- About the Author
Brian McElney was born in Hong Kong in the early 1930s, and for more than two decades was one of the territory's top lawyers. But in his spare time, he also put together one of the most comprehensive collections of East Asian antiques in the world, many of them spotted by him amongst the knick-knacks on Hollywood Road and Cat Street. His memoir, Collecting China, starts at the height of the Cultural Revolution in the mid-1960s, when it was just not known whether the Red Guards would storm over the border and start smashing up porcelain on the Mid-Levels, and then tells tales ranging from the Hong Kong of the 1930s through to the establishment by Brian of what is today the only museum specialising in Chinese antiquities in the United Kingdom - the Museum of East Asian Art in Bath.
If the feeling of love is suppressed constantly, it hides in subconsciousness and exists there like a revolutionary going underground, plotting maliciously against consciousness and intending to blow it up. Contrary to this, Toh Hsien Min allows his feeling of love toward everything “we can remember” – and, above all, to the distant and nigh space – come out in the form of excellent poems. He is a poet-cartographer. Just as in his previous book The Enclosure of Love, Toh Hsien Min continues to keep a lyric diary of sorts, in which he records scrupulously the landscapes of the world and of his own soul.
—Regina Derieva, Russia
The lyrical voice implicit in the narrative poetry of Toh Hsien Min is that of the modern city state’s Everyman. The familiar and estranged go hand in hand with what is merely seemingly insignificant in this series of finely tuned philosophical observations, while gently mapping out the “emotional geographies” of modern life on each page. Reminiscent sometimes of Philip Levine or Billy Collins, Toh Hsien Min's new collection of poetry brings yet another proof to what is already certain: the continually strong stand of contemporary Singaporean poetry.
—Henry C. Enbohm, Sweden
Whether he speaks about peeling a clementine, talking with God or not breaking a mirror, Toh Hsien Min is always waiting for you where you don't expect him to show up, a bunch of improbable flowers in his hand. His words are a genuine mixture of observation, reflection and humor, opening up onto challenging insights. —Jacques Rancourt, Canada/France
Toh Hsien Min read English at Keble College, Oxford, where he was President of the Oxford University Poetry Society. He is the founding editor of the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, and his work has been widely anthologized in journals, including the London Review of Books and Poetry Salzburg Review. Hsien Min has been featured in the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Ars Interpres Poetry Festival in Sweden, the Austin International Poetry Festival, and the Queensland Poetry Festival.He has published three poetry collections: Iambus (1994), The Enclosure of Love (2001), and Means To An End (2008). He was awarded the Young Artist Award from the Singapore National Arts Council in 2010.
Cover Type: Paperback
Page Count: 220
Year Published: 2008