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THE EXPERIMENT OF THE TROPICS:
POEMS by Lawrence Lacambra Ypil
978-0-9828142-5-3

$16.00 / Paperback / 6" x 9" / 64 pages
Gaudy Boy, April 6, 2019

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Co-winner of 1st Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Prize, selected by Wong May.

Returning to early-twentieth-century Philippine photographs during the time of American occupation, The Experiment of the Tropics asks, “How does one look at the past?”

By braiding the music of anthropology with the intimacy of the lyric, Lawrence Ypil explores history’s archives and excavates a city, both real and imagined, that is constituted by the shimmer of petal and porch, coral and brass—a river-refrigerator where women catch their reflections on the sheen of magazines and men lean against the walls of old houses and beckon, come here.  So, we approach.

The Experiment of the Tropics is a meditation on the nature of cities, the revelatory power of photography, and the startling capacity of poetry to cut into the violent but redemptive parts of history.

Lawrence Lacambra Ypil is a poet and essayist from Cebu, Philippines. He has received an MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa and an MFA in poetry from Washington University in St Louis on a Fulbright Scholarship. His first book of poems, The Highest Hiding Place (2009), was given the Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First Book Award, and his work has received numerous awards including The Academy of American Poets Prize, the Philippines Free Press Awards, and the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards. He teaches creative writing at Yale-NUS College in Singapore.

PRAISE

“[What is extraordinary is [Ypil’s] style . . . clean, plain, no-nonsense prose of a poet—the beauty of which makes it poetry. In whose hands, as in the company of Duras, Calvino, etc., one can see how poetry is indeed a tool of exploration towards mapping the world, a continual process of defining and modulation, always tentative. If language is the house of our being and poetry alone assuages our homesickness, the work being extremely terrestrial necessarily transcends the local, however heavily saturated with local colors. One lifts the pages of a family album with the poet, one falls under the spell.”
—Wong May, author of Picasso’s Tears

“Larry Ypil knows that poetry—like photographs, and like life itself—is a conjuring act. . . .  The poems in The Experiment of the Tropics magically capture what Freud, and Janet before him, once called the ‘subconscious’—that ever-fascinating layer of undying embers smoldering below the threshold of conscious awareness. . . . [These poems feature] the remarkable mind of an exceptional poet who has, against the backdrop of colonial history, brilliantly put into words those covert feelings that complicate our everyday desires and ‘disconcert the world.’”
—Mary Jo Bang,
author of The Last Two Seconds

 “What seems far away in time comes closer in Ypil’s writing, and the past no longer seems past. The incremental music of his lines shares something with Philip Glass’s sonic weather. His poems build, twist, shift, and turn slowly but inexorably, pulling the reader forward. While the lines initially seem straightforward and descriptive, they become mysterious as Ypil weaves more and more information into his poems. ‘Four men did not equal four men unless the last one standing was laughing,’ he writes, bringing us to a resonant place that meshes together the documentary and the imaginary. By bringing together these divergent strands, Ypil is able to something more: he teases out what is erotic in the everyday.”
—John Yau, winner of the 2018 Jackson Poetry Prize

 “These poems are (as John Berger says of photographs) ‘quotations from appearances,’ fragmentary, discontinuous, ambiguous. With their surprising, capricious conceits, these ruminations on place, time, image, and memory bespeak a distinct intelligence and sensibility. Ypil is one of the finest poets from the Philippines today.”
—Resil B. Mojares, National Artist of the Philippines for Literature

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THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF HORSE: A POEM
by Jenifer Sang Eun Park
978-0-9828142-4-6

$16.00 / Paperback / 5.5" x 8.5" / 90 pages
Gaudy Boy, April 6, 2019

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Co-winner of 1st Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Prize, selected by Wong May.

A frenetic tour of a splayed self writing through an equine obsession.

I became obsessed. I swallowed myself whole and turned into a knot. I couldn’t undo myself, so I crawled inside a horse. Inside the horse I hardened, and then broke. The horse collected the pieces and glued me back together. I unraveled the horse and stitched it back together. The horse trampled me and I burned through its hooves.

