Winner of the Singapore Literature Prize 2020 (English, Poetry)
What do we expect of an unapologetically female author? What do we expect of consuming art? Should a work be easy and safe?
Marylyn’s debut volume, GAZE BACK, complicates femininity, queerness, and the occult. The feminine grotesque subverts restrictions placed upon the feminine body, the occultic counterpoint to organised religion a means of empowering the marginalised.
"Marylyn Tan is an essential badass! Here is a voice for the audience of outcasts, an extraordinary poetry where the endangered body can find true solidarity. With an uncompromising lens on the human condition with sexts and symbols of moons and gender, resulting in unforgettable poems of deviance propelling culture forward."
—CAConrad, author of While Standing in Line for Death
"This is an eviscerating, deliciously sacrilegious poetry that enacts, transgressing parameters of comfort and convention, its own agency for freedom within a post-gender, non-essentialist, even post-verbal, perspective, while also re-empowering what it means to be feminine and queer."
—Cyril Wong, author of The Lover’s Inventory
"GAZE BACK is eloquent confrontation—it challenges the ways in which society polices gender, and the boundaries by which many define poetry. Tan’s gaze is not just a reciprocal look. It is a forceful glare, an unapologetic gape, an accusing stare. It is a refusal to break eye contact."
—Tania de Rozario, author of And The Walls Come Crumbling Down and Tender Delirium
"... accessible and impenetrable; vulgar and abstruse; wise and streetwise; intellectual and also keenly felt."
About the Author
Marylyn Tan is a linguistics graduate, poet, and artist interested in conditions of alienation and marginalisation. She has performed at the Singapore Biennale, the Singapore Writers Festival, SPEAK., and she has also been featured in various print anthologies, such as Rollercoasters and Bedsheets, A Luxury We Must Afford and Inheritance | The Anthology. Gaze Back is her first published book.
Cover Type: Softcover
Page Count: 88
Year Published: 2018