Tag Archives: Amanda Joy

Amanda Joy & Sheish Money Live at SpeedPoets

The inimitable Paul Squires has captured some exquisite footage of Amanda Joy backed by the SpeedPoets riff-creator, Sheish Money last Sunday, April 11. Just getting to watch this again made my stomach float… the words twisting through the music (and vice versa) is mesmeric. A slice of brilliance from two very special performers.

Check it out here and be sure to spread the word…

6 Comments

Filed under events & opportunities, poetry & publishing

Two poems by April SpeedPoets feature, Amanda Joy

Just a few more days until SpeedPoets rolls into Inspire Gallery Bar for our April event… so to get your poetry taste buds salivating here’s a couple of poems from one of our features, Perth based poet, Amanda Joy.

Amanda is a poet, sculptor, installation artist and songwriter born in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. She currently lives, works and gardens in Fremantle and travels as often as she can. Her poetry has been published in various journals online and in print such as Cottonmouth, Up The Staircase Literary Review, Killpoet, Fragile Arts Quarterly, Black Rider Press, Another Lost Shark, Heroin Love Songs, The Toronto Quarterly, Black Listed Magazine, Speedpoets and The Best Australian Poems 2009. She has a fascination with portals and conduits and every now and then she pops out a little limited edition illustrated chapbook for those who ask nicely. A tiny, yet sincere chapbook of her poetry, Not Enough To Fold was lovingly published through Verve Bath Press early this year. A more sizeable binding of her wordage, In Hand will be released in the U.S. in April. She blogs her poetry semi regularly at her website www.littleglasspen.com and www.myspace.com/amanda_joy1970.

SpeedPoets, Sunday April 11, 2:00pm – 5:00pm, InSpire Gallery Bar – 71 Vulture St. West End. Entry is a gold coin donation.

 

Sliding Scale

There is an age where
a child will test everything
by putting it in their mouth
as if its taste held a secret

Before the shape of words
weighs down that
infinite tongue

I hold you in my mouth
read you like braille
 

 

 

                                         No One (In English)

                                                      A cat
                                                      with a live rat
                                                      screaming
                                                      in its mouth, in
                                                      the bedroom
                                                      at 3am

                                                      and you snatch it
                                                      in your hands
                                                      and throw it
                                                      from the balcony

                                                      suddenly, like
                                                      a magic trick

                                                      Looking behind
                                                      people’s eyes
                                                      I don’t meet

                                                      Surplus words,
                                                      because

                                                      for the most
                                                      important we have
                                                      only one

1 Comment

Filed under events & opportunities, poetry & publishing

The pleasure of a poem – an interview with Amanda Joy

It is the first Sunday of the month, and for this Lost Shark that means SpeedPoets, but as today is Easter Sunday, we have moved the gig back a week to let everyone enjoy the festivities. But believe me, it will be worth the wait, as the April SpeedPoets features sets from Benjamin Sawon and the lovely Amanda Joy. Here is a recent interview with Amanda and a couple of poems to carry you through until next Sunday… Hope to see many of you there…

 

Amanda, what pleasure does a poem bring?

When I was a kid, one of my favourite things was lifting up rocks to see what was underneath, I think a poem, whether I’m reading it or writing it gives me a similar sensation.

There’s a quote from Jean Baudrillard which I love which says something like, “Never resist a sentence you like, in which language takes its own pleasure and in which, after having abused it for so long, you are stupefied by its innocence.” I think language taking its own pleasure is quite a delicious idea also.
 
What are the themes you keep coming back to in your poetry?

I suppose anything that has given me a strong feeling or an intense moment in life is something I return to in my poetry, the desert, music, the ocean, relationships, other poems. Deleuze wrote some great stuff on poetry as sensation, Steiner in ‘The Arts and Their Mission’ wrote that meaning equals feeling. I suppose in a few ways that is Romantic with a capital R, and always a little bit beyond itself, but I also think that’s where my love of poetry squats, I want to keep striving for some primacy of image, of sensation, but all I get are these refractions.

Your MySpace blog and poetry blog Little Glass Pen both attract a large readership. How have you established such a strong online following? How do you see digital platforms such as blogs evolving in the future?

Ha! by accident and naivete originally. Three years ago I posted some poems on Myspace for my partner to read in Africa, without really thinking about the public forum it was in, someone read my blog and commented, I read someone else’s blog and commented, it was a viral thing. By the time I set up Little Glass Pen I had a really dedicated group of readers who had been encouraging me for a while, including Jon Sanders, a poet and pro basketball player who created the Poetry Blog Rankings site, which still directs a lot of new readers through to LGP.

