cover Type: Paperback
Page Count: 80
Year Published: 2018
Size: 135mm x 213mm