Tag Archives: Hinemoana Baker

Ekka Days

Well, the 2009 Ekka has come to a close and I am still buzzing with a strange kind of delirious energy. The Ekka has that effect on people. I am not sure whether it is the flashing lights, that distinctive voice advertising dagwood dogs and jam donuts (it seems to be on a permanent loop and is able to be heard from almost any point in the grounds), the heady mix of perfume, sweat and dung, the swarms of soap bubbles pumped regularly into the air, or the mile wide smile on almost every face that passes by, but once you are inside the gates, the sticky fingers of excitement take hold and your inner child is bursting at the seams.

 

ekka haiku - strawberry sundae

 

Our performances (myself and poetic riff maker Sheish Money), on the International Food Hall Stage were a blast and it was a real thrill seeing faces light up in the audience. In the end, that is one of the things that keeps us going. Performing in front of an appreciative poetry audience is great, but turning just one person on in a crowd of people high on that Ekka buzz takes it all to another level. It was also very cool to be joined by the delightful Hinemoana Baker for our final gig. You can read how much she loved The Ekka from her blog post Ekka-stasy.

 

ekka haiku - showtime

 

As I walked out the gates for the last time, I could not help but feel nostalgic… 2010 will see many changes at The Ekka – the Showbag Pavillion will be gutted, the Douglas Wadley Dog Pavillion will be torn down and the iconic chairlift will no longer decorate the Valley sky. I just hope that this change is well managed and that the spirit of the Ekka remains the same. It is a Brisbane icon, and we can’t afford to lose any more of these.

So as I come down off my Ekka high, here’s a few poems that I wrote for a photographic exhibition that was on display in the Errol Barnes Dining Room. If you were not able to get there this year, I hope that these poems help conjure some of the magic.

 

 

ekka haiku - cattle shed

 

 

ekka haiku - shooting ducks

 

 

ekka haiku - secret pocket

 

All photographs taken by Andrea Higgins for Artisan.

 

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A Million Bright Things

The Saturday night session at QPF 2009, A Million Bright Things, is shaping up to be one of the poetry events of the year, featuring every programmed artist + a feature set from legendary Australian singer/songwriter Neil Murray (Warumpi Band). Now that is what I call an all-star poetry jam!

So with just over a week to go, here’s links to interviews with a few of the Bright Things who will be hitting the QPF stage.

Neil Murray talks to Rave Magazine.

Hinemoana Baker & AF Harrold open up to Literary Minded’s Angela Meyer.

Jayne Fenton Keane speaks to expressbuzz.

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Black Stump Blues part VIII – Night of the Woolscour

I am still dearly missing Blackall’s big skys and open landscapes… here’s a few photos from a night I spent at the Woolscour. The light and sound of this place is something to be experienced. Hinemoana Baker who I traveled with recorded lots of audio at the Woolscour, so I am sure we will be hearing some of these sounds in the not too distant future …

 

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Walking toward the Woolscour at night, steam rising off the open bore.

 

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This big old boiler was used to produce steam for the engines.

 

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A neat stack of Gidyea … this is tough timber.

 

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Like something out of ‘Saw’, these claws separated the wool.

 

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And the old Federal still ticks over …

 

More info about the Woolscour can be found at: http://www.heritagetrails.qld.gov.au/attractions/blackall.html

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QPF 2009 presents: A Tangle of Possibilities

Opening Night of QLD Poetry Festival is a must see event on the poetry calendar. Over the last 6 years, I have witnessed some of the most incredible poetry performances you could ever hope to see – the sonic experimentation of emily xyz (2006), the dishevelled elegance of Sam Hunt (2004), the gutsy riffs and gorgeous vocals of Mia Dyson (2008). Tickets for Opening Night of QPF 2009 – A Tangle of Possibilities are now on sale from the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, so make sure you get in early to book your seat.

