Tag Archives: Kate Eltham

The Death of Poetry in Australian Classrooms

One of the projects I have been working on recently is a collaborative article with Melbourne based poet and educator, Ashley Capes titled, The death of poetry in Australian classrooms. The article is has gone live today on Cordite as part of their Zombie issue, so head on over and check it out. Both Ashley and I hope the article sparks much discussion, so please be sure to leave a comment… I know we will both be checking in regularly to jump on board the thread of conversation/debate.

And while we are talking poetry in schools, I was forwarded a link recently by Kate Eltham, to a great site called 30 Poets 30 Days. The site will publish a new poem for young people every day during the month of April (National Poetry Month in the States), so if you are looking for new poetry to use in your classroom, or to share with the kids (or heaven forbid, enjoy yourself!), this may be a great place to start!


Filed under poetry & publishing

The evolution of the author/publisher relationship

I was over at Electric Alphabet the other day and was interested in Kate Eltham’s examination of the question posed by Mark Coker in his article for The Huffington Post, do authors still need publishers?

Coker argues that an author (he uses names like Stephen King and JK Rowling) with a dedicated fanbase could get a much better return from the marketplace by self-publishing. And while there are few poets (if any) who boast fanbases with the size and sustainability of King or Rowling, this also rings true in the poetry world. But as Kate points out:

the author that can make a self-publishing project successful is the author who is an entrepreneur, a small business manager, a savvy marketer and a tireless communicator.

No easy feat…

But this is something that poets worldwide have known for sometime and many are now fulfilling all of these roles quite successfully. As Seth Godin suggests in the article Tribe Building 101, increased communication between author and reader through blogs, online forums, and in person, encourages greater transparency and will help to consolidate your fanbase.

Blogging has opened up a new world for me and the countless other poets who regularly post their words each day. It is a way of reaching out to other writers and readers. It facilitates collaboration. It helps build community. And for me, it is a way of discipling myself to write. I feel like a novice in the blogging field, but already it has opened up many new avenues for my work. Combined with regular submissions to journals (online and print), regular readings (open mic and features), organising events, attending events and in general lending support to the development of the greater poetry community, I feel I am finally laying a platform to build on. All this has been ten years in the making and it has all been worth it. I plan to release my next book independently in 2010 and am feeling confident about the process.

That is not to say I am anti-publisher. Nothing could be further from the truth… I am one half of the team that runs Small Change Press and have recently been working on the Brisbane New Voices project. Indeed, I believe publishers have an important role to play, bringing new voices to a wider public, but it has to be said that independent publishers also require their authors to be creating their own platform through blogging, reading, submitting to journals etc… Being published, so to speak, does not mean that you can sit back and watch the sales roll in. In today’s writing/reading world, the entrepreneurial skills of marketing and communication need to be embraced by all.

It is clear that the relationship between author and publisher has changed forever. Some would argue for better, others for worse. What I am most interested in is how authors and publishers can survive and thrive (together or alone) in the future. All thoughts welcome…



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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.


Filed under discussions, events & opportunities

Dandelions and Language

Just a quickie this afternoon as I am heading off to Riverbend Books to catch five of the poets on the QPF 2009 program do their thing.

But, before I go I recommend you all head on over to Electric Alphabet and check out the link provided to Cory Doctorow’s article, ‘Think Like A Dandelion’.

“Dandelions and artists have a lot in common in the age of the Internet. This is, of course, the age of unlimited, zero-marginal-cost copying. If you blow your works into the net like a dandelion clock on the breeze, the net itself will take care of the copying costs.”

This is an article all writers should read.

And to finish off, here is a great little animation of Robert Creeley’s poem, The Language.

OK… live poetry, here I come!


Filed under poetry & publishing

Bob Stein and the Future of the Book

Bob Stein has been referred to as one of the most far out digital publishing visionaries in the new world, and for good reason. As the founder of The Voyager Company, the first commercial, exclusively multimedia based company and Director of The Institute for the Future of the Book he has been at the forefront of the digital revolution.

Stein has always been driven to find new ways of transferring the fundamentally engaging qualities of books to new electronic mediums. Stein sees the book of the future as  ‘open’ for continuous reader comment and author revision with the front end of the book breaking out of the linear mould and acting as a visual map —one that shows relations between parts and allows the reader to zoom into particular sections without losing sight of the whole.

It is an exciting time for the book (and lets not forget the authors and readers) and Bob and the team at The Institute are at the forefront of its evolution, so don’t miss the opportunity to hear Bob in conversation with QLD Writers Centre CEO, Kate Eltham at the 2009 Ideas festival on Friday March 27.

Ticket information and other details are available here. This is one conversation that will be worth tuning in to.


Filed under events & opportunities, poetry & publishing

Do publisher’s dream of electric books?

I was recently reading Electric Alphabet and came across an article that provides some great reading around the topic of publishing and distribution:

Do publisher’s still dream of electronic books? is a great interview with Soft Skull Press main man Richard Nash about what is happening on the digital publishing horizon and the cultural economy of books.

Today on Electric Alphabet, Kate has also raised the idea of a poetry publishing co-op. This is a great idea and a role that the newly formed SPUNC may fill with flying colours…

Here’s hoping!


Filed under poetry & publishing

Supply and Demand in the Art Economy

I was reading Electric Alphabet yesterday and came across a great article called ‘Supply and Demand in the Art Economy’. Really interesting stuff in light of the discussion we have been having here on Another Lost Shark with publishers regarding the state of poetry publication and distribution. Read the article here:


And for those of you who have not checked out Electric Alphabet, it is definitely worth the click: http://electricalphabet.wordpress.com/

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Filed under poetry & publishing