Tag Archives: Going Down Swinging

Another Lost Shark Christmas Sale

With the Little Lost Shark at home, I have been doing a bit of cleaning up and have come across a handful of Brisbane New Voices Vol. 1 (feat. Jonathan Hadwen & Fiona Privitera) and Vol. 2 (feat. John Koenig & Chris Lynch). I have also come across a few other bits and bobs, such as a copy of Pan Magazine and 3 copies of the latest Going Down Swinging (Book & CD). So with Christmas approaching, I thought it would be a good time to have a bit of a sale…

Here’s the deal… mix and match any two items (e.g. BNV I + Going Down Swinging) for the price of $18 incl. postage and I will send them off to you, wherever you may be in the wonderful world.

If you would like three items (e.g. BNV I + BNV II + Pan Magazine), you can have them for $25 incl. postage.

But as you can see with the limited numbers above, you will have to get in quick!

To order, simply email me at geenunn(at)yahoo(dot)com(dot)au with the subject heading: Another Lost Shark Christmas Sale stating which items you want and I will let you know if they are still available. We can then arrange payment: paypal, direct deposit, cheque, money order etc… we can work something out!

Happy December 1 to you all!

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Mid-Winter at The Back Room

After a couple of days at home, I am starting to feel back on the Brisbane clock, but I am sure I will feel even more at home when I get behind the mic with the mighty Sheish Money at The Back Room’s Mid-Winter Session this coming Wednesday. Let me just say… the line up crackles!

Lighting up The Back Room at Confit Bistro (4/9 Dogget St, Fortitude Valley) this Wednesday night (July 27) alongside Sheish and I will be the twisted tunes and bent words of Ghostboy & Skye Staniford, co-editor of the legendary Going Down Swinging and all round literary over-achiever, Geoff Lemon, performance ensemble Zen Zen Zo and an exhibition of new work by fashion illustrator, Oliver Searle.

To give you a taste of what to expect on the night, here’s a quick hit from Geoff Lemon, live from the 2009 Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup:

and this from the belly of Ghostboy with Golden Virtues:

And with San Francisco still firing all my synapses I will be hollering the words of some of their favourite sons and daughters and I know that Sheish has a few new songs ready to burst, so …

the walls of the place just might implode. Make sure you are there to find out!

If you can make it along, drop a comment on the post and let me know numbers or shoot me an email at geenunn(at)yahoo(dot)com(dot)au and I will look after the rest.

Entry is free and the doors open at 6pm with the live sounds beginning to rumble from 6:30pm.

Hope to see many of you there,

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Aural Text Award: And the winner is…

Adam Gibson and his band The Aerial Maps for their 2008 album, In the Blinding Sunlight. Here’s what the judges had to say:

“Adam Gibson’s In the Blinding Sunlight is a poetic triumph. It mixes the exquisite, ethereal language of love with the firm vernacular of the everyday. Beautifully written, beautifully musical and just beautifully executed. The best thing is it is a CD you want to play again and again and again. For me, it doesn’t get better than that.”

— Alicia Sometimes

Here’s a clip of their song The Great Australian Silence:

Highly Commendeds were awarded to Going Down Swinging 25 (double CD issue), A Million Bright Things – QLD Poetry Festival 2009, As If Nothing Happened, And It IsPaul Mitchell & Bill Butler and of course The Stillest Hour recorded by Sheish Money & myself.

I am wrapped to be in such fine company and the other highlight is that Sheish and I have tracks featured on two of the other shortlisted albums (GDS 25 & A Million Bright Things).

Happy times indeed!

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Poetry Opportunities

As the lights go down on another working week, it’s a fine time to explore some of the poetic opportunities that are currently in orbit.

 

Reason-Brisbane Poetry Prize

This is the competition’s seventh year and in 2010 it is open to budding and established writers across Australia. Open theme. Prizes: 1st $1500, 2nd $500, 3rd $300. Ross Gillett, multi-award winning poet, will judge the entries and winners will be announced at the morning poetry event of Words in Winter, Daylesford on 14 August. For guidelines, see <www.daylesfordonline.com/poetryprize> or send a SSAE to Rules, PO Box 545, Daylesford, VIC 3460.

