Tag Archives: Launch of Feeding Paper Tigers by Vanessa Page

March Pin-Up Poet Week #4: Vanessa Page looks forward

Sadly, this week, it is time to say goodbye to our March Pin-Up Poet, Vanessa Page… but never fear, the launch of Brisbane New Voices III is just around the corner, so we will be seeing and hearing lots more from her over the coming weeks and months. Vanessa, it has been a pleasure…

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With Feeding Paper Tigers to be launched on Tuesday April 24, what’s next on the horizon for you? Are there any themes emerging in your new work?

With the pieces selected for Feeding Paper Tigers being drawn from my manuscript the lost art of penning you a love note, I’ve been turning my attention to reworking and refining that collection of poems and adding some new pieces in to the mix. My first manuscript, Memory Bone is still awaiting publication with PressPress and hopefully this will happen some time in 2012. This is a full length collection of my earlier work.

As for what’s on the horizon, I have written a suite of poems that were drawn from my recent experiences in Tasmania and have been working away at a couple of longer poems. Performing my work at various poetry events around the city is helping to keep me on track with writing new material and giving me some time frames to work within. I will also continue to submit my work to various competitions throughout the year, as I seem to be having more success with competitions than with submissions to poetry zines and journals. As an ‘emerging’ poet I think the anonymity factor helps in this regard. It’s a great way of getting my poetry out there to new audiences and again the ability to work to a deadline is great for me as there never seems to be enough time in the day for we single, working, poetry-writing Mums! That being said, I’ll also continue to persistently submit my poems to journals and zines and the like and just keep at it!

I think while many of my themes will stay the same, I am working hard on refining my style and paring my work back to a simpler form. Having had the experience of editing for publication, this process has become easier for me and I have been able to push through that tricky mental space that makes me want to stubbornly hold on to lines that aren’t working rather than just discarding them and coming back to the concept in a fresh way. Lately I’ve been going over poems that have been troubling me, deleting ‘offending’ lines and stumbling blocks and getting those poems working again. I’m enjoying that aspect of reviewing at the moment and the freedom that a bolder approach to my own editing is affording me so that I can move my projects forward.

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Drunk in St David’s Park

Still awake under
Hobart-town’s drooping lids

a grass crackle reveal
over night’s cold sweat

we light the fuse
with ice blade fingers

the two of us
an awkward exercise
in propulsion, footprints
over an old burial ground

displaced
shoulder to shoulder
with emancipist headstones

monuments to new starts;
the same colonial sky

the moon appears
in a half-hearted way

sparkle darkness
flooding under streetlights
as the rain comes again

we run like hell

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And one last time, here’s the Brisbane New Voices III launch details:

Date: Tuesday April 24
Location: Riverbend Books, 193 Oxford St. Bulimba
Time: Doors open for the event at 6pm for a 6:30pm start
Tickets: $10
Bookings: Online at: http://www.riverbendbooks.com.au or call the store on (07) 3899 8555

Copies of Brisbane New Voices are limited to 100, so be there to make sure you don’t miss out!

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March Pin-Up Poet Week #3: Launching Paper Tigers

It’s almost time to launch Brisbane New Voices III, featuring March Pin-Up Poet, Vanessa Page’s debut collection, Feeding Paper Tigers. This week Vanessa & I continue the conversation and she gives us the low down on the experience of putting together the manuscript.

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The launch of Feeding Paper Tigers is fast approaching. It has been a real pleasure for me to work on the poems that make up the micro-collection; reading through the longer manuscript, the lost art of penning you a love note, to find poems that speak deeply to each other and create something unique as a whole. What was your first reaction to the poems that I selected and how have you found the process from start to finish?

It is a very exciting time for me to see this collection of poems being published and released to the world. The selected poems definitely speak deeply to each other and I think the selection sings sweetly as a little package. My initial reaction to the selection was surprise – and this is because it is always interesting to discover how others see your work, what speaks to them, what strikes a chord. I think the most interesting element is that more than half of the selected poems were ones that came to me very quickly and formed with a minimum of fuss, just a small amount of shaping. In that way, I believe the selection is very organic and stems from some pretty deep and intense experiences and concepts – all of which wanted to be told!

There is a lot of ‘me’ in these poems, which is to be expected being an initial collection. For example, Christmas 1982 has come exclusively from memories of my childhood and Christmas days spent barefoot and carefree in my home town of Toowoomba . When I think of that poem I see it visually, like a collection of memories displayed under an Instagram filter. I think the collection also reflects my preference for simplicity in expression and I am completely enamoured of the idea that something moving and profound can come from a few lines of carefully selected words. Gone #2 is exactly that. A poem of great longing that lingers on long after its been read through.

The process of preparing the poems for publication has been very exciting. While I have had to do a little tweaking here and there during the editing process, I believe this process has helped to fine tune my poems to the point where I have no further ‘itch’ to tinker with them. It is amazing what the omission or addition of a comma can do for a line! It is a pleasure to work with Graham, who has been a fantastic support and mentor to me since I first started writing poetry ‘seriously’ just over three years ago. It is fitting that Graham is responsible for publishing this debut collection of poetry and I am very much looking forward to the launch event and sharing these poems with the world.

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Mistress

It’s in the way the foliage deepens to viridian, each
time you leave

and in how the sky spills over to inhabit
the impressions you’ve left.

these tiny fissures, these sweet little fractures.

I paint what’s left of the afternoon with a brush as fine
as eyelashes

a weeping emulsion, watercolour thin.

In this kind of emptiness, even the sound of a leaf
detaching and spinning back to earth booms.

I am a fulcrum. I am carved from stone.

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Last month Riverbend Books lit up the Brisbane sky with it’s opening event… And we’re set to go again! On Tuesday 24 April the night will come alive with the voices of Victorian singer-songwriter / poet / troubadour Andy White, slam goddess Tessa Leon, Brisbane poet and former QPF director Brett Dionysius, and the launch of Brisbane New Voices III featuring March Pin-Up Poet, Vanessa Page and Carmen Leigh Keates.

Copies of Brisbane New Voices are limited to 100, so be there to make sure you don’t miss out!

Date: Tuesday April 24
Location: Riverbend Books, 193 Oxford St. Bulimba
Time: Doors open for the event at 6pm for a 6:30pm start
Tickets: $10
Bookings: Online at: www.riverbendbooks.com.au or call the store on (07) 3899 8555

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