I want to get back to using Twitter for my six word poems too, although I have the sense that I’m enjoying them more than anyone following yet.

I enjoy the egalitarian nature of blogging. I think anything that encourages people to get up & turn off the tv and write or paint or read or do anything creative has to be a good thing. It takes such a little bit of encouragement for most people to continue to create once they put something out there and elicit a response in someone. I try to respond to everyone who asks me to read their blog.

I really enjoy reading poetry or viewing blogs which are created specifically for this media, visual poems, audio recordings, even poems written simply with scrolling in mind make me smile. I will be curious to see how much more video and audio work appears online over time and in what forms they evolve.
 
We are honoured to have you as our feature poet for the April SpeedPoets event. How do you go about selecting poems for a reading? What makes a poem perform better in a live setting?

Jeez louweeze, the honour’s all mine and I can’t wait.

As for selecting poems, well, I’m learning a really simple thing and that’s to read what I enjoy reading (It seems to have a follow-on effect) and that clever tricks with enjambment and line breaks tend to trip me up rather than any one else when reading them aloud. I wish I was more disciplined when it comes to writing for spoken word.

I used to write a lot of songs and I think a split stemmed from that; if it sounded good it became a song, if not it became a poem. I’ve still not really padded around in that place between.

When I was in Belgium I went to a performance by a group of sound poets, which really excited me, just feeling the vibrations of the words, the air, gesture and the tone was a really profound sonic experience. I really enjoy listening to Gabby Everall read, Santo Cazzati is great too. I suppose its always exciting to hear a different rhythm or cadence, the way it revitalizes language.

SpeedPoets, Sunday April 11, 2:00pm – 5:00pm, InSpire Gallery Bar – 71 Vulture St. West End

Featuring:

Amanda Joy + Benjamin Sawon

Entry is a gold coin donation

 

2 Comments

Filed under interviews/artist profiles

SpeedPoets Feature Poem #3 – Amanda Joy

The first SpeedPoets for the year was a raging success, with more than 60 people packing out InSpire Gallery Bar for what was a massive afternoon of poetry and music. Sheish Money opened proceedings with a brilliant set of his unique poetic blues, 30 people hit the mic in the Open Section and Brisbane New Voices, featuring Jonathan Hadwen and Fiona Privitera was officially launched! Definitely a fine way to start the year…

And it won’t be long until our April event rolls around…

Due to Easter Sunday falling on the first Sunday of the month, SpeedPoets will be held on Sunday April 11 (the 2nd Sunday in April). Our feature for the month of April will be Perth based poet, Amanda Joy.

Amanda is a poet, sculptor, installation artist and songwriter born in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. She currently lives, works and gardens in Fremantle and travels as often as she can. Her poetry has been published in various journals online and in print such as Cottonmouth, Up The Staircase Literary Review, Killpoet, Fragile Arts Quarterly, Black Rider Press, Another Lost Shark, Heroin Love Songs, The Toronto Quarterly, Black Listed Magazine, Speedpoets and The Best Australian Poems 2009. She has a fascination with portals and conduits and every now and then she pops out a little limited edition illustrated chapbook for those who ask nicely. A tiny, yet sincere chapbook of her poetry, Not Enough To Fold was lovingly published through Verve Bath Press early this year. A more sizeable binding of her wordage, In Hand will be released in the U.S. in April. She blogs her poetry semi regularly at her website www.littleglasspen.com and www.myspace.com/amanda_joy1970.

And as always, there will be two rounds of Open Mic, live sounds from the mighty Sheish Money, the free monthly Zine, raffles and other giveaways, so make sure you are there from 2pm to settle in for an afternoon of words!

SpeedPoets, Sunday April 11, 2:00pm – 5:00pm, InSpire Gallery Bar – 71 Vulture St. West End. Entry is a gold coin donation.

In anticipation of Amanda’s feature spot in April, here is her poem, Chased Seas Urge from SpeedPoets 9.1, which was also selected for publication in The Best Australian Poems 2009 (Black Inc. Press).

 

Chased Seas Urge
          by Amanda Joy

In the mangroves, we avoid the shade black with swarming sandflies.
I know I should tell you. I should say, I know I would tell you.
But the sun is going down and the tide is coming fast and invisible as fear.
To erase the partings.
The shadows are growing longer and we have to walk further into the water
to avoid the bites that will itch for days.

