EVERYTHING HERE TESTIFIES
TO RELUCTANCE AND THE NEGLECT
THAT MUST THEN FOLLOW.
A Book of Changes (2016)
poems – singapore: ten year series, an imprint of math paper press
Change is what happens to everything: history is humanity’s attempt to make sense of this inevitability. In his debut collection of poetry, Daryl Lim Wei Jie paints minute strokes that give way to panoramas, strewn with unusual asides: migrants crossing oceans; an ancient king reclaiming a throne; rivers clogged with corpses; the paperwork for an invasion; a milo dinosaur the height of Mount Everest. A Book of Changes is a young poet’s attempt to make sense of the impossible ebb and flow of time.
"A Book of Changes in its illumination of the present through democratised recovered voices and imaginings of present and past makes for a truly promising debut collection that signals both a healthy future and a decisive skip forward for Singapore poetry."
— Professor Richard Angus Whitehead, Asiatic
"Daryl Lim Wei Jie’s first collection of poetry, A Book of Changes—part of Math Paper Press’s Ten Year Series—wrangles between the interface of history-poetry and navigates this liminal time-space. It questions how we construe Singaporean histories and identity, and more than that, emphasises the processual qualities of its constructions. The reader experiences a retreat to a historical jungle, navigates to our concrete one today, while considering individual aspirations by flipping through the book. The collection adds nuance to the state-driven narrative of kampong to high-rise that is the backbone of how we were taught to understand Singapore."
— Al Lim, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal
"This is a pretty incredible collection of poetry that I found simple in concept but sophisticated in execution. Daryl treats history like the ghost it really is, so every poem is seamlessly layered with multiple temporal zones. It awakens the senses to the hidden wealth of innocuous spaces and the private histories of the bodies around us. I actually really hate "observer" poetry (my term; the polite way of saying it is poetry with an ethnographic approach), but Daryl implicates himself—or his poetic personas, at least—in this textual version of Singapore with no pretentious claims to authority, insight, or empathy. It's poetry that makes you think with both head and heart."
— Patricia Karunungan
about the imprint
Ten Year Series is an editorial imprint managed by Sing Lit Station, specialising in poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction by Singaporean authors. It seeks to apply Singapore-style structural discipline to the making of a manuscript. Founded in 2015, the Ten Year Series imprint primarily selects work that has progressed through a multi-month peer-driven workshopping process. It then forges it in the crucible of Manuscript Bootcamp, an intensive editorial programme that provides input and feedback from publishers, academics, editors, journalists and writers prior to publication. Find out more at tenyearseries.org.
about the publisher
Math Paper Press, an imprint of BooksActually, is a small press publisher of poetry, new wave novellas, full-length novels, and essays. Its eclectic range of literary and visual works also includes photography collections, memoirs and young adult fiction. Math Paper Press also distributes books by selected small presses.