I’m especially happy to see ‘Aubade’ in print:
Copies of the anthology can be purchased through WA Poets Inc.
While I was in Melbourne I caught up with poet and podcaster Alice Allan to have a ramble chat about poetry etc:
Thanks once again to Alice for having me on the show. A pleasure.
I’ll be a guest speaker at the next Sydney Poetry Lounge on Tuesday 1st May, alongside the excellent Anne Casey. This is a new event, organised by Ali Whitelock. The May event will also be the launch of ‘AUTONOMY’, an anthology of … Continue reading
The results of the 2017 Judith Wright Poetry Prize were announced yesterday, and I was happy to discover that my poem ‘Hot Clouds’ was highly commended.
Established in 2007, this prize brings attention to emerging poets, who have published no more than one collection of poems.
Congratulations to the winner Evelyn Araluen, and to all the shortlisted poets. There were 1000 entries, apparently, which means the competition was fierce!
You can read the first, second and third prize winning poems in the March edition of Overland.
And you can read ‘Hot Clouds’ as soon as I publish my first collection (which should only take another forty or so years…)
I was one of a number of people who provided a live ‘voicing’ for the exhibition, which in my case meant thirty minutes of spoken word poetry. Visitors were free to wander in and out during the voicing, as you would an artwork in a gallery.
I’ve performed at spoken word events around Sydney, but never for thirty entire minutes; it was an epic feat! I had to memorise a lot of material, and I had to learn how to ‘read’ an audience within a live setting. I ended up changing my set every time I did a voicing, to keep it feeling fresh and spontaneous.
The best part of the experience was getting past those initial nervous jitters and settling into the performance peacefully and joyfully. When you have thirty minutes to fill, you can’t just race through everything in a bid to ‘get it over with’. You have to pace yourself, take deep breaths, and allow the silences in between the lines and stanzas to ‘speak’ for themselves. I believe that poetry is really just an intricate frame around silence, and for the first time in my life I became comfortable with simply standing before an audience, with stillness and presence.
I am incredibly grateful to the Program Producer David Greenhalgh; thank you for putting Australian poetry in a museum!
Here is a photo of me in action:
Yes, it is true, I have officially become an Insta Poet.
One of the reasons this platform makes me uneasy is because it is so ephemeral (which is a euphemistic way of saying ‘disposable’) – poetry necessarily takes time, whereas the entire premise of Instagram is that it is… insant.
But I’ve decided to put my grumpiness aside and instead embrace the medium by creating ‘Erasable Poetry’. These are spur-of-the-moment poems I’m writing with whiteboard markers on erasable surfaces.
I write the poem, snap a photo, post it on Insta, and then erase it. It’s an entirely different process to what I’m used to (many of my ‘real’ poems have taken actual years to complete, if you chart the process from first draft through to publication). The quality of my Insta poetry obviously isn’t as good, but it’s fun to write, and it’s a nice way to stay creative within a busy life.
As for the other #poetsofinstagram. With very few exceptions, they would all benefit from reading a lot more poetry (the sort that comes in ‘book’ format) and from being open to constructive criticism. If you’re in the game solely for affirmation and accolades, you’ve picked the wrong art form.
My two cents!
Honoured to have been included in the inaugural edition of Pink Cover zine. If you can get your hands on a physical artefact, it’s a work of art; lovingly hand-collaged by the talented and passionate Samantha Trayhurn.
The launch was fun, although I should apologise for disappearing so early; I get overwhelmed in rooms full of writers! Everyone taking detailed notes with their large brains…
Here’s me at the launch, before I drank too much alcoholic lemonade and went home to lie on the floor next to my cat:
Photo credit: Dr Steve.
Thanks to Sam, your zine is lovely, and I’m so glad there are people out there creating opportunities for poets.
Have you ever felt like a fraud, a fake, a… weirdo?
In episode 46 of the Poetry Says podcast, I chat to Alice Allan about that feeling of not quite fitting in. If you have ever felt like your achievements are somehow not valid, or that you’re a pretender who is eventually going to be ‘found out’, we’re here to reassure you: you’re not alone. In fact, you’re in very fine company indeed.
Thanks to Alice for reaching out to me and getting this conversation started!