UBC Slam Co-founder and poet Lucia Misch is our guest on the show today. Click below to listen!
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Monday, January 18, 2010
This week on a special edition of Wax Poetic we celebrate the life of local dramatist, novelist and poet, Goh Poh Seng, with an interview and reading of his works by his sons, Kagan and Kajin Goh.Goh Poh Seng was born in Malaya in 1936. He received his medical degree from University College Dublin, and practised medicine in Singapore for twenty-five years. In his time living in Singapore, Dr Goh held many honorary positions including the Chairman of the National Theatre Trust Board between 1967 and 1972. He was committed to the development of Art and cultural policies of post-independent Singapore, as well as the development of cultural institutions such as the Singapore National Symphony, the Chinese Orchestra and the Singapore Dance Company.
Goh's first novel, If We Dream Too Long won the National Book Development Council of Singapore's Fiction Award in 1976 and has been translated into Russian and Tagalog. His other books include The Immolation, Dance of Moths, Eyewitness, Lines from Batu FerringhiBird With One Wing. His most recent works are his Collections of Poems, As Though the Gods Love Us and The Girl from Ermita. His work also appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies around the world. Goh lived in Canada to which he emigrated in 1986. He died on 10 January 2010 in Vancouver.
Left. At home in Singapore – circa 1970s
Right: With Professor Dennis Enright, poet and Professor of English at the University of Singapore - Early 1960s
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
from RED ZONE (2009, Pig Squash Press)
Train tracks scrape past the sun-hammered miners’
shacks left over from the last
century. The front side is tarted up
as the Historic Old Quarter. But the backside
holds the story. Just ask the crumbling sunflower
sentries guarding the ass-end
of the Women’s Center. Or the weather-stripped
shiplap on the Bride’s Closet next door
luffing like a beaten flag while some gunk
the color of old blood drips
from a rusty pipe. I know this stuff
because I am now at a sufficiently advanced
stage in my daily rail-walking to support
a head-up gaze at my surroundings without
tumbling into the thorns. Beyond the
bridal store the shaling Occidental
Hotel and Bar prevails like an asylum
for the criminally insane. While across the
tracks a torn quilt pocked with bodily
stains lies splayed on a weedy patch
behind the Thrift Shop – a cardboard box
nightstand totters beside. She will
sleep here again tonight
unless chance finds her at the copshop on
the corner or perhaps in the bed
of someone she meets in the Oxy. And if he’s
not too bad, maybe they’ll get hitched
and pay a visit to the Bride’s Closet (except
that’s likely where her problems started – it’s all so
cyclotronic). He’ll probably keep
spending his nights at the Oxy, coming home
mean, talking fist-speak, till she ducks
out, goes to the Women’s Center, which
will be closed due to funding cuts, so she’ll do
some dumpster diving in the donation box
outside the Thrift Shop till she finds another quilt
and a spot to lie.
* * *
Kim Goldberg is an award-winning poet, journalist and author. She has spent the last three years wandering Nanaimo's back alleys, graffiti galleries, underpasses and homeless camps to create her latest book, RED ZONE – a photo-poetic map of Nanaimo's homeless population. Her previous collection, Ride Backwards on Dragon was a finalist for Canada’s
Lampert Memorial Award for poetry.
More information about Kim's latest book, RED ZONE, can be found at,
More information about Kim's previous book, Ride Backwards on Dragon, can be found at,