Tag Archives: poetry events in Brisbane

FreeVerse: Page meets Stage

Next Wednesday night, I will be hitting the stage with Brisbane’s sonic mistress, Pascalle Burton as part of the inaugural, FreeVerse event, emceed by the wild and wonderful Ghostboy. Pascalle and I will be trading words, letting our poems rub up against each other so that they create their own spontaneous dialogue! And we both have a little surprise in store for the audience in the form of a cover version. Yes, Pascalle has given one of my poems a little sonic makeover and I have reworked one of her poems in a way that may just free the inner performer in the most unusual way… Intrigued? Well, I look forward to seeing you all next Wednesday night, February 15 as we light up the Red Box at State Library.

And to leave you, here’s one of Pascalle’s aural texts to light up your night:

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The Back Room launches new collections by Samuel Wagan Watson & Liam Ferney

The Back Room keeps the QPF buzz going when it lights up Confit Bistro (4/9 Doggett Street, Fortitude Valley) tomorrow night (Wednesday August 31). This is an event not-to-be-missed as it will feature the launch of two sparkling new poetry collections, The Curse Words by Samuel Wagan Watson and Career by Liam Ferney.

The Curse Words is the second chapbook from award winning poet, Samuel Wagan Watson for Vagabond Press; a mixture of prose-poems and textual blues-riffs. The Curse Words frames some of Samuel’s ‘muses’ and abuses of verse. This chapbook inspired a well-received show at the recent Adelaide Cabaret Festival by award-winning chanteuse, Leah Flanagan and will premier at the 2012 Sydney Festival.

Career is the second collection from Brisbane poet, Liam Ferney. It is the story of an English teacher marooned in the outer suburbs of Seoul during the 2002 world cup. It is a tale of typhoons, late night bars, cab rides and thwarted love. It is Liam Ferney’s second collection and follows on from 2004’s Popular Mechanics. Poet Gig Ryan describes Career as “bejewelled with the insistent shouts of everyday life… All laid out in poems tailor-made for aficionados of Korean alcohol and cigarettes, Italian zombie movies, acronyms and abbreviations of all kids.”

Both collections will be launched by acclaimed Brisbane poet, Brett Dionysius.

Sheish Money & I will also be on deck to fire things up, so get your poetry shoes shined… doors open at 6pm with the live action staring at 6:30pm.


Date: Wednesday August 31
Time: 6pm for a 6:30pm start
Place: Confit Bistro, 4/9 Doggett St Fortitude Valley
Entry: Free

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Mid-Winter at The Back Room

After a couple of days at home, I am starting to feel back on the Brisbane clock, but I am sure I will feel even more at home when I get behind the mic with the mighty Sheish Money at The Back Room’s Mid-Winter Session this coming Wednesday. Let me just say… the line up crackles!

Lighting up The Back Room at Confit Bistro (4/9 Dogget St, Fortitude Valley) this Wednesday night (July 27) alongside Sheish and I will be the twisted tunes and bent words of Ghostboy & Skye Staniford, co-editor of the legendary Going Down Swinging and all round literary over-achiever, Geoff Lemon, performance ensemble Zen Zen Zo and an exhibition of new work by fashion illustrator, Oliver Searle.

To give you a taste of what to expect on the night, here’s a quick hit from Geoff Lemon, live from the 2009 Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup:

and this from the belly of Ghostboy with Golden Virtues:

And with San Francisco still firing all my synapses I will be hollering the words of some of their favourite sons and daughters and I know that Sheish has a few new songs ready to burst, so …

the walls of the place just might implode. Make sure you are there to find out!

If you can make it along, drop a comment on the post and let me know numbers or shoot me an email at geenunn(at)yahoo(dot)com(dot)au and I will look after the rest.

Entry is free and the doors open at 6pm with the live sounds beginning to rumble from 6:30pm.

Hope to see many of you there,

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Poetry @ Confit Bistro

Confit Bistro has provided another much needed venue for poetry in Brisbane this year, serving up monthly helpings of fine food, wine and words. To round off an incredibly creative year, Confit are hosting one final event this Thursday November 25, featuring one of Brisbane’s finest emerging voices, Trudie Murrell, purveyors of poetic rock’n’roll, Graham Nunn & Sheish Money and Brisbane hipster, Rob Morris.

As an appetiser, here’s a poem from Trudie Murrell:

 

Home
 
Close your eyes, 
travel by moonlight wrapped
in the smell of shepherd’s
pie.
 
Back, through piles of
newspaper, cardboard boxes,
decisions made with numbers,
points on a map.
 
