Tag Archives: Hinemoana Baker

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

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Launched!

Well, The Stillest Hour is now well and truly launched. Last night, Sheish and I shared the stage with Helen Avery and Hinemoana Baker, and for a few tracks, Hinemoana, Sheish and this Lost Shark formed a three-piece with me sitting in on drums. For those of you who were there, you would have seen that playing drums makes me smile…

The coming together of friends, family and the poetry community makes magic. The crowd was a sea of smiles and the energy buoyed us along, each track, topping the one before it. It was one of those rare nights, where all the factors were just right.

I want to finish this post with the words of Hinemoana Baker, who launched our CD. We were (and forever will be) honoured.

———-

MIHI – ke te mihi atu ahau ki nga tangata whenua o tenei
wahi, ki nga iwi e kiia nei ko Yagerra, ko Turrbal nga
ingoa. Kia kaha koutou ki te tu motuhake, tu teitei i runga
i to mana whenua no mai ra ano.

It’s a great pleasure to be standing here to introduce and
launch this new taonga, this new treasure, ‘The Stillest
Hour’, by the spokenword supergroup that is Graham Nunn
and Sheish Money, performed by both of them and produced and
recorded by Sheish.

There’s an enormous amount of respect between these two,
as artists and as people, and there’s nothing sweeter to
me than the sound, and silence, of two people really
listening to each other. Both the music and the words on
this make as much room for jamming as for planning, for the
wildly unexpected as for the softly nostalgic.

So I don’t use the musical comparison lightly – I say
‘supergroup’ both because these two are superb acts in
their own right who also bless us by sharing the stage, and
because to me, rather than being a poet and a musician
standing before you, these two are more like a band, where
the lead singer happens to speak rather than sing. There’s
that kind of listening going on through the whole thing,
there’s that kind of rhythm, melody, dynamic, low and
loud, hard and soft – in the meanings of the words as much
as in the sounds Sheish makes. It’s a rare and wonderful
combination – Graham is a poet AND a musician, Sheish is a
musician AND a poet, so there’s a mutual co-creation,
every show is a unique opus with two composers.

And what’s even better is that this show (ie the CD)
and the one you’re about to see aren’t the same.
And never shall be forever and ever amen – and
that’s the beauty of what these two create. Tonight, when
you watch this performance and then buy the album you’re
getting way more bang for your buck.

What you’re about to see is a glimpse of something
that’s still very much alive, still responding to the
organic nature of what it is that we do and continue to do
as artists and engineers and audiences: which is to make,
and to love the making.

E nga manuhiri, ladies and gentlemen, Graham Nunn and Sheish
Money.

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Brisbane Writers Festival in review + A Taste of Salt

After a big night of poetry on Friday night, this Lost Shark hit the road to get a taste of salt… but before I get to that, a little BWF roundup.

Friday evening’s Small Change Press reading was a lot of fun. It was especially wonderful to hear the words of Julie Beveridge, who has been absent from the mic for a while, due to her QPF commitments. The poems from Home is Where the Heartache is cut clean and deep, pulling back the fat from those moments in life that we often keep hidden. Take Last Cigarette for example:

‘Can I have a cigarette?’ he asks

That once familiar voice, now alien. I take out a cigarette, but don’t light it. In thirty seconds he will forget. I pull the blanket up over his chest. Finger the rim on the hole in his larynx. I want to wear him like a ring. As he falls into sleep his breath grunts and rattles.

thin red line
I light
his last cigarette

It still hurts as good as it did when I first read it two years ago. Check out this review of Heartache on Stylus Poetry Journal.

Next up Sheish Money and I blew out the cobwebs that had gathered during the week with a short set. I have to say, that I am absolutely buzzing about the launch this Thursday, September 17 at the Judith Wright Centre. Sheish and I are really hitting our straps at the moment, and we are both looking forward to sending The Stillest Hour out into orbit and putting the finishing touches on what has been an amazing series of gigs lately. The launch details are on the blog here so come along and help celebrate!

Nathan Shepherdson then read from What Marian Drew Never Told Me About Light. This long poem will never cease to blow me away. With each reading the microscope that Shepherdson so deftly wields, shifts focus and reveals new details:

pick a number between
one and ten
that is how many times
you have died today

Brilliant!

And to round off the evening, Afeif Ismail Abdelrazig was in town, so together we performed his poem, Book of Screams, Afeif in the original Arabic and me in English.

If you see, while your eyes are closed;
the image of a baby suckling at the breast of his
dead mother;
               then know
               that this miserable child
               is
               from
               Darfur!

This poem is profoundly haunting.

Then I dashed over to the Red Chamber of Parliament House to catch Bronwyn Lea, Rosanna Licari, Hinemoana Baker, John Bennett, William Barton and Delmae Barton.

And after hearing Hinemoana’s set, I am even more excited to be sharing the stage with her on Thursday and helping to farewell her in style as she launches her CD, gondwanavista.

 

So with Brisbane turning out perfect Spring days at the moment, Julie and I loaded Hinemoana into the car on Saturday morning and hit the road for Coolangatta, as with her residency coming to a close next week, we felt she (and we) needed to feel the pull of the Pacific, to get a taste of salt.

The sky was spotless, the tide high, the temperature cool enough to bring the skin to goosebumps and then loosen. We checked out Kirra, Greenmount, Rainbow Bay, Point Danger & the Tweed.

                                                           still river
                                                           the current releases
                                                           a mullet

I had forgotten just how much I need the water, how it levels me out, brings everything back into focus. We drove home, smiling and sleepy-eyed. Yep, this Lost Shark is definitely Ocean Hearted.

 

So today, I am heading back to BWF to catch Hinemoana Baker in conversation with Kate Eltham and the final event of the festival, a poetry reading in State Library of QLD’s Red Box featuring Nathan Shepherdson, Bronwyn Lea, Emily Ballou, Felicity Plunkett and Lionel Fogarty.

