Mountain launch

November 4, 2019

I just returned from Blackheath in the Blue Mountains of NSW, where I attended the launch of Mountain Secrets, a new anthology published by Ginninderra Press of South Australia, edited by Joan Fenney.

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Over 70 people attended the launch, which is quite remarkable, given that Blackheath is quite difficult to get to from any of the major capital cities. (Easiest from Sydney, and some people even commute, I believe!) I have a poem in the book called ‘Heat and snow’ about the Mountain pygmy possum, one of many Australian animals threatened by climate change. I was one of many poets to read at the launch.

The book looks and feels fantastic, although I’ve yet to read all the poems. Here is a photo of Stephen Matthews, who, along with Brenda Matthews (who was also celebrating a significant birthday on the day) runs Ginninderra Press. The poet reading is Sandra Renew, another poet from Canberra.

SM and SR

And finally, I have to include this photo of me having a drink at the pub in Blackheath, where a pipe band from Lithgow suddenly entered and started playing. That was a bit of a surprise. I’m not sure if this is a regular gig, or if it was part of the Rhododendron Festival that was also on in Blackheath. Anyway, I restrained myself from requesting ‘It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll’ by AC/DC. Just.

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Next year will be a very exciting one for me in terms of publications. More on that later.

No new poem this week. But if you live in Canberra and want some wine and/or poetry, (and who wouldn’t when it’s bleak and freezing) go to University House, ANU, at 7pm or earlier on Wednesday 14th August. Poetry will happen in the Graduate Lounge. There will be Carol Jenkins (Sydney), David Gilbey (Wagga Wagga) and PS Cottier (Canberra). The last-mentioned poet even has a hat. It was recently purchased from Australian Poetry.

There is an entry fee for the poetry of $10 waged and $5 unwaged.

This one is via link to Not Very Quiet, an online journal of women’s poetry. This edition, the second, was guest edited by Anita Patel, and the launch was held last night at Smiths Alternative here in Canberra. Many of the included poets were there to read their poems, along with the founding editors, Sandra Renew and Moya Pacey, and production editor Tikka Wilson.

Here is Anita Patel launching this issue, which is well worth a look.

Anita edit

Very happy that my suggested name for a beer to be served at the baseball at the Canberra Cavalry’s matches was the winner of a poll by the brewery.  Designated Bitter is the name, and I can’t wait to try it!  Bentspoke will have the beer on tap at the ball park.  You can read more about that here.  Next to having a beer called Penelope’s Special, this is as good as it gets!  Here’s the logo.

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To celebrate, here’s a poem I first posted 5 years ago on this blog.

 In the pub

Wedges of moon
float in my glass
sky lemon stings

Vodka ice glass
nine tenths hide below
Cold leg’s hard kick

Poker beeps
sour head nods in shame
beer swims laps

Salt chips taste
absent smoke feathers
long since flown

PS Cottier

That’s all a bit grim, really, but I’m too stuffed to write one about the joys of beer (and baseball) just now, as…

I returned from Bega an hour ago, a town just inland from the far south coast of NSW, where there was a launch of a new publication; a chapbook called Muse which will hopefully appear once every season.  It is the sister publication to Mnesomnye, an online journal edited by a group of women on the south coast.  It contains great photos by Jodie Dickinson.

Muse

Bega was a real surprise; a great bookshop where the launch was held (Candelo Books), a table raising money for Rohingya refugees, and a really nice shopping strip on Carp Street.   I wish I could have spent more time there.

Driving back there was about a kilometre of highway with enormous cows grazing unconstrained on each side, so it wasn’t exactly like Braddon.

 

Theatre Tuesday

October 9, 2017

Sedation group happy

So you’ve been feeling a bit past your use-by date, and a little tarnished by time.  Perhaps you are terrified that you are losing your way, and becoming the type of writer who repeats themselves, not to work and rework ideas like an artisan kneading bread, but because they can’t do anything else.  You meet that type, and they piss around the corners of conversations, lest new ideas insinuate and undermine their certainties.

And then someone* finds one of your poems, tucked away on this very blog, and includes it in a theatre work, and it is given a new voice and body by an actor**.  And you listen to it take its place in the work, and feel glad that someone felt its energy and its humour; a humour wedged between despair and hysteria.

Because you’re a total dag, you adopt a horizontal position in a photo amongst some of the other poets, and the actors.  You*** would underline how much the production meant to you in some alien form of punctuation.  You really need to discover decorum, rather than dwell in a cellar of rum.

*Adele Chynoweth, who directed the work Under Sedation, currently showing at The Street Theatre, as well as selecting/arranging the poems

**Ruth Pieloor (The other actor is Ben Drysdale and you can probably spot him in the photo above.)  The photo below shows Ruth adopting a Polonius stance, after the production.

r as p

***You obviously doesn’t mean you, dear reader.