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Literary Arts

little red comma

Singapore literature, reimagined, in a digital space.


Published: 31 Aug 2020

Pen 2

Updated: 29 Aug 2022

Time taken : ~10mins

Uncover a shopping centre that makes home feel less far away, an ostrich at loose in Kampong Glam and a miniature Singapore nestled deep in a traveller’s pocket.

If bricks and mortar could talk, if our streets could be emblazoned with more than just names, what would they say? In this selection of seven works of poetry and short fiction, identity and belonging are indelibly associated with physical landmarks, by turns whimsical, fraught, always evolving and deeply felt.

little red comma fuses Singapore literature with digital media, comprising digital adaptations of diverse works by established and emerging homegrown writers as well as literary pioneers.

The second edition of little red comma runs from the end of August 2022 to February 2023. A new work will be released every month here on Esplanade Offstage, featuring original soundscapes, audio readings and illustrations by local artists and creatives. Commissioned by Esplanade Offstage, little red comma is produced by digital publisher Tusitala and supported by the National Arts Council.

Release Schedule:

29 Aug 2022: Chinatown I by Tan Chee Lay | Read here

2 Sep 2022: A Story, or History, Perhaps? by Abdul Ghani Hamid | Read here

31 Oct 2022: Mustafa Centre. A Fact Sheet. by Pooja Nansi | Read here

28 Nov 2022: Tanjong Rhu by Minfong Ho | Read here

28 Dec 2022: The Ostrich of Kampong Glam by Kane Wheatley-Holder | Read here

31 Jan 2023: The Sunbird I Lost by Krishnamurthi Mathangi | Read here

28 Feb 2023: Pocket Cities by Neon Yang | Read here

Educator's Guides

Check out these educator's guides for ideas on how you can use these literary works in the classroom.

For English literature and language arts learners

  • A Story, or History, Perhaps? by Abdul Ghani & Chinatown, I by Tan Chee Lay
    Explore the main themes of social history and urban development and consider how texts explore sociocultural practices, beliefs and values | Find out more here
  • Mustafa Centre. A Fact Sheet. by Pooja Nansi
    Explore the use of structure, anaphora and situational irony in Mustafa Centre. A Fact Sheet. | Find out more here
  • Tanjong Rhu by Minfong Ho
    Study the use literary devices such as motifs, irony, diction, dialogue and figurative language | Find out more here
  • The Ostrich of Kampong Glam by Kane Wheatley-Holder 
    A lesson on the use of humour and understanding character perspectives | Find out more here

For Chinese language learners

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