Autobiography of Horse documents Jenifer Sang Eun Park’s obsessive and parasitic relationship with the horse. At one point a muse, the horse is transformed into a vessel used to travel the volatile hollows of memory, selfhood, depression, and loss. To make this journey, the horse mutates from an image into a companion, a projection, and a reflection that, as Wallace Stevens wrote in “The Noble Rider and the Sound of Words,” injects imagination with “the strength of reality.”

Presented in lyrical prose, diagrams, photos, and conceptual excerpts from imagined texts, Autobiography of Horse pieces together a true story spurred by a tormented, pathological, and, ultimately, redemptive imagination.  

Jenifer Sang Eun Park was born in Denver, CO. She earned her MFA in Poetry from the University of Alabama and is the author of the chapbook, When the Horse Lights the Night (Essay Press). She lives in Tuscaloosa and teaches at the University of Alabama.

 PRAISE

“The horse inhabits the poet . . . the way Kafka’s Gregor Samsa found himself morphed into a beetle. It is . . . the diary of young poet—the making of a particular one with a unique sense and sensibility. . . . The vision, if nightmarish, is broad and bold, never narrow or confining. . . . Above all, it stands alone. This is an original [that] won my heart.”
—Wong May, author of Picasso’s Tears

“Memoir, history, myth, fiction, song—Jenifer Sang Eun Park’s poem gallops through its genres with fearsome and thrilling force. The voice here is brutal, intimate, smart as a whip, and above all wholly authentic. . . . This unique, perpetually surprising, and utterly convincing poem that will start that horse inside you running.”
—Joel Brouwer, critic and author of Off Message

“Here is a lyric documentary of the . . . human-horse-human psyche, ‘the who that has been pulling the what of me through a burnt field.’ It takes a commodious multi-genre and multi-voiced poem full of shifting texts and figures, photos and histories, to chart this phenomenological territory. It takes a thoroughly wild imagination. And heart-stopping phrasing and narratives, violence/love/hope in the crosshairs…. Autobiography of Horse is a riveting page-turner. A dazzling debut.”
—Roin Behn, author of Quarry CrossThe Yellow House, and Horizon Note.

“A mesmerizingly obsessive book. The poet’s obsession with HORSE in all its history, energy, grace, suffering, and beauty gradually yields to a reluctant but deepened knowledge of self and the complexities of family history. ‘Like a tug-of-war, the more I write, the more of the rope I gain, and the closer the horse gets to me.’ The read is a ride, full of obsessive documentation, visuals, quotation, and self-scrutiny. An odd and wonderful first book full of courageous persistence.”
—Hank Lazer, author of Slowly Becoming Awake (N32)

“Tristram Shandy’s enigmatic ‘hobbyhorse’ opened the door for theoretical (and theatrical) metaphor. Jenifer Sang Eun Park expands the metaphor in this searching hybrid text. Energetic and evocative, the author explores language as a Trojan horse, unpacking emotional layers to reveal an alternate consciousness in a unique, informative reimagining of the epic poem.”
—Jeffery Cyphers Wright, author of Blue Lyre

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MALAY SKETCHES: STORIES
by Alfian Sa’at

978-0-9828142-3-9
$16.95 / Paperback / 5" x 8" / 212 pages
Gaudy Boy, March 1, 2018
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Selected by Electric Literature as 1 of 7 short-story collections to read in 2018.

An urgent collection of short stories from one of Singapore’s most celebrated voices, published in America for the first time.

A hijab-wearing schoolgirl who refuses to shake the president’s hand. A woman who joins a dating website for “East-West” connections and instead meets a Muslim French-Canadian man in her Arabic language class. The hantu tetek—a ghost who kills children by squeezing their heads between her breasts. A Malay doctor embarrassed by his patient’s teen pregnancy. A sleeping boy on the bus who awakens a sudden feeling of tenderness in a lonely stranger.

Precise yet universal, grounded yet probing, Malay Sketches gives us a prismatic window into the doubly minoritized Malay-Muslim community in Singapore. Alternating between flash fiction and longer ruminative stories, Alfian Sa’at adopts the role of compassionate and creative demographer, tracing the inner lives of his fictional characters as they navigate individual and collective nostalgias, religious piety and doubt, and issues of class and race.

