All Time Asian Popular Literature in Eastlit

Asian Popular Literature on Eastlit. Silhouette Bang Saen beach by Graham Lawrence.It has been quite some time, since I even put out even a top-five all time popular literature list for Eastlit. To make up for that, here is the top thirty of Asian popular literature that has appeared in Eastlit since our first issue. This still happens to be one of the most requested posts on Eastlit.

In this list apart from fiction and poetry, it is also good to see non-fiction and artwork. Diversity was always one of the first aims when Bryn and I launched the journal back in late 2012.

OK that is enough from me, so here it is:

The All-Time Asian Popular Literature List

  1. Ishinomaki by Cesar Polvorosa Jr.
  2. A Veil of Silk by Jared Angel.
  3. Going Back to Emerald Hill by Chew Yi Wei.
  4. Smoke and Mirrors by Sayantan Ghosh.
  5. Why I Write by Qui-Phiet Tran.
  6. The Foreign Man Is Prepared to Take Everything in His Stride by Connla Stokes
  7. The Puppet Tree Illustration by Vasan Sitthiket.
  8. The Puppet Tree by Andrew J. West.
  9. The Bicentennial by Cesar Polvorosa Jr.
  10. Bluebird Island by Pauline Lacanilao.
  11. A Descendant of Emperor Shang Tang by Minglu Zeng
  12. Poem by Preeyakit Buranasin.
  13. Day of Valor by Pauline Lacanilao.
  14. One-Day Friends by Ralph Catedral.
  15. A Complete Overhaul by Stephen Jordan.
  16. Still Life and Two Other Poems by Anna Yin.
  17. Family Drama by Juanita Kakoty.
  18. Boxing Day ’13 by Hồn Du Mục
  19. Reliving World War II in the Philippines by Carol Colborn
  20. Sentences and Two Other Poems by Henrik Hoeg.
  21. Happy Encounter in a Rainy Christmas Night by Minglu Zeng.
  22. Going Home by Steve Rosse.
  23. 377 by Manoj Nair.
  24. The Debt by Kritika Chettri.
  25. The Inherited Journey by Shehzad Ghias Shaikh.
  26. Monkey Business by Ashwin Mudigonda.
  27. Stefan by Manoj Nair.
  28. Gwi’Shin by Todd Sullivan.
  29. The Old Hibachi by Peter Mallett.
  30. Five Poems by Rose Lu.

Congratulations to everyone in the Asian Popular Literature top thirty and of course there are other works of quality throughout that just didn’t get read so much. After all we all have different tastes. So why not explore a little.

I hope in the future that Eastlit is able to bring as much interesting poetry, fiction, non-fiction, plays and artwork as in our first 4.5 years.

Other News

After our fifth birthday, we will look at giving Eastlit a new look for the coming years unless of course you the readers tell us that you prefer to stay with our current one!

If you have any suggestions or comments please let the editors know.




If you want to support Eastlit’s aims you can like, share or even donate – link below (for credit card donation click continue at the bottom – note the PayPal e-mail is eastlit1 at gmail dot com):


Eastlit 2016 Popular Asiatic Literature

Eastlit 2016 Popular Asiatic Literature

2016 Popular Asiatic Literature: Old Bicycle in Udon by Graham LawrenceA very Happy New Year to all Eastlit’s readers, contributors and our team. Following what is becoming a tradition, here is the 2016 top thirty. This is now the fourth look at what is popular for a year. It is also the second time we have included the work from the Southlit Supplement that goes with every issue of Eastlit.

This year we see a mix of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and artwork and an in the 2016 popular Asiatic literature list.

If you want to see the previous years entries follow the links: 2014 Top Literature and 2013 Top Twenty, and the Eastlit 2015 Popular Asian Literature. And with no more ado, here are most read pieces of this year.

2016 Popular Asiatic Literature:

  1. A Veil of Silk by Jared Angel.
  2. Why I Write by Qui-Phiet Tran.
  3. Eastern Poetry by Graham Lawrence.
  4. Going Back to Emerald Hill by Chew Yi Wei.
  5. 377 by Manoj Nair.
  6. The Puppet Tree Illustration by Vasan Sitthiket.
  7. Ishinomaki by Cesar Polvorosa Jr.
  8. The Inherited Journey by Shehzad Ghias Shaikh.
  9. Family Drama by Juanita Kakoty.
  10. Stefan by Manoj Nair.
  11. Gwi’Shin by Todd Sullivan.
  12. Smoke and Mirrors by Sayantan Ghosh.
  13. Photograph by Ages Chew.
  14. Dead Drunk in Vientiane & Other Poems by Karlo Sevilla.
  15. Still Life and Two Other Poems by Anna Yin.
  16. Lelia by Adonis Zambrano Hornoz.
  17. The Puppet Tree by Andrew J. West.
  18. Conversations in the Sky by Preh Memon.
  19. Jong Il, from Yang Pyeong by Eric Stinton.
  20. White Lady by Tina Isaacs.
  21. Foreigners Spell Sex & Other Poems by Louie Crew Clay.
  22. Apples Are Grown in Aomori by Ian Rogers.
  23. Memory Lane by Sumayyah Malik.
  24. Bluebird Island by Pauline Lacanilao.
  25. A Block Party in Burma by Dorothy Hom.
  26. His Northern Hemisphere and Other Poems by Alton Melvar M Dapanas.
  27. Happy Encounter in a Rainy Christmas Night by Minglu Zeng.
  28. Dreams of Old Shanghai by Colin W. Campbell.
  29. Ate Keng & Other Poems by Erwin Ponce.
  30. Requiem by Theophilus Kwek.

