Tag Archives: Jacqueline Turner

Break Open and Burst: Talking with Jacqueline Turner

For my final interview in the QPF series, I had the absolute pleasure of speaking to a lady who has had a profound influence on my own work, Jacqueline Turner. Jacqueline is a QPF favourite, so it is wonderful that she is returning for her third visit.

*****

Your first visit to Australia and QLD Poetry Festival was back in 2005 as the inaugural Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence. What is your memory of that first visit and how did it change you as a person and poet?

That visit had an incredible effect on all aspects of my life. First, what stands out in my memory is the amazing people I met from getting off the plane and going straight to lunch with a room full of poets at the Red Chamber to the folks at the Judy, to all the small town writers up the north coast to everyone who came out at NOGO in the outback and then to cap it off, all of the spectacular poets who performed at the festival to huge sellout crowds. Literary types, musicians, performance poets, bush poets all mingling in green rooms and then pushing it out on stage. It was a version of a poetic life I couldn’t have even imagined existed.

The land had a huge impact as well — my work deals with place so the tectonic shift of locale for me was significant. The light, look at the light! I kept saying. I was also slightly traumatized by the kangaroo road kill on trips to regional Queensland and mesmerized when the jacarandas in New Farm Park burst out. The stars were different in the outback and I felt like I was on the edge of the earth, could feel the curve of the planet.

The time and space to work on my writing changed everything for me. Personally, it allowed me to step out of my life for a moment and reinvent myself outside the domestic sphere I had inhabited since my early 20s. In terms of my poetic practice it created a loosening, an opening up to the vast potential of language beyond the ways in which I typically operated. I engaged with the lyric form in a new way and the credibility of the position gave me even more confidence to go with my particular poetic inclinations. I stopped censoring myself. I experimented with connections to music that events like SpeedPoets provided. The flow of the river my hair blowing on the CityCat and me opening. The world. Really it meant everything.

Your residency had a profound effect on the Brisbane poetry community too and in many ways, set the bar for every other residency to come. You have also been a return visitor to QPF since your first visit in 2005, so what is it about the festival that keeps you coming back?

It was great to see such tangible and vibrant manifestations of poetic communities when I arrived in Brisbane the first time and it only seemed to get better and better every time I returned. If my residency did anything, it was to merely encourage what was happening in Brisbane and regional Queensland already and to just reinforce the idea that community is vital to creative practice. It was also really important to me to come back and launch my book Seven into Even since I had written much of it during my residency and that QPF accommodated that desire was completely thrilling to me. QPF is unlike any festival or poetic event because it combines an intimate community feel with the expansiveness of performance with huge but particularly attentive audiences. To be in the presence of so many people who are genuinely seeking a poetic experience is intoxicating and gratifying. I could feel the way that certain lines were landing in the room. And then to combine that with the multi-disciplinary aspect of the festival made the conversations around the main events, in the lobby and out for drinks after, incredibly nuanced. It is a unique experience that I keep subjecting to the forces of repetition for my own pleasure!

We are so glad you do Jacqueline! And again, there are many fine Canadians sharing the QPF stage with you. In fact, QPF has had a real love affair with Canadian poets since your residency. What creates that spark of connection between Canadian poets and our audiences?

I think it’s the similar but different kind of thing. We have shared concerns resulting from similar histories with aboriginal people and the land. Also cultural considerations in relation to the dominant American culture. We all bring varying perspectives on those kinds of concerns. Aesthetically we push in a myriad of ways too that seem to both connect and echo with and maybe sometimes even provoke QPF audiences. And those audiences are amazing! Every Canadian poet I’ve talked to about being on the QPF stage is wowed by the particular responses to their work, but also to the fact that poetry is so important to this city, this country. That spark also comes from the opportunity for conversations around the pleasure and practice of writing, as well as the development of some genuine friendships that exceed distance in the age of social media. I’d also be remiss without acknowledging the support of the Canada Council of the Arts which helps to fund travel to bring lucky Canadian poets to Brisbane over the years as well as the incredibly dedicated work of people at the QWC.

This visit, Australian audiences will get the opportunity to hear you read from The Ends of the Earth (ECW Press, 2013), which is really exciting. I am also keen to hear about any other new projects you are working on that QPF audiences may get a preview of.

