Monthly Archives: June 2013

Tickets on sale for QLD Poetry Festival 2013

While QLD Poetry Festival prides itself on keeping the majority of the festival free and accessible to all comers, there are three hot tickets on sale right now.



Poetry Unbound Workshop w/ Sachiko Murakami

Poetry is a living artform – one that adapts, adjusts, can be renovated, extrapolated. Canadian poet Sachiko Murakami has been doing just that with her online collaborative sites Project Rebuild and Henko. Join Sachiko for a three-hour demonstrative workshop that explores in greater depth the various forms of poetry unbound – collaborative poetry, constructed poetry, found poetry, interactive poetry.

When: August 23rd, 10:30am – 1:30pm
Where: QLD Writers centre, State Library of Queensland
Tickets: $40 available here

Anthony Lawrence


Thinking Poetry Workshop w/ Anthony Lawrence

Poetry is an engagement of the senses, triggering the imagination into seeing the world anew. Join widely published and acclaimed poet Anthony Lawrence for this masterclass designed to flex your poetic muscles. Over the course of three hours you will engage in close readings of great poems, explore a series of practical exercises designed to spark new thought processes, and have your first-draft collectively workshopped by the group. Come away with a finished poem and some new spells of the trade to refine your poetic eye.

When: August 23rd, 10:30am – 1:30pm
Where: Room 1A, State Library of Queensland
Tickets: $40 available here

Bertie Blackman


And the main event… Set Fire To The Air


Shane Rhodes, the 2013 Arts Queensland Poet in Residence. He is the author of five collections of poetry, including The Wireless Room, Holding Pattern, The Bindery, and most recently, Err. His poetry has numerous awards, and has been featured in national and international anthologies. Shane is the poetry editor for Arc, Canada’s only national poetry magazine.

Jacqueline Turner back for her third visit to QPF! She has published four books of poetry with ECW Press: The Ends of the Earth (2013), Seven into Even (2006), Careful (2003), and Into the Fold (2000). She reviews for the Georgia Straight and lectures at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. She was the inaugural Arts Queensland Poet In Residence.

TT.O. born in Greece and raised in Fitzroy, Melbourne. A retired draughtsman, his latest book is BIG NUMBERS (new and selected poems). He is a founding member of Collective Effort Press and the Poets Union, and has represented Australia at various international festivals. By disposition and history TT.O. is an Anarchist, and is currently editor of the experimental magazine Unusual Work


Bertie Blackman whose latest album, Pope Innocent X, has been described as adventurous, thrilling, and undeniably unique. The long-awaited follow-up to 2009’s Secrets and Lies, Pope Innocent X is 11 tracks of visual, evocative storytelling. It’s a mix all Blackman’s own, as she forges into brand new musical territory yet again, with stunning results.

When: August 23, 2013 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Where: Theatre Space, Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts  420 Brunswick Street  Fortitude Valley QLD 4006  Australia
Cost: from $15
Tickets available here

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SpeedPoets this Saturday!


That’s right folks… if you are anywhere near the great city of Brisbane this Saturday, get along to one of its best kept secrets, The Hideaway (188 Brunswick St. Fortitude Valley) for the June installment of SpeedPoets. We will be throwing open the doors at 1:30pm with feature sets from Melbourne-based spoken word innovator, Santo Cazzati and rock legend, Kellie Lloyd (ex-Screamfeeder).

And of course, you can secure your place on stage by signing on for the Open Mic. All readers are automatically in the running to take out the coveted title of Call-Back-Poet. What does this mean? Well it means you will be invited up on stage to read a poem to close the day and be offered a feature reading at the last gig of the year in November, where each poet is up for the title of SpeedPoets Open Mic Champion 2013, $200 cash and a zine of your work published and launched at the February 2014 event. Sound good! I think so…

To check out all of this year’s Call-Back-Poets and listen to work from this month’s features visit the SpeedPoets website. And most importantly, get along and support Brisbane’s longest running monthly poetry gig this Saturday! And hey, if you can, give it a shout to your networks… here’s the Facebook link.

Date: Saturday June 29
Venue: The Hideaway, 188 Brunswick St Fortitude Valley
Time: 1:30pm – 5:00pm
Entry: Gold Coin Donation

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Varuna Bound

Well, things may quieten here over the next week, as tomorrow I head off to Varuna to soak in silence and see what bubbles to the surface. One week of solid, uninterrupted writing, sitting at Eleanor Dark’s desk in her studio overlooking the magnificent gardens. Sounds amazing when I say it, though, a little daunting at the same time…

Eleanor Dark Studio

Good friend and fine poet, Nathan Shepherdson jokingly said it’s an opportunity to go Chris Gayle (cricket reference for all those wondering) style and write 100 poems in the week, but as I said, a well crafted 30 would do me just fine.

