Literary Arts

Deep Cut: The Language of Mothers

Organised by: Ethos Books
Performed by: Heng Siok Tian
  • Date:
    27 Oct 2018
  • Time:
  • Duration:
  • Venue:
    Littered with Books
    Littered with BooksLittered with Books
  • Language:


"It's hard to write about my mother."—Adrienne Rich

It's undeniable how much mothers (or the motherly figure) feature in our consciousness—hit up 'mother' on google and the search results are telling: from the complexity of the relationship when they're alive ("9 books on the complexities of Mother-Daughter Relationships") to the complicated feelings when they're no longer alive ("No More Dead Mothers: Reading, Writing, And Grieving"), this journey is one that sorely needs a map.

In this first Deep Cut session, let poet Heng Siok Tian will take you through the books and writings that helped her navigate her relationship with her mother, and making sense of life after her mother's passing.

About Deep Cut
Inspired by the term deep cut—used in the music industry to refer to the b-sides or songs of an artist that are not well known or conventionally played—this year-long series explores both unconventional intersections in literature and the little-known sides to authors.

Our venue partner, Littered with Books, is an independent bookseller in Duxton housing a range of carefully curated literary books!

Other sessions:

December 15, 2018—un/conditional love
with Jinny Koh

February 16, 2019—The Secret Lives of Food
with Charmaine Chan

April 20, 2019—The Books That Saved My Life
with Charmaine Leung

June 15, 2019—The Art of Tennis
with Noelle Q. de Jesus

August 17, 2019—The Art of Being Present
with Ow Yeong Wai Kit and Muzakkir Samat

October 19, 2019—The Poetics of Martial Arts
with Loh Guan Liang

About the author
Heng Siok Tian has published five collections of poetry: Crossing the Chopsticks and Other Poems (1993), My City, My Canvas (1999), Contouring (2004), Is My Body a Myth (2011) and Mixing Tongues (2011). Her poems have been anthologised in publications such as Journeys: Words, Home and Nation, No Other City: An Anthology of Urban Poetry and Moving Worlds. She also wrote short stories and short plays. She was a Fellow with the Iowa International Writing Program in 2000 (on a National Arts Council Fellowship). She also participated in literary events in China, Denmark, France, the US and the Philippines.

Deep Cut: The Language of Mothers