Banner Shuffle: Ly Yeow + Giveaway!

With the December banner up now, we know that Christmas is well and truly upon us, and Culturepush is here to help. Running from tomorrow until Sunday, you will find specially curated picks of smart and practical, to festive and fashionable, indulgent and affordable ideas, as well as the ultimate playlist to listen to. So before you even think about heading out into the crowds and begin your present-buying race, this is the place to start.

About the banner
Always drawing cats, Ly Yeow‘s first encounter with dogs began from fostering a stray dog Heyhey. Drawing from the good memories spent with the furry one, she created these illustrations for the Mongrels are Awesome 2014 exhibition. Tees of all three designs are available for sale from the artist at $28 each with 50% of net proceeds donated to Three Legs Good.

Culturepush is giving away 3 Tees.  Email with “Gimme a T you ugly mutt” in the subject line. The contest is open to Singapore-based readers only. (UPDATE: WE HAVE 3 WINNERS!)


The Confusion of Happiness by Michelle Tan + Giveaway!

Her days are guided by the twin obsessions of opera and the written word, but more than anything she is a lover of life, learning and long runs. Meet Michelle Tan, a poetry-writing mezzo-soprano at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

Math Paper Press recently published Michelle’s debut poetry collection, The Confusion of Happiness. BooksActually’s Marketing Manager, Angelin Chua, talks to the young author on our behalf. Here goes …

It’s difficult to choose a single word to be your favourite, but if you ABSOLUTELY have to choose one, what would it be? It might be ‘daze’ because of how it’s a homophone with something as banal as ‘days’ and yet it captures precisely the overwhelming explosiveness of being alive in time through hazy colour and muffled hearing.

As a lover of music and opera, do you think that music has played a major role in your writing?
Definitely. Music awakens sensations and emotions beyond anything anyone can reliably describe. Because of its gorgeous complexity, it intensifies the struggle to be accurate and honest in relaying one’s experience of the world. My operatic training has been particularly helpful for poetry since it constantly increases my sensitivity to beauty built into the sounds of language. But far beyond writing, music has played a major part in my life.

At the launch of your poetry collection, you’ve touched many with your reading of some poems. Which is your favourite in this collection?
Apostrophe, because Stein made me realise that even a punctuation mark can be as irrational in love as us silly humans are.

If you need to make a choice between writing and having a voice, which would you choose?
I would (cheat a bit and) choose to have a voice in the sense of having any mode of expression that can be heard by others. :P I think it’s so important to have an output to process and share our experience of the complex world we live in. It’s perhaps the only way to keep on living.

Given the words CAT, STARS, CABIN, and MISCELLANY, have fun and come up with a little poem for our readers!

German lesson

it’s not the bodies that lie
that gave the warmth we wanted

but what we once left behind
in rooms other than our own

miscellany first strewn like whiskers
across his quiet cabin, then

clean-shaven, blown astray
casting shadows like dead stars

‘all things for the cat’
in this cruel case of whispers

*’Alles für die Katz’ is the really cute German way of saying ‘it was all in vain’.

BooksActually’s big boss is giving away 2 copies of Michelle Tan’s book each topped up with a copy of Cyril’s Wong “Unmarked Treasure“. Want a set? Email with “I’m a BooksActually spoiled brat!” in the subject line. The first 2 readers to comply with these instructions, can pick up their bundle from the BooksActually shop (No. 9 Yong Siak Street, Tiong Bahru). The contest is open to Singapore based readers only! The contest is closed. More luck next time!


We Were Always Eating Expired Things by Cheryl Julia Lee + Giveaway!

Last month, BooksActually x Math Paper Press introduced us to the work of two young poets, Cheryl Julie Lee and Michelle Tan. On the occasion of their book launch, BooksActually’s Marketing whiz, Angelin Chua, quizzed the young authors on our behalf.

Here is Angelin in conversation with Cheryl Julie Lee, author of ‘We Were Always Eating Expired Things‘. Cheryl is a postgraduate at Trinity College Dublin and a member of the Burn After Reading (Singapore) collective. Her work has appeared in QLRS, The Adroit Journal, and Prick of the Spindle among others.

If you have to choose a country that you think represents your character, what would it be?
Singapore. I am all about efficiency and paperwork. Also food; 90% of my thoughts revolve around food.

Is there one person that you look up to and aspire to become?
I don’t know about ‘aspiring to become’ because for me, just ‘being’ is tough enough but there are a ton of people whom I want to have long conversations with, who I’d go to for advice if I could: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Pooja Nansi, Steve Carrell, Jessica Bellamy, Lorelai Gilmore. Basically anyone who lives his/her life with grace and a sense of humor.

What are your hopes for your first collection of poetry?
I’d be happy if the collection – to borrow my friend’s words – made someone somewhere feel something.

In less than 100 words, tell us what this collection of poetry is about.
We Were Always Eating Expired Things is about human connection, the way I see it anyway. Our inherent desire to establish intimacy and our inevitable failure to do so. But also, I hope, a celebration of our persistence in trying anyway.

Imagine this, one day you walked into a mirror and realized that you had just walked into a parallel universe. What kind of person do you think you will be in that parallel universe, and what would you do with that identity?
I’d be a banker and the worst sort around. I wish I could say I donate half of my ginormous salary to charities but I’d probably just eat a lot of expensive steak and chocolates, and then pay people to massage the fat off me.

Our buddies at BooksActually are giving away 2 copies of Cheryl Julie Lee’s book each topped up with a copy of Cyril’s Wong “Unmarked Treasure“. Want a set? Email with “I’m a BooksActually spoiled brat!” in the subject line. The first 2 readers to comply with these instructions, can pick up their bundle from the BooksActually shop (No. 9 Yong Siak Street, Tiong Bahru). The contest is open to Singapore based readers only! Contest is closed. More luck next time!


BooksActually goes STGCC Giveaway!

The contest is closed. The bundles go to two of our late-night readers. Congrats Grace and Linda!

Today let’s all take a minute to be thankful for BooksActually‘s generosity. They are giving away two bundles of five extraordinary graphic novels from their comic and genre-centric collective The Comic Strip.

We have featured all five titles over the past couple of weeks, and here is a recap:

. Fatman and Superchub by Stephanie Raphaela Ho
. Tiny Room by Wayne Ree
. A Wonderful Life by Ken Foo
. The Unsavoury Alphabet by Gene Whitlock
. The Resident Tourist volume 6 by Troy Chin

To lay your hand on a bundle, email with CULTUREPUSH LOVES BOOKSACTUALLY in the subject line. The first two readers to comply with these basic instructions, can pick up their present from the BooksActually shop (No. 9 Yong Siak Street, Tiong Bahru). The contest is open to Singapore based readers only!

Psst … Aside from launching new titles, BooksActually will also have portfolio reviews over the two-day STGCC event, where illustrators can approach the publisher with their work for feedback from professional creators – and maybe even stand a chance to have their work published.


’cause it’s Christmas with Chubby Chubby’s SantaOwls

“May this Owliday season leave you with precious memories, a Christmas filled with happiness, love and joy all around! Hope your Owliday season’s a Hoot!” 

Hoot Hoot Hoot! The Chubby Chubby elves made these mega cute SantaOwls for you to purchase at once! We just bought this one and we are giving it away to the first Singapore-based reader to email Contest closes 30 November. .… and we have a winner!

Hoot luck!


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