Next Big Thing: Brisbane New Voices featuring Trudie Murrell

Earlier in January (can you believe that it’s no longer January…), I announced the two poets who would be published in this year’s Brisbane New Voices collection, and posted Vuong Pham’s Next Big Thing interview.

Now it’s time to post Trudie Murrell’s Next Big Thing interview, to give you a feel of the energy she will bring to her half of BNV IV. Over to you Trudie!


What is the title of your book?

Women and Cars

What genre does your book fall under?


What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A series of poems mapping a road trip from childhood to parenthood.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Life. This series of poems grew from a short story written after the birth of my first child in 2001.  The idea that these poems might ever be published was planted by 2010 Brisbane Poetry Festival poet in residence Emily XYZ.  The idea for publishing this selection of poems in this form came from Graham Nunn who asked me to choose fifteen poems from my larger manuscript of forty-seven poems, to be considered for Brisbane New Voices IV.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Some of the poems included in this collection date back to 2007.  I have slowly been accruing poems on this theme since 1990.  The task of writing a first draft of the full manuscript has happened in two fortnight long bursts of frenzied activity, one in mid 2011 and one at the end of 2012.  Much of my ‘concerted effort’ writing tasks coincide with visits to my parents’ house or my husband taking holidays so that I have other people to take care of my three children.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The women of my family and where I was born inspired me to write these poems.  Growing up in North Queensland, road trips and telling stories were large parts of childhood and moving on.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

The micro collection of Women and Cars will be independently published in Brisbane New Voices IV by Graham Nunn through Another Lost Shark Publications. It will be launched in April this year and will appear with the work of another Brisbane poet, Vuong Pham.

What other works would you compare this book to within your genre?

As I am an emerging poet and still finding my voice, I can’t compare my style to others.  I was raised on the classics.  More recently, I have been reading the work of Dorothy Porter, Bruce Dawe, Dorothy Hewett, Julie Beveridge, Nathan Curnow and Michelle Dicinoski  and I hope my work has been favorably influenced by that.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

We all know the author doesn’t really get a say in casting – but if I could choose, I would choose someone unknown, someone emerging, someone who would surprise everybody with a brilliant performance because someone took a chance and chose her.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I hope it would make people who read it realise that poetry is not dry, dusty or esoteric. It’s about everyday life.


Trudie Murrell is a child of the tropics who now lives in Brisbane. Since 1988 she has been writing poetry, plays and short stories.  She is also teacher, performer and a parent of three children.

Her poems have been published in The Green Fuse, Macmillan English 9 for the Australian Curriculum, Cordite, SpeedPoets zine and on Another Lost Shark.  She’s featured at Black Star’s Words or Whatever, Confit Bistro’s Back Room, Jam Jar and Fresh at the Library and she is a regular reader at SpeedPoets open mic.


Brisbane New Voices IV will be launched at Riverbend Books on Tuesday April April 23, so stay tuned for more details closer to the event.

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