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  • Description
  • Praise
  • About the Author
  • dragon.paper.wind. (龙卷风) is a poetry collection that explores mixed race, bilingualism and the complexities of living in a society still entrapped within the CMIO model of race. In this collection, the author, Crispin Rodrigues, approaches themes of growing up as a mixed-race person, and draws upon the history of mixed-race depictions in history, literature and popular culture to further illustrate the question of hybridity. From poems about monstrosity to poems about the superheroes, the collection calls back to the history of mixed ethnicities in order to draw a path forward.

  • “Crispin Rodrigues’s dragon.paper.wind. forges its own poetics of movement and many-faceted self-exposure. History lives on in the body and in bodily shame. Nonetheless, as Rodrigues writes in ‘comprador’, “i am determined to love this body. its illnesses. its calamities.” These are poems full of attention – a form of love – as much to the body as to the body politic under the duress of global capital. From the imperial conquests of Alfonso de Albuquerque to a Patek Philippe billboard outside a shopping mall in Singapore, nothing escapes Rodrigues's wide-angled gaze. The scope of dragon.paper.wind. is ambitious, but it also drills down into the minutiae of language, drawing out the contradictions in ‘apology’, the swerves between subject and object, and the punning links between Mandarin, Malay and English. The result is a visionary exploration of mixedness as a mode of inquiry.”
    —Will Harris, author of RENDANG and Brother Poem

    “In dragon.paper.wind., Crispin Rodrigues dissects his own body as a site for cultural wars. From skin to tongue to organs to umbilical cord, the poet bares his imperfect entirety as an act of recolonisation and self-empowerment in response to a climate of overt and unconscious biases. Embodying an X-ray vision through a superpower lens, he lasers through societal hypocrisy and habituated behaviour acted upon towards minority citizens. Exquisitely tender, honest and clear-eyed, this book reveals the poet’s turmoil of being mixed race in Singapore and his attempts at claiming back his sutured humanity. Bold, polyglottal and earnest, this is a watershed collection about identity in SingLit.”
    Grace Chia, author of How to Hunger and Cordelia

    “A book about the body—flesh, blood, skin, tongues—and its many origin stories. Within these pages, to borrow the author’s words, “language contemplates its plenitudes.”
    —Tania De Rozario, author of Dinner on Monster Island

    “In unravelling dragon.paper.wind.—the title is a literal translation of the Chinese term for cyclones (and perchance a reference to one of Taiwanese musician Jay Chou’s hit singles?)—one hears, no, feels a new, visceral, pulsating music rushing up. In his first three collections, Crispin Rodrigues assiduously tests the waters, but here, his best, most audacious adventure yet, he has broken through. It’s both his most conceptual and oddly most “freeing” work thus far, in theme, structure and metaphor. The poems are most incandescent when revelling in that strange music, composed not from logic but from an ironic abandonment of ego.

    Sure, you could study the mechanics, but why not just taste the delicious joy these words ooze, buoyed along in a whirlwind sweep of English, Chinese and Malay phraseology, and fascinating portraits dunked in genealogy, fantasy and archival deep-dive? It’s a fulfilment of peripatetic impulses – to seek answers, to find beauty and refuge in the interstices of race, language and family, and to forge one’s own peculiar identity. So, who am I? This is me, says Crispin, in an often glorious, sometimes funny, and absolutely honest admission that he hasn’t quite figured everything, let alone himself, out yet.”
    —Yeow Kai Chai, One to the Dark Tower Comes (2022 Singapore Literature Prize)

  • Crispin Rodrigues is a writer who is interested in mixed-race identities and mixed bodies. He is the author of three collections of poetry and the co-editor of an anthology of Singapore-based youth poets, entitled Crazy Little Pyromaniacs. His poems, short fiction and reviews have appeared in a several journals and anthologies. He is also the organiser of Uncanny Yishun, a literary tour of his hometown. You can follow him on Instagram at @dragon.paper.wind.

ISBN: 9789811889455
Cover Type: Paperback
Page Count: 88
Year Published: 2024
Size: 210mm x 148mm
Language: English