Experimental Vietnamese Poetry “Hawkers”

“An impressive slate of experimental poetry from Vietnam dominates the inaugural edition of our Prize,”

writes Sing Lit Station, about the list of poems and poets that were blind-selected as winning entries by their panel of judges for the 2018 Hawker Prize for Southeast Asian Poetry.

Sing Lit Station is a Singapore-based nonprofit organization whose vision is to be a platform where writers and readers can meet. Their programs include hosting various events, workshops, a half-year writing residency, and working with many partners to build inclusive and dynamic communities..

The inaugural edition of The Hawker Prize for Southeast Asian Poetry received a total of 40 submissions; out of the 40 submissions, Sing Lit Station compiled a list of 57 poems published by 18 eligible literary journals/publications, to be read blind by a panel of judges that included Bernice Chauly, Olin Monteiro, and Ng Yi-Sheng.

Special interviews with each of the winning journals will be rolled out between April and June to highlight their editorial efforts within the region.

Congratulations to all the poets and to the journals that promote visibility for Southeast Asian poetry!


The 2018 Hawker Prize – Winners and Honorable Mentions:

~First Place, $1500
“which orientation with sea” by Nhã Thuyên, translated from the Vietnamese by Kaitlin Rees

Published by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s magazine, The Margins, for the Transpacific Literary Project


~Second Place, $700
“Kiwis” by Jenny Danes

Published by The Kindling (Issue 3, June 2017)


~Third Place, $300
“definition” by Nguyễn Man Nhiên, translated from the Vietnamese by Kaitlin Rees

Published by AJARpress (Issue 5, Fall 2017)


~Honourable Mention (1/5)
“To Pay Attention to the Dead” by Subashini Navaratnam

Published by Rambutan Literary (Issue Two)


~Honourable Mention (2/5)
“one by one the bodies died” by Gratiagusti Chananya Rompas, translated from the Bahasa Indonesia by Mikael Johani

Published by AJARpress (Issue 5, Fall 2017)


~Honourable Mention (3/5)
“Love | Object | Treason” by She Who Has No Master(s), a collective comprising of Aimee Phan, Angie Chau, Anna Moï, Dao Strom, Hoa Nguyen, Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, Julie Thi Underhill and Lan Duong Thao P. Nguyen, partly translated by Genève Chao and Quan Tran

Published by AJARpress (Issue 5, Fall 2017)


~Honourable Mention (4/5)
“my mother thinks i dream in bengali” by Wahid Al Mamun

Published by Quarterly Literary Review Singapore (Vol. 16, No. 4 Oct 2017)


~Honourable Mention (5/5)
“The Experiment of the Tropics” by Lawrence Lacambra Ypil

Published by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s magazine, The Margins, for the Transpacific Literary Project


To read the poems and learn more about The Hawker Prize, visit Sing Lit Station here

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