Alfian Sa’at is a Singaporean author, playwright, poet, and translator. He has written more than thirty plays in English and Malay that have been read and performed all over the world. He is the author of the short-story collection Corridor and the poetry collections One Fierce Hour, A History of Amnesia, and The Invisible Manuscript. His awards include the National Arts Council Young Artist Award for Literature, the Golden Point Award for poetry, and three Life! Theatre Awards for Best Original Script. Malay Sketches is his first work to be published in the US. Currently the resident playwright of the acclaimed theater group W!LD RICE, he lives in Singapore.

PRAISE

“The first time I read Malay Sketches, I was intrigued by the dialogue Alfian Sa’at had created between a pre-modern colonialism and a postmodern empathy. The second time I read it, I admired its pitch-perfect language and the warm but acute understanding of characters who do not represent ideas, but live individual lives. Alfian is less the promise of a new generation of post-colonial writers than he is the leading edge of transition to an exciting and contemporary national literature of Singapore.”
—Harold Augenbraum, Franke Visiting Fellow at the Whitney Humanities Center of Yale University and past executive director of the National Book Foundation

“Terse and profound, deliciously local and specific and thus absolutely relevant to us all now, Malay Sketches opens us up to a world we need to know. A huge pleasure and a must-read.”
—Gina Apostol, author of Gun Dealers' Daughter, PEN Open Book Award winner

“Afian Sa’at’s Malay Sketches offers a nuanced and moving portrait of Singapore’s Malay community. With a beguilingly light touch, Alfian tackles weighty matters of race, class, gender, and language. These quicksilver sketches, often quietly humorous and always compassionate, are a deep pleasure to read and ponder. By turns rueful, dejected, fierce, disgraced, uplifted, baffled, and more—there’s so much life here!—Alfian’s characters are memorably real. This is a charming, incisive, and graceful book.”
—Martha Cooley, author of Guesswork and The Archivist

“Deft and sure-footed, these short, sharp pieces function both as necessary jibes in the face of mainstream complacency, and as a tender, clear-eyed evocation of the Singaporean Malay experience.”
—Jeremy Tiang, author of State of Emergency and It Never Rains on National Day

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From Latin gaudium meaning joy, Gaudy Boy publishes books and media that delight readers and viewers with the various powers of art. The name is taken from the poem “Gaudy Turnout” by Singaporean author Arthur Yap, about his time abroad in 1970's Leeds, UK. Similarly inspired, Gaudy Boy brings literary works by authors of Asian heritage to the attention of an American audience. We publish poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction of exceptional merit. To submit a fiction or creative non-fiction manuscript, please query Jee Leong Koh at jkoh@singaporeunbound.org with the completed book proposal below.  For poetry manuscripts, please submit to our annual Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Contest (submission period: February 15 to May 1, 2019). Follow us on Facebook.


Books by our friend, Bench Press

Equal to the Earth  Poems by Jee Leong Koh — In his first full-length collection, Koh speaks with a range of voices—ancestral, recent, and contemporary—and travels a span of ground to investigate the imaginary claims of community and self. At the center of this investigation, as of the book, lies the great question of love.  6x9, perfect bound, 95 pages, $15.00.   Buy from Amazon.    "Koh is a vigorous, physical poet very much captured by the expressive power of rhythm, rhetoric, and the lexicon. He is also, paradoxically, a poet in pursuit of the most elusive and delicate of human emotions. The contradiction is wonderful and compelling, and so are his poems."—Vijay Seshadri, author of  The Long Meadow  (Graywolf Press)

Equal to the Earth
Poems by Jee Leong Koh

In his first full-length collection, Koh speaks with a range of voices—ancestral, recent, and contemporary—and travels a span of ground to investigate the imaginary claims of community and self. At the center of this investigation, as of the book, lies the great question of love.

6x9, perfect bound, 95 pages, $15.00.
Buy from Amazon.

"Koh is a vigorous, physical poet very much captured by the expressive power of rhythm, rhetoric, and the lexicon. He is also, paradoxically, a poet in pursuit of the most elusive and delicate of human emotions. The contradiction is wonderful and compelling, and so are his poems."—Vijay Seshadri, author of The Long Meadow (Graywolf Press)

Seven Studies for a Self Portrait  Poems by Jee Leong Koh —  Seven Studies for a Self Portrait , Jee Leong Koh's third book of poems, subjects the self to an increasingly complex series of personal investments and investigations. Ever-evolving, ever-improvisatory, the self appears first as a suite of seven ekphrastic poems, then as free verse profiles, riddles, sonnet sequences, and finally a divan of forty-nine ghazals. The discovery the book makes at the end is that the self sees itself best when it is not by itself.   6x9, perfect bound, 124 pages, $15.00.  Buy from Amazon.

