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Biographies
 

Editors

 

Migs Bravo Dutt is a writer and researcher whose work has been published in several countries, regions, and cultures. She has contributed poetry to various anthologies and journals in Singapore, Asia, Croatia, and the USA. Her short fiction has appeared in 22 New Asian Short Stories 2016 and The Best Asian Short Stories 2018. She has co-edited Get Lucky: An Anthology of Philippine and Singapore Writings. She is the author of the contemporary novel, The Rosales House, from Penguin Random House South East Asia: https://penguin.sg/book/the-rosales-house/#


Claire Betita de Guzman is a Filipina writer based in Singapore and author of four novels: Miss Makeover, Budget is the New Black, Girl Meets World, and No Boyfriend Since Birth, which was adapted into a TV series. A former journalist, she started as a news reporter for the broadsheet TODAY before becoming a lifestyle editor for international and local magazines including Cosmopolitan Philippines and Harper's Bazaar Singapore. She is a member of the Singapore Writers Group and has led talks and panels at literary events in Southeast Asia. She holds a degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines and has taken writing courses at the University of Oxford in the UK. Find her online at www.clairebetita.com


Aaron Lee Soon Yong is a pilgrim poet, writing mentor, community organiser and ethics lawyer. He is acknowledged to have played a key part in the 1990s renaissance of Singapore poetry. His three collections of poetry (including Coastlands published in 2014) are critically acclaimed. He also edited several books including the best-selling No Other City: the Ethos Anthology of Urban Poetry and the award-winning Love Gathers All: the Singapore-Philippines Anthology of Love Poetry. Lee’s work is studied at schools and universities, and he is regularly invited to literary festivals around the world. In 2014 Lee and his wife, the national artist Namiko Chan Takahashi, founded the Laniakea Culture Collective to promote humanitarian values and to serve society through the arts.

Eric Tinsay Valles has published two poetry collections, A World in Transit (2011) and After the Fall: dirges among ruins (2014), for which he was shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize. The latter is about keeping memories of trauma alive. He has co-edited four anthologies, Get Lucky (2015), Sg Poems 2015-2016 (2016), Anima Methodi (2018) and The Nature of Poetry (2019). In 2013, he won the Goh Sin Tub Creative Writing Competition Prize. His poems have appeared in Routledge’s New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing,  the Southeast Asian Review of English and other journals. His critical work is featured in The Creativity Market: Creative Writing in the 21st Century, Writing Diaspora and The Asiatic. Valles has read poetry or commentaries at Baylor, Melbourne and Oxford Universities as well as at Kistrech Poetry Festival. Valles is a director of the National Poetry Festival. He writes about the migrant experience and personal trauma with humor and empathy.  
 

Cover Design Artist

Miel is a Visual Artist, Illustrator-Designer and Cartoonist. He works for a newspaper by day and paints at night. He and his family, their pet cat and a fish called "Hannibal", live in Bukit Merah. 


 

Multimedia Web Designer

Desmond Francis Xavier Kon (Zhicheng-Mingdé) is the author of 18 books, spanning the genres of fiction, poetry, memoir, lyric essays, and experimental writing. Founding editor of Squircle Line Press, the former journalist has also edited more than 25 titles. Had writing not become such a large part of his life, Desmond would have been very happy as a designer. He can be found at: desmondkon.com

Contributors

Mia Corazon Aureus is a graduate of Goldsmiths College University of London's Creative Writing Masters Programme delivered through Singapore’s Lasalle College of the Arts. Originally from Quezon City, Philippines, she worked as a commodity reporter in Singapore for five years before moving to Auckland, New Zealand to study filmmaking.

Liza Baccay is a senior clinician in Singapore. She was a fellow to the Cornelio Faigao Writers' Workshop in Cebu and to the National Writer's Workshop in Dumaguete. She was a columnist and a contributor to anthologies in the Philippines. She is elated to continue writing in Singapore. 

