Robert Yeo is a poet, playwright, novelist and librettist. Regarded as a pioneer of Singapore literature, he was honoured with the prestigious South East Asian Writers Award in 2011 for literary excellence in the ASEAN region.
Featuring over 100 poems personally selected by Yeo, including some of his uncollected poems, this volume presents the best of his work and also includes one previously unpublished libretto, Kannagi.
This book is part of the Singapore Pioneer Poets Series. A showcase of the best works by local literary giants, the Singapore Pioneer Poets Series is a must-have collection for all Singapore literature fans, old and new.
“The wonderful thing is, as a poet working in mid-career at the height of his power, Yeo’s distinctive voice will accompany us into the next millennium, to gently remind us of who we are, where we are, where we have come from and where we are going.”
—Aaron Lee, The Straits Times, Singapore
“His poems are personal poems, reflections on observed reality. They chronicle the developments of an individual consciousness while at the same time they chronicle the developments of Singapore. The parallelism of the poet and the city is unforced but recurrent. It supplied the implicit trajectory of this selection, and allows the personal to expand into the social, filling out the individual observation to a public record.”
—Michael Wilding, Introduction to Leaving Home, Mother
“Yeo's creative talent, indeed, is conspicuously versatile and, accordingly, it is relevant to access, in relation to his poetry, the spread of Robert Yeo's multi-genre output.”
— Syd Harrex, CRNLE Journal, Australia
“In a way, Robert Yeo is a writer because he is in the right place in the right time. Singapore's dramatic ever-changing history from 1940 is Yeo's history, and because his work constantly mirrors, critiques or applauds what is happening there, it is worth looking at his life, his work and his city's development as interdependent strands, which join to produce the fabric we see on the page.”
—George Watt, Interlogue Studies in Singapore Literature Volume 5: Robert Yeo
About the Poet:
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. Currently, he teaches creative writing at the Singapore Management University and mentors in the MAP programme of the National Arts Council. 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, will be staged in August 2012. Yeo was awarded the South East Asian Writers Award in 2011.
Size: 153 x 226mm
Published: August 2012