The canon and I: Creative poetry writing as the literary scene, popular scene and classroom scene

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The first part of the paper will argue that the canon of English creative writing in Hong Kong has been well-established recently with the gradual emergence of numerous publications either in print or online. The existence of publishers and certain communities proves that, literarily speaking, Hong Kong poetry writing in English not only exists, but is also expanding prosperously (only among intellectuals and native English speakers). The second part will try to discuss two of Michel de Certeau’s ideas in The Practice of Everyday Life in relation to the canon and investigate in what aspects the canon cannot fit into the local popular cultural scene. One way to expand its readership is to start educating the younger generation with Hong Kong poetry written in English. De Certeau argues in his book that active consumption is also a form of production. Therefore, with EDB’s courageous implementation of NSS, I believe that it is only by letting students consume ‘real’ poems that they could produce similar stuff. Finally, I will put forward de Certeau’s advocacy of strategy versus tactic. I would also problematize the forms of poetry that the EDB recommends students to write is in fact a form of ‘strategic poetry’ that could not address the essence of the genre, imagery, but just restrict the creativity of students. As a result, I will end my paper by promoting ‘tactical poetry,’ which consists of numerous poems that are written by Hong Kong writers in English.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2008


Hong Kong
Creative Writing
Everyday Life
Michel De Certeau
English Speakers


Wong, N. (2008, December). The canon and I: Creative poetry writing as the literary scene, popular scene and classroom scene. Paper presented at the First International Conference: Popular Culture and Education in Asia, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.