Euginia Tan

Meet poet Euginia Tan.

Euginia is a total chocaholic, hates the colour pink and loves dancing. ‘I’m currently enrolled on a dance foundation course,’ she says, ‘so I’m an avid dancer – albeit not a professional one yet!’

Read more about Euginia – including her work with the Singapore Medical Board raising awareness for mental health issues – below.

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I self-published my first collection because I felt not many people were reading material off the internet – the web is a great host of many resources but books are still very sacred and enduring. More young people of my generation have to realize this and for the sake of my ideals I have chosen not to create a website. If you are reading this, go out and buy a book! You can even buy a book online. Then, turn the pages and read it, relish every bit of that.

In that aspect of not being very connected on the world wide web (no Twitter account, no Facebook account, keeping it to the minimum by just having an email address), I guess I am an oddity in this millennium.

I’m a Gemini – the playful and often volatile star sign of the Twins – that means my personality is both complementing and oxymoronic. I can be driven and stern whilst also carefree and happy-go-lucky. While many might describe me as quick-witted, cheeky and humorous, my first collection of poetry came from a dark chapter in my life in which I struggled with depression and the turmoil of medicines and hospitals.

Using writing as a solace and ultimately a means of empowerment and motivation, I am now an advocate for youth mental health issues in Singapore.

What are your inspirations?

I left school when I was 16 and from there, the travel bug bit me. I am inspired by new places, new sights and new cultures. I don’t believe in using a camera constantly to document and capture everything I see because I think it takes away the experience of really immersing yourself out there in the world. So either I let myself be blown away and try to capture it in words later, or I catalogue it in my mind for future reference. Great memories never get erased.

I’m also inspired by every day things I see. If you think about it, good works of art – films, books, paintings – don’t really have to be over the top or flamboyant. Many a time they take what is simple and concoct it into something magnificent out of sheer love for creativity. Little things and moments in life can be very inspiring too.

What is your favourite piece of work you have produced?

I really, really have no words to describe how happy I am with my debut collection – it’s like a new born child for me. And of course you get mixed reviews, there are those who love it and people who tell me it’s flawed, dark and cryptic but I am still utterly content with it and will treasure it always. But! – I have a second collection coming up and this to me is more relatable to my audience of readers.

From my first book, my favourite poem is Songs About Girls which is also the title of my book. It’s the longest poem in the book; it consists of six parts – Night, Dawn, Sunrise, Mid-Day, Dusk, Midnight. It chronicles the perspective of someone who is deeply in love with a woman and it speaks about how fascinating we as females are as a whole. I am very proud to be a woman in this day and age and hence I wrote this to show how much loveliness we embody!

Who is your favourite ‘creative’ in your chosen field?

My favourite author is S.E. Hinton, who wrote The Outsiders which was later adapted into a film starring a young Matt Dillon and Tom Cruise. Hinton wrote this when she was sixteen and it was considered extremely controversial and eye-opening at the time as it was a commentary about young boys growing up in an environment of violence and poverty.

I like books that are honest and come from a real place in life so Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird and Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood are also amongst some of my favourite reads.

I feel I am not doing this website justice without mentioning other favourites in other fields as well as art is so broad and varied with many mediums so I am going to add on Stanley Kubrick and Spike Lee as favourite film makers, Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali who are geniuses in their own right for bringing art to new levels.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of Songs About Girls, email Euginia (eugtan@hotmail.com); visit www.heartthrobproject.com/author/eugtanyj to read more of her work.

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