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Desmond Kon

Author's Bio

Helming Squircle Line Press as its publisher and founding editor, Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé is the author of “I Didn’t Know Mani Was A Conceptualist” (Math Paper Press), “The Arbitrary Sign: The Most Misunderstood Alphabet Book In The World” (Red Wheelbarrow Books) and an epistolary novel "Singular Acts of Endearment". Desmond has also edited more than ten books and co-produced three audio books, two of which were anthologies “For the Love of God” and “Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover aka Dead People, Flying Fishes And The Ones Who Missed The Boat”. The other titles span the genres of ethnography, journalism, creative nonfiction, and corporate literature, some edited pro bono for non-profit organizations including Sok Sabay Cambodia, Riding for the Disabled Association, the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre, and SAGE Counselling Centre. A former entertainment journalist with “8 Days” magazine, Desmond has traveled to Australia, France, Hong Kong and Spain for his stories, which have included features on Madonna, Björk and Morgan Freeman, culminating in the authorship of the limited edition “Top Ten TCS Stars” for Caldecott Publishing. With early freelance illustration for “The Straits Times”, he has returned to drawing and design, with his Madding Mission Series of stationery. His online novelty store, ECRITUREartefacts, creates literary curiosities, which include glassware, book totes, and laptop cases. Trained in book publishing at Stanford University, Desmond studied sociology and mass communication at the National University of Singapore, and later received his theology masters (world religions) from Harvard University and fine arts masters (creative writing) from the University of Notre Dame. As a consultant, Desmond’s editorial projects have seen him collaborating with authors and artists from an international community spanning Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tibet, Turkey, Ukraine, and Vietnam, among other nations. An interdisciplinary artist, Desmond also works in clay. Through his Potter Poetics Collection, he has designed and sculpted ceramic works to commemorate Albert Camus’ 50th Anniversary, the Dalai Lama’s 50th Year of Exile, Gerard Manley Hopkins’ 120th Anniversary, Walter Benjamin’s 70th Anniversary, Matteo Ricci’s 400th Anniversary, Marguerite Porete’s 700th Anniversary, Edgar Allan Poe’s Bicentennial, Simone Weil’s Birth Centennial, Swami Abhishiktananda’s Birth Centennial, Thomas Merton’s 40th Anniversary, Jack Kerouac’s 40th Anniversary, Cave Canem’s 10 Years of Service to African American Poets, Grolier Poetry Bookshop’s 80 Years of Service as the Oldest Continuous Poetry Bookstore in the US, and Poet Lore’s 120th Anniversary as the Oldest Continuously Published Poetry Magazine in the US, among other commemorative pieces. His ceramic works are housed in museums and private collections in India, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Writing under several heteronyms, Desmond divides his time between his art and teaching creative writing, his poetry and prose having placed in literary competitions in Canada, England, France, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan, Scotland, and the United States. Among his honoraria are appointments as juror for writing competitions – these include Singapore Poetry Slam, National Youth Slam League, Budding Writers Project, and Writing the City Competitions – organized by Marshall Cavendish, Word Forward, and The British Council.

