And while we Filipinos are known for many things, it’s not very often that we hear Filipino writers make the news for their craft and talent in poetry, or writing in general. However, Lawrence Ypil, a Filipino lecturer based in Singapore has received first place distinction from the Gaudy Boy, an imprint of the New York-based literary non-profit Singapore Unbound, together with USD 1,000 cash prize and the opportunity for his work, THERE to be published under the same publication.
The Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Prize is annually awarded to unpublished manuscripts of original Anglophone poetry by authors of Asian descent.
Filipino Writer in Singapore Wins Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Prize
Ypil, who hails from Cebu, Philippines teaches Forms of Poetry in Yale-NUS in Singapore. Prior to this recognition, Ypil had already bagged a number of awards including the Madrigal Gonzalez Best First Book Award, the Academy of American Poets Prize, the Philippines Free Press Awards, and the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards, among others for his first book of poems, The Highest Hiding Place.
As for Ypil’s entry to the Gaudy Boy, the judges commented on his winning piece, THERE: “[In There] poetry is indeed a tool of exploration—towards mapping the world, a continual process of defining & modulation—always tentative. One lifts the pages of a family album with the poet, one falls under the spell.”
Lawrence shares the first place recognition with a US-based poet, Jenifer San Eun Park. Lawrence’s winning entry is set to be published next year by Gaudy Boy.
Gaudy Boy is Singapore Unbound’s independent publishing house which brings literary creations such as poetry, fiction, and non-fiction by authors of Asian heritage to a wide US audience. Gaudy Boy’s introductory literary offering is Malay Sketches by Alfian Sa’at , which is a collection of short stories which gives insight into the minority Malay-Muslim community in Singapore. On its release in the US, Malay Sketches shows a multi-faceted look into the lives of each character as they navigate individual and collective nostalgia, religious faith and doubt, and hurdle issues of colour and class.
Congratulations, Lawrence Ypil for your international distinction! We, your fellow Filipinos, are proud of your achievement and we hope you inspire more young Filipino writers to pursue their passion and to hone their craft in the literary arts.