Editorial – April 2018

Following the inaugural issue of Canopy in January, we have been gratified to receive many valuable comments and offers of support. Many agree with us on the importance of setting up a platform for voices that are seldom heard in the Anglophone mainstream. A number expressed their hope that Canopy will include more content from across Southeast Asia. As we launch our second issue, we are working hard at turning this shared vision into reality.

We have kicked off the April issue with a translation of a lesser known “ci” poem by Jao Tsung-I, one of the greatest Chinese scholars of modern times, reflecting on his sojourn in Singapore, and two poems by graduates of the former Nanyang University (Nantah), bemoaning the premature end of their alma mater. While Jao and Nantah are, at best, peripheral in the region’s Anglophone imagination, they figure significantly in the cultural world of its Chinese intelligentsia and these pieces provide a small taste of the rich histories of the Southeast Asian Sinophone world. Also in this issue, award-winning filmmaker and educationist Woo Yen Yen shares an intimate story that provokes one to question what “mother tongue” really means to someone growing up in a mix of cultures.

New content will be released on Canopy weekly. Pieces that will be published over the next few weeks include a love story by Singaporean Chinese writer Hai Fan, translated into Malay, a reflection by renowned translator Canan Marasligil – “How Miss Malaysia has enriched my translator biography”, and a long poem by veteran poet Cai Xin, translated into English for the first time by academic Chan Cheow Thia, touching on Singapore’s literary and political history. Also in the pipeline is a series of audio and video recordings of discussions of different aspects of literature and translation.

We plan to announce our preliminary editorial committee and new regional partners in May. Canopy remains very much a work in progress and we hope you can join us in this intercultural project.


Tan Dan Feng is Editor of Canopy. He began working as a translator in 1993 and is actively involved in the regional translation and publishing scenes..