Seven Studies for a Self Portrait
Poems by Jee Leong Koh

Seven Studies for a Self Portrait, Jee Leong Koh's third book of poems, subjects the self to an increasingly complex series of personal investments and investigations. Ever-evolving, ever-improvisatory, the self appears first as a suite of seven ekphrastic poems, then as free verse profiles, riddles, sonnet sequences, and finally a divan of forty-nine ghazals. The discovery the book makes at the end is that the self sees itself best when it is not by itself.

6x9, perfect bound, 124 pages, $15.00.
Buy from Amazon.

Lightly in the Good of Day  Poems by Bob Hart — Bob Hart is a joker, a trickster, a gambler. He plays with life for the highest stakes, nothing less than immortality, fullness, significance. Not for him the solemn approach to these ponderous subjects, but the sleight-of-hand to match, and trump, chance, emptiness, and transience. A pun, an accident of language, may be endowed by poetry with meaning. In Bob’s hands, a stone may be “a well of things well felt.”  Bob Hart grew up in Harlem, on 145th Street, 142nd Street, and 158th Street. He served in the army from 1952 to 1954, and was stationed in Germany during the Korean War. Now he works for a mail sorting company in Midtown West, and lives in Brooklyn. He has a previous small book of poems titled  Acrobat . This is his second book.  6x9, perfect bound, 84 pages, $15.00.   Buy from Lulu.

Lightly in the Good of Day
Poems by Bob Hart

Bob Hart is a joker, a trickster, a gambler. He plays with life for the highest stakes, nothing less than immortality, fullness, significance. Not for him the solemn approach to these ponderous subjects, but the sleight-of-hand to match, and trump, chance, emptiness, and transience. A pun, an accident of language, may be endowed by poetry with meaning. In Bob’s hands, a stone may be “a well of things well felt.”

Bob Hart grew up in Harlem, on 145th Street, 142nd Street, and 158th Street. He served in the army from 1952 to 1954, and was stationed in Germany during the Korean War. Now he works for a mail sorting company in Midtown West, and lives in Brooklyn. He has a previous small book of poems titled Acrobat. This is his second book.

6x9, perfect bound, 84 pages, $15.00.
Buy from Lulu.

Try to Have Your Writing Make Sense: The Quintessential PFFA Anthology  — The first ever poetry anthology from the premier online workshop Poetry Free-for-all. Edited by workshop moderators Howard Miller and Donna Smith, this volume presents the writing of new and established poets. The contributors, who come from all over the world, are Emilio Aguilera, David Gwilym Anthony, Margit Berman, Nicolette Bethel, Rachael Briggs, Laurie Clemens, Malinda Crispin, Risa Denenberg, Vicky MacDonald Harris, M.E. Hope, Rene Kennedy, Jee Leong Koh, Mike Lane, Anne Lindsay, Gaye McKenney, Howard Miller, Donna Smith, Suzanne Tidei, Meredith Weiers, and Dave Wiseman.  6x9, perfect bound, 52 pages, $15.00.   Buy from Amazon.

Try to Have Your Writing Make Sense: The Quintessential PFFA Anthology

The first ever poetry anthology from the premier online workshop Poetry Free-for-all. Edited by workshop moderators Howard Miller and Donna Smith, this volume presents the writing of new and established poets. The contributors, who come from all over the world, are Emilio Aguilera, David Gwilym Anthony, Margit Berman, Nicolette Bethel, Rachael Briggs, Laurie Clemens, Malinda Crispin, Risa Denenberg, Vicky MacDonald Harris, M.E. Hope, Rene Kennedy, Jee Leong Koh, Mike Lane, Anne Lindsay, Gaye McKenney, Howard Miller, Donna Smith, Suzanne Tidei, Meredith Weiers, and Dave Wiseman.

6x9, perfect bound, 52 pages, $15.00.
Buy from Amazon.