He writes Singapore’s first book-length poem, then vanishes from history. Discover how the mystery of the missing poet was solved.
This documentary examines the tragic life of the mysterious poet Francis P. Ng, who wrote Singapore’s first book-length poem, F.M.S.R., and then disappeared during World War II. Researcher Eriko Ogihara-Schuck recounts the almost miraculous way she was able to confirm his fate and to connect with a living relative of his – a niece. Singaporean poets Alvin Pang and Robert Yeo also weigh in on the significance of Francis P. Ng’s work.
This moving documentary is based on two BiblioAsia essays: “On the Trail of Francis P. Ng” (Jan–Mar 2015) and “Ties that Bind: The Story of Two Brother Poets” (Jan–Mar 2017). The poem “F.M.S.R.” can be found in the book Finding Francis: A Poetic Adventure.
On the Trail of Francis P. Ng
In her effort to republish one of our unknown literary treasures, Dr Eriko Ogihara-Schuck tracks down the elusive Francis P. Ng, author of possibly the first notable work of poetry in English by a Singapore writer.
Ties that Bind: The Story of Two Brother Poets
An American Studies scholar unravels a decades-old mystery surrounding a bone fragment and uncovers a brotherly bond from beyond the grave. Michelle Heng has the story.
The Nature of Poetry: An Odyssey Across Times
Michelle Heng takes us on a journey to see how poets writing in English have charted the changing contours of Singapore and Malaya over the course of the 20th century.
The Pulse of Malayan Literature
Pulse by Wang Gungwu is notable for being the first published collection of English verse by a local poet and is said to have heralded the start of a Singaporean/Malayan style of poetry.
First Words: Women Poets from Singapore
Poems written by Singapore’s women writers in the 1950s to 1970s depict both their personal and national struggles. Gracie Lee highlights these poets and the literary works that captured the sentiment of the times.
Francis P. Ng, F.M.S.R.: A Poem (London: Author H Stockwell, 1937).
Eriko Ogihara-Schuck and Anne Teo, eds., Finding Francis: A Poetic Adventure (Singapore: Ethos Books, 2015).
Angelia Poon, Philip Holden and Shirley Geok-lin Lim, eds., Writing Singapore: An Historical Anthology of Singapore Literature (Singapore: NUS Press; National Arts Council Singapore, 2009)
Teo Kah Leng, I Found a Bone and Other Poems (Singapore: Ethos Books, 2016).
University of Malaya, The Register of Graduates (Singapore: University of Malaya, 1963).