Agnes Chew is the author of The Desire for Elsewhere (2016, 2nd ed.: 2017), published by Math Paper Press, Singapore. Her writing has been published in Southeast Asia, the UK and the US, and received ‘Honourable Mention’ in The Epigram Books Collection of Best New Singaporean Short Stories. She has presented her work in Singapore and London. She was the sole creative nonfiction representative of the 2014-2015 National Arts Council Mentor Access Project. Her desire for elsewhere has led her to 57 countries and counting.
In 2019, Agnes collaborated with Germany-based Singaporean pianist Wong Yun Qi to perform The Multitudes Within Us – a multidisciplinary performance comprising the playing of piano pieces and reading of excerpts from Agnes’ debut book – which was featured in The Straits Times. Her poetry has been translated into song by German composer Felix Leuschner, which was performed at The Arts House, and into visual art by Singaporean designer Christel Gan, exhibited at the National Library.
With a keen interest in social and economic development, Agnes has explored these themes in her creative and academic work. Her thesis investigating Singapore’s socioeconomic dilemma has been published by the LSE Department of International Development as a prizewinning dissertation, and featured in the Harvard Kennedy School’s Singapore Policy Journal. Her work has also been published by UN Women, Save the Children, and The London Globalist.
Agnes holds a MSc in Development Management from the LSE where she was awarded the Mayling Birney Prize for Best Overall Performance, and a double degree in Economics and Business (Magna Cum Laude) from Singapore Management University – completed under the LSE Khattar Scholarship and SMU Scholarship respectively. She started her career at the Singapore Economic Development Board, and has worked with UK DFID, Save the Children and UN Women. She currently works at the World Bank.