Contributors / September 2010 (Issue 12)

Guest Editor
ImageRoyston Tester helped select the poetry and prose. See his Cha profile.

Martin Alexander
ImageMartin Alexander is a prize-winning writer whose poetry, short stories and travel writing have been widely published. He is Poetry Editor of the Asia Literary Review, a member of the HK Writers' Circle and an organiser of Hong Kong's poetry group, OutLoud. In March 2004 he published a collection of his poems, Clearing Ground (Chameleon Press), and in 1999 he won the South China Morning Post Short Story Competition. In 2009 he was awarded the Orient-Occident International Grand Prix for Poetry and was a finalist in the Bradt / Independent on Sunday Travel Writing Competition. He has been a featured writer at festivals in Hong Kong, China, Egypt, Singapore and Romania. [Read]
ImageShikhandin has been published in India and abroad in both online and print journals and anthologies. She has won prizes in poetry contests in India and one of her poems was long listed for the Bridport Poetry Prize 2006, while "March" was commended in the Writelinks' Spring Fever Competition, 2008. Also, her story "Ahalya's Valhalla" was among Story South's Million Writers' notable stories of 2007. Biswas was a participating poet in the 2008 Prakriti Foundation Poetry Festival in Chennai and a featured poet during the Poetry Slam organized jointly by the US Consul General, Chennai and The Prakriti Foundation in December 2009. She continues to write full time and blogs mainly here. [Read]
Sarah Brennan
ImageSarah Brennan is the Australian author and publisher of the best-selling Chinese Calendar Tales (The Tale of Chester Choi, The Tale of Run Run Rat, The Tale of Oswald Ox and The Tale of Temujin to date) as well as the popular Dirty Story series. She is also author of the seditious parenting advice manual Dummies for Mummies published by Haven Books. A featured author in the Man Hong Kong Literary Festival in 2004, 2008 and 2009 and the Shanghai International Literary Festival in 2010, Brennan has conducted reading tours, workshops and weeks in residence in Hong Kong, Sydney, Shanghai, Beijing and Singapore. Her particular mission is to bring Asian culture, history and landscape to young English speakers everywhere through the medium of humour and verse, while at the same time giving children living in Asia stories that relate to their own heritage. All of Brennan's books are illustrated by Hong Kong's much-loved cartoonist from the South China Morning Post, Harry Harrison. She lives in Hong Kong with her French husband, two daughters and a mischievous cocker spaniel. Visit Brennan's website and blog for more information. [Read]
Peters Bruveris
ImagePeters Bruveris wasborn in Riga in 1957, and after graduating from the Department of Art and Culture at the Latvian State Conservatory worked as a literary consultant to the newspaper Latvian Youth and as the director of the literary department of the newspaper Art and Literature. Eight collections of his poetry have been published: Black Thrush, Red Cherries (1987), Amber Skulls (1991), Sitting On A Park Bench (1994), Black Bird’s Nest in the Heart (1995), Flowers for Losers! (1999), Love Me God (2000), The Landscape of Language (2004), and Behind Glass (2006). He has also written four books for children, librettos and song lyrics as well as texts for animation films; he wrote the song lyrics for a production of The Good Soldier Shveyk at the Daile Theater in 1998, and the script for the animated film Unusual Rigans in 2001. In collaboration with musician Aigars Voitišíis, Brûveris recorded an album, Glass Boats, in 2009. He has been involved in the ambient music and environmental science project Nature’s Concert Hall. With poet Uldis Bçrziòš, he translated and edited a collection of Turkish poetry titled Courtyards Filled with Pigeons (1988), and he has translated the works of Lithuanian poets Kornelijs Platelis, Sigits Gedas, Henriks Raudausks, Toms Venclova, as well as many others, translating poetry and prose from Azerbaijani, the Crimean Tatar language, Russian, Germany, and Prussian. His poetry has been published in Lithuanian, Russian, Swedish, German, Slovenian, Ukrainian and English translation. He has received the Klâvs Elsbergs Award (1987), the Publisher Preses Nams Award in Literature in 2000 and 2001, the Days of Poetry Prize in 2001 and 2005, the Award in Literature from the Baltic Assembly in 2004, the Ojars Vacietis Poetry Prize (2006) and the National Prize for Best Book (2007). [Read]
Inara Cedrins
ImageInara Cedrins is an artist, writer and translator who went to China to learn to paint in Chinese ink on silk in 1998, and remained five years teaching English at universities there, using poetry as a vehicle. She then studied thangka painting and taught in Nepal, and lived in Riga, teaching Creative Writing at the University of Latvia in 2005. Her anthology of contemporary Latvian poetry written while Latvia was under Soviet occupation was published by the University of Iowa Press, and she is working on a new Baltic anthology. Upon returning to America she lived in the Albuquerque/anta Fe area; currently she has an artists' residency at the Merchandise Mart through the Chicago Artists Coalition. [Read]
