Robert Yeo at Eighty: A Celebration
- About the Author
A celebratory portrait of a man who has left an indelible mark on the national literary scene.
Robert Yeo is a national treasure. His poetry, plays and edited anthologies have contributed significantly to Singaporean literature over his long career, leading to his reception of the Public Service Medal in 1991 and the S.E.A. Write Award in 2011 for lifetime achievement.
To celebrate his 80th birthday, NUS professor Dr Ismail S. Talib assembled a wealth of tributes from Robert's friends, both local and abroad, such as, in Singapore, Catherine Lim, Ovidia Yu, Rajeev Patke and Suchen Christine Lim; and, internationally, A. Robert Lee, Paul Sharrad, Chetana Nagavajara and Alfred Yuson—that point to life-changing encounters with Yeo and his works.
This encomium presents the portrait of a man who has left an indelible mark on the national literary scene, and whose writing remains vital and relevant today.
“Robert Yeo is one of Singapore’s literary icons. He is a brilliant writer, an inspiring teacher and a generous mentor. His plays have become Singaporean classics. I admire Robert Yeo very much. I admire his literary achievements as well as his courage and indomitable spirit.”
—Tommy Koh, Ambassador-At-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
"I believe Robert Yeo’s plays not only made it possible for me to write my own plays; but also paved the way for future work in different media like Sonny Liew’s The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye."
—Ovidia Yu, award-winning author and playwright
Robert Yeo has published poetry and a novel, staged plays, written essays on cultural policy and theatre, compiled anthologies on Singaporean literature and co-written books on the teaching of literature in secondary schools. In 1978, he attended the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program and was a Fulbright Scholar in 1995. For more than a decade, from 1977 onwards, he was Chairman of the Drama Advisory Committee, which helped to develop theatre in Singapore, especially English-language theatre, and for this work he was awarded the Public Service Medal in 1991. His collection of poems Leaving Home, Mother was published in 1999 and his three connected plays were published in 2001 as The Singapore Trilogy. In October 2009, his second libretto titled Kannagi, a short chamber piece based on an Indian epic poem, with John Sharpley as composer, was staged in Singapore’s Sri Mariamman Temple. His first libretto, a full-length work titled Fences, also with John Sharpley as composer, was staged in August 2012. Yeo was awarded the S.E.A. Write Award in 2011.
Dr Ismail S. Talib (editor) is an Associate Professor at the Department of English Language & Literature of the National University of Singapore. He received his BA (Hons) from the University of Singapore, his MA from the National University of Singapore and his PhD from the University of East Anglia.
Cover Type: Paperback
Page Count: 224
Year Published: 2020
Size: 198mm x 129mm