McRhon Banderlipe I is an educator and programme manager who previously headed the Southeast Asia lifelong learning programmes team at the National University of Singapore’s School of Continuing and Lifelong Education (SCALE-Global). This is his first foray into poetry. He completed his Master’s degree at NUS and BA History at UP Diliman. He is currently based in Europe reading a postgraduate in Adult and Lifelong Education. 

 

Cello Cabrera is a 13-year-old Filipino living in Sydney, Australia. She was born in Singapore and moved to Australia in 2017. Cello enjoys reading and writing stories and poems.

Manuelita Contreras-Cabrera is a Filipino writer and editor based in Sydney. She had lived in Palawan, Manila, Singapore and, very briefly, Adelaide—which have all muddled her concept of home.

 

Catherine Candano has published her poetry in Asia Literary Review, Asian Cha, Anvil Publishing’s Crowns and Oranges: New Philippine Poetry, Philippine PEN Center’s At Home in Unhomeliness: An Anthology of New Philippine Postcolonial Poetry in English. She volunteers for Singapore’s National Poetry Festival. Professionally, Cathy contributes to Google Asia Pacific partnerships.

Jennifer F. Castillote has been writing poetry since her university years and is passionate about poetry in all its forms—be it visual, written, or performed on stage. She has been overseas for the past 10 years and has been working as a nanny in Singapore since 2016. She completed her BA in English in Iloilo City, Philippines in 1998.

 

Felix Cheong is the author of 22 books across different genres, including poetry, short stories, flash fiction and children’s picture books. His works have been widely anthologised and nominated for the prestigious Frank O’Connor Award and the Singapore Literature Prize. He has also written three librettos, the latest of which is Inconvenience of Minor Parts in collaboration with composer Hoh Chung Shih. Conferred the Young Artist Award in 2000 by the National Arts Council, Felix has been invited to writers festivals all over the world, such as Edinburgh, Austin, Sydney, Christchurch and Hong Kong. He holds a masters in creative writing and is an associate lecturer with Murdoch University, University of Newcastle, Curtin University and the National University of Singapore.

Noelle Q. de Jesus is the author of Cursed and Other Stories (Penguin Random House SEA 2019) and Blood Collected Stories (Ethos Books 2015), which also has a French edition, Passeport (Editons Do 2020). She was born in New Haven, grew up in Manila, studied at the Ateneo de Manila University and has an MFA in Fiction from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She was the pioneering editor of the flash anthology series, Fast Food Fiction, translates Filipino literature into English, and at the moment is completing her first literary novel. She and her husband have raised a daughter and a son, and they are happy to call Singapore home, having lived here for the last two decades and counting.

Rolinda Onates Española is from Bacolod City, Philippines. She worked in Singapore as a foreign domestic worker from 2012 to 2019 for the same employer, one of the good souls who founded Migrant Writers of Singapore. Rolinda is co-editor of Call and Response, a Migrant /Local Poetry anthology. Recently released, No Cinderella is the first volume of her published poetry collection. 

 

Shy Lhen Esposo is from Zambales Philippines, author of Shy I Love You Today and Tomorrow, Dreams Are My Reality and Shy Hawk's Path, 3rd runner up winner of Nucleus Poetry Mother Tongue Language Competition 2017, Migrant Poetry Competition 2019, contributor of Get Lucky, Nomads Choir Poetry journal, and author collaborator of Through Open Hangar Door The Poetry of Shy Lhen Esposo and Nick Ambrister. She worked as a domestic helper for 12 years.

 

Annabelle Fabia de Arroz is an award-winning essayist in college and was a Senior Editor of the Faculty of Engineering, UST official journal, The Thomasian Engineer. She held various leadership roles at District 80(Singapore) Toastmasters International. She regularly features remarkable, fascinating individuals on Facebook (#25otm) and regards Singapore home for the past 15 years.

Cristel Erika B. Guzman is a 13-year-old student of Baggao National Agricultural School, Cagayan Valley. Her poem is spoken word poetry sent to her mother, Kristine Birongoy, who works in Singapore. It gives a message of hope to her fellow teenagers who are facing a lot of pressures and challenges in life.