Adeline Foo
ImageAdeline Foo, a graduate student of New York University TischAsia School of the Arts, is the author of The Diary of Amos Lee. The first two books in the series have clocked a seven-month ranking on the national best sellers' list in Singapore. [Read]
David William Hill
ImageDavid William Hill was an interviewer and assistant editor for the groundbreaking oral history book, Underground America: Narratives of Undocumented Lives (McSweeney’s, 2008). His fiction has appeared in several journals, including Cimarron Review, Watchword, and Hobart Online, and his story, "Lucky Photo", is included in the inaugural exhibition of Invisible City Audio Tours in Oakland, CA. He holds an MFA from San Francisco State University and is a co-founding member of The Flat Earth Collective, whose primary focus is to bridge connections, through readings and other endeavors, among diverse writers and artists, far and wide. He has taught writing courses at San Francisco State and The Academy of Art, San Francisco, and he is also a special education teacher. He now lives in Hong Kong. [Read] [Cha profile]
Clara Hsu
ImageClara Hsu was a nominee for the Pushcart Prize in poetry. Her first book of poems, Mystique, received honorable mention at the San Francisco Book Festival (2010). Her collection of short stories titled Babouche Impromptu and Other Moroccan Sketches is available at Hsu co-hosts a monthly poetry TV show with fellow poet John Rhodes. Her unusual poetry performance duo Lunation combines Chinese and original poetry with Asian traditional instruments. As keeper of the Poetry Hotel, Hsu organizes free social activities for the poet community in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit her website for more detail. [Read]
W.F. Lantry
ImageW.F. Lantry received his Licence and Maîtrise from L’Université de Nice, M.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. The recipient of the Paris/Atlantic Young Writers Award and the CutBank Patricia Goedicke Prize in Poetry, his work has appeared in Gulf Coast, Kritya, Ellipsis, Unsplendid, Istanbul Literary Review and The Wallace Stevens Journal. [Read]
Mary Lee
ImageMary Lee graduated from the University of Hong Kong with a First Class Honours in English Studies in 2004, after which she attended a MA at Queen Mary University of London deciphering early modern manuscripts in the British Library. Since her return to Hong Kong in 2005, she has been author to a book, administrator of a literary prize, an art gallery assistant, and currently works in a contemporary visual arts library. A Lomographer herself, Lee recently published a photobook project of portraits of the post-80s. [View]
Shirley Lee
ImageShirley Lee, composer and recording engineer, is currently reading for a degree in Classics and Persian at Oxford. She has read at Man Hong Kong International Literary Festival, and has had her poetry published in various journals and anthologies. She edited "A Visual Collective Biography of the Former Korean ‘Comfort Women’", published in the summer 2008 issue of the Asia Literary Review. [Read]
Kim-An Lieberman
ImageKim-An Lieberman is a writer of Vietnamese and Jewish American descent, born in Rhode Island and raised in the Pacific Northwest. Breaking the Map, her debut collection of poetry, was published in 2008 by Blue Begonia Press. Her work also appears in Prairie Schooner, Threepenny Review, Poets of the American West, and other journals and anthologies. Lieberman has been a featured reader at venues including the Skagit River Poetry Festival, the San Francisco International Poetry Festival, and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop in New York. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley and has spent many years in the classroom, teaching writing and literature at every level from 5th grade through college. Visit Lieberman's website for more. [Read]
Emily Lim
ImageEmily Lim, author of five books, is the 1st outside North America to win 3 medals at the IPPY Awards, the world's largest book awards, since its inception 14 years ago. She is also 1st in Southeast Asia to win at the Moonbeam Awards, one of the fastest growing US-based children's books competitions. Her first four books which she published under her Mustard Seed Books imprint, have all won an international award. The Tale of Rusty Horse won the 2009 Moonbeam Gold Medal, Prince Bear & Pauper Bear, Just Teddy and Bunny Finds The Right Stuff won IPPY Medals in 2008, 2009 and 2010 respectively. Her latest book Baby Panda Finds His Way, published by Autumn Wonders, is a tale of respect under its Asian Values series. More about Lim can be found here. [Read]
Margaret Hui Lian Lim