Back to the quiet,
back to the sea.
Your grandmother
waits here
I cannot stay.
 
Your legs will ache hollow
with walking,
keep going.
 
Past the weeping
fig with the whispering bark,
its branches
cascading sympathy
to the steps.
 
Eighteen,
of silver, sun
and wood leading 
up to the blue house.
 
Put your cool bare feet on the first,
the second, reach the tenth
step, feel the groove in the
middle smooth, warm.
 
Sit, lay your head in your
grandmother’s lap.  Feel the
moon, the two palm trees,
the mud flats all kissed by the
breeze that reaches your face.
 
Know that a woman sat here at dusk,
eating ice cream,
that this is where you came in,
that you are home. 
 
Open the small
bag of sighs I sent with you
and set them free.

 

Confit Bistro is located at 4/9 Doggett St. Fortitude Valley. Entry to the event is free and their tapas menu is not only super tasty, but very reasonably priced. Doors open at 6pm with the poetry & music firing up at 6:30pm.

So if you are looking for something to do this Thursday (November 25) come along and raise a glass (or two)…

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SpeedPoets, Sunday October 3: feat. Robin ‘Archie’ Archbold

Well, I am heading off for the week to walk the city from my mind… and when I return, SpeedPoets will be kicking up a storm.

Brisbane’s longest running poetry event, SpeedPoets keeps fanning the flames of poetry at InSpire Gallery Bar (71 Vulture St, West End). October will feature spoken word dynamo and multiple Slam winner, Robin ‘Archie’ Archbold. The last time I saw Archie perform was at the Goolwa Poetry Festival where he popped a button in someone’s drink. It was very special!

Here’s a clip of Archie performing at the Lismore Poetry Cup:

There will also be the regular live sounds from Sheish Money, free zines, raffles/giveaways and the hottest Poetry Open Mic Section in town. So be sure to pack a poem or two in your pocket and get yourself heard!

SpeedPoets, Sunday October 3, 2:00pm – 5:30pm, InSpire Gallery Bar – 71 Vulture St. West End

featuring:

Robin ‘Archie’ Archbold

Entry is a gold coin donation

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Emily XYZ – new poems & her final Australian reading

Avid Reader’s (193 Boundary St West End) Poetry Month celebrations continue tomorrow night (Thursday September 16) with readings from Tessa Leon, Jeremy Thompson, Bruce Dorlova and 2010 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence Emily XYZ. This will be Emily’s final reading in Australia in 2010, so make sure you are their to get your last hit.

Details are:

Date: Thursday September 16
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Venue: Avid Reader, 193 Boundary Rd, West End
Cost: Free
Bookings: Call 3846 3422 or book online at: http://www.avidreader.com.au/index.php?option=com_registrationpro&view=event&Itemid=0&did=86

Here are two brand new poems from Emily XYZ written during her 2010 residency to give you a taste of what tomorrow night will bring…

See you there,

 

 

motionless

 
those clouds are motionless overhead
it doesn’t seem possible
they sit in their white gold ness
unmoved by winds aloft
how is that turning force
suspended / has god told this
airspace position and hold
for a moment / is it an error?
for heaven’s sakes drift
in some direction / your
breath-held pause is most
unvaporlike / you’re not really
mountains, and you’re making
me nervous

 

 

climber
 

he likes to go up
he likes to climb
it’s in his nature
 
he wants to do better in life
he wants to see things from above
he wants perspective
 
the vertical is transcendent
ascent is musical
the ceiling goes underfoot
 
clouds obscure you
but I know you are there
 
I know there is a path, a plan,
an imaginary line in the sky
in the night stars a compass
 
a way in the chasm and the chaos
that must be taking you higher
even as it takes you away
 
rocks are steps that propel you to the top
the top is a place to visit
ambition in the abstract
the summit is relative,
you cannot live there
it is only a place from which you can see
further

 

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Why Poetry? The discussion begins…

Avid Reader (193 Boundary St West End) have declared September, ‘Poetry Month’ and to celebrate they are putting on some mighty fine events. The first of these is a discussion / reading taking place this Thursday night. To pick at the seams of the question, ‘Why Poetry?’ they have assembled Bronwyn Lea, Nathan Shepherdson, Ross Clark, Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence Emily XYZ and this Lost Shark.

Full details of the event are:

Date: Thursday September 9
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Venue: Avid Reader, 193 Boundary Rd, West End
Cost: $5.00
Bookings: Call 3846 3422 or book online at: http://www.avidreader.com.au/index.php?option=com_registrationpro&view=event&Itemid=0&did=80&shw_attendees=0

Avid’s monthly magazine is also brimming with poetic musings, reviews and other articles. You can download a copy of it from their website: http://www.avidreader.com.au/ but I thought I would post my article answering the question ‘Why Poetry?’ to get the discussion started…

Why Poetry?

