Enter Stage, Writer’s Guild: Anthology Launch 2016

Reading Time: 4 minutes

By Nicole Doyle (17A01A)

Generally speaking, writers are reclusive creatures. The author, being a member of both Raffles Press and Writer’s Guild, can attest to this fact.

For the previous issues of their annual anthology, Writer’s Guild has been somewhat true to this statement, publicising their anthology through posters and CCA features in Word of Mouth while remaining out of the public eye for the most part. Last Friday however, the CCA took a bold step forward with their first ever public anthology launch in the school’s Blue Room.


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In the words of EXCO member Valerie Ng (16A01B): “Our inaugural launch was essentially a breakaway from the comfort of our seclusion and obscurity as a relatively new CCA to showcase the quality and writing styles of Guild members.”

The launch had some writers read aloud works of theirs featured in the anthology and subsequently explain the impetus behind their pieces. This year, the anthology’s theme was “Enter/Exit”, which captures the reflection of writers in their pieces on issues that were either personal or removed from the realms of their experiences. The writers did not disappoint with their varied interpretations of the theme, with works touching on a wide range of issues from being deaf to a Bruce Lee movie.

Poets and prose writers alike took to the stage to introduce their works to the small, but attentive audience.

Encouragingly, not everyone in the audience was a Guild member, with curious students wandering in throughout the event to give testament to the fact that Writer’s Guild has begun to establish its presence in the school community.

In the foreword of their anthology, Guild stated that their goal was “to not build brick walls, but rather tear them down”. Understandably, some would say that Writer’s Guild is fighting a losing battle; an aversion to literature, especially poetry, has become something of a badge of honour as of late. It is by nature, a beast of words that cannot be tamed with facts the way the sciences, or even the other humanities can be. People tend to find comfort in their rejection of literature as a subject of inconsequence, and here the brick walls appear to stretch for miles.

But one consolation for Guild is that writing has the potential to be so much more than twenty six letters arranged in obfuscating riddles. Ryan Ma, for instance, wields his words in his piece Graduation to evoke an image of loneliness in the midst of graduation and coming of age. This is but a glimpse of some of the very human introspection contained within the anthology.

Besides listening to the live reading, visitors could explore the gallery walk of works in the anthology arranged on mirrors, perhaps an intentionally unusual choice of background on Guild’s part.

The last work showcased during the launch was the piece Night, by Muhammad Hameem. A piece’s position in the anthology was significant in denoting which half of the theme it responded to. In the case of Night, it lay in the center, blurring the lines between entering and exiting as it did with destruction and creation with religious imagery.

In some ways, Night is reflective of the core sentiments of writing. Literature is the deconstruction of human experience and its recreation in any given literary medium. It is our human heart which tames that beast of words; it takes that mess, that tangle of thoughts in our mind, and teases the meaning out of it.

Writer’s Guild may have a demanding task ahead of them in trying to change the general perception of literature being an inaccessible, niche interest, but the launch’s success in attracting non-Guild members has some heartening implications for the future. The CCA’s new direction of greater involvement with the school is also sure to help them along their way. Do be sure to check out their booths during Lit Week in July, with exciting activities such as Typewriter Poetry lined up for the week.

In the meantime, we at Raffles Press would like to commend Writer’s Guild for their first of hopefully many anthology launches to come, and the writers for their enjoyable pieces.

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If you are interested in getting a copy of the anthology, please contact any Guild member.


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