ImageMargaret Hui Lian Lim, born in the State of Sarawak, East Malaysia, is the author of the Payah rainforest adventure series (now available on, set deep in the heart of Sarawak on the Island of Borneo. In the Payah, Payah, an eight-year-old Native Sarawakian, takes care of a baby orang utan, rescues a hornbill and a mouse deer. Four Eyes finds Payah grieving over the orang utan and hornbill which have been sent to the Wild Life Rehabilitation Centre. She soon forgets her loss when Four Eyes, an orphaned runaway, turns up. Precious Jade and Turnip Head, the third in the series, introduces two children from the Chinese community. Turnip Head, the luckiest boy ever born, befriends Four Eyes, but the friendship turns out unlucky for everyone else except Turnip Head. Nonah tells of a shy young Muslim girl transplanted against her will from a coastal fishing village to Payah's home deep in the rain forest. She shares an unforgettable adventure with Paya and her friends in Sarawak's loveliest of National Parks, Gunung Mulu, which abounds with caves, foiling the work of rare plant smugglers. All these four titles are available from Marketasia Distributors, Singapore (email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ) and Linda Lingard from Resident's Bookshop, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ). Tomasina, an illustrated book for young readers, tells of how a mouse deer and a spider-hunting bird lead an extremely rare crocodile hatchling to safety. Published by Cerdik Publications, Malaysia (email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ). Nonah or the Ghost of Gunung Mulu made the 2010 Honour List of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). Lim was present at the award ceremony at the IBBY congress which was held in Santiago de Compostela on 9th September, 2010. Lim blogs here. [Read]
Flora Mak
ImageFlora Mak is currently pursuing her M. Phil. degree in English Literary Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her literary interests include Romantic writings and satires. She divides her leisure time between reading others' creative work and creating her own. [Read]
Reid Mitchell
ImageReid Mitchell is a published historian, poet, and novelist who currently teaches at the University at Albany. He is Consulting Editor of Cha. [Read]
Alvin Pang
ImageAlvin Pang is a lifelong image junkie and trafficker, but usually smuggles them through poems. A poet, writer, editor (and occasional photographer) based in Singapore, he has appeared in major festivals, anthologies and media around the world. A Fellow of the University of Iowa International Writing Program (2002), he was Young Artist of the Year (Literature) in 2005, and snagged the Singapore Youth Award (Arts and Culture) in 2007. His latest books include City of Rain (Poems, Ethos Books), and TUMASIK: Contemporary Writing from Singapore (Autumn Hill Books: USA 2009). He's a Canon loyalist but has recently flirted with iPhonography. He has always needed glasses. [View]
Phill Provance
ImagePhill Provance is the Executive Editor of MediaTier Ltd.'s (and author and co-creator of the site's weekly webcomic) and an Associate Editor of Danse Macabre. His journalistic, poetic and critical work has appeared in or is forthcoming from The Baltimore Sun, InQuest Gamer magazine, Orbis, Arsenic Lobster, The Axe Factory Review, Word Riot, decomP magazinE, Danse Macabre and Heartbreaker Magazine, as well as many others; his first chapbook, The Day the Sun Rolled Out of the Sky, will be available from Cy Gist Press in December 2010 on Cy Gist's website, at several independent retailers and at select live readings. Alternatively, you can simply visit or stop by his home near Pittsburgh where friends and curiosity seekers are always welcome. [Read]
Robert Raymer
ImageNamed as one of the "50 Expats You Should Know" in Malaysia by Expatriate Life style (January 2010), Robert Raymer's short stories have appeared in The Literary Review, Thema, Descant, London Magazine, Going Places, and Silverfish. Lovers and Strangers Revisited (MPH 2008), a collection of 17 short stories set in Malaysia won the 2009 Popular-The Star Readers Choice Awards. Raymer did a blog series on the collection, The Story Behind the Story, starting with the first story "On Fridays". Tropical Affairs: Episodes from an Expat's Life in Malaysia (MPH 2009) is a collection of creative nonfiction about his experiences of living in Malaysia for over twenty years. His blog on writing, interviews, and book reviews can be accessed from his website. [Read]
Steven Schroeder
ImageSteven Schroeder is the co-founder, with composer Clarice Assad, of the Virtual Artists Collective (a "virtual" gathering of musicians, poets, and visual artists) that has published five poetry collections each year since it began in 2004. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in After Hours, Concho River Review, the Cresset, Mid-America Poetry Review, Poetry East, Poetry Macao, Rhino, Sichuan Literature, Texas Review, TriQuarterly, Wichita Falls Literature & Art Review, and other literary journals. He has published two chapbooks, Theory of Cats and Revolutionary Patience, and five full-length collections, Fallen Prose, The Imperfection of the Eye, Six Stops South, A Dim Sum of the Day Before  and (with Debby Sou Vai Keng) A Guest Giving way Like Ice Melting: Thirteen Ways of Looking at Laozi. He teaches at the University of Chicago in Asian Classics and the Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults. Visit his website for more information. [Read]
Helle Annette Slutz