Ulric Vincenzo B. de Guzman is taking his Masters in Media Studies (Film) at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. He is a BA Communication Arts graduate from De La Salle University, and was the Assistant Editor for Photography at The Lasallian. An avid photographer, foodie, fitness, and film buff, he lived his teenage years in Singapore. 


Heng Siok Tian’s most recent collection is Grandma’s Attic, Mom’s HDB, My Wallpaper (2021). Her past collections include Crossing the Chopsticks and Other Poems (1993), My City, My Canvas (1999), Contouring (2004), Is my body a myth (2011) and Mixing Tongues (2011). She co-authored The Adopted: Stories from Angkor (2015) and Lost Bodies: Poems between Portugal and home (2016). Her short play, The Lift, staged in 1991, was read at the Third International Women Playwrights’ Conference in Adelaide in 1994. In 2000, she was a Fellow with the Iowa International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, USA on a National Arts Council Fellowship. She  participated in literary events in China (1999),  USA (2000), Philippines (2001), Stockholm and Sweden (2007) and France (2012).

Paul M. Jerusalem is a second-generation Filipino writer, creative, and researcher. Born in Singapore, his writing dwells on what it means to be in the spaces between. He is interested in issues of race, diaspora, transnational identity, gender, and sexuality. His writing has been published by Vagabond Press, and can be found in Quarterly Literary Review Singapore and Likhaan: Journal of Contemporary Philippine Literature, among others.

Theophilus Kwek has published four collections of poetry, two of which were shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize. His poems, essays and translations have appeared in The Guardian, Times Literary Supplement, The London Magazine, and Mekong Review, among other publications. He has also written and researched on issues of migration and citizenship, and volunteers with NGOs supporting migrant communities in Singapore. His most recent collection, Moving House, is published by Carcanet Press in the UK. 

 

Windel Anne Lacson is a public policy scholar. She loves writing, music, dance, and making pretty food. She is also a certified yoga instructor.

 

Rea Maac is from Marinduque, Philippines and has been working in Singapore since 2010. Her poem "Alikabok" was shorlisted for the Migrant Workers Poetry Competition 2016 and was included in the anthology Songs from a Distance. She also contributed to the books Our Homes, Our Stories, Voices of Migrant Domestic Workers in Singapore and Call and Response, a Migrant/Local Poetry Anthology.

 

Gonaranao B. Musor is a diplomat and writer previously posted in Cairo, Kuala Lumpur, Doha, and Singapore. He has written for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Rappler, GMA News Online, and was the former editor of www.bangsamoro.com. His work was also featured in the anthology Children of the Ever-Changing Moon: Essays by Young Moro Writers. He holds a BA Psychology (Cum Laude), and is an MA Communication graduate of UP.

 

Marc Nair is a poet who works at the intersection of various art forms. He is currently pursuing projects that involve photography and creative non-fiction. His work revolves around the ironies and idiosyncrasies of everyday life. He has published ten collections of poetry. 

 

Ng Yi-Sheng (he/him) is a Singaporean writer, researcher and activist with a keen interest in the forgotten histories of Southeast Asia. His books include the short story collection Lion City and the poetry collection last boy (both winners of the Singapore Literature Prize), the non-fiction work SQ21: Singapore Queers in the 21st Century, the spoken word collection Loud Poems for a Very Obliging Audience and the performance lecture compilation Black Waters, Pink Sands. He recently edited A Mosque in the Jungle: Classic Ghost Stories by Othman Wok and EXHALE: an Anthology of Queer Singapore Voices. Check out his website ngyisheng.com or his Twitter and Instagram at @yishkabob.

Victor Fernando R. Ocampo is the author of the International Rubery Book Award shortlisted The Infinite Library and Other Stories (Math Paper Press, 2017) and Here be Dragons (Canvas Press, 2015), which won the Romeo Forbes Children’s Story Award in 2012. His play-by-email interactive fiction piece “The Book of Red Shadows” debuted at the Singapore Writers Festival in 2020. He is a fellow at the Milford Science Fiction Writers’ Conference (UK) and the Cinemalaya Ricky Lee Film Scriptwriting Workshop, as well as a Jalan Besar writer-in-residence at Sing Lit Station (2020/2021).

