Why Are We A Website?
Over a year on, after our first offering, we are proud to present the fifth issue of We Are A Website, our biggest one yet, featuring 13 contributors. In all, we have 15 poems, new works by three artists, and three prose pieces. Like the central object of the opening story by Sandra Arnold, it is a patchwork quilt, but made of words and ideas and lines and colours.
Looking at what we had stitched together this time, we were wondering: Why? Why do we bring together these pieces of literature and art, and why are we online? To a certain extent, editing a literary magazine is in its own small way a creative endeavor, with its own reward of having put together something that pleases the mind and the eye. But more than that, our patchwork quilt also has practical purpose.
From the very start we wanted to be a place, without pretense or a grand premise, where new and good writers and artists could showcase their work. Using the wonderful tool of a website allowed us ease of communication, speed and almost only the cost of our time and effort. We are happy to see that a number of our contributors have gone on to publish in physical form, and we were able to serve, proudly, as teasers, test beds and amplifiers. From Issue 1, poet Rodrigo Dela Pena Jr has gone on to publish his chapbook, Requiem, and is featured in the freshly launched In Transit (Math Paper Press), an anthology about airports and air travel. Artist Jau Goh mounted her debut solo exhibition in June this year, and poet Tse Hao Guang sophomore poetry collection Deeds Of Light (Math Paper Press) was shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize 2016.
Poet-playwright Euginia Tan published her first book, Phedra (Ethos), and the third play of hers to be staged, Dear Jay, premieres at the Esplanade on Dec 15. From Issue 3, ceramist Elizabeth Gan opened her School of Clay Arts at Ubi Techpark, and recently held an open studio event. And writer Wong Wen Pu (Issue 4) this month launches this is how you walk on the moon, an anthology he co-edited for Ethos Books. We look forward to following our contributors further on their artistic journeys, and to celebrating more of their milestones and triumphs.
We are four women, living in two continents, who edit a website. Rooted in Singapore, but looking beyond, we are mindful of gender and location when choosing works to bring to you. We appreciate reflections of home, but with a new slant: images of far away, which we can recognise ourselves in; reimaginings of the cities we inhabit, and constructions of new horizons. We want to discover, reveal and encourage.
Issue 5 embodies that ambition. The past haunts Ng Yuan Siang’s story, while that of Alex Chow takes us on an unsettling journey into the unknown. And G David Schwartz’s prose piece captures the essence of curiosity about even the most insignificant of creatures. A cool modern urban backdrop mingles with the heat of past memories in the poetry of Lawdenmarc Decamora, Goh Li Sian and Lia Varbanova. Ros Lin’s art turns the city into an infinite flight of fancy, while Yurina Rahmanisa builds skylines through colour, texture and depth.
Eileen Lian’s poem explores the untold side of family, and Sean Francis Han gives voice to the silenced, as well as tickling us with an ancient tale we’ve never heard before. Jennifer Anne Champion's delicately stitched words make patters of culture and memory, and the sculptures of Eun Go tells wordless stories by bringing together the found and the created.
We hope these works intrigue and inspire, and make a patchwork whole that, like the quilt in Arnold’s story, not only preserves the past but nurtures the future.
In the spirit of looking to the future, we are pleased to announce our first short story contest. Writing prose takes time, effort, and perseverance, and thus we have less prose than anything else coming through the electronic doors of We Are A Website. We hope a good spirited competition, with a small prize along with great glory, will encourage prose writers out there, and give them that last little push to finish that story waiting at the back of the drawer or hard drive. Details to be announced on our website and Facebook page soon.
Finally a great thank you to all our contributors. Without you, we would not have the incredible material that makes us a website.
Nov 9, 2016