Here’s a taste of the possibilities Opening Night of QPF 2009 offers:

 

afhAF HarroldWatch

A.F. Harrold is a poet and performer who has been puzzling audiences with his words for quite long enough. He’s an Englishman who can confuse people of all nations and all ages. he does things that are not quite normal and gets paid for it. He is a popular poet on the stage and on the page, has a number of books available which, along with more information, can be found at www.afharrold.co.uk

 


ebachinskyElizabeth BachinskyHearsay in the valley of condominiums

Elizabeth Bachinsky is the author of three collections of poetry, Curio (BookThug, 2005), Home of Sudden Service (Nightwood, 2006), and God of Missed Connections (Nightwood, 2009). Her work was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 2006 and the Bronwen Wallace Award in 2004 and has appeared in literary journals, anthologies, and on film in Canada, the United States, France, Ireland, England, and China. She is an instructor of creative writing at Douglas College in New Westminster where she is Poetry Editor for Event magazine.  She lives in Vancouver, Canada.

 

 

nmurrayNeil MurrayLights of Hay

Neil Murray is one of Australia’s most respected singer/songwriters and has enjoyed a solo career since 1989. He has released ten albums Calm & Crystal Clear, These Hands, Dust, The Wondering Kind, Going The Distance, About Time (a 2CD retrospective compilation) Spoken, 2Songmen – live in Darwin and the latest Overnighter. Those who have read his novel Sing for me Countryman or poetry book One Man Tribe, or listened to his spoken word CD – Spoken or seen his play King For This Place would know of his affinity for the land and respect for indigenous culture.

 

 

hbakerHinemoana BakerTaxi + live performance of the Hone Tuwhare poem Where Shall I Wander

2009 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence, Hinemoana Baker is a New Zealand writer, musician, producer and teacher of creative writing. Her Maori whakapapa traces from Taranaki and the Horowhenua in the North Island, down to the Otakou peninsula near Dunedin in the South Island. Her Pakeha (non-Maori) ancestors were from England and Bavaria. Hinemoana’s first poetry collection, matuhi | needle (2004), was co-published in New Zealand by Victoria University Press and in the US by Perceval Press, the publishing house of actor and artist Viggo Mortensen. Her first album, puawai, was a finalist in the New Zealand Music Awards and the title track was a finalist for the Maori language category of the prestigious APRA Silver Scroll awards. Hinemoana was one of 12 New Zealand recording artists chosen for the album and stage show Tuwhare, setting to music the words of renowned poet and laureate Hone Tuwhare.

 

Look forward to celebrating with many of you there!

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QPF Spotlight #10 – an interview with Hinemoana Baker

Hinemoana Baker has hit the ground running as the 2009 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence. I caught up with her recently to have a chat about her experience so far.

 

Hinemoana walking down the long streets of Blackall

Hinemoana walking down the long streets of Blackall

 

Since arriving you have had the opportunity to travel to the ‘big-sky country’ of Western QLD, visiting Blackall and Longreach. How was your experience and what affect did the landscape have on you?

The landscape was deeply affecting for me. I felt pretty emotional most of the time, and since I’ve been back I’ve cried a lot. I told Sam Watson Sr after seeing his play ‘Oodgeroo’ that I might just be crying for the three months I’m here.

At the same time as there was this kinda subterranean panic in me (being so far from the sea?), as the land just rolls out and rolls out and rolls out even more, past the windows of the car or whatever, just on and on, a sense of real calm arrives. I began to crave the space the more I saw of it and the more I was in it. I would go back in a heartbeat.

I don’t wanna be glib but it really put me in mind of that quote that’s often attributed to Kermit the Frog (at least in my mind): ‘Wherever you go, there you are.’

(Check out her recent blog post – Packing a lunch to cross the road – to get a full run down of her expeience in Blackall and Longreach)

 

One of the highlights of the residency is that local poets can book a time to come in and ‘talk poetry’ with you. What are some of the things you are hoping to achieve through this consultative process?

I’m hoping to learn more about poetry, and about Australia, Queensland, Brisbane, through its writers. I know how valuable it is as a poet to get some feedback about your work from trusted sources who aren’t your mates or your partner. And I know poets aren’t usually terribly wealthy. So to be able to offer some input for free to local poets is awesome.