Publications and Prizes

Books:
Dress Shoes and Lemon Soap (lu lu publishing, 2013), Gorgonzola Cheese Sandwich (lu lu publishing, 2013), Whitman's Secret Staircase at Howth (lu lu publishing, 2013), Boat at Sandymount Strand (lu lu publishing, 2012), Ormolu Chandelier and Walking Stick (lu lu publishing, 2012), The Citizen's Biscuit Tin (lu lu publishing, 2012)
Chapbooks:
When Dada Rewrote Koans (Corollary Press, 2012), 500 Favourite Words (Naissance, 2011), Changeling in the Boustrophedon’s Outfield (Right Hand Pointing, 2011), Dear Physical Environment (Naissance, 2011), In Memoriam to a Marionette: Caudate Sonnet of the Year Ad Interim (Silkworms Ink, 2011), Let Dinggedicht Speak (Silkworms Ink, 2011), This Is Visual Poetry (Naissance, 2011), To Whose Mandolin It May Concern (Naissance, 2011), Living Room Aphorisms: The Only Story Arc in Santa Monica (lu lu publishing, 2007)
Anthologies:
Starry Island: New Writing from Singapore (University of Hawaii Press, 2014), Best of Pirene's Fountain (Glass Lyre Press, 2013), Ekphrastia Gone Wild (Ain't Got No Press, 2013), Malala: Poems For Malala Yousafzai (Futurecycle Press, 2013), Tupelo 30/30 Project (Tupelo Press, 2013), Voices Israel Anthology: Poetry From Israel & Abroad (Voices Israel, 2013), Dreams, Shadows and Ashes: Prizewinning Poems (Voices Israel, 2012), Little Red Tree International Poetry Prize 2012 Anthology (Little Red Tree Publishing, 2012), Read Write [Hand]: A Multidisciplinary Nick Cave Reader (Silkworms Ink, 2012), Scratch Anthology: Award-Winning Short Stories and Poetry (CreateSpace USA, 2012), Sunrise From Blue Thunder: A Pirene's Fountain Anthology for Japan's Earthquake-Tsunami Relief (lu lu publishing, 2012), Voices Israel Anthology: Poetry From Israel & Abroad (Voices Israel, 2012), Writings from the Heart: Stories and Poems from Around the World (CreateSpace USA, 2012), In the Garden of the Crow (Elektrik Milk Bath Press, 2011), Poets Amongst Us: Aquillrelle Poetry Anthology (lu lu publishing, 2011), The Kartika Review 2009-2010 Anthology (Lulu Press, 2011), The Million-Line Poem (Tupelo Press, 2011), The Mo Chapbook: A Movember Special Edition (Silkworms Ink, 2011), Vol L: 50th Chapbook Anthology (Silkworms Ink, 2011), [C.]: An MLP Stamp Stories Project (Mud Luscious Press, 2011), GASPP: A Gay Anthology of Singapore Poetry & Prose (The Literary Centre, 2010), The Writing Disorder Anthology (Lulu Press, 2010), Sailing in the Mist of Time: Fifty Award-Winning Poems (Lulu Press, 2006), For the Love of God: A Creative Anthology (Beaumont Press, 2004), I'm A Volunteer Too: Forty Heartwarming Singaporean Stories (Beaumont Press, 2004), One for the Love of God: A Music Tribute to Powerful Poetry (Beaumont Press, 2004), Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover aka Dead People, Flying Fishes And The Ones Who Missed The Boat (Beaumont Press, 2003), Impressions of a Pipa Player: Profiles of the World's Most Premier (Beaumont Press, 2003)
Journals:
50 to 1, Agni, American Athenaeum, Assaracus, Asymptote, Barge Journal, Barnstorm, Best Poem: A Literary Journal, Black Herald, Blackbird, Blood & Honey Review, Blue Jew Yorker, Bluestem News, Breadcrumb Scabs, Brink Magazine, Burning Word, Cabinet des Fées, Cafe Irreal, Caper Literary Journal, Ceriph, Cerise Press, Clutching at Straws, Confrontation, Copper Nickel, Cricket Online Review, Cutbank, Cyclamens and Swords, deadpaper, Dear Sir, Diagram, Dirty Goat, Distillery, ditch, Edgz, Eighty Percent Magazine, Escape Into Life, Everyday Genius, Exercise Bowler, Faultline, Fence, Floorboard Review, Folly Magazine, Four and Twenty, Furnace Review, Fuselit, Georgetown Review, Gertrude, Ginosko Literary Journal, Glint Literary Journal, Gone Lawn, Grey Sparrow Journal, Gulf Coast, Halfway Down the Stairs, Hamilton Stone Review, Harpur Palate, Harvard Review, In Posse Review, InDigest, Journal of Truth and Consequence, Kartika Review, Lantern Review, Lily Lit Review, Luna Park Review, Mad Swirl, Magnolia's Press, Mandala Journal, Marco Polo Quarterly, Mascara Literary Review, Metazen, Monkey Bicycle, NANO Fiction, Nanoism, Naugatuck River Review, New Orleans Review, Newport Review, Niche Literary Magazine, noah magazine, Notes from the Gean, Numinous: Spiritual Poetry, Old Red Kimono, Orion headless, Pank, Parcel, Pemmican