Riverbend Poetry Series II: David Stavanger

April is here and in just over two weeks, the second event in the 2011 Riverbend Poetry Series will light up the Riverbend Deck. One of the features on the night is one of Brisbane’s most dynamic performers, David ‘Ghostboy’ Stavanger.

David Stavanger – and his bent alter ego Ghostboy – are the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde of Australian poetry. These two artists in the one skin have become known for their distinct work on both the page and the stage, with pieces published in The Courier Mail, Blue Dog, Cordite, Going Down Swinging, and The Spoken Word Revolution: Redux (USA, 2nd Ed) as well as performing work live on ABC & Triple J radio. Their first book & CD Station to Station was released in 2006.  David’s first solo book, And the Ringmaster Said… was released to good reviews through Small Change Press (2008), the independent South-East QLD imprint he co-started in 2006 with poet Graham Nunn. A live hybrid of performance poetry, spoken weird theatre & surrealist soundscapes they have both been a feature at many major festivals including Brisbane Writers, Sydney Writers, Byron Bay Writers, Tasmanian Poetry, Broken Hill Poetry, Woodford Folk Festival, and QLD Poetry Festivals as well as featuring as part of NightWords at the Sydney Opera House.  David is fresh back from a spoken word/poetry tour of the US, funded by Arts QLD. You can check out more of his work at www.myspace.com/davidstavanger

If you have had the live David/Ghostboy experience, then you are in for something out of the box. Here’s a recent poem:

Sleep, hit me (a response to Blue Velvet)


first key opens the door. this
key unlocks the night. when
you enter, the room, it has no
corners. her voice falls down
the hall. lock up the tears.
young water breaks here.

there is a black scar across my blue heart


on Lincoln, we shot the breeze
under winter trees. in these woods
I tried to be frank, we curious cats,
your skirt sang like a fire engine.
open enough boxes, you soon discover
the siren behind every door.

kiss me. don’t kiss me. kiss me.


stay in the car. stay hard to the
wheel. wait for my call. don’t
answer the phone. hit the horn.
never brake. matches lit burn.

she watches him leap the stairs
like a man on fire. her desire to
not find answers is lost before
the sandman gathers the creases.
sleep, hit me.

in dreams we are not together / we are not alone


on Lt Williams desk are two phones,
police radios knife the air. he can’t tell
you where this is heading but he can tell
you when it will start. “you can call her
pretty” he says “cause’ pretty girl graves
aren’t deep”. fat chance dances on a rooftop.

when Frank arrives he never comes.
he is leather, he is the fucker, he is love.
some people wear masks to surprise
the senses, others don’t wear fear at all.
he smells of well heeled jacks at the spring ball.

the teeth aren’t the problem / he will cut you with his eyes


Full details of the event are:

Tuesday April 19
Queensland Poetry Festival, QLD Writers Centre & Riverbend Books are proud to present the second event in the Riverbend Poetry Series for 2011. The April event features one of Brisbane’s finest new voices, Vanessa Page, reading from her debut collection, Memory Bone, the wildly wonderful, David Stavanger (And the Ringmaster Said), lover of all things rock’n’roll, Julie Beveridge (Home is Where the Heartache is) and Max Ryan, who’s latest collection Before the Sky won the inaugural Picaro Poetry Prize. 
Date: Tuesday 19 April
Location: Riverbend Books, 193 Oxford St. Bulimba
Time: Doors open for the event at 6pm for a 6:30pm start
Tickets: $10 available through Riverbend Books and include sushi and complimentary wine. To purchase tickets, call Riverbend Books on (07) 3899 8555 or book online at http://www.riverbendbooks.com.au/Events/2491/Riverbend+Poetry+Series

These events are always hugely popular, so book early to avoid disappointment!


1 Comment

Filed under events & opportunities, poetry & publishing

One response to “Riverbend Poetry Series II: David Stavanger

  1. This is great. I’m writing a play at the moment that hinges upon a metaphor of lion taming. I can’t tell you how helpful these thoughts are – the relationship between captor and captured, etc. Thanks for publishing this. I’m going to keep a copy on my desk while I do my next draft … Best, Sandra.

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