Your back is covered in black flies hitching a ride for a while.
I follow the wake left by your strong legs. I am strong too, but smaller,
the sea has a hold on more of me so I try to use my cupped hands like paddles.
I have that curiosity, what happens if I let go?
Give way to the pull, go with the flow.
I mean you hear stories. Behind the island is a whirlpool,
the old man told me last night. He told it better than I remember it.

You turn to smile and that knowing is closer than the shadows.
My toes feel the sharp roots in the mud, more tiny cuts to keep clean.
There is a deep waterhole, more an undersea landhole here, somewhere,
we fished it yesterday until the turtles snapping the lines won,
competition, not a battle and I cried to think of the hooks in their stomachs.

Then you said “sshh, there’s enough salt water here”.

The Bardi woman came with a spear and caught one real quick
and we shared her family’s meal.
My mind is there now with the turtles and the fish we didn’t eat.
We need to hurry.
Creature and creature relocate now, at dusk. Some will eat each other.
Soon it will come down to a choice between the bites and currents
that will sweep us out fast to sea. Discomfort will win.

1 Comment

Filed under SpeedPoets Feature Poems

Another Lost Shark hits the street

I was recently handed the editorial reigns for issue #37 of Stylus Poetry Journal. This morning, I put the finishing touches on it and handed it over to founding editor, Rosanna Licari. The issue will be titled Street/Life and it is brimming with images of equal parts beauty and decay. It features 21 poems from 12 streetwise poets: Emily XYZ, Matt Rader, Hinemoana Baker, Steve Kilbey, Jacqueline Turner, Ashley Capes, Suzanne Jones, Jeremy Balius, Amanda Joy, Andy Jackson, Jessika Tong & Max Ryan.

It will be live online as of April 1 and I ain’t fooling when I say this issue is going to whack your senses and make you want to rush out into the babble of your own streets.

Here’s a poem from one of the Street/Life poets, Amanda Joy to transport you from your computer screen into the caffeine starved streets of morning.

 

               Cappucino Strip

                    In all seasons,
                    6am
                    coffee crowd,
                    know each other
                    by face, to nod, 
                    to complain
                    about the stink
                    of sheep piss
                    from the trucks,
                    to point 
                    at the sky & predict
                    the weather

                    7am
                    each disappears
                    from the street
                    like an actress
                    into a role

3 Comments

Filed under poetry & publishing

Another Lost Shark saddles up with The Black Rider

For those who have yet to discover the joys of The Black Rider, there is reason to rejoice. This Lost Shark had a poem published in issue #1 of their minizine The Diamond and the Thief so I thought I would throw a few questions at main man, Jeremy Balius to get the lowdown on what The Black Rider is all about.

 

home

 

The Black Rider has some big plans, kicking off with the publication of The Diamond & the Thief mini-zine. As the new (hep)cats on the indie publishing scene, fill us in on how you plan to deliver stories and dreams into our lives.
 
There’s already an endless amount of publishers out there putting out a bazillion books a year.  Does Australia really need one more publisher?  Aren’t the shelves already full?

I was out looking for a fiction and poetry publisher who was inextricably bound with its authors and readers, a publisher who was committed to a particular vibe and feel, a publisher who acted like an indie record label, a publisher who loved music as much as it loved books, a publisher who was all about the conversation.

There weren’t any in my neighbourhood, so I started Black Rider.

The Diamond & the Thief is our monthly minizine with a couple poems and short stories by Australian and international authors and poets.  We’re about to put out the first digital chapbook in our Black Rider presents Lyrics series.  These e-chapbooks give us the means of supporting some up’n’coming poets who are pretty special.  Then there are the printed books of course.  Our stories & tales.  But more on those next year.

If you subscribe to our website via RSS or email, you’ll not only be informed when The Diamond & the Thief publishes each month, you’ll also receive our soon to launch Black Rider lines.  

‘Cause our writers do knowledge like rodeo clowns – they seem out of control with faces painted silly and big ole floppy shoes, but they’re actually the hardest cats out on the sawdust.  We’ve asked them to teach us about books and writing and other stuff, so they’re penning some shorts for us all to learn from in the lines.

Anyways, maybe we’re not so new – have you seen how old and shabby our website is?  (Yeah, I see you chuckling, Beaudrillard!)

 

What are you looking for in a poem, in a story? How hard do you want the words to kick?
 