(Indeed… if you want to book a free consult with Hinemoana you can email her at hbaker@qwc.asn.au)

 

QPF 2009 is just around the corner. What are you most looking forward to?

My partner Christine will be here by then. To be honest, being the homesick old bugger that I am, at the moment that’s what I’m most looking forward to!

Apart from that, I am keen to catch heaps of the other poets on stage and off – especially Zenobia Frost and Noelle Janaczewska. Be great to experience the one and only Santo again, too! Wooo! That boy blew me away at Speedpoets the other week.

 

Hinemoana performing at the Blackall Woolscour

Hinemoana performing at the Blackall Woolscour

 

Finally, what do you hope to leave behind as a legacy of the residency and just as importantly, what do you hope to  take away?

I’ve started making a sound piece made up of field recordings from Blackall and Longreach. I’ll thread some text through and hopefully it’ll be just like a bought one.

What do I hope to take away? I’ll take the sounds with me, and the silences.

 

Catch Hinemoana at QPF 2009:

 

Friday August 21 – 7:30pm – 10:30pm

A Tangle of Possiblilties: featuring Elizabeth Bachinsky, AF Harrold, Neil Murray & Hinemoana Baker

 

Saturday August 22 – 4:00pm – 5:00pm

No Thrill Needs Faking: featuring Mofu & the Crepe Paper Kalashnikovs & Hinemoana Baker

 

Saturday August 22 – 8:00pm

A Million Bright Things: featuring a short set from every bright thing on the 2009 program plus a feature set from the awesome Neil Murray

 

Sunday August 23 – 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Just Kissed Goodbye: feat. Paul Magee, Janet Jackson, Angela Costi, Jane Williams, Neil Murray, Elizabeth Bachinsky, Geoff Goodfellow, AF Harrold, Hinemoana Baker and the QPF Committee

 

All sessions are held at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, Brunswick St. Fortitude Valley.

For full program details head to www.queenslandpoetryfestival.com

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Serve me the sky, with a big slice of lemon

(The National)

Well, this is me signing out for the next week… the great western lands call me forth with their silences and big skys, but rest assured, there will be much to report when I return.

So for now, check out these snapshots and enjoy your Sunday!

 

Gregory Corso – The Last Beat

Corso, the streetfighting soul that shimmered like a Blakean diamond… let’s hope this film gets an Australian release.

An interview with Robert Lort on Word Riot

The National – Daughters of the Soho Riots

Instructions for Building Straw Hats by Yusef Komunyakaa

& finally an interview with Hinemoana Baker (who I have the pleasure of traveling west with) on The Empty Page

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Welcome, Hinemoana Baker

Well, Hinemoana Baker’s residency has now officially begun!

photo by Andrew Dalziel

photo by Andrew Dalziel

Last night Hinemoana’s official welcome was held at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. Kate Eltham Mc’d the evening, Indigenous leader, Sam Watson welcomed Hinemoana to country,  Theodora Le Souquet (QWC Chair) launched the residency and I was honoured to be invited to perform a short reading and welcome Hinemoana to the stage. My reading closing with a rendition of the great New Zealand Poet, Sam Hunt’s, Coming to it.

Hinemoana’s performance to close the night had people hollering , stomping and calling for more. Her words conjuring images of family, place, pub sound checks, rugby and awkward moments at the highschool ball. Her voice, so well described as:

a fine wine of a voice… rare, exquisite, the sort found hidden in some wine-nob’s cellar. The sort you might buy once in a lifetime, just for a taste of how the other half lives’.

In short, it was something special… and for those who missed out, never fear, you have the opportunity to catch her this Sunday at SpeedPoets (2pm – 5pm @ The Alibi Room, 720 Brunswick St. New Farm).

And while Hinemoana is in the country, take the opportunity to meet up with her and share your words.  When in Brisbane, Hinemoana is available to meet with poets for consultations from 2pm-6pm daily. To arrange a consultation, feel free to email her at hbaker@qwc.asn.au. If you work or study full-time and need to meet with her outside of these hours please let her know when you email.

So, to get a bit more of a taste of the magic that is Hinemoana Baker, check this out performance of He Tuahine.

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