ELBERT LEE was raised in Hong Kong and has studied in Hong Kong, Canada and New Zealand. His poems have appeared in a number of magazines and e-journals, including Cha, Fusion, Muse Magazine, and Poetry Macao. He has also contributed poems to a number of anthologies, namely, Fifty/Fifty: A New Anthology of Hong Kong Writing and Hong Kong Poems: an English German Anthology. His reading interests range from cognitive science, evolutionary biology, to Taoism and Buddhism. A member of the adjunct faculty of Upper Iowa University, he teaches psychology at the Hong Kong Campus. Elbert studied at McGill University, the University of Hong Kong, and the University of Auckland, where he obtained his Ph.D. in Psychology. He is currently involved in designing teaching materials for students.
Saturday, 5 March 2016: Elbert Siu Ping Lee was the featured author at Proverse Readers' Club, reading poems about Hong Kong and also about Canada.
An edited video of this session has been uploaded to youtube. To view it, copy and paste the following to your browser window: https://youtu.be/oD4-5N2-LVc
Friday, 4 March 2016: Elbert was a guest of Phil Whelan on Phil's weekday morning show on RTHK, "Morning Brew". You can hear the interview on the RTHK archive.
Rain on the Pacific Coast is a tapestry of human experience, in which desires and passing worlds crisscross, collude, and collide. Each poem is a tiny spark that flies off in various types of encounter, giving significance and illumination to seemingly brief and mundane moments of daily existence. The poems are rooted in space and time and involve real people. Read in a certain way, they are mini life-dramas. Behind the scenes, the poet plays the roles of provocateur, critic, voyeur, seducer, lamenter, lover, and spiritual guide. Many of the poems were written in different places in Hong Kong around the time of change-over. Others were conceived at various locations from Eastern Canada to the Pearl River Delta.
"The community Lee writes to is very diverse – from the very local to the very universal …. Rain on the Pacific Coast is a rich culmination of his work over the years. … The collection as a whole takes us from one place to another, from Hong Kong to other places on the Pacific Coast and back again."
Agnes S. L. Lam
"In a city both burdened and enlightened by its past, life may be difficult, the air oppressive, and people awaiting a storm that brings an unpredictable outcome. But there can be an order in the ordinary, opening up paths to new vistas. Many poems in the volume appeal to a resilience in the natural world, in the human heart, in the common ways of people just walking around, observing, criticizing, sympathizing, so that we can seek solace in a wandering crowd, derive joy from poetry that sings of people and their habitus, and trust in forces that will bring sometimes sunshine, sometimes rain to the Pacific Coast."
Ching Yuet May
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