It’s been such a massive couple of days… first up, I want to thank everyone who was there to celebrate the launch of The First 30 and other poems on Sunday. I was overwhelmed by the turn out and the love in the room was especially big. Reading those poems to the backdrop of babies chattering and kids playing was such a thrill. I will be posting Nathan Shepherdson’s launch speech and some photos later in the week, so will share a few more of my thoughts on the event then. Right now, I want to share some words from SpeedPoets Call-Back-Poet #5, Andrew Phillips. Andrew is the co-author (with Tiggy Johnson) of That Zero Year, a collection I was privileged to write a blurb for. This is how I summed it up:
From the sudden weight of Thirteen weeks to the biting complaints of Fishing, That zero year screams with joy. These poems form a dialogue of love and loss; unpicking stitches in the family weave to welcome us to the bedside table of these most private moments. Here, we witness breath-taking devastation – the missing knee in the chest, the remembered rub of a belly – and wide-eyed wonder – a smile wriggled through to the toes. That zero year is an unflinching celebration of breath and blood. Phillips and Johnson know what it is to be alive and we are richer for it.
It was wonderful to have Andrew read at the launch of The First 30 on Sunday, so to feature his words here, is again, a real pleasure.
moment, for a currawong
too heavy for air
between cathedral roots
of a black booyong
wing bent back
it floats in the decomposing leaves
its expression; noble
as the way it stood
in suit jacket
piercing yellow eye
to the forest workers
who will massage everything back to soil
Andrew Phillips grew up surfing, rock climbing, scrambling through rainforest in South East Queensland and never ever read poetry. ‘It must be some kind of bug bite on a steep traverse through a council library.’ In 2012 he performed at the Qld Poetry Festival and launched ‘That zero year‘.
2012 SpeedPoets Open Mic Championships
Date: Sunday November 4
Location: Brew (Lower Burnett Lane, Brisbane City)
Time: 2:30pm – 5pm
Entry: Gold Coin Donation
More details at www.speedpoets.com