One thing is for sure, I will be sharing the odd poem here over the coming weeks… and hopefully a postcard in the next few days.



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Oh White Mare

Fronted by Perth based poet, publisher and rock’n’roller, Jeremy Balius, Oh White Mare have just dropped their debut EP. This is music that will kick holes in your speakers; music driven by a reckless propulsion that if you open yourself, will prove irresistible. Few things make the hairs stand on my neck; even fewer make my nervous system shimmy.

Get ready to shake…


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TYTO Wetlands Haiku

Almost two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of spending time with a handful of poets exploring the art of haiku in the immensely beautiful surrounds of Ingham’s TYTO Wetlands. Our ginko produced some fine poems, and Cindy, as always, took some incredible photos so that you can share in the beauty. I want to say a big thank you to all of the poets involved.


lining up the perfect photo
birds move
to the other side


june wind
the flap
of duck’s wings

[Cindy Keong]


ducks flap clk

photograph by Cindy Keong


memories burst
manda’s in the hot sun


woodland ducks here and gone

[Helen Stanton]


woodland ducks clk

photograph by Cindy Keong


yellow grass
stroked by the wind
butterflies dance


calling water
bubbles rise to
the surface of my heart

[Pam Lane]


water bubbles clk

photograph by Cindy Keong


storm clouds approaching white herons


darken the sky
awake again

[Barbara Horsley]


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Spoken In One Strange Word 2013

qpf 2013 see me at badge-1

On Tuesday night at Riverbend Books, I had the great pleasure of MC’ing the official launch of the 2013 QLD Poetry Festival: spoken in one strange word program. The night kicked off with Rob Morris and Sheish Money who by mid set had everyone smiling and stomping their feet; Rob weaving tales of Ram Chandra, Old Sailors and countless other characters into Sheish’s floating piano notes. And from there, every artist that stood up to the mic – Pascalle Burton, Nathan Shepherdson, Rhyll Tonge & Fern Thompsett and Sue Ray – added  another layer of joy.

It was a showcase of what makes QLD Poetry Festival the most exciting poetry event in this country… a celebration of the strange words poets make.

And now, the 2013 program is available online, and it is quite possibly, the most exciting program I have seen in my 10 year involvement. Artists that have my blood racing are Sachiko Murakami (Canada), Tao Lin (USA), Jacqueline Turner (Canada), Π O (Australia), Aidan Coleman (Australia), Bertie Blackman… and this is just the names on the tip of my tongue. To check out the full program, visit the QPF Website. Spend some time with it… there is so much to get excited about!

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My Aching Back: Lyndon Norton Remix

It’s time for one last remix of My Aching Back… and with this post comes the news that the original poem will be published in Kokako, a fine journal of Japanese forms published in New Zealand. It’s wonderful to see this poem reaching a wide audience. So now, it’s over to Lyndon to give it one last spin…


My Aching Back: Lyndon Norton Remix

Side 1 – jo – preface

Link #1 (3 lines) – hokku (autumn)

my aching back
a leaf falls
from a branch

(Matt Hetherington)

Link #2 (2 lines) – wakiku (autumn)

as I put down the rake
the sky darkens

(Lyndon Norton)

Link #3 (3 lines) – daisan (non seasonal)

cold night
our words
left hanging

(Cindy Keong)

Side 2 – ha part one – development

Link #4 (2 lines) – winter  moon

stuck up a tree
winter moon

(Andy Smerdon)

Link #5 (3 lines) – non seasonal

not even the radio
a bus passes

(Jonathan Hadwen)

Link #6 (2 lines) – non seasonal

the old dog dreams
of the chase

(Mal Keeble)

Side 3 – ha part two – intensification

Link #7 (3 lines) – spring blossom

along the edge
of her grave
a row of daffodils

(Cindy Keong)

Link #8 (2 lines) – spring

shadows shrink
sun cannot warm the air

(John Wainwright)

Link #9 (3 lines) – non seasonal

behind teeth
a storm gathers
I cannot swallow this

(Nigel Ellis)

Side 4 – kyu – finale

Link #10 (2 lines)- non seasonal, love verse

all that remains
broken on the shoreline

(Cindy Keong)

Link #11 (3 lines) – non seasonal, love verse

incoming tide
waiting for
the next wave

(Cindy Keong)

Link #12 (2 lines) – ageku (summer)

nothing matters
after sunset

(Carly Jay Metcalfe)

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