Scratch & Sniff
There is a fair bit of scratching and sniffing in this book-from an old dog in the opening poem to a fat, bald drunken satyr in the closing one. That dog is Mickey, van de Kamp's gorgeous bearded collie, whom the poet leftbehind, with his darling wife, when he took up a visiting professorship in Singapore this year. Yes: Caroline, his wife, features prominently in this book too-these poems pretend to be intensely personal. Van de Kamp takes us on a winter's journey through a bleak landscape of loss and despair. But the sentiment is universal and never sentimental: Silenus, that satyr, won't have any of that. Scratch & Sniff gives you a mischievous, and very sexy sad smile. A synergy of words, music, beautiful typesetting and stunning illustrations, this is art.
Peter van de Kamp was born in The Hague, Holland. This is his third book of poetry. He has taught English and Anglo-Irish Literature at Leiden University and at University College Dublin. He is currently visiting professor at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Lim Lee Ching teaches and writes about poetry; he works with theories of war and violence.
Jeremy Fernando is the Jean Baudrillard Fellow at the European Graduate School.
Sketchings and drawings for Scratch & Sniff were done by Yanyun Chen & Sara Chong of Stick & Balloon.