I’m working on a new manuscript called Flourish because I’ve spent quite a lot of time on dealing with the ends of things so I thought it would be good to explore how language operates when things are going well. I like the idea of an exuberant text so I’m experimenting with letting the writing break open and burst forth. The rush is an element I’ve used formally in my writing — the rush of the long line prose poem — as well as the mode of compression where language is put under pressure in short imagistic stanzas, so I guess I want to see what’s between the extremes of concision and excess. An recent example would be the Presence piece I did for the Cordite chapbook you curated and I hope to keep working that vein for awhile. It feels exciting. I’m curious to see how those stellar QPF audiences will take it all in…

*****

Jacqueline-TurnerJacqueline Turner has published four books of poetry with ECW Press: The Ends of the Earth (2013), Seven into Even (2006), Careful (2003), and Into the Fold (2000). She reviews for the Georgia Straight and lectures at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. She was the inaugural Arts Queensland Poet In Residence.

Leave a comment

Filed under discussions

Presence

It’s been all systems go here at Lost Shark HQ this last month or so… three books about to launch, the residency at Varuna and now this gem… a chapbook titled Presence that I had the immense pleasure of curating for Cordite.

presence_keong

Presence features artwork by Cindy Keong and new poems from Nathan Shepherdson, Pascalle Burton, Aidan Coleman, Louise Oxley, Ross Donlon, Tim Sinclair, Jean Kent, Jon Paul Fiorentino, Sachiko Murakami and Jacqueline Turner. Each of the artists responded to the idea of Presence in their own way, making this a unique reading experience.

Here’s a link to the chapbook… and please, spread the word as this deserves to be read widely!

3 Comments

Filed under poetry & publishing

Tickets on sale for QLD Poetry Festival 2013

While QLD Poetry Festival prides itself on keeping the majority of the festival free and accessible to all comers, there are three hot tickets on sale right now.

sachiko-murakami

 

Poetry Unbound Workshop w/ Sachiko Murakami

Poetry is a living artform – one that adapts, adjusts, can be renovated, extrapolated. Canadian poet Sachiko Murakami has been doing just that with her online collaborative sites Project Rebuild and Henko. Join Sachiko for a three-hour demonstrative workshop that explores in greater depth the various forms of poetry unbound – collaborative poetry, constructed poetry, found poetry, interactive poetry.

When: August 23rd, 10:30am – 1:30pm
Where: QLD Writers centre, State Library of Queensland
Tickets: $40 available here

Anthony Lawrence

 

Thinking Poetry Workshop w/ Anthony Lawrence

Poetry is an engagement of the senses, triggering the imagination into seeing the world anew. Join widely published and acclaimed poet Anthony Lawrence for this masterclass designed to flex your poetic muscles. Over the course of three hours you will engage in close readings of great poems, explore a series of practical exercises designed to spark new thought processes, and have your first-draft collectively workshopped by the group. Come away with a finished poem and some new spells of the trade to refine your poetic eye.

When: August 23rd, 10:30am – 1:30pm
Where: Room 1A, State Library of Queensland
Tickets: $40 available here

Bertie Blackman

 

And the main event… Set Fire To The Air

Featuring:

Shane Rhodes, the 2013 Arts Queensland Poet in Residence. He is the author of five collections of poetry, including The Wireless Room, Holding Pattern, The Bindery, and most recently, Err. His poetry has numerous awards, and has been featured in national and international anthologies. Shane is the poetry editor for Arc, Canada’s only national poetry magazine.

Jacqueline Turner back for her third visit to QPF! She has published four books of poetry with ECW Press: The Ends of the Earth (2013), Seven into Even (2006), Careful (2003), and Into the Fold (2000). She reviews for the Georgia Straight and lectures at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. She was the inaugural Arts Queensland Poet In Residence.

TT.O. born in Greece and raised in Fitzroy, Melbourne. A retired draughtsman, his latest book is BIG NUMBERS (new and selected poems). He is a founding member of Collective Effort Press and the Poets Union, and has represented Australia at various international festivals. By disposition and history TT.O. is an Anarchist, and is currently editor of the experimental magazine Unusual Work

and

Bertie Blackman whose latest album, Pope Innocent X, has been described as adventurous, thrilling, and undeniably unique. The long-awaited follow-up to 2009’s Secrets and Lies, Pope Innocent X is 11 tracks of visual, evocative storytelling. It’s a mix all Blackman’s own, as she forges into brand new musical territory yet again, with stunning results.

