Tag Archives: Kate Fagan



If you are looking for poetry that reimagines this land we call Australia, poetry that experiments with landscape and geopolitics, then look no further than Outcrop, the latest release from Black Rider Press. There’s 60 hours left to secure a copy at the pre-release price of $20. There are also some other great packages from Black Rider Press on offer. Click here to find out more.

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In Raptures

QPF 2011 raised the poetry bar high last night. From the joyous opening address by Jenny Galligan (Exectutive Director, Arts Development, Arts QLD) the atmosphere was crackling and then the Val Vallis and Thomas Shapcott Awards were announced and the first wave of rapture spread through the audience.

West End local, Rachael Briggs held the room to pin-drop silence with a powerful performance of her Val Vallis award winning sonnet sequence and Brisbane favourite, Nick Powell thrilled with a poem from his Thomas Shapcott Award winning manuscript. Nick’s first full length collection will be published as part of the award and launched at QPF 2012, something I am already looking forward to!

* Get along to see Nick take flight with Sheish Money & co. on Sunday afternoon as they debut their show, Shift (3:15pm, A Crash of Chords, Theatre Space, Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts)

Two poems in to the festival and already the hair on the neck was dancing. And they didn’t stop…

Sandra Thibodeaux, gave us a rhythmic hit of politics, satire, sex and the Australian landscape as she opened Of Rhythm and Rapture; her presence on the stage, lighting up the room. Ah yes… wave of rapture #2.

Sandra was followed by the first of the international guests, Sawako Nakayasu, who delivered a razor sharp series of short poems from the collection, Time of Sky, (translations of the work of Ayane Kawata). This was one that knocked me out:

A scream inside a fish
A table is a table
The raped orange becomes the blue sky

Another favourite was her ‘hamburger nightmare poem’ (from Texture Notes), where the light at the end of the tunnel might just be a lump of fat. Wave of rapture #3…

And closing the first half of the night was the second international guest, Jacob Polley. Jacob opened with his poem Smoke, a poem that sits up there as one of my all time favourites. Hearing it read for the very first time is something I will not forget. Polley’s rich voice, ringing every last note from the poem. You guessed it… wave of rapture #4!

And then after a trip to the book store (more on that later…) and the bar, we were back in and settled for the second half of the show, a solo performance by Kate Fagan. From the outset, Fagan’s voice filled the room, and what a voice it is… clear, bell-like, each note perfectly realised. She moved from guitar to piano to reading poems seamlessly, but it was when she sang A capella, her interpretation of Child Ballad #3, that you knew undoubtedly that you were in the presence of a truly incredible talent.

And here I am this morning… words shivering under the skin ready for another day of words. And I can let you in on a secret… today I will be sitting in on drums as Sheish straps on his guitar and Ashley Capes breathes his words into the mic as part of the set, Torching the Shadows at 11:45am in the Shopfront Space. Going to be a blast!


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Lost Shark Radio #3: The sounds of QLD Poetry Festival

QLD Poetry Festival 2011 is only days away (20 to be precise), so I thought it was time to tune the dials of Lost Shark Radio to some of the sounds that will be bursting from the walls of the Judith Wright Centre, when QPF takes centre stage from August 26 – 28.

Andy WhiteIf You Want It

He’s a restless and prolific bugger, is Andy White. In a career spanning more than a dozen albums, collaborations with the likes of Tim Finn  & Peter Gabriel, three books, including the soon to be released, Stolen Moments through Another Lost Shark Publications, Andy has always kept the bar high. Here’s the clip for If You Want It, the first single from his last album, Songwriter (2009). Andy will launch Stolen Moments at 4:00pm on Saturday August 27 as part of the session, All Is Roar And Crash. And I am sure he will dust off the guitar at some stage during the weekend!

