Does the moon count as abroad? Okay, Kelly Kaur has not been to the moon, but one of her poems will be in a time capsule on the Nova Collection of the Lunar Codex – Nova-C mission (June 2023). In addition to the moon time-capsule, her work has appeared on beer cans (Blindman Session Beer Cans), travelled around North Dakota (North Dakota Human Rights Arts Festival, visiting six museums in North Dakota), and been anthologized. Her poem, “The Justice of Death,” was awarded Honourable Mention in the Creators of Justice Literary Awards, International Human Rights Art Festival, New York.
Kelly Kaur grew up in Singapore, came to Calgary to get her degrees at the University of Calgary, and now teaches at Mount Royal University in Calgary.
She returned to Singapore for three months this autumn to gather more stories and launch her book at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (October 27-30, 2022). Her novel, Letters to Singapore, was published by Stonehouse Publishing, May 1, 2022.
Kelly Kaur has kindly consented to share two poems with us for the winter solstice.
A Singaporean’s Love Affair I utter in clandestine code Nasi lemak, mee rebus, mee siam Paratha, mee pok, char kway teow, Biryani, nasi padang, rojak, char siew pao, Roti john, mee soto, popiah, putu piring Embedded in my genetic soul Ravenous for the familiarity of a satiating sustenance a childhood defined a hungry rebellion usurped a displaced gluttonous immigrant lost in a gumbo of new worlds a legacy of bewilderment longingly relishing fuel that coursed through my veins I prattle my mindless mantra Durian, satay, ice kacang, kaya, teh tarik Ketupat, laksa, lontong, dosai, agar agar Putu piring, wonton mee, chili crab Bak kut teh, chendol, gado gado A foreigner Forever famished — “A Singaporean’s Love Affair,” will go to the moon in a time capsule (The Nova Collection - Lunar South Pole Region, Q1 2023 via SpaceX Falcon 9 / Intuitive Machines Nova-C Lander in June 2023).
My Love is a Durian My love is a furtive durian prickly, bristly, inaccessible take time to comprehend lovingly map out the thorns riven by invisible clefts wrench open hidden fissures within fissures thrust your impatient fingers deep into the pungent flesh nestling pale yellow, corpulence sometimes, sweet manna sometimes, squelchy pulpy mess sometimes, rotten permeated mush prick your passionate explorations until you compellingly whiff how my faltering love reeks like an unfathomable durian — “My Love is a Durian” selected for The Best Asian Poetry 2021, Singapore and Asia Pacific, edited by Sudeep Sen, Kitaab International, December 2021.
- Listen to Kaur read her prose poem, “First Snowfall” for Blindman Brewing.
- Kaur’s “The Music of Laughter” in Understorey.
- Kelly Kaur’s publications.
- The Lunar Codex.
- North Dakota Human Rights Arts Exhibition
- Kelly Kaur on the art of letter writing at Alllitup.
- Asian Review of Books reviews Letters to Singapore.
- Gaby Rusli reviews Letters to Singapore in Asia Media International (December 8, 2022).