QLD Writer’s Week Feature #10 – Cindy Keong

Many of you will be familiar with the work of Brisbane-based poet and photographer, Cindy Keong. Feature #10 showcases gives us a taste of her latest writing all the way from Tanzania, where she is currently working as a volunteer.

What excites you about poetry? 

For me poetry is a busy person’s literature.  I am always fascinated with the impact of a how a few stripped back words in a poem can explore both the complex and ordinary everyday concepts or ideas.  Poetry for me is another way of looking at life, relationships, concepts and ideas as if seeing them for the first time.

What are the themes that interest you / that you like to explore in your own writing?
Themes that are accessible always seem to feature in my work.  I love the idea of creating meaning by evoking imagery in the mind of the reader, whether it be an intended meaning or one derived by the readers own experiences.

Charles Bukowski once said, ‘poetry is what happens when nothing else can.’ How does a poem happen for you?

I am profoundly moved by visual imagery the whole picture paints a thousand words concept.  Poetry does the same for me I love the way words attach themselves to images in the mind of the reader or sends you off with inspiration for your own writing.


Mzungu eyes

(Nairobi to Arusha)


Leaving Nairobi sprawling
peak hour traffic we crawl like
insects over glass


Miles of red dust blankets
a bleached canvas crying for
the artists brush


Zebra sprawled across bitumen a red
ribbon tied around its neck, a vulture
swoops to claim its prize


12 foot Coke bottle stand on the
corner of nowhere, selling nothing,
its neon sign flashing promises it won’t keep


5 hours of driving potholes and diverted
highway, our bus a time capsule, as
Michael Jackson plays on loop


 About Cindy:

I am a Brisbane based photographer,poet and teacher.  Currently exploring life in Tanzania assisting with a community based education program.  I usually live in breathing distance to the Pacific Ocean which continues to inspire my work. 2010 has been an exciting year with both my poetry and photos published in Page Seventeen as well as being shortlisted for Queensland Poetry Festival Filmakers awards and receiving a highly commended for film submissions at the Melbourne Overload Festival. You can see more of her work at: http://clk27.wordpress.com/


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Filed under interviews/artist profiles, poetry & publishing

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