Lee Tzu Pheng Poems

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Lee Tzu Pheng
Lee Tzu Pheng was born (May 13, 1946) and educated in Singapore. She has a Ph.D in English from the University of Singapore from where she has recently retired as a Senior Lecturer in its English Department. She has four volumes of poems to her name; of these, the first three, Prospects of a Drowning(1980), Against the Next Wave, (1988) and The Brink of An Amen(1991) were winners of the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) Award. She is divorced from her ex-husband, Ban Kah Choon, and has one daughter, Jane Ban Li Hian. Aside from literary studies, her other interests include children's literature and church work. Like Edwin Thumboo, Lee is often seen as one of a generation of "nation-building" English writers in Singapore, whose work in the '50s-'70s questioned the identity of the newly independent nation. One of her early poems, "My Country, My People", was banned by the Singapore government due to fears that her reference to her "brown-skinned neighbours" would offend the Malay community of Singapore. Another early poem, "Bukit Timah, Singapore" was at one point included in an international selection of poetry for O-level literature students. Later poems heavily reference her Catholic faith.

As my years burn down
you put me to new use,
place me upon the palm
held up to you,... [read poem]
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