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Depth of Field
  • Published: 14 December 2021
  • ISBN: 9789814954662
  • Imprint: PRH SEA
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 96
  • RRP: $19.99

Depth of Field

My Guided Journal for Self Healing



This is a contemplative space to understand your inner self. Dip into these creative exercises that engage and inspire. Open your heart into greater self-discovery and self-care.

Depth of Field, deftly combines the self-help book with the activity book. Prefaced by epigraphs from Freud, Jung and Lacan, this book comprises 37 creative exercises, which may also be read as prompts or riddles. Accompanied with illustrations for ekphrastic inspiration, this book premises its ethos on the idea of writing as witness, investigating how people engage with their personal history through writing, and render particular experiences through the fine act of deeply felt writing.
The collaborative engagement approaches writing as a powerful means of healing, in excavating buried emotions and expressing them in such purposeful intimation. Depth of Field excellently spans a wide-ranging demographic of reader, from the adolescent to young adult, mature reader to retired elderly. The exercises work with such thoughtful complexity, so much so that they come across at once accessible and intellectual. These are easy to read, yet compelling in their introspective scope.
Depth of Field, a guided journal is also a reminiscent of activity books during childhood, filled with games and puzzles that encourage meaningful, self-initiated activities. In the same manner in which such books kept us occupied and entertained, Depth of Field is meant to be immersive, allowing readers to interact with the various prompts. Each prompt helps the reader to explore some aspect of the self, mining deep memories, emotions and values. Through the fine process of writing-this can cross genres to include nonfiction, poetry and fiction-readers reacquaint with their inner selves, developing a deeper sense of where they are in their life journey.

  • Published: 14 December 2021
  • ISBN: 9789814954662
  • Imprint: PRH SEA
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 96
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Desmond Kon

Desmond Kon is the author of an epistolary novel, a quasi-memoir, two lyric essay monographs, four hybrid works, and nine poetry collections. A former journalist, he has edited more than twenty books and co-produced three audio books, several pro bono for non-profit organizations.
Trained in book publishing at Stanford University, Desmond studied sociology and mass communication at the National University of Singapore, and later received his Masters in theology (world religions) from Harvard University and Masters in fine arts (creative writing) from the University of Notre Dame.
In addition to grants from the National Arts Council and Singapore International Foundation, Desmond has enjoyed literary appointments at the Notre Dame Poetry Fellowship, NAC Writer-in-the-Gardens Residency, and NTU-NAC Creative Writing Residency.
Among other accolades, Desmond is the recipient of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award, Independent Publisher Book Award, National Indie Excellence Book Award, Poetry World Cup, Singapore Literature Prize, two Beverly Hills International Book Awards, and three Living Now Book Awards.

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Praise for Depth of Field

“In this compelling book, Desmond Kon engages the reader in writing prompts that advance wellness and serve as an affirmation that the road to self-recovery exists. For those who question their own resilience and capacity to cope with life’s challenges, this intricately designed book offers a path to a better world, regardless of whether one reflects on personal blemishes or sacred keepsakes. As the author astutely suggests, the key to success lies within.”

Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, PhD Virginia Poet Laureate Emerita

“Desmond Kon’s Depth of Field: My Guided Journal for Self Healing presents a beautiful opportunity for anyone who would like to draft letters to his or her essential self. This strikingly illustrated journal book asks us to make use of writing prompts to express who we are, have been, and might be someday. Kon plays with and against proverbial wisdom—frequently invoking fables and fairy tales with a special emphasis on Aesop’s Fables. His prompts frequently suggest to users of the journal that they may want to tweak or even turn against traditional wisdom as they endeavor to achieve self-discovery. Kon—with his training in theology, creative writing, and book publishing—has made use of his many talents in the construction of Depth of Field, a journal book that can reveal a self to a self.”

Joseph Stanton, PhD Recipient of the Cades Award for Literature and the Ka Palapala Po?okela Award for Excellence in Literature

“Depth of Field is no literature: it’s a godsend of good fortune and favour. Desmond Kon proves here poets can still be miracle workers and help people heal with word combinations. A kind of psycho-Orphism underlies the fables the author delicately sets up for us, to which responses are intended to be given through a dedicated space: each page opens a different landscape of your unconscious inland and moves smoothly its inhabitants—the wonder trees, farm animals and wild beasts of the mind. Genuinely empathetic and elegantly crafted, Depth of Field is an ardent invitation to become the poet of one’s own life.”

Pierre Vinclair, PhD Recipient of the Académie Française Heredia Prize and the Villa Kujoyama in Literature

“Depth of Field is a guided journal about kindness to self. It is full of delicious metaphors, allegories, imageries, and beautiful wordplay by a consummate wordsmith. It connects you to familiar fables playfully reinterpreted to respond to the existential angst we experience today. Above all, it delights your being in a reflective way—your eyes with its visual beauty, your mind with its intellectual stimulation, your heart with its colourful imagination and your will with its compelling analogies to nudge you to be kind to yourself by willing into being your true submerged self—simply by writing your reflections from the looking glass.”

William Wan, PhD General Secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement and Recipient of the President’s Philanthropy and Volunteerism Award

“Depth of Field performs the double task of providing self-help and overcoming writer’s block during pandemic lockdowns and beyond. It provides an easy-to-follow literary approach to free writing, a key tool in overcoming trauma. It also promises to free oneself from any writing rut with exciting prompts. The illustrations and photos are gorgeous as we have come to expect from Desmond F. X. Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé. This is an inspirational book for our time.”

Eric Tinsay Valles, PhD Director of Poetry Festival Singapore and Recipient of the Goh Sin Tub Creative Writing Prize

“Depth of Field is a rare work that has subtly and skilfully combined poetry and philosophy within the form of a self-help and activity book. The prompts—clearly the product of a mind and heart who lives with keen awareness and mindfulness—at once surprises, delights and provokes. These are prompts that will guide the reader to plumb the depths of the heart and scale the heights of the imagination that he/she/they would not have thought possible. This is a book that would not only heal. Its questions will open another world for you after which, you will not look at life you once knew the same again. It is a book that will make you look into yourself and find the gem within you that is waiting to be shared.”

Phan Ming Yen Fictionist and CEO of Global Cultural Alliance

“A whimsical activity book for grown-ups who need an escape from drudgery into wonderland. Follow Desmond down this perfectly-plotted rabbit hole—you’ll find wild flights of imagination before coming face to face with yourself in meditative moments of clarity.”

Amanda Chong Co-Founder of ReadAble and Recipient of the Singapore Youth Award

“During uncertain times, how vital it is to engage in the healing work of reflection. Depth of Field provides much-needed affirmation and consolation through insightful meditations of the mind and spirit. With tender precision, Desmond Kon has crafted a wise medley of enchanting creative exercises, akin to a recipe book for the heart. Let these imaginative prompts allow for pearls of experience to coalesce and crystallise, enacting and realising all at once what the poet Mary Oliver has called ‘instructions for living a life’.”

Ow Yeong Wai Kit Anthologist and Recipient of the Ministry of Education Outstanding Youth in Education Award

“Depth of Field is a book about us and the stories we tell ourselves. Each journal prompt is simple yet profound, bearing the whimsical qualities of a fairy tale, with stories awaiting to be written by you, the reader. Intricately interwoven with Aesop’s fables along with ekphrastic elements to inspire imagination and contemplation, this journal is an invitation for us to look deeper and discover that healing begins within.”

Nicole Kay Founder of the Tapestry Project Singapore

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