QLD Writer’s Week Feature #8 – Betsy Turcot

Feature#8 showcases one of Brisbane’s exciting new voices, member of The Broken Record Collective, Betsy Turcot.

What excites you about poetry?

What excites me about poetry is its ability to inspire.  I remember the first time I heard the slam poets, Alix Olson and Saul Williams perform. I walked away thinking, ‘you can do that with words!’  I knew that it is what I wanted to do with my life. 

What are the themes that interest you/that you like to explore in your own writing?

I got into poetry through slam and while most slam poets preach politics, I preach love and empathy.  I enjoy telling a story in each piece that I write or perform.  I am interested in identity and what constitutes the make-up of an individual. 

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

A poem happens for me when something from my ordinary, day-to-day life touches a nerve.  It often takes a stimulus like biking to work or listening to music for ideas to bubble up from my subconscious. I have learned to embrace those moments of inspiration, stop what I’m doing and write.



Summer smoke swirls
     soothe battered breasts
elbows on knees
     we sip lazy speech
breach barriers
      on the cool concrete
ash falls between
       naked feet

we smoke
       in remembrance
lay you to rest
broken hearts beat
       in present time

she’s not the siren
       I expected
can’t remember why
       I was jealous

take her hand
burnt chestnut hair
               lead her in

to where I swim
     in sea green eyes
     to where her bruised soul
             touches mine

we lick each others’ wounds
beneath the green cotton sheets
in that tiny apartment
     on King Street.



About Betsy:

I am my parents’ mistake. Wedding night insemination. A life’s collection of baseball cards driven though a blizzard.  Sold at auction.  I am Nanny McPhee. Gone by the time you see my beauty. I am the battered copy of To Kill a Mockingbird, endlessly singing of empathy.



Filed under interviews/artist profiles, poetry & publishing

2 responses to “QLD Writer’s Week Feature #8 – Betsy Turcot

  1. Trudie Murrell

    Love this poem Betsy. Subtle and mysterious as smoke.

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