Brisbane is definitely a bright star in the poetry sky, hosting major events such as QLD Poetry Festival: spoken in one strange word (August 27-29), The Australian Poetry Slam and the annual Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence Program alongside a number of regular events, including Brisbane’s longest running poetry/spoken word event, SpeedPoets. And now, Avid Reader are throwing a month long poetry party in September, featuring a panel of established poets (incl. Bronwyn Lea, Nathan Shepherdson, Ross Clark, Graham Nunn and 2010 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence, Emily XYZ) talking about the importance of poetry in our lives and readings from some of the bright new things currently setting the Brisbane poetry scene on fire. So why all this interest in poetry? Well, to give you a short answer, I couldn’t go past this quote from ‘poet laureate of the down and out’, Charles Bukowski:

Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.

For me, what Bukowski is getting at here is poetry’s ability to embrace and elevate all that makes us human. When you hear it, you should be able to see, as if in a flash of lightning, the words crystallise, and if you are open to it, the poem will contain more than images. Poetry invites us to cast off habit and reconsider life with new eyes and at its best, as Emily Dickinson put it, can take the top off your head.

I strongly believe that enjoying poetry is as natural as drawing breath. As a boy I spent many summers sitting beside my father watching Australia’s great fast bowler, Dennis Lillee tear through various batting lineups. Each time the stumps would buckle or Lillee would throw himself into his trademark appeal, shouting ‘Howzat’, my father would look over at my brother and I and say, ‘that was poetry’. Of course my father did not mean that it was literally poetry, he was simply pointing out that Lillee’s bowling had the qualities one normally expects of poetry – grace, surprise, beauty, rhythm. My father was not much of a poetry reader, but he, like all of us, had an idea of what poetry is and should be.

We know this because poetry is not firstly in the words; it is there to be discovered in the current of the river, the rush of the street, the strange angles of a spider’s web, a home cooked meal. Our senses are bombarded with literally thousands of stimulants on a daily basis… poetry is about stripping this back and getting in touch with the things that really matter; finding the truth in the everyday.

When I tell people that I write poetry, a common response is, ‘I don’t really get it’, but the truth is, that is just a reflection of society’s needless mystification of the art. A poem is not an obscure code or linguistic puzzle, if it works, it will speak to you. But remember, it’s a matter of chemistry. Not every song you hear or film you watch will speak to you, likewise, every poem you encounter will not hit the mark, but don’t let that deter you, there is an infinite number of voices and styles waiting to be discovered and when a poem hits, it will cast its spell and make the mind sing; it will engage your imagination and draw you into its universe.

As there are a myriad voices writing poetry today, I thought I would ask a handful of the poets participating in the Avid Reader Poetry Month festivities to get their thoughts.

One of Brisbane’s new voices, Jonathan Hadwen offered this:

“…it’s the way thoughts line up in our minds, a way in which we finally make sense of experiences and situations that have been difficult to understand.  The real power of poetry is in the sharing, as by doing so, we pass on this understanding. Poetry has been around in one form or another since we have had the ability to think and communicate those thoughts, and will be around until we lose those abilities.”

2010 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence, Emily XYZ responded with zeal:

“Poetry, like all art, is part of the human condition.  The reason people say they ‘don’t get poetry’ is because we are not usually called on to use our minds that way.  Quite the opposite:  ‘daily life’ generally requires us to dumb down and stay in the lower registers of what is possible for the human mind. ‘Why poetry?’ is a question that must be answered anew every few years, and yet the answer never really changes:  because it is resistance to misery.  Because it is a swing against dehumanization and an affirmation of freedom and possibility.  Because it makes jailer-minded people uncomfortable—and that really is something that can (ultimately) (maybe) change the world.”

And, John Koenig answered with a poem of his own:

“trembling under a love blue sky the thesaurus tree bears alphabetical fruit ripening and falling to be caught by slender feminine hands of faith held up in front of inquisitive gun smoke eyes with intriguing lashes curling over the words of sweet sorrow and joyful redemption making darkness and light fill the flowering iris with colour overflowing to flood the optic nerve becoming a raging river running along neural paths synaptic sparks jumping high and igniting the fire of imagination framing the question what does this mean poetry yes that’s right it’s magic”

The one thing each of these responses has in common is the passion and belief in which they are delivered. That is the power of poetry… when it hits, you are never again the same. So why not get along to one of the many poetry events happening in this fine city of ours or to your local independent book store and embark on your own quest to answer this question. The journey could just be life changing.