Press, Penwood Review, Physiognomy in Letters, Pindeldyboz, Pirene's Fountain, Pismire, Pithead Chapel, Platte Valley Review, Poetry Super Highway, Portland Review, Presence, Pressed, Prick of the Spindle, Prime Number Magazine, Psychic Meatloaf, Pure Francis, Qarrtsiluni, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Red Lion Square, Red Ochre Lit, REM Magazine, Retort Magazine, right hand pointing, Saltwater Press, Scholars & Rogues, Sein und Werden, Seneca Review, SentinelLiteraryQuarterly, Shampoo, Silenced Press, Sixers Review, Sketchbook Journal, Slab Literary Review, Smartish Pace, Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices, Sonora Review, Soundings Review, Soundzine, Spilling Ink Review, Spilt Milk, Spork Press, St. Sebastian Review, Straylight, Stylus Poetry Journal, Subliminal Interiors, Sugar Mule, Swink, Switched-On Gutenberg, Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built & Natural Environments, The Bend, The Brooklyner, The Cherry Blossom Review, The Citron Review, The Corner Club Press, The Flea, The Legendary, The Literary Bohemian, The Massachusetts Review, The Meadowland Review, The Missing Slate, The Monarch Review, The Nervous Breakdown, The New Guard - Literary Review, The Oral Tradition, The Pinch, The Rose & Thorn, The Smoking Poet, The Writing Disorder, Thoughtsmith, Titular, Transcendent Visions, Trapeze Magazine, Tributaries, Troubadour 21, Tupelo Press Poetry Project, Turning Wheel, Umbrella Factory Magazine, unFold, Vallum, Versal, Wag's Revue, Whale Sound, Write From Wrong Magazine, Xavier Review, Xconnect
Prizes:
PEN American Center Shorts Prize; Vallum New International Poetics "Naani" Poetry Award; Poetry World Cup First Prize; Excel For Charity Swale Life Poetry Prize & High Commendation; Cyclamens and Swords Publishing Poetry Prize; Little Red Tree Publishing International Poetry Prize; Writers Billboard Poetry Prize; Stepping Stones Nigeria Poetry Prize; International Association of Paradoxism Distinguished Achievement; Scratch Poetry Prize; Champion of Birds Poetry Prize; Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry High Distinction Award; Tupelo Press Poetry Project Honorable Mention; Artsmith Literary Award Honorable Mention; Spilling Ink Flash Fiction Prize Honorable Mention; The New Writer Magazine "Single Poem" Honorable Mention; Sketchbook Journal "Found Poetry" Honorable Merit; University of Notre Dame Poetry Fellowship; National Arts Council Writer-in-the-Gardens Residency, Singapore International Foundation Grant; Hiew Siew Nam Distinguished Academic Award; TRYangle Project Poetry Competition Second Prize; Hungry Hill "Poets Meet Politics" Second Prize; Lupus UK Poetry Competition Second Prize; Smartish Pace Erskine J. Poetry Third Prize; The Medulla Review Oblongata Contest Third Prize; The Psychiatry Research Trust Poetry Competition Third Prize; Thynks Publications Ltd Inspirational Poems Third Prize & Runner-Up; Ngee Ann Distinguished Teaching Award (1999, 2001 & 2013); Ngee Ann Humanities Special Incentive Award; Alan Sillitoe Open Poetry Competition Runner-Up; Georgetown Review Magazine Contest Runner-Up; Thynks Publications Ltd "Serendipity" Poems Runner-Up; Deux-Sèvres Segora Open Poetry Commendation Award; Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Commendation Award; Mobil National Essay Writing Commendation Award; Noemi Press Poetry Chapbook Award Finalist; Arts & Letters Rumi Prize For Poetry Finalist; A River & Sound Review Duckabush Poetry Prize Finalist; Aquillrelle Poetry Finalist; Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Finalist; Terrain.org Annual Poetry Finalist; The Winter Anthology Writing Contest Finalist; The Association of Writers & Writing Programs Intro Journals Project Nominee; Best of the Net Nominee; Zazzle "Today's Best" Award; Naugatuck River Review Narrative Poetry Semi-Finalist; The New Guard Knightville Poetry Semi-Finalist; Cinnamon Press "Concrete Poetry" Special Mention; Limnisa Bluethumbnail Short Story Contest Short List; Flash 500 Competition Short List; Margaret Reid Traditional Verse Short List; Pank 1001 Awesome Words Short List; Strokestown International Poetry Prize Short List; Cutbank Patricia Goedicke Poetry Prize Publication Choice; National University of Singapore Sociology Book Prize