A great way to wind up BWF, so if you are looking for something to do this afternoon… get along and add some poetry to your Sunday afternoon.

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Brisbane Writers Festival: Small Change & other poetic happenings

The mighty Small Change Press roll out the red tongues of three of their finest tomorrow at Brisbane Writers Festival. If you are in town, come along and make some (poetic) noise and get behind the poetry programmed as part of BWF 2009. If we all get behind it, they may just program more of it in 2010.

So here’s what’s happening:

BWF & Small Change Press presents:

Julie Beveridge, Nathan Shepherdson + Graham Nunn & Sheish Money with MC extraordinairre & co-founder of Small Change Press, David Stavanger.

Come and experience the wild and whirling words of these poets as they transform their poems into columns of air ready to be devoured by your hungry ears.
 
Date: Friday 11 September
Time: 5:15pm – 6:15pm
Venue: The Studio, State Library of QLD (SLQ)
Cost: Free

 

Earlier in the day, you can also catch FLIGHT.

FLIGHT = something is not quite right. QLD performance poets (and Charles Ulm disciples) Ghostboy & Pascalle Burton + guest pilot The Stress of Leisure present FLIGHT: their well feared Q150 experimental spoken word theatre in-flight entertainment for the first time in 2009 ,as part of the Brisbane Writers Festival. Proudly co-funded by Brisbane City Council’s Creative Sparks. 130pm-230pm @ BWF: Aud 2, The State Library of QLD. Remember – no two flights can ever be the same.

And later on you have the choice of Poetry in the Red Chamber featuring Hinemoana Baker, Bronwyn Lea, William Barton, John Bennett & Rosanna Licari. 6:30pm – 8:30pm, Old Parliament House, Red Chamber.

or

Heat 2 of the Australian Poetry Slam @ Brisbane Writers Festival (The Studio, State Library of QLD). Sign up 730pm / slam 8pm. MC Ghostboy with Tessa Leon + feature band The Stress of Leisure.

So get your poetry boots on and I’ll see you there!

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The Stillest Hour CD Launch

It’s been 2-years in the making, but at last our debut CD, The Stillest Hour will finally be launched by Hinemoana Baker as part of her farewell to these fine shores.

Here’s all the details:

QWC and 2009 Arts Queensland Poet-in-Residence Hinemoana Baker invite you to the launch of gondwanavista & The Stillest Hour.

Celebrate the closing of an amazing residency program and poroporoaki Hinemoana by launching her beautiful sonic poem into the world! Experience the debut of gondwanavista, created from fragments of the work Hinemoana has composed whilst on residency and embedded in field recordings from her outback adventures.

Hinemoana will also launch the debut spoken word CD from local poetry duo Graham Nunn & Sheish Money, The Stillest Hour. Bookings essential as space is limited.

 

The Stillest Hour Album Cover

 

gondwanavista & The Stillest Hour CD Launch

Date: Thursday 17 September
Time: 6pm–8pm
Venue: Judith Wright Centre, Shopfront Space, 420 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley
Bookings: 07 3839 1243 or qldwriters@qwc.asn.au
CD’s will be available for $10 on the night

We sure hope to see a bunch of you at this launch to help us celebrate and send Hinemoana off in style. There are only 100 copies of The Stillest Hour, so it won’t be around for very long. Make sure you get yours…

Here’s a sample track for you all – Brisbane Love Poems.

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Still untangling the possibilities

Well, Opening Night of QPF 2009 was a stunning display of that strange music we call poetry… as Carol Ann Duffy calls it, the music of being human.

So many highlights… so for those of you who were there, here’s a few moments to help you relive it all and for those of you who weren’t… well here’s a taste of what we experienced.

See you at the festival today… the first bullet of the day, the Small Change Press launch of Half-Hour Country and Dear Rose + a reading by Robert Bos and the skies early stars will reveal the magic of Kent McCarter, Barbara Temperton and Neil Murray. The perfect tonic for your Saturday morning.

 

A short set from AF Harrold

Brilliantly funny, channeling the ghosts of Peter Cook and Spike Milligan, through that Mersey Sound.

 

A short set from Elizabeth Bachinsky from her first book Curios

Punchy and alarming, Bachinsky’s set last night pulled everyone into the often dark world of Valley Girls and Valley Boys.

 

Native Born by Neil Murray

This was a stand out in a set of spoken word and songs from one of Australia’s living legends.

 

Where Shall I Wander by Hinemoana Baker

Words by Hone Tuwhare, music by Hinemoana Baker… she’s got a voice ay!

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QPF Spotlight #16 – Ten QPF Poets

Just four more sleeps and I will be in poetry heaven… yes QPF 2009 is just around the corner. There are still some tickets left for Friday night’s, ‘A Tangle of Possibilities’ concert so make sure you get your seat booked asap. You can do that online here, or call The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts Box Office on (07) 3872 9000 between 12pm and 4pm.

And to help fill your next few days with poetry, I have put together a sampler from ten of the poets featuring at QPF this weekend. Hope this gets your poetry gland salivating.

See you at the festival!

 

The Violence of Work by Geoff Goodfellow

Ruminations, Allegro & The Swoop by Geoff Page

These are Wobbly Days by Anna Krien

Cheap Red Wine & Why I Write? by Bronwyn Lea

38 ways to stain a memory by Nathan Shepherdson

Death and the Maiden by Jeffrey Harpeng

And this is just the morning, glass to sea-junk: a sacrifice & How do you do, Tuatara? by Zenobia Frost

Getting off the Round-About by Janice Bostok

Of a Place by Elizabeth Bachinsky

One by Hinemoana Baker

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