Look forward to reading other people’s responses to this question,

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A Roomful of Love

Graham’s book came out in a roomful of love / the art of creating good vibes as fine a gift as uplifting a rainy night w/ poems

                                                                                        — emily xyz

These few words by Emily XYZ, so beautifully capture my experience of last night’s gig at Confit Bistro. The room was packed with family & friends and the words felt like they were singing inside of me.

Sheish opened proceedings with a set of songs that had the audience leaning in… his gift as a storyteller was front and centre throughout the set. He took us on a journey of his coming to Brisbane and the various abodes he has dwelled in; his playing (guitar and keys) as elegantly understated as I have ever seen it.

Next up Rob Morris opened his set of poems with a new piece that embodied one lost traveller and took the audience deep into the heart of the Valley. Rob continued to cast his spell throughout, finishing with one of my favourites, The Night Mike Furber Smiled Back At Me. The opening line:

They pulled down Christies the year cancer pulled down dad, remember?

still hits with a wild force every time I hear it.

And then there was a surprise appearance from James Griffin, who had phoned me earlier in the day to let me know he was in town and wanted to catch up. A real moment of synchronicity… James delivered a spoken version of Black Crow Road. It was dark and hypnotic…

On the crow road
I can hear the bottleneck slide
On the black crow road
Drifting down the darkening sky
Drifting down the sheltering sky

the perfect entry point for Sheish and I to take stage and deliver a swirling set of poems and songs.

And then, like the words and music, the conversation flowed… Night’s like this come all to infrequently in a lifetime. Night’s when the room is alight with love and poetry.

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SpeedPoets team up with Page Seventeen

The first Sunday of the month is sacred in these waters… nothing (or let’s say next to nothing) comes between this Lost Shark and SpeedPoets. But the first Sunday in August is even a little more special than usual, as SpeedPoets, Brisbane’s longest running poety/spoken word event is teaming up with one of this country’s finest literary journals, Page Seventeen to offer one local writer the chance to have their work published in issue #8 as well as win a pretty cool little book package including back issues of Page Seventeen and a range of other quality journals and poetry collections.

What are we looking for? Poems that dance on page and stage. Poems that create their own music, that beat their own drum. Poems that beg to be heard again and again and again and… well you get the picture.

The rules of entry are simple:

1.  Sign on for the Page Seventeen/SpeedPoets Open Mic Competition will commence at 2pm

2. Each poet will be given 3mins to perform/read their poem (without musical accompaniment). Each poem read must be the original work of the poet.

3. Each poet must place a typed/neatly handwritten copy of their poem in the judges box at the conclusion of their reading.

4. Judges will consider the poem in its oral and written form.

5. The winning poem will be published in issue #8 of Page Seventeen and the poet will receive a book/CD pack.

(NB. Judges decisions on the day will be final and no further corresspondence will be entered into)

There will also be free zines, the monthly raffle and much, much more…

So for your monthly poetry hit, get along to InSpire Gallery Bar, 71 Vulture St West End this Sunday, August 1 from 2pm. I wouldn’t be anywhere else!

SpeedPoets, Sunday August 1, 2:00pm – 5:00pm
InSpire Gallery Bar
– 71 Vulture St. West End

Entry is a gold coin donation

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SpeedPoets feat. Emily XYZ

SpeedPoets rolls back into InSpire Gallery Bar (71 Vulture St West End), this Sunday July 4 with a feature set from the 2010 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence, Emily XYZ.

This will be the first chance for audiences to experience XYZ’s unique brand of spoken word during her 2010 residency in Brisbane. I had the pleasure of recently publishing Tiger Stadium in issue #37 of Stylus Poetry Journal, so if you have not yet checked it out, it is well worth the read. And to give you a taste of what’s to come, here’s a couple of links to Emily XYZ and Myers Bartlett performing The Bill of Rights and Separation of Church and State. Myers will be joining Emily for her performances at QPF 2010.

There will also be free Zines, raffles/giveaways, live sounds from Brisbane’s guitar slinging poet, Sheish Money and let’s not forget, the legendary SpeedPoets Open Mic section.

Doors open at 2pm – along with sign up for the Open Mic section.

 SpeedPoets, Sunday July 4, 2:00pm – 5:00pm, InSpire Gallery Bar – 71 Vulture St. West End

 featuring: 

Emily XYZ (USA)

 Entry is a gold coin donation

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