Tag Archives: Home{sic}

One week left to ‘Raise Your Hand for Indigenous Literacy’

wall-of-handsFirst of all let me thank those people who have recently raised their hand: Nigel Ellis, Andrew Phillips, Ashley Capes & Ann Liebert. We have now reached the half-way mark of $260, so there is still some work to be done to reach the target of $520 which will provide 6 months of intensive teaching in a remote community. So if you can, dig deep and purchase a book from the Another Lost Shark Online Store for the set price of $20 in Australia or $25 for those of you who are overseas, and if you can, let your people know what we are trying to achieve, and together we can make a difference.

With every order, I will include a second book or spoken word CD and donate $15 from your purchase to the ALNF Wall of Hands Project (the remaining dollars paying for postage and handling).

No-one in this country (in fact the world), should be raised with a one in five chance of becoming literate.

Your help is deeply appreciated…

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Hands Up for Indigenous Literacy

If you are here right now, chances are you have the literacy skills to successfully engage with your community and the wider world. Literacy is one of the things that unites us and allows us to face the world with confidence.

Sadly, right here in our own backyard, young people in indigenous communities face a one in five chance of becoming literate. This is a statistic that continues to outrage me… how, in a country as blessed as ours, has this been allowed to happen? I don’t have any easy answer for that, but what I do want to be is part of a solution.

That’s where I need your help…

Wall of Hands

Currently, the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation (ALNF) are working with Indigenous communities and schools around Australia with the aim that 5 out of 5 kids will learn to read – the vital first step to a satisfying and successful life. They are now striving to raise $300 000 to continue their work, so I am planning on raising funds through the sale of my book, The First 30 and other poems and other Another Lost Shark Publications, to help them reach that goal.

This seems fitting, as t.h.e. nunn already has a passion for books and will without doubt, become literate.

So here’s what I am asking…

If you can dig deep and purchase a book from the Another Lost Shark Online Store for the set price of $20 in Australia or $25 for those of you who are overseas, I will send you a second book or spoken word CD and donate $15 from your purchase to the ALNF Wall of Hands Project (the remaining dollars paying for postage and handling).

Once you have made your payment, email me at this address anotherlostshark(at)gmail.com (remember to change the (at) for @ when sending your email) and let me know which book you would like to purchase – The First 30 and other poems, home{sic} or Stolen Moments. I can then email you back and thank you personally!

I am also asking people to spread the word about this wide and far… so if you feel it’s worthy, tweet it, facebook it, email it, call your friends about it. Everything helps.

This project will run from Monday December 3 to Friday December 14, so that all books can be posted before Christmas.Ideally, I would like to raise $520 which can provide teaching to a young person in a remote community for 6 months. This means I need to sell roughly 25 books.

So if you can, please put your hand up (or better still, in your pocket) for indigenous literacy and get behind this project.

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Review of home{sic} by Julie Beveridge

The good folk over at Off Street Press have just published a glowing review of Julie Beveridge’s recent collection, home{sic}, by Brisbane-based poet, mr oCean.

Here’s a snippet from the review:

Thinking about how to describe Beveridge’s work had me thinking about Being John Malkovich; I have yet to find a poet who better manages to place you in a moment behind someone else’s eyes (however unfamiliar that moment might be).

Got your attention? Now, click on over to read the full review.

And remember, you can pick up a copy of home{sic} at the Another Lost Shark Online Store.

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“a 21st century Eve” – review by Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke

Home Is Where the Heartache Is (Small Change Press, 2007)
home{sic} (Another Lost Shark Publications, 2012)
by Julie Beveridge

Reviewed by Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke

For a limited time, all purchases of home{sic} from the Another Lost Shark Store will be shipped with a complimentary copy of Home is Where the Heartache is.


Stars are arguably best left to outer space, but if ten of them fell out of the sky, I would grab nine and a half of them to jointly rate Julie Beveridge’s first two books, Home Is Where the Heartache Is, and home{sic}.  I do it this way because Beveridge’s books are best considered together, as an oeuvre.  Taken in this way, their similarities, and their differences, both in terms of form, and of subject matter, identify her as a voice that is worth listening to, and following for the future.

