'Work' is a word freighted with sacrifice and honour. My 'work' includes poetry, fiction, criticism, pedagogy, and more recently, a kind of non- specific-genre that begins with the autobiographical subject to span all these. My early readings were formed by a colonialist education; I love(d) the English of English geniuses, including Shakespeare, Keats, Words- woth, Austen, Dickens, and Yeats. Exposed to a United States Ph.D. requirement, I learned to counterweight these with American voices: Creely, Roethke, Adrienne Rich. Returning to Southeast Asia, I found all of the above weightlessness, learned instead to read against the Western grain, within the particular locus of the post-colonial Anglophonic Asian, prey to multiple misplacements and dislocations, but also a predator of sorts of cultures set free-floating on the currents of global capital, media, war, and human exchanges. I would like time for the work of concentration - the poems and short stories. In the meantime, I teach and write criticism.
Lim, Shirley Geok-Lin, Why I Write, Kunapipi, 6(1), 1984.