When: August 23, 2013 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Where: Theatre Space, Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts  420 Brunswick Street  Fortitude Valley QLD 4006  Australia
Cost: from $15
Tickets available here

Leave a comment

Filed under events & opportunities

Spoken In One Strange Word 2013

qpf 2013 see me at badge-1

On Tuesday night at Riverbend Books, I had the great pleasure of MC’ing the official launch of the 2013 QLD Poetry Festival: spoken in one strange word program. The night kicked off with Rob Morris and Sheish Money who by mid set had everyone smiling and stomping their feet; Rob weaving tales of Ram Chandra, Old Sailors and countless other characters into Sheish’s floating piano notes. And from there, every artist that stood up to the mic – Pascalle Burton, Nathan Shepherdson, Rhyll Tonge & Fern Thompsett and Sue Ray – added  another layer of joy.

It was a showcase of what makes QLD Poetry Festival the most exciting poetry event in this country… a celebration of the strange words poets make.

And now, the 2013 program is available online, and it is quite possibly, the most exciting program I have seen in my 10 year involvement. Artists that have my blood racing are Sachiko Murakami (Canada), Tao Lin (USA), Jacqueline Turner (Canada), Π O (Australia), Aidan Coleman (Australia), Bertie Blackman… and this is just the names on the tip of my tongue. To check out the full program, visit the QPF Website. Spend some time with it… there is so much to get excited about!

Leave a comment

Filed under events & opportunities

Guest Book Spine Poem: Julie Beveridge

The Book Spine Poetry Bug is catching at our place… here’s one from Julie:

A Zen Firecracker:

Sleepwalkers fate
permitted to fall
into the fold

And here’s another from our shelves:

Under the one granite roof
all I ever wanted was a window
begging the question
what have you done to our ears to make us hear echoes?

4 Comments

Filed under poetry

Poetry Picks of 2011: Jacqueline Turner

One of the standout poetry projects for me this year (beside the BookThug sweep of the Canadian Governor General’s award for poetry shortlist and ultimately the winner of said prize) is Sachiko Murakami’s Project Rebuild  (Read about the project here) which is an experiment in radical collaboration. The project is created out of the compelling question: “Can you inhabit a poem?” You can go and “renovate” poems on this site and I invite you, specifically, to renovate mine. The multiple iterations of the poems show how language can move from one idea to another, while still maintaining a trace of the original, almost like an elaborate game of telephone.

The project is connected to her second book of poetry, Rebuild which I reviewed here. Her book asks us to look at the ridiculousness of the structures we inhabit and the identities we attempt to derive from them. She looks closely at the city of Vancouver (where I live – think Sydney) where the architectural splendour signifies “Enough failed attempts at beauty” to “Let the home stand for us,” even though “There’s nowhere to hang a metaphor.” The repetition of the structure indicates a civic reliance on sameness built into the visible history of the city. She uses a housing type called the “Vancouver Special” to show how this “sameness” comes to represent the identity of this Canadian city while at the same time showing that change isn’t just always possible, change is the thing itself. In the end she asks, “What is poetry but a rental unit of language?”

********************

Jacqueline Turner has published three books with ECW Press: Seven into Even (2006), Careful (2003), and Into the Fold (2000). She writes poetry reviews for The Georgia Straight, and is on the board of Artspeak. She teaches creative and critical writing at Simon Fraser University and Emily Carr University of Art + Design. She was Queensland’s inaugural poet-in-residence at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts in Brisbane, Australia in 2005, a poet-in-residence in Tasmania in 2006, and a guest writer at the Queensland Poetry Festival in 2007 and the Tasmanian Poetry Festitval in 2010. Last year she read at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York. Her most recent publication was from Nomados, called The Ends of the Earth. Her work has appeared in anthologies —How the Light Gets In (2009), Companions and Horizons, (2005), and The Small Cities Anthology (2005).

Links:

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter
Audio from Seven into Even
See list of all her books
Archive of her poetry reviews for The Georgia Straight

3 Comments

Filed under discussions, poetry & publishing

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

3 Comments

Filed under poetry & publishing