I will first consider Home Is Where the Heartache Is, then home{sic}, then make some comments about the two taken together.

Home Is Where the Heartache Is is, yes, a dark, at times surreally nightmarish collection of haibun in ways that remind us of those Hieronymus Bosch canvasses:

This house was a steal.  The woman who owned it before me stabbed her
defacto to death and skinned him in the living room.

“Playing the Market”

Yes, Beveridge is, already, laughing: it’s confirmed as the poem continues:

… I remember watching it
on the news and thinking what a shame, that house has so much potential.

In the last poem in this collection, “Solitude: the end and the beginning” Beveridge makes overt what has been implicit all along: her at times oh so wry, dark humour:

sometimes I laugh despite myself,
from a place not so deep within me

Yet there is much more to this book than its humour, appealing though that is.  Beveridge is a 21st century woman, aware that in Australian society of this century there is violence, and you don’t have to scratch too deep to find it.  She acknowledges the truth that most of the victims aren’t male defactos skinned in living rooms, no, they are women, and so often there’s a sexual basis for that violence.  In the title poem, “Home is where the Heartache is:”

She is worth an exploded eye socket and nine dissolvable stitches.

Yes, it is easy to dispassionately admire the vivid description – the woman is there photographically caught before us in all her battered woundedness – but Beveridge challenges us to go deep into the sexual politics, ask ourselves “why.”

There are cigarettes, wine, joints and more to be found within these pages, but it is almost as if they are the props, the enablers, not the underlying reasons for the events depicted.  What are those reasons?  Beveridge sketches, alludes, never falls into didacticism, always prompts us to think.  And always – I return to this – with sharp, questioning humour.  In “Cold Hands Touch My Face,” which recounts an abduction by car by a man wearing mirrored sunglasses:

behind the shades
a murder
of crows feet

Violence, including rape and murder, happens in our society right now.  Beveridge is unflinching in her exploration of it.  Her take is a feminist one, but one that, as a man, I feel included in: the problem is mine as well as hers.  This book is thought-provoking, and in being so, is deeply satisfying.

home{sic} is a book of journeys: we are taken to a number of places on the planet, to both Australian locations and North American ones.  Beveridge’s perceptive powers of observation are acute:

whether I climb or fall
nothing is as patient as these cliffs

“van diemen’s land”

your men hold their cameras like cocks

“song for san francisco”

These are travelogues with hard, sometimes jagged edges.  Yet these edges are leavened with a wisdom that resonates with deep psychological truths:

the longer
you spend
with yourself
the less
alone you
will feel

“a handful of consistencies”

This is part admonition, part acceptance.  Beveridge knows aloneness, and shares her introspective insights on it, but she also knows what it is like to intimately be with another, in all its aspects, from small talk in an airport departure lounge to being:

a factory for future men

“meat and bread”

as she so drily terms being pregnant with her son.  So it is that her intimacies, shared with us, become ours too; we are happy for her, and with her, that she has the peppered roast pork sandwich; her pregnancy cravings,

with 18 weeks before it all truly
ignites

“canada day”

are ours to experience with her.  It is almost as if Beveridge, as home{sic} reaches its climax on the other side of the Pacific, is inviting us to be, if not defacto God parents for her as a 21st century Eve, then, in a secular sense, partakers of her future journeys with her to-be-born son.  This is an invitation proffered with rich humanity, and a powerful, overarching sense of the joy of life.

It is instructive, I feel, to consider Home Is Where the Heart Is and home{sic} together, and as the first two instalments in an oeuvre which surely will continue to unfold over the years ahead.

From the artful haibun of Home Is Where the Heart Is, home{sic} sees Beveridge further exercising her technical virtuosity; in it she uses a number of different forms, from poems in couplets to prose poems.  Often her forms in home{sic} are unpunctuated, the earlier volume’s prose passages are generally traditionally punctuated, but what both books share is a use of ambiguity, often for ironic, and humorous, purposes.