 

Joanne G. Ongkeko started writing when she attended Philippine High School for the Arts. Her Arts Major was Theater Arts though she also started taking Creative Writing as her Elective Arts course. She was also part of PHSA Variations and UPLB Perspective, both the official school newspaper of both schools. Coming to Singapore in 2008, she has attended Screenplay workshops in 2016 at Objectifs Center for Photography and Filmmaking. Joanne now works as a Relationship Manager for Synergy FA.

 

Rodrigo Dela Peña, Jr. is the author of Aria and Trumpet Flourish (Math Paper Press, Singapore) and Hymnal (Vagabond Press, Australia). His poems have been published in QLRS, Likhaan, Rattle, Of Zoos, and other journals and anthologies. He has received prizes from the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, Kokoy Guevara Poetry Competition, British Council, among others. He has been based in Singapore since 2011.

Adrienne Mae Huyo-a Perez was born and raised in Cebu and now works as a nurse in Singapore. She has a passion for writing and enjoys sharing her everyday musings. She’s an avid reader of novels and blogs which give her great inspiration.

 

Sidd Perez is a curator at the NUS Museum. Prior to this position, she was curatorial associate at the Drawing Room (Manila/Singapore) and one half of the curatorial collaborative platform, Planting Rice. 

 

Pamela Wildheart Pilapil is a celebrity showhost, recording artiste, radio star, songwriter, composer, actress, associate lecturer and self-styled foodist.

 

Danton Remoto is a Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Nottingham in Malaysia. He first lived in Singapore as a Visiting Scholar at NUS in 2004. Riverrun, his first novel, was published by Penguin Random House South East Asia last year.


Dinah Roma is professor of literature and creative writing at De La Salle University, Manila. She is the author of three award-winning books of poetry: A Feast of Origins (2004), Geographies of Light (2011), and Naming the Ruins (2014), which is part of the Asia Pacific Writing Series of Sydney-based publisher Vagabond Press. Her fourth collection of poetry, Inevitable Allusions, will be released by the end of this year.
 

Descending from a Filipino mother and Indian father, Reinarethna Selvaraju or “Reina” grew up in an atypical Filipino household. Her poetry is rooted in personal experiences; either trying to reconnect with her roots or capturing a fleeting moment in life, with a tone that either drives strong imagery or pure emotion.       

Melvin Sico is a corporate finance specialist with over ten years of experience. He has a background in investment analysis, equity research, and structured finance. In his career, Melvin has covered a wide spectrum of industries including telecommunications, biotechnology and healthcare. He has experience in financial modelling, valuation, and due diligence.

 

Janelyn Dupingay Vergara is from Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines and has been working in Singapore as a domestic helper since 2015. She came to love writing as it helps her release untold emotions, and which also became her way to connect with fellow migrants. Involved in different organizations that support the welfare of migrants, she was selected as one of the featured speakers for "A Labour of Love I: Spotlight in Tagalog" at the Singapore Writers Festival.  

Monica Walet is a Registered Psychologist and Assistant Professor at the University of the Philippines Los Baños. She has spent more than 20 years of a productive career in teaching, counseling, coaching, organizational consulting, and psychological assessment in various settings in Singapore and the Philippines. As a mental health advocate and international speaker/trainer, she designs and facilitates training programs aimed at promoting the well-being of Filipinos living abroad and their families left behind, guided by the principles of Appreciative Resilience, Mindfulness, Health, and Positive Psychology. Monica is a full member, in good standing, of the American Psychological Association, the Singapore Psychological Society, and the Psychological Association of the Philippines.
 

Georgette Yu has built her career in Singapore specialising in design development from research through production. She has worked as a freelance designer and as an adjunct lecturer and a research associate with the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. 

 

Lawrence Ypil is the author of The Highest Hiding Place which won of the Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First Book Award and, more recently, The Experiment of the Tropics which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards and the co-winner of the inaugural Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Prize. He received an MFA in Non-Fiction from the University of Iowa and in Poetry from Washington University in St Louis. He teaches creative writing at Yale-NUS College.