Top 20 Countries where Eastlit was Read in 2016 (in alphabetical order)

  • Australia
  • Bangladesh
  • Canada
  • China and Hong Kong
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • UK
  • USA
  • Vietnam


Year on Year Readership Change 2014 to 2015

  • +22% January 2016 on January 2015.
  • +12% February 2016 on February 2015.
  • +5% March 2016 on March 2015.
  • +26% April 2016 on April 2015.
  • +20% May 2016 on May 2015.
  • +25% June 2016 on June 2015.
  • +43% July 2016 on July 2015.
  • +3% August 2016 on August 2015.
  • +89% September 2016 on September 2015.
  • +15% October 2016 on October 2015.
  • +45% November 2016 on November 2015.
  • +15% December 2016 on December 2015.

Year by Year Readership Change

  • +770% from year 2012 to 2013 (only 1 issue in 2012)
  • +52% from year 2013 to 2014
  • +10% from year 2014 to 2015 (only 10 issues is 2015)
  • +23% from year 2015 to 2016

Other News

The all time top thirty will be released later in a separate post. This may be in February. We continue to look at offering some writers the chance to have their work exposed in the ESL environment. I mentioned this an earlier news post on developments in literature in Eastlit. This would of course get your writing read by huge numbers. You name would also be far better known. ESL websites are far more read than any literary ones.

Thank you for your amazing support through 2016. We at Eastlit hopes you will continue to enjoy the journal in 2017. Once again I will introduce one or two new things in 2017. We like to develop as the years go by. But the main aim is to keep Eastlit vibrant and relevant to you as readers and writers. And to make sure that Eastlit plays it part as the poets, writers and artists of Asia take their place alongside those from more traditional literary regions.

And if you want to support Eastlit’s aims you can like, share or even donate – link below (for credit card donation click continue at the bottom):



If anyone has any comments or suggestions on anything to do with Eastlit please get in touch with the editor. All feedback is listened to, considered and appreciated! We are also looking for guest editorials and a possible volunteer for the editorial board. If anyone wants to be interviewed for Eastlit, let me know. Oh and if you like us, linking to our site is always appreciated!

Have a great 2017.



Eastern Poetry

There has always been a strong tradition of Eastern poetry. This has crossed the regions from the north in Far Eastern Russia and Japan down to the southern reaches of South East Asia in Indonesia. Until sometime in the nineteenth century nearly all literature in the region was in fact poetry.  The richness of eastern poetry and strength of its tradition can be seen across history. Tens of thousands of poems exist from the Chinese Tang dynasty of 600-900. Love letters in the form of poetry were written by both men and women in the Hei’an court of Imperial Japan of 800-1200. In South East Asia, moving forward slightly, we see ancient Javanese Sekar ageng and madya poetry. There is also the Khlong style of ancient Thailand. From these early starts a strong tradition in eastern poetry in local tongues both ancient and modern has built across the regions. In recent times we even see the addition of English to the poetry of the East. This is really where Eastlit comes in.

Eastern Poetry and Eastlit.

Since we launched Eastlit we have seen the tradition of poetry continue. Spread across each issue we have often found more poems than pieces of prose. There has been a strong cast of poetry from locals experimenting in English. This has been complimented by both locals and others continuing in the traditional genres and styles of Eastern poetry. Plus we have seen the modern addition of poetry covering living away from the East.

In issue one we saw the Mahanaya Buddhist inspired poetry of Arkava Das. As the months have ticked by we have seen the modern poems of third culture by Valerie Wong. Student Zach Wilson tried a more traditional Western Dao. Colin Campbell contributed Haiku from Sarawak as well as traditional Malaysian pantoums. Anna Yin has more recently added in her own unique style with poems touching on the old, traditional and modern. She features in both the March and May issues of Eastlit. Rose Lu has helped in continuing the strong showing that we have seen by Chinese women writing poetry in English.

At Eastlit we are proud to be able to offer a medium to showcase this continuing tradition of Eastern Poetry. We are happy to be part of its ongoing development as East meets West and the combination creates something new.

Thank you to all the poets engaged in the poetry of the East in all its current meanings. We will continue to work with you to bring what you create to our readers.