Upon a first three or four readings of each volume, I leant slightly towards preferring Home Is Where the Heart Is, but by the time I had read each volume half a dozen times, the similarities, above and beyond even the ambiguities, below the surface differences in form, were becoming increasingly apparent.

The first book, eschewing all the implicit sexual politics of violence it contains, is in a sense about aloneness, and the struggle to make sense of a too often contrary world.  In home{sic} by contrast, the poet’s persona is with another, yet, on a deeper level, the world is equally vividly strange.

The first volume is overtly about interior worlds.  Beveridge’s second book, upon reflection, under the at times sensuously written travelogues, is also.  Whether it be that meat and bread sandwich, or

mozzarella dripping from my tongue

“song for san francisco”

we taste as well the graphic psychological truth that

homesickness is not a metaphor

“a handful of consistencies”

and it tastes piquant, awkward – it cannot be easily pigeonholed – and ultimately undeniably real.

It is reality in the truest sense that these two books jointly explore.  There are many strange things that comprise our world, too many to easily make sense of.  Beveridge’s poetry becomes her torch; shining light on some of that strangeness, and her light oft-times makes the strange familiar, and the familiar strange.  In so doing, she challenges us to look into the very heart of strangeness.  And if we do that, perhaps, if we are honest enough to accept her truths, we see mirrors, reflecting back who we are inside.

**********

Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke had his first poem published in 1966 when he was seven years old in the mass circulation Australian newspaper The Sun.  Michael’s first poetry hero was John Keats, after he read as a teenager a biography of the English Romantic poet.

At Monash University, from 1977 to 1980, while studying successfully for a Bachelor of Economics degree, he hung out in a part of the library where hardly anyone went, devouring poetry books, and Michael Dransfield became his favourite poet.

To this day, notwithstanding he now has many other favourites, Dransfield’s “to be a poet in Australia is the ultimate commitment” remains seminal.  Since university, Michael has made a point of reading poetry, often in translation, from as many poets the world over as he can.

Michael now lives in Townsville, enjoying the north Queensland tropical sunshine.  He is a valued member of Writers In Townsville Society, whose website is: http://witsnq.blogspot.com/.

If Michael could have one wish, for anything in life, he would give the wish away.

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Another Lost Shark Publications: home{sic} launch special

After the rousing success of Tuesday night’s launch of home{sic} at Riverbend Books, Another Lost Shark Publications is now offering a launch special that is too good to refuse!

For just $20 (+$2 postage in Australia, $5 postage overseas), you can score a copy of home{sic} + a copy of the first in Julie’s poetic trilogy, Home is Where the Heartache is.

If you already have a copy of Heartache and are just chasing a copy of home{sic}, the special launch price is $15 (incl. postage in Australia, if overseas add $3 for postage)

If you are in Australia, payment options include Paypal, cheque / money order and Direct Deposit.
If you are overseas, payment is by PayPal only.

Here are the full payment details:

PayPal – make all payments to geenunn(at)yahoo.com.au – replacing the (at) with @ – and clearly state that payment is for home{sic}.

Note: All overseas payments should be made in $USD.

Cheque / Money Order – make all cheques / money orders payable to Graham Nunn and post to:

Another Lost Shark Publications
86 Hawkwood St.
Mt Gravatt East
Brisbane QLD 4122
Australia.

Direct Deposit – email me off site at geenunn(at)yahoo.com.au – replacing the (at) with @ – for bank details.

 

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What they are saying about home{sic}

With the launch of home{sic} set to go off tonight, I thought I would give you a sneak peek at what people have been saying about the collection. Here’s a few choice words from Matt Hetherington:

Beveridge doesn’t muck around too much.  From Kings Bridge in Launceston to Dundarave Pier in Vancouver, via Mount Gravatt, she’s at home with not being at home.  Here, you get her usual sharp, dark wit, but also a new and heartening sense of the hard-won riches of the spirit.  There’s a gratifying variety of styles, too, from understated prose poems on lust, pregnancy and love, to haiku/senryu, to lyrical recollections of sundry 20th century tomfoolery, which take in various cultural points of departure and arrival, from Yevgeny Yevtushenko to Burt Bacharach.  Read her book today, cover to cover.