It’s all about the people, the Black Rider community.  The kind of people who might be coming from a similar starting point, or who might be on a similar road, or heading in the same general direction.  The unabashed ones.  The burning brightly ones.  The wild bleary-eyed ones. 

The words are just ink on the page, pixels on the screen – signifiers and symbols.  The hard kick is what these cats write in-between the lines, in the spaces between the words.  Showing us a wider horizon.  Verbalising the sounds of the cosmos.

The hard kick is in the conversation we’ll have after we take a heartfelt sip of dark-felt Truth from these poets and writers.  Climbing a mountain and then climbing higher.

 

I love the concept of the Last Hurrah. Tell me more…

We’re going to be throwing some shindigs and concerts.  Each of these hootenannies is a Last Hurrah.  They’re holler-a-longs with feet-stamping and hand-clapping.  At first they’ll be in Perth, but we might take them on tour eventually.

The Last Hurrahs will help raise funds to put out books.  By coming out and singing along to bands that you love, you’re not only supporting local Aussie music, you’re helping fund Australian art and literature.

Homer summed it up best in The Odyssey: “So saying this, Proteus plunged beneath the surging sea, but I went to my ships with my godlike comrades, and many things did my heart darkly ponder as I went.”

 

Assuming success is not a dirty word, where does The Black Rider want to be in 12-24 months time and how will you know you arrived?

Where’s the assumption?  It’s semantics.  Success only gets as down and dirty as you want it to – depends on which road you’re on.  What if the measure of success was compassion?  Or humility?

If the tales and lyrics written by Black Rider authors and poets get you to talk to your friends and family about how to deal with everything around us, we’re getting somewhere.  The conversation is where it’s at.

There’s no arriving, only walking onward down the road.  Picking the right guide books.  The right walking sticks. 

The journey’s the destination.

 

Black Rider Press

From The Diamond & the Thief October edition:

Vasilissa’s Doll
by Amanda Joy

I am the house and the hut with chicken legs that turns to face us.
I am the sea cave speared through by the foundations of skyscrapers.
The glitter and shine of bare bones,
the scaffolding and crane, the tented buildings,
the outskirts of the forest with trees bent like ribs.
Strange enough without shadows.

Here I am, one hand in yours, the other searching for skeleton keys
in the soft cloth of her unwritten pocket. Private finger cave
of receipts, crumbs, stones and small change. Here is the dull-eyed doll
who comes to life at night, feeding my cheeks of milk and blood
as my hair grows down to my waist.

I like to tell you this story, you, keeper of water and all
the paths it makes when trapped, bent forward in your chair
like the red rider, have asked me to close my eyes and feel
the quiver, Saraha haha.
I laugh, I know you’re winging it.

This is grown in the dark too, in the chambers of involuntary muscle
and it will go one way or another. I am picking
the black grains from the wheat.
When you tap me on the shoulder I turn
to nothing

6 Comments

Filed under poetry & publishing

WA Spring Poetry Festival in review

Well, leg 3 of the 2009 Another Lost Shark tour was a huge success. I had never been to WA but know for sure that I will return many times. I met so many incredible people, and have made connections that I know will be lasting, and the place itself had a huge impact on me… Perth’s green space – Kings Park, Riverside Drive – is some of the best I have ever witnessed. Thanks to Holly & Mick for looking after me and showing me around.

So here’s what I got up to…

After touching down at midnight on Thursday, it was only a few hours until I was up and moving… and from then on, I remained in perpetual motion.

Fringe GalleryFriday started with a day long haiku workshop – from joy to grief in one breath. The group that gathered (including respected haiku poet, Maureen Sexton), were an inspirational bunch and were completely open to the haiku journey… We talked about the history of haiku, some definitions (if there can even be such a thing), the fragment and phrase theory, wabi and sabi, guidelines for writing and revising work, eight techniques for writing and asked the question – are the syllables important? We also went on a ginko around the Perth cultural precinct and then came back and workshopped many of the haiku composed.

Here’s two of mine…

 

winter chill
daisies keep their petals
                                   closed

 

   sharing a sandwich
   crows gather
   around the homeless man

 

Haiku were shared and the conversation was vigorous. The perfect way to begin the weekend.

