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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