*****

See you at Riverbend Books tonight for the launch. Doors are at 6pm!

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June Pin-Up Poet Week #3: Julie Beveridge anticpiates the launch of home{sic)

The launch of Julie Beveridge’s third collection, home{sic} is just days away, so of course, the anticipation of it all dominated this week’s conversation.

*****

ALS: It’s getting very close to the launch of home{sic} at Riverbend Books. What is it that is most exciting you about the launch?

Is it wrong to say going out without having to wear a feeding top? Launches are always strange things to lead up to but wonderful experiences. It is a very weird thing to have people come along and buy your work. It is both very satisfying and a little embarrassing really. Perhaps you get better at that the more you develop as a writer?

I am looking forward to handing the book over mostly, to putting it out there for people to read… to love or hate, to talk to me about or not, for people to want to tear it apart, or get parts of it tattooed on their body they love it so much. It’s exciting to see how people respond.

The work no longer belongs to me, which is the wonderful thing about releasing stuff really.

Also, I’m looking forward to all the other awesome poets who are reading on the night. And my baby being at home, asleep in bed, being very good for his grandparents.

ALS: I have always found the release of a book to be a time of flux…  after the rigours of editing, new poems seem to flutter into existence, making the current work seem strangely distant. Where is your head at, as home{sic} makes its way into the world?

I totally agree… home{sic} is dead to my mind now, which is already consumed with the third (and final) in the series Home Bittersweet Home. The closer I got to the end of {sic} the more I opened up to Bittersweet – I got a taste for the lines, direction and creative outcome I wanted for the work.

Writing is cyclical, like most processes, so it’s natural to start at the beginning of a new creative process while you are at the publishing end of another.

After a fairly long break from a dedicated writing practice, it’s great to be in a place where my poetic eye is taking snapshots again, I feel as though I am writing some of my best work to date, and feel that can only develop if I ride this train with vigour!

*****

If you have not yet booked your ticket for the launch, there is still time. Here’s both a sneak peek of the cover and the launch details so that you can be there in person to be one of the first people to get their hands on a copy.

Julie Beveridge launches home{sic)

Venue: Riverbend Books, 193 Oxford Street, Bulimba.
Time: Doors open at 6pm for a 6:30pm start
Tickets: $10
Bookings essential: 07 3899 8555

For all of you who cannot make it, watch this space for a launch special in the coming weeks.

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June Pin-Up Poet Week #2: Julie Beveridge on Vancouver & San Francisco

This week, Julie and I continue our discussion about the concept of home and how travel can reveal some unlikely ones…

Over to you Jules,

*****

ALS: San Francisco and Vancouver are places that provide a home for you / the poet in home{sic}. What is it about those places that provided the space to call them home?

Having travelled to Vancouver a couple of times – when I went there last year (with you, remember?) it felt as though I was travelling home after a time away. The landmarks, spaces, the way the city moves all more familiar. A dear friend put us up and we came ‘home’ every night.

It was my second time to San Francisco too, after travelling there with my family as a young girl. The city came to me completely unfamiliar, though every now and then I would have a geographical memory  … I would find myself on the corner of something and somewhere street and just know how to get somewhere else (being six months pregnant this was usually around the need to go to the bathroom). Memory slides would flick over in my head of me as a nine year old being toured around the city by my father to all the tourist destinations.

When I travel I like to become a local and I soon found San Francisco had a pattern to it. Grant Street. Market Street. City Lights Bookstore. Vesuvios. North Beach. The Mission. A daily trek around these places became the routine. City Lights especially felt like home, having pregnant lady naps in Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s rocking chair most days while my husband (that’s you sharky!) methodically thumbed through every book on the shelf. China Town was our home. Sleeping thick in the belly of the beast and waking up each morning to the same beautiful Chinese women handing out the same beautiful menus.