It was then off to the official opening, where I had the great pleasure of being introduced by Kevin Gillam. After reading two poems – Brisbane Love Poems & All the Way Home, I introduced local dynamo, Scott-Patrick Mitchell who was the recent winner of the 2009 PressPress chapbook competition. He read from his winning chapbook – songs for the ordinary mass, which I recommend you all check out. Scott-Patrick’s work contains a healthy dose of rage. The words bristle on the page, at all times urgent. songs for the ordinary mass resists the oppressive rules of conventional discourse and examines ways in which language has long been used, quite often subtly, to oppress and exclude:

the strip
club does not strip
those men of
anything, as the
name suggests

(from the poem, catch)

So with the festival launched, we headed over to Sunyata Buddhist Centre, for the first reading of the festival. I have to pause here to add that this venue, is the most inviting space I have ever read poetry in. The energy in the room, so welcoming, so inclusive. A truly, unique room.

Sunyata Buddhist Retreat

The first reading, MC’d by Sue Clennell featured the lyrically elegant Annamaria Weldon (check out her book, The Roof Milkers, it is superb!), two times Tom Collins Poetry Prize winner Peter Bibby, the spontaneous narratives of Amber Fresh (you must also check out her book, Between You And Me) and this Lost Shark. The open section was also buzzing. It was so good to be immersed in the words of local poets.

I went home that night, head swimming, anticipating Day 2.

Saturday featured a number of panel discussions the first Poetry and the Environment and the afternoon panel – Cultural Diversity, which I was honoured to be a part of alongside Peter Bibby, founding editor of Magabala Books, the immensely talented Afeif Ismail Abdelrazig, and Glen Phillips. I talked about my experiences in Ubud in 2004 running haiku workshops and performing with a gamelan band as well as my regular trips to Blackall (Western QLD) and the lasting impact the land has had on me and my work. Listening to Afeif talk about his experience as a refugee living in Australia and the time he spent as a political prisoner was both humbling and deeply insightful. Truly people, you have to read this man’s work. I also got to read at the mighty Perth Poetry Club, run by Janet Jackson and a small but devoted team. Janet has enough energy to power a small village. Check out some of her work here.

Sunyata Buddhist Retreat1

Saturday night, we returned to Sunyata for a multi-cultural poetry reading MC’d by the delightful Vivienne Glance. This was the highlight of the whole festival… words can’t begin to capture the intense emotion in the room, the coming together of cultures, poets, humanity. Performers included Nick Di Lello, Istenad Haddad, Tam Thai, Lily Chan, Afeif Ismail Abdelrazig and the WAZA ensemble (playing traditional music from Sudan). Maureen Sexton and I were also invited to read haiku, so we joined forces and combined our reading, which confirmed my belief, that if you put two poems side by side (or in the air together), they will be drawn into dialogue. I then closed the reading with a selection of haibun from Measuring the Depth and my long poem Beyond, from the Black Stump Blues series.

This night, is etched in my DNA.

And then it was Sunday. The panel on publication saw some really interesting discussions emerge, with topics ranging from self-publishing to traditional publishing to digital publishing to performance to journals and onward. The second panel for the afternoon, Poetry Into the Future chaired by the incomparable Jeremy Balius was another highlight for me. I shared the panel with Scott-Patrick Mitchell, Amber Fresh and Amanda Joy. The energy between us, electric. A real sense of coming together. We each shared our stories and Jeremy shot questions at us to keep it all flowing. And again, the topics covered were diverse. We talked about success, we talked about influences, we talked about innovation and most importantly… we read poems!

Fremantle2

Then, it was trip to Fremantle… seriously, if you have never been there, do yourself a favour. I got the opportunity to have a wander through the streets and the one second hand bookstore I stumbled across was incredible. The fish & chips on the water was pretty damn good as well.

And before I knew it, I was at Fringe Gallery, for the closing night readings. This is another space I am forever thankful for being invited into. There was open mic, there were features from Annamaria Weldon, Peter Bibby, Amber Fresh and I was thrilled to be able to hear Amanda Joy read from her recent chapbook (and even more thrilled to have received the last copy), Not Enough To Fold (Verve Bath Press). I have long enjoyed Amanda’s work and after hearing it, I have an even greater appreciation. I closed the night with a set of predominantly new poems… and they felt good. The room was smiling back at me and the weekend of memories flooded back. Chief organiser of WA Spring Poetry Festival Peter Jeffery’s words of thank you are still resonating. So again, thank you Peter for the incredible opportunity.

My first visit to Perth… well, the people and place are now in my blood. Back on the east coast… it doesn’t seem so far away.

10 Comments

Filed under events & opportunities, poetry & publishing