ImageHelle Annette Slutz was born and raised in the United States and has lived in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Gambier Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Bloomington, Indiana; Chicago, Illinois; and Cork, Ireland, and she currently lives in Washington, D.C. She graduated from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio in 2009, with high honors in English and an emphasis on creative writing. Slutz loves to travel, meet people from around the world, and share languages, cultures, and food. She has published poems in Persimmons, a Kenyon College literary magazine, as well as in Sweet: a Literary Confection. [Read]
Mark Stringer
ImageMark Stringer was born and raised in Bristol, South West England. He attended Goldsmith's College, University of London, where he obtained a BA in Primary Education. He promptly left England on a tour of world exploration and discovery. He prefers living and working in places rather than just being a tourist and so far he has lived and worked on four continents. He now makes Hong Kong his home, and has done for the last four years, where he works as a primary school teacher. He continues travelling, hopes to be in Hong Kong for a long time but also hopes one day to visit more than 100 countries. He is on 67 at the moment. [View]
Fiona Sze-Lorrain
ImageAuthor of a book of poetry, Water the Moon (Marick Press, 2010), Fiona Sze-Lorrain writes and translates in English, French and Chinese. A guzheng concertist, she performs worldwide. Her CD, In One Take, is forthcoming this fall. One of the editors at Cerise Press, Sze-Lorrain currently co-directs Vif Éditions, a French publishing house in Paris. Visit her website for more information. [Read]
Eddie Tay
ImageBorn in Singapore, Eddie Tay is a long time resident of Hong Kong. He is an assistant professor at the Department of English at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he teaches courses on creative writing and poetry. The four poems published in this issue are taken from his third poetry collection, The Mental Life of Cities, forthcoming in late 2010/early 2011. Tay is Reviews Editor of Cha. [Read]
Alice Tsay
ImageAlice Tsay is currently studying English literature at Oxford University. A native of California, she has taught English in Hong Kong and Taiwan and holds a degree in Music and English from Amherst College. She is a regular reviewer for Cha. [Read 1 2]
Elizabeth Weinberg
ImageElizabeth Weinberg is a native of the Washington, DC area who spent much of her childhood traveling the world. She is currently pursuing her B.A. in anthropology at Williams College in Massachusetts, where she is the editor of two literary magazines, The Williams Literary Review and Monkeys with Typewriters. In 2009, she spent four months living and studying in Bali, Indonesia, where she had the opportunity to apprentice with mask-masker Ida Bagus Anom and write a collection of stories about her experiences. After finishing her degree, she plans to pursue writing fiction full-time. [Read]
Jennifer Wong
ImageA writer from Hong Kong, Jennifer Wong's poems have appeared in Warwick Review, Iota, Coffeehouse Poetry, Cha, Dimsum, Aesthetica, Mascara, New Writer, Strong Verse, Open Wide Magazine, the UEA anthology 2009@and@The Oxford Reader. Her first collection, Summer Cicadas, was published by Chameleon Press. Her recent poem 'Myth' was long-listed in the UK Plough Poetry Prize 2008. She read English literature at University College, Oxford and completed an MA in creative writing at the University of East Anglia. [Read]
Marco Yan
ImageMarco Yan is a local Hong Konger who writes in English. Having read English and Comparative Literature at the University of Hong Kong, he still focuses on creative writing. His poems have appeared in Foundling Review, 34th Parallel and other literary magazines. Currently he is working on "Breathing Practice", a collection of poems related to the meaning of breathing. [Read]
Yip Wai Shan
ImageYip Wai Shan is a Hong Kong-based photographer who enjoys discovering the unusuals in the usuals through photography. While discovering, she may forget to walk or talk to people around her and they may regard her as either lunatic or rude. Yip is now a Master of English Studies student in the University of Hong Kong and she sometimes wishes that she can submit photos instead of essays to her teachers. (Photo of Yip by Benny Thong) [View]
Annie Zaidi
ImageAnnie Zaidi is the author of Known Turf: Bantering with Bandits and Other True Tales (Non-fiction/Tranquebar 2010) and Crush (Jaico 2006). Some poems have appeared in The Little Magazine, Desilit, First Proof: 2, Pratilipi, Indian Literature (Sahitya Akademi) and Mint. Her short fiction appeared in 21 Under 40 (Zubaan 2006), Verve, and The Raleigh Review. Her first play "Name, Place, Animal, Thing" was short-listed for The Hindu MetroPlus Playwright Award, 2009. She has been a journalist for a decade and has written for several newspapers and magazines including Frontline, Tehelka, Mid-Day and Deccan Herald. [Read]
Website © Cha: An Asian Literary Journal 2007-2018
ISSN 1999-5032
All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.