Having said that, I struggled with San Francisco much like I struggle with Tasmania. I loved it, quite passionately, but don’t think I could ever actually live there. It’s a strange feeling to articulate.

Also, travelling pregnant, had a turtle like feel to it… not just because I looked like one. Our little family moved around together so effortlessly. We could be anywhere together and it would be home.

*****

Julie launches home{sic} at Riverbend Books on Tuesday June 19. Doors for the event open at 6pm with the event starting at 6:30pm. Tickets are $10 and are available by calling the store on (07) 3899 8555.

Here’s an excerpt from her long poem, Song for San Francisco.

*****

San Francisco

Your men hold their cameras like cocks
and your women cuckold
their overpriced waterfront shopping bags
each silk scarf a steal on Grant Avenue at a quarter
of the price made by the same
tiny brown hands

San Francisco

Your honest homeless men
spruiking change for weed or sex or alcohol
or their hundred dollar a day meth habit
Your homeless women absent
most likely sheltered together taking your
homeless men for every penny we provide

San Francisco

I came into your 20th Century history with eyes open
wanting simply to sit in Ferlinghetti’s chair contemplate
the feet that have walked these boards
read in this room
not knowing all the while that when I got here
I would take the photo like all the other tourists

San Francisco

You sell women from a specials board
today we have four girls
one Filipino, one Thai, one black and one white girl
she’s been on shift for a few hours already
… the others are hot, fresh and ready

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June Pin-Up Poet Week #1: Julie Beveridge

It’s hectic times here at Another Lost Shark HQ, with the launch of the next Another Lost Shark Publication looming. This time I am thrilled to be publishing Julie Beveridge’s third poetry collection, Home{sic}, which will make its way into the world at Riverbend Books on Tuesday June 19. And with Julie reading at SpeedPoets tomorrow, the timing was perfect to crown her, Another Lost Shark’s ‘Miss June 2012.’

This week Julie and I talk ‘home’ and the link between her previous collection, Home is Where the Heartache is and Home{sic}.

Enjoy,

*****

ALS: Your last book, Home is Where the Heartache is (2007) was an exploration of domestic menace. How does your new book Home{sic} relate to ‘Heartache’ and further your exploration of the concept of home?

Heartache was really an imagining of what could be happening behind any door of any home at any particular moment.. And yes, the menace that lives at home with us… which I have had a love affair with for as long as I can remember (thanks in part to Roddy Doyle’s The Woman Who Walked Into Doors, Joyce Carol Oates’ Rape, Elizabeth Bachinsky’s Home of Sudden Service and, well anything by Dianne Wakoski – who is the queen of domestic loss, love and longing).

Home{sic} is more of a personal mythology –  to borrow a phrase from Wakoski. I am in a constant state of yearning for home – whether that be here in Queensland, in Tasmania or in the places I’ve been to or imagined myself in. And not even really my actual self, but the me that my private audience imagines on my behalf. These poems are personal, and not about me at all in equal measures, so hopefully the collection creates a world in which a narrative exists – a poetic visioning of infinite potential of one small home.

I don’t think I’ll ever be done with home as a poetic concept… I’ve already started imagining the third piece in the trilogy – Home Bitter Sweet Home… watch this space?

Julie Beveridge is a Brisbane based poet, cultural producer and first time mum. Her work has appeared in print and online journals throughout Australia and New Zealand. Her third collection Home{sic} will be launched at Riverbend Books on June 19.

Here’s a poem from the collection.

*****

van diemens land

canyon precipice
jagged merciful

sharp extension
endures grooves

my fingers rest in
or slip out of

whether I climb or fall
nothing patient as these cliffs

rocks call to me at night
knowing I’ve always wanted to

fling myself off something
into something else

Tasmania
heart shaped and irregular

chains my memories
convict dogs that don’t get fed

hungry for the brink

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