Personal Favorites

Favorite Books:
“Zen and Comparative Studies” by Masao Abe; “Rooms Are Never Finished” by Agha Shahid Ali; “Yehuda Amichai: A Life of Poetry 1948-1994” by Yehuda Amichai; “Reading Seminar XX: Lacan’s Major Work on Love” by Suzanne Barnard & Bruce Fink (Eds.); “The Neutral” by Roland Barthes; "Library: An Unquiet History" by Matthew Battles; "Ancient Gonzo Wisdom: Interviews With Hunter S. Thompson" by Anita Thompson (Ed.); “Girly Man” by Charles Bernstein; "Romaji Diary and Sad Toys" by Takuboku Ishikawa; "The Country is Yours: Contemporary Nepali Literature" by Manjushree Thapa (Trans.); "How the Two Ivans Quarrelled" by Nikolai Gogol; "Steppenwolf" by Hermann Hesse; "The Infinite Conversation" by Maurice Blanchot; “Languages of the Unsayable: The Play of Negativity in Literature and Literary Theory” by Sanford Budick & Wolfgang Iser (Eds.); “Interrupting Derrida” by Geoffrey Bennington; “History, Theory, Text: Historians and the Linguistic Turn” by Elizabeth A. Clark; "The Utopian Function of Art and Literature" by Ernst Bloch; “A Faithful Existence” by Forrest Gander; "Metaphysics and Transcendence" by Arthur Gibson; “Sensible Ecstasy: Mysticism, Sexual Difference, and the Demands of History” by Amy Hollywood; “T. S. Eliot’s Civilized Savage” by Laurie J. MacDiarmid; "Monsieur Pain" by Roberto Bolano; "Vacation of a Lifetime" by Andrea Brady; “The Erotic Phenomenon” by Jean-Luc Marion; “New Media Poetics: Contexts, Technotexts, and Theories” by Adalaide Morris & Thomas Swiss (Eds.); "Narrative and Freedom: The Shadows of Time" by Gary S. Morson; “Recyclopedia: Trimmings, S*PeRM**K*T, and Muse & Drudge” by Harryette Mullen; "A Community Writing Itself: Conversations with Vanguard Writers of the Bay Area" by Sarah Rosenthal (Ed.); "Kafka Was the Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir" by Anatole Broyard; "Letters to Milena" by Franz Kafka; “Poems Retrieved” by Frank O’Hara; "Other Selves: Philosophers on Friendship" by Michael Pakaluk (Ed.); “Wittgenstein’s Ladder: Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary” by Marjorie Perloff; “Foucault, Christianity and Interfaith Dialogue” by Henrique Pinto; “Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism” by Gershom Scholem; “Far Side of the Earth” by Tom Sleigh; "The Good Soul of Szechaun" by Bertolt Brecht; "Socrates and Aristophanes" by Leo Strauss; "Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman; “On the Shore of Nothingness: A Study in Cognitive Poetics” by Reuven Tsur

Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Listing last updated: July 20, 2014

More Information

Listed as:
Poet
Gives readings?
Yes
Travels for readings?
Yes
Identifies as:
G/L/B/T, Other
Prefers to work with:
Any
Fluent in:
Chinese, English

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