Melbourne Round Up

The weekend in Melbourne was huge!

Musically, I discovered a Bob Dylan CD that I had not heard of called Folksinger’s Choice, which captures a 20 year old Bob live in the studio with Cynthia Gooding on March 11, 1962, prior to the release of his debut album. The performances are crackling, with Bob sounding like a blues singer, three (or more) times his age. His covers of blues standards, Fixin’ to Die (Bukka White) and Smokestack Lightning (Howling Wolf) have a wildness to them; the sound of a young genius, bursting his lungs. It is also the first ever known performance of his early classic, The Death of Emmett Till, which blows Cynthia away… and it’s the banter between songs that really makes this all the more special, Dylan already creating his own myth, spinning a yarn about 6-years spent with the circus and sounding completely believable. The other Dylan originals on this CD are Standing on the Highway (which riffs off the Robert Johnson classic, Crossroad Blues) and Hard Times in New York Town. I think this one is going to be on very high rotation in the coming weeks…

And to add to our Beat Collection, I picked up a copy of Poets on the Peak – Gary Snyder, Phillip Whalen & Jack Kerouac in The Cascades, which charts each mans time as a Fire Lookout and a lesser known gem, The Lowell Connector – lines & shots from Kerouac’s hometown, featuring poems by Clark Coolidge, Michael Gizzi & John Yau and photographs by Bill Barrette. I’m already dipping into Poets on the Peaks and loving it…

And to top all this off, the reading as part of the The Castlemaine Poetry Series, was up there with the very best interstate readings I have ever participated in. In fact, the day felt like a session at a Poetry Festival, featuring some of Australia’s finest voices including Jane Williams, Robyn Rowlands, Matt Hetherington, Maurice McNamara, Anna Fern, Ray Liversidge, Ross Gillette, Nathan Curnow, Gillian Pattinson, my lovely wife, Julie Beveridge and MC extraordinnaire, Ross Donlon. With all of these poets performing alongside esteemed translator, Richard Perry, who gave a stunning reading from the work of Ryokan & Ikkyu and another launch of Famous Reporter  (including readings from, BN Oakman, Lucy Williams & Lorraine McGuigan), needless to say, I was in seriously good company. I closed the day with a reading and believe me, you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face at the end of it. A large, warm, attentive crowd… it was blissful! Julie took some video footage of my reading so keep watching the site, as I plan to post that sometime this week.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Melbourne Round Up

  1. Heyla!

    I’m stoked to hear that you’ve had a great time! I wish I could say the same, but I’ve had family matters to attend to, so the poetry has had to be placed aside.

    Drop me a line over the coming week, and let’s talk shop, ok?

  2. Congratulations, Graham.

  3. Sounds fabulous (and re the Bob Dylan album – 6 years in the circus – bwahahahahaha!)

  4. Eh, Mr. Nunn, it’s great following you, you are gregarious! Sounds like a good weekend, a little literary exercise. Could use some…I crashed out this weekend, my brain froze! Got to know the Weekend Australian on line very well, but didn’t find Birdwatching. Going over it again.

    • gnunn

      Sadly, they don’t publish the poem in the online version… but yes, the literary excerise got the brain pumping! Melbourne is one of my all time favourite ciities.

  5. Pingback: Graham Nunn and the Guildford poetry reading | Muse Central

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