2013 Thai SEA Write Awardee Angkan Chanthathip


Angkan Chanthathip won this year’s Thai SEA Write Award for his poetry book “Hua Chai Hong Thi Ha”, which literally means “The Heart’s Fifth Chamber”.

Seeing differences in society, he wrote the book, for he viewed that a human being is only a small unit of a bigger human society, and if the society is different, it therefore creates different problems.

After years of research, he saw through obstacles and tried to find ways to speak of them via his pen.

Each verse in book is like a jigsaw, he said. It is like a story, which is when combined, allows us to see the bigger picture of a society where troubles continue such as political conflicts, minority issues, environment issues, border problems, or Thailand’s insurgency in the South.

Angkan viewed that the content of his work is universal and applicable to other parts of the now borderless world. All problems are intertwined. One human act or violence connects or impacts another.

The man has written different kinds of books but all in the form of poems. He once rewrote the Lord Buddha’s biography as to offer readers another means of presentation through his point of view.

Practicing is key, he said.

“A story will choose its type of prosody, which I compare as a food container. Each container holds different kinds of food. What’s in there is like content that can be different. Therefore, our containers have to be well-prepared, which means we have to practice and always be ready to write when something moving strikes you and you can use your tools straight away,” commented the awarded writer.

Angkan said, by winning the prize, he worked his best for his beautifully composed poems and did a lot of research, while he tried to balance information with his own feelings and thoughts. He admitted that he worked slowly and made sure that his work was complete and correct.

Prior to the SEA Write Award, “The Heart’s Fifth Chamber” won Seven Book Award last year for its outstanding value. Angkan also received other prizes for his other books.

He will be presented the SEA Write Award on Oct 14 at a Gala luncheon at Bangkok’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel, where Her Majesty Queen Sirikit had designated HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn to preside at the awards presentation ceremony.

This year marks the award’s 35th anniversary. It will be fully represented by all 10 ASEAN countries for the first time in 11 years.