From Kim Lim, a Singaporean based in New York, via University of Virginia, comes a bold new poetry journal “for Singaporeans and everyone else.” OF ZOOS welcomes all species of poetry, provided that they make for special viewing interest. In the words of its founding editor:

“We believe that the poem is crafted out of a regular grammar of lines, rhyme and rhythm, as much as it is created from holes cut out in your mathematics 6A textbook (if it hasn’t already been burnt) or epiphanic doodles in the margins of that office memo headed to the shredder. By the phrase “poetry and its sub-branches/poetically sensible art”, we mean (or try to mean) traditional poetic forms (from the sonnet to the villanelle to blank verse), wildly experimental forms, flash fiction pretending to be prose poems, illustrated poems, art installations professing a poetic sensibility, erasure poems blacked out from old newspapers, handwritten poems on napkins, a photograph of your dog Moxie, etc. The only thing we do not allow is plagiarised poems.”

Issue 2.1 was given over to “Riff, Steal, Collaborate.” SP recommends reading “SIT.please,” the art-and-verse collaboration between Jean Hui Ng, Loh Guan Liang, and Tse Hao Guang. For issue 2.2, OF ZOOS read for Handwritten Poetry.

The next issue will be devoted to Found Poetry. The journal is holding a  four-month-long seminar to collect poems for the issue. Participants will create found poems using a text posted on Facebook at the beginning of each month. This month’s text, in honor of love, is the entire body of Sappho’s poetry. Poems created during these four months may be submitted to Of ZOOS for consideration for Issue 3.1.

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About Jee Leong Koh

My book of poems Steep Tea (Carcanet) was named a Best Book of 2015 by UK's Financial Times, and a Finalist by Lambda Literary. I also wrote three other books of poems and a book of zuihitsu. My work has been shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize, and translated into Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian and Latvian. Originally from Singapore, I live in New York City, where I edit the arts blog Singapore Poetry, and run the Second Saturdays Reading Series and the Singapore Literature Festival in NYC.

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