Ho Poh Fun
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Ho Poh Fun (b. 1946, Singapore - ) is a teacher, poet and writer. Her collection, Katong and Other Poems, was published in 1994.
Ho was born in 1946 and educated at Tanjong Katong Girls School and Raffles Institution before becoming a teacher at Raffles Junior College. She received a Masters in English from the National University of Singapore in 1987.
Ho’s fiction first appeared in Tanjong Rhu and Other Stories, a collection of four prize-winning titles from the 1982 Short Story Writing Competition organised by the former Ministry of Culture.
That short story, "When The Tabebuia Bloomed At Soo Chow Gardens", then appeared in ASEAN Anthology of Literatures: The Fiction of Singapore. Another short story, "Guest", was featured in Inthanon: An ASEAN Anthology of Short Stories.
Her poems have been anthologised in collections such as Rhythms: A Millennial Anthology of Poetry, Love Gathers All: A Philippines-Singapore Anthology of Love Poems, Journeys: Words, Home and Nation, Singapore: Places, Poems, Paintings, Memories and Desires: A Poetic History of Singapore and No Other City: An Ethos Anthology of Urban Poetry.
Ho’s collection of poems Katong and Other Poems was published in 1994. The volume was Commended in Poetry in the 1996 National Book Development Council of Singapore’s Book Awards.
In 1995, Ho attended the ASEAN Writers’ workshop organised by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Bangkok, Thailand.
Literary style and influences
Ho has been called a writer whose subued yet refined sensibility showcases the diversity of life. Her approach speaks of her awareness and of the tension that lies beneath the surface. Her work has been lauded as complex and full of possibilities, done in a neat and uncluttered style. Poems such as "Chrysantheum", "thoughtscapes singapore" and "transitional" (found in Katong and Other Poems) are considered landmarks in Singapore poetry.
Her influences include T. S. Eliot, G. M. Hopkins, E. O. Wilson, Rainer Rilke, Pablo Neruda, Natalie Angier, Thomas Friedman and Daniel Dennett. Ho has said that she enjoys works on cultural, botanical and biological themes.
In 1996, Ho won the NBDCS Commended Work in Poetry award for Katong and Other Poems.
Ban, K. C. (1986). Introduction. In Ho, M. F. et al, Tanjong Rhu and Other Stories (pp. 31-39). Singapore: Federal Publications.
(Call no.: RSING S823.01 TAN)
Lee, P. T. (1996). Foreword. In Ho, P. F., Katong and Other Poems. Singapore: UniPress.
(Call no.: SING S821 HO)
Patke, R. S. (2000). Poetry in English in Singapore. World Literature Today Spring 2000, Issue 2 (pp. 293-300). Retrieved on January 12, 2009, from Proquest database.
National Book Development Council. Ho Poh Fun. Retrieved January 12, 2009, from http://www.bookcouncil.sg
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Language and literature>>Literatures>>East and Southeast Asian literature>>Singapore literature
Language and literature>>Literatures>>English literatures>>English poetry
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