22 May 2023

Tinkering Humour, Gelotology, and Limericks

PL Weng (Weng Poh Leng) hails from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and recently dabbled into the creative writing scene. Her (English language) works can be found in Burning House Press and Eksentrika. While her other works can be found in Peluru Aksara (2020), an anthology of short stories and poetry and her latest Rumpun Luhur (2022), an anthology of poetry. She contributed several articles and journals in the scientific world, and is currently exploring themes of morbid juxtaposition and dualism in poetry and in art.

Weng was part of the Malaysian Writers and Readers Get Together event on 14 May 2023. She shares her creative experience in a short interview conducted by Uthaya Sankar SB.


Who are your favourite Malaysian authors?

There is an infinity pool of talented Malaysian authors out there. I hate to pick favourites as all have merits in their own right. Some who showed me another side of town are Adibah Amin, A. Samad Said, Teme Abdullah, Perevenia Shan, Qurratul ‘Ain, Ismin Putera, Yanna Hashri, Ellen Lee and my list continues to grow. I am all about supporting the local scene.


Where do you get your ideas or information for your writings?

I like the idea of ideas come when you least expect, example sitting on your throne performing symphony for the no. 2. Or while you are stuck in traffic and you happen to chance upon an interesting signboard with brilliant copywriting. Listening to podcasts also bring in fresh ideas and information.


What’s your latest writing project?

Currently I am working on ideas for spoken words poetry; it is an interesting space with raw, intense creative energy. I am also experimenting with writing poetry in another language as I was inspired by José Manuel Oñoro upon reading his work titled “Sueños abajo, arriba el cielo”.  I am also tinkering humour and gelotology with limericks.


What do you do when you are not writing or reading?

Keeping a good BMI by walking, swimming and skating. I am a big fan of experiential learning, like Confucius’ quote – “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand”. Watching movies, doodling and daydreaming. I also have a day job on the side, to put nutritious food on the table.


What does your family think of your writings?

Grateful that my family supports and accepts the idiosyncrasies of my writings. Especially when it is in the language that is foreign to them. They have always been open to ideas and sometimes would chip in and contribute as well, providing their perspectives and enriched experiences. Their feedback fuels and encourages my works.  


How do you handle writer’s block?

Drawing from Dato’ Rahman Shaari’s views on marinating one’s work and letting it sit, soaked in the flavours of life until it becomes Michelin star rating. Putting it aside temporarily and revisit the work later helps me to improve the body of work. Letting the brain ruminate and process in the background rejuvenates the spark of creativity.


Date: 20 May 2023