Issue 2 of The Tiger Moth Review is proud to present the poetry, art and photography of 29 contributors from Singapore and around the world, who each offer unique ways of seeing and engaging with nature, the environment and the world we live in. This issue, my heartfelt thanks once again go out to friends and strangers from the global literary community who have been kind and generous in helping to publicise the journal’s second call for submissions, without which, Issue 2 would not exist.
Some exciting news about this issue, which differs significantly from the inaugural issue: Firstly, The Tiger Moth Review has made the bold move of accepting works in translation so as to contribute to the diversity and growth of the journal, and the voices it seeks to represent. Committed to publishing works that engage with nature, culture, the environment and ecology, I wanted the journal to expand its understanding of ecology beyond typical biological associations. Being formally trained in linguistics and literature, I began to ponder the meaning of the word ecology, to ask myself if I was privileging one dominant language (English), culture and hence world view in the way nature, culture and the environment are understood, and represented. Did not language, along with its idiosyncrasies of lexis, signs and symbols create ecologies of truth and consciousness for people to navigate the world they live in? To see ecology through language, to see language as the heart of an ecosystem, to offer multiple ways of entering a poem, a theme, a world. That is what Issue 2 hopes to do with the translated works of Kamaria Buang (Malay), Zurinah Hassan (Malay) and Kevin Martens Wong (Kristang).
Aside from featuring works in translation, Issue 2 is also distinctive in how poetry and visual art speak to one another, consciously or not. The intertextuality of this issue can be seen in Marc Nair’s ekphrasis, which responds to a photograph, and Jayne Marek’s poetic articulation of Suzanne Eller’s found art sculpture, Constrained Crane. Consider how these works stand alone, and how meanings shift when read together. Coincidentally, two contributors from Singapore, artist Shucolat and poet Ow Yeong Wai Kit, submitted work separately on the same subject matter, Inuka the polar bear, and these works have too been placed side by side in the issue to be read both as independent and interrelated pieces in the hopes of uncovering new understandings.
This issue, we begin with the breath, with song, with wind, with the power of the voice, as invoked by Sto: lo poet Lee Maracle, carrying us through Faye Ng’s sunflower fields, through Kapuananiokekukui Namiko’s Hawaii and Ko Ko Thett’s Burma. We trek perilous mountains both literal and metaphorical with Ray DiZazzo and Kosal Khiev, and we pray by the river with Vinita Agrawal. We descend into the deep with Dorsia Smith Silva to emerge the same yet changed. May the poems and art in this issue fill you with darkness and light, stillness and song, restlessness and peace.
Esther Vincent Xueming
Editor-in-chief and Founder
The Tiger Moth Review