Closing Date: July 2

 

Best Australian Poems 2010

Submissions are now being accepted for Black Inc.’s, The Best Australian Poems 2010, edited by Robert Adamson. The 2009 anthology was stunning so this is well worth checking out. Full submission details are available here: http://www.bestaustralianwriting.com.au/2010_submissions.pdf  

 

Going Down Swinging

Submissions for the 30th anniversary issue of Going Down Swinging close at the end of the month. So to be part of one of the coolest lit journals on the planet visit: http://goingdownswinging.org.au/

May your words all find good homes…

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Speak Out: Poetry and the Spoken Word (part 3) an interview with alicia sometimes

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with the Dr. Seuss lovin’ Tim Sinclair about all things Spoken Word. This interview with alicia sometimes continues to dig deep into the world of the spoken word, the opportunities for publication that exist and the art of performance. Questions by Clint Creagan.

alicia-sometimes

Some people have suggested that the term ‘spoken word’ is used by those  who are afraid or ashamed to call the work ‘poetry’. What are your  thoughts on this? 

Spoken word is a term that is used because it encompasses far more than just poetry. Poetry is often literature in a metrical form, usually verse. There are endless definitions and types of poetry just as there are many descriptions and forms of spoken word. Spoken word is spoken. Not sung or in print form. Spoken word can be just the sound of a repetitive voice, a speech, a rant, a monologue, a dialogue, a scream or text fused with music, sound or samples. I would call any poem read aloud as spoken word but it is usually a term that is referred to when the piece is completely off the page – performed, rehearsed and experimented with sound (especially voice).

Spoken word is not just a cool word for poetry. Neither term gets the movie going public to stop what they’re doing.

 

What opportunities are out there for spoken word artists to have their  work published? 

The best opportunity is under their noses. It is so cheap and easy to record your own work today. Recording studios are not thousands of dollars any more and it is both accessible and necessary to record your own work: to become producer, musician, work in collaboration and get your pieces out there. Many bands do it, so should spoken word artists. Spoken word pieces have had top 40 hits. If you can’t name them it’s because they didn’t market it that way – it’s called hip hop, rap or simply not given a name. Websites are great for promotion also.

Many performers will go from performing their work at many poetry readings to having their own shows. Again, the term ‘spoken word’ is often left out – most will call it a play, monologue, cabaret, performance etc…
 

Do you think we will see more opportunities for the publication of  performance poetry in the future? 

Yes, because artists won’t rely on the journals, magazines or anthologies to come up with an idea, they’ll do it themselves.
 

You have performed your work and been published many times. Do you think  your performances and your published work have complimented each other?  

In many cases the work is completely different. I started out performing spoken word with musicians (playing bass and speaking is kinda hard to do but it was fun). I did that for 5 years before I even attempted ‘reading’ my work. I am more interested in being published for the page than I was back then. I like the challenge and the difference. With print I have the chance to change and edit, on stage it’s more of a instant buzz or an instant death. Both compliment each other because my performance work is often very different in style and content than my print poetry. I get to have different depths.
 

Do you consider that some of your own poems are written specifically  for performance and would therefore not work for the page, and vice versa?

Some poems wouldn’t work on page because they are meant to be spoken – by using gesture, pauses, subtlety, timing, immediacy, feedback etc Some wouldn’t work on stage because they rely on texture, visual cues, word plays etc. Others work for both. I like the fact that words can be that different.
 

What makes a good performance poem? 

Communication with audience. Learning the work. Thinking about the piece and understanding it the way an actor would with words from a play. Sincerity (even with humour). Confidence.

 

Can a good performance draw attention away from bad writing? 

Yes but if it takes attention away from bad writing then perhaps it could be a great performance piece. What is bad writing? If someone gets up on stage and says a very simple sentence like ‘My underpants are on fire’ (hardly Shakespeare) and receives giddy applause then what makes it bad? If the way the performer expresses themselves is in context, humorous or meaningful etc then it can be fantastic entertainment. Is it a poem? Maybe not, but who cares? Poetry critics? If it was spoken, it’s spoken word. Is it genius? Well, if it made you smile, cringe, think etc, maybe. Crap writing plus crap performance equals bad audience reaction. Crap writing on the page is naked and so is a performer standing in front of an audience in front of a mike. The audience will tell them soon enough. If they’re listening.