Kate FaganCity of Ghosts

Kate recently released her debut album, Diamond Wheel, winning the National Film & Sound Archive Award for ‘Best Folk Album’. Her work has been compared to the likes of alt-country royalty, Joni Mitchell & Gillian Welch and described as ‘lyrically lucid, emotionally persuasive and evocative‘ (Bruce Elder, SMH).  And let’s not forget, she has also published three books of poetry, most recently, The Long Moment (Salt Publishing). At QPF 2011, Kate will showcase both facets of her stunning career. Kate will perform as part of QPF’s opening night concert, Of Rhythm and Rapture on Friday August 26. Tickets for the show are available here.

Bity Booker: Gallop

Bity grew up in Umbria in the countryside in a big house with horses, dogs and cats. She recently moved to Australia, where she has been gigging regularly and developing her unique style of songwriting with her clean, bright voice and classical guitar. Bity will perform as part of the session, Shooting Out The Lamps on Saturday August 27 at 6pm alongside Eliza Hull, Eleanor Jackson & Nick Powell.

To see the full QPF Program, visit http://www.queenslandpoetryfestival.com

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2011 QLD Poetry Festival Program is Launched!

It is with great excitement that I announce that the 2011 QLD Poetry Festival Program is launched and available for download from the QPF website. And with that announcement, I can also happily say, tickets for the opening night event, Of Rhythm and Rapture, on Friday August 26 (7:30pm – 10:30pm) are on sale now. 

Opening night is always special and this year’s event boasts an exciting line-up of international and interstate performers including 2011 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence, Jacob Polley (UK), Sawako Nakayasu (Japan), Australian Poetry’s 2011 Poet-in-Residence, Sandra Thibodeaux (NT) and singer/songwriter/poet, Kate Fagan (NSW).

Here’s a clip for Kate’s recent single, Clear Water:

Tickets are available now from the Judith Wright Centre Website, so don’t be left standing at the door… book your seats early!

The other ticket that has just gone on sale is for Sandra Thibodeaux’s workshop, Disturbing the Poem. In this workshop, Australian Poetry Poet-in-Residence, Sandra Thibodeaux, will take you through the art of poetic disturbance. Sandra will be encouraging participants to ‘disturb’ their poems, shifting perspective, place, chronology and voice; playing with economy, resonance, metaphor, structure, colour, and the senses. Such disturbances may unearth new levels to the poetry or may lead to the creation of new works. This active workshop is designed for poets of various levels. Though not essential, participants will get more out of the workshop if they email drafts of poems a week beforehand.

The workshop takes place at Queensland Writers Centre, (Level 2, State Library of Queensland, Cultural Centre, Stanley Place, South Brisbane) on Friday August 26 from 10am – 1pm and tickets are just $20.

To book contact the Queensland Poetry Festival on 07 3842 9950 or email qldpoetry@gmail.com. Places are strictly limited, so get in early.

It’s going to be a massive three days, so for those a little further afield, start thinking about travel arrangements now… with a line up featuring Jacob Polley (UK), Sawako Nakayasu (Japan), Aidan Coleman (SA), Kevin Gillam (WA), Amanda Joy (WA), Kate Fagan (NSW), Matt Hetherington (VIC), Johanna Featherstone (NSW), Louise Oxley (TAS), Jaya Savige and many others, it will be well worth the trip!

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Bush Slam

If (like me) you didn’t catch the first episode last week, make sure you check out tonight’s Bush Slam, hosted by H.G. Nelson on ABC TV. Tonight’s episode features Geoff Goodfellow and James Blundell heading off to the fishing town of Stanley in Tasmania’s north-west, where they will have three days to take in the town and write a poem, before reading it in front of a live audience at one of the local pubs.

I am personally really looking forward to seeing what Geoff Goodfellow comes up with, as his reading of his longer poem, The Seventh Doctor, was my highlight from QPF 2009 and rates as one of the best readings I have ever witnessed. Geoff also recently appeared on ABC TV’s Stateline reading from the series of poems Waltzing with Jack Dancer and talking about his battle with cancer. You can also check out some of Geoff’s work on his own site.

Coming up in future episodes of Bush Slam are poets Sam Wagan Watson, Kate Fagan, Emily Ballou, Alison Croggon, Morganics, Melinda Schneider and John Kinsella.


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