Nothing kills great writing faster than it being performed in a horrible, dull or bland way. This is because the author is not thinking about the medium that they’re using. I’ve seen it happen with amazing writers. You’ll lose people.

 

What do you see as the benefits of performing your own work? 

Immediate feedback, chance to enhance the work, a chance to have fun. I love performing, don’t have to wait until the piece is ‘published’.
 

As a previous editor of Going Down Swinging you have had a first hand account of what it takes to record and publish spoken poetry. What difficulties did you find in this process? What are the benefits? 

With other people’s work the difficulties are actually getting the performers from out of their hiding places. Once in the studio, most writers are amazing: in their originality, creative drive, experimentation and enthusiasm. They are often surprised at the endless ways of layering their work and creating full pieces.

When authors submit their own work often their pieces are badly recorded (you’d never hand in a poem on dog eaten pages) or are simple ‘dry’ readings which can (not always of course) sound average and uninteresting. You can tell they’ve never listened to other recordings. The hardest problem though, at first, was actually receiving the work .

 

Some people have suggested that much of the performance poetry we see  today, tends toward what stand up comedians are attempting, which relies on timing and wit, but is one dimensional in its range. What are your thoughts on this? 

Again, I think that poetry at ‘readings’ MUST be entertaining. Poetry/spoken word doesn’t have to be loud or hammed up or bedded with music but it must be interesting. Too many poets forget their audiences, it is a different medium to the page. Not better or worse or one dimensional. Just think of the times you have been most impressed, involved or entertained at a poetry reading – it is often because the performer was funny, insightful, unique, engaging etc (even controversial). Are people that afraid to laugh?

 

About alicia:

alicia sometimes is a Melbourne poet/writer/musician. She is co-host of 3RRR’s spoken word and books show, Aural Text, and has performed at many festivals and venues both locally and internationally. She has also performed in front of fish, on a tram, across the Nullarbor, with a stuffed horse and on ABC TV’s Sunday Arts. She was co-editor of Going Down Swinging for six years. Her first book is kissing the curve (FIP)

 

Find out more:

http://www.aliciasometimes.com/
http://www.myspace.com/aliciasometimes

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Another Lost Shark Special Offer

I have just been doing an inventory of all things book related and realise that I have only a few copies of Ruined Man available. Ruined Man is my most recent publication through Small Change Press and seeing as I am putting the finishing touches on my latest collection to be released later this year, I thought it was a great time to offer a special price to readers of Another Lost Shark.

So, for the first few people to email me at geenunn@yahoo.com.au with the subject line Another Lost Shark Offer, I am offering a copy of Ruined Man + a copy of Going Down Swinging #28 (magazine and CD) for just $15 incl. postage.

I can take payment via paypal, cheque or money order. There are less than 10 copies so get in quick.

 

Here’s two poems from Ruined Man to wet your appetite:

 

In Devotion to Remembering Life’s Sordid Affairs
 
in every town there’s a ‘place’
and a girl who’s sure to be there
in the lounge bar
laughing with some young executive
curling her hair and him
around her finger
 
me, I don’t go out much anymore
but now and then on a Friday night
when the Cohen albums drag me down
then throw me up gasping for a drink
I pull on a coat and rush out
into the babble
 
and she’s there wearing the same red dress
slow dancing by herself in the pool of neon
waiting for the good looking academic type
near the door to notice her
                                        and he will
 
he’s watching her already
doesn’t know she got a divorce last summer
and still isn’t over it
that she likes Mexican
and sometimes takes a gay lover
‘just to be different’
 
he’ll learn soon enough
and spend the rest of his life forgetting
like me
rushing home to change the record
read some Kerouac and Ginsberg
and write this poem in devotion
to remembering life’s sordid affairs

 

 

My Earliest Sin
 
my earliest sin
was to sneak a look
at the rifle my father kept
in the wardrobe beside his bed
it smouldered in the darkness
lethal    angular    precise
my grandfather’s name rank and regiment
engraved on the barrel
I loved to hold
its dangerous potential
the metal always cold
one click of the trigger
like the smacking of lips
and my cheeks would start to burn
for the second sin
was the stash of magazines
the rifle rested on

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