Tag Archives: poetry reading

Brisbane Poetry Gig Guide – March 25

Saturday March 28

Under a Daylight Moon returns to Novel Lines Book Shop, 153 LaTrobe Tce, Paddington from 3pm with feature readings from Ron Heard (tales of Homer creating himself) and Pam Schindler who will be previewing her debut collection. There will also be live music from Mark Shorts and a haiku reading by this Lost Shark (see yesterdays post – haiku + haiku reading). Entry is free but buskers rules apply. See you there!


Sunday March 29

Ahimsa House proudly supports the local community-based poetry group in West End—The Kurilpa Poets. The next gig is Sunday, 29th March 2009. Time: 02—04.30 PM at  – The Emma Goldman Room – at Ahimsa House, 26 Horan Street West End (opposite the West End State School). Everyone is welcome. Murri and Koori poets please join in!
Our feature poet for March is Co-convenor of The Kurilpa Poets, and one of Brisbane’s gifted kavi (poet[s])—Vijan (Vij) Chandra. In his poetry Vij Chandra demonstrates a sharp sensitivity to his surroundings, with powerful impressions recollected through a prism of tranquillity. Vij Chandra brings an ardent sensibility to his exploration of human relationships, the loneliness in a crowd, the wistfulness of fleeting unions, the pining for love, the endless waiting to fulfil dreams, and the urgent, mortal necessity to live life to the full.


Sunday April 5

SpeedPoets returns for its second gig of 2009 with a a three-way feature attack. Be there when Brisbane’s longest running poetry event, rolls back into The Alibi Room, 720 Brunswick St, New Farm from 2pm, with features from local spoken word/hip-hop artist Dark Wing Dubs, the hauntingly beautiful sounds of Brisbane songstress Skye Staniford and a special treat, all the way from the Northern Territory, spoken word artist Pru Gell. There will also be live sounds from the SpeedPoets engine room of Sheish Money, free zines, giveaways and the hottest Open Mic section in our fine city. Entry is a gold coin donation.

SpeedPoets: Sunday April 5, 2pm – 5pm @ The Alibi Room, 720 Brunswick St. New Farm.


Friday April 17

Contraverse launches into 2009 at The Book Nook, Boundary St. West End from 7pm with Round Robin Open Mic and a feature set from Miss Ruby Fizz herself, Zenobia Frost. Entry is free.


Saturday April 18

Words or Whatever is Brisbane’s newest gig. All the Spoken Word, Slam, Hip-Hop and Subversion takes place from 6:30pm at Black Star Cafe, 44 Thomas Street, West End. The April gig features performances by LESSONMC, SURREAL, MANTIST, TRIKS & CHARLIE CHOCOLATE.


Filed under events & opportunities

haiku + Reading this Saturday

autumn moon
my barefoot love
swinging a bunch of leeks


          warm breeze
          the schoolgirl’s hair


For those of you in Brisbane, I will be the featured haiku poet at this Saturday’s Under A Daylight Moon reading. The event is held at Novel Lines Book Shop 153 LaTrobe Tce, Paddington and starts at 3pm. Entry is free. Hope to see you there.


Filed under poetry

Artists Profile: Zenobia Frost

Zenobia Frost is one of the feature poets at Brisbane’s newest poetry event, Under a Daylight Moon, which kicks off this Saturday February 28 from 3pm – 5pm at Novel Lines Bookshop, 153 LaTrobe Tce, Paddington. This Lost Shark took the opportunity to ask her a few questions about the urge to write great poems, poetic influences and her debut collection. Along the way we get sidetracked by dragons and pirates… but believe me, the journey is richer for it.




What is the urgency of poetry in your life?

I guess you could say I have a word weakness, in that my brain is something of a sieve and when I pour a lot of words into it—as I do regularly—they can be pretty insistent about how and when they leak out again. Many of us poets know how inconvenient or even embarrassing this can be on long car trips or at the cinema, but when you gotta write, you gotta write.


American poet Donald Hall said, “I see no reason to spend your life writing poems unless your goal is to write great poems.” As a young writer, what is your take on that?

Writing has been my only consistent passion in a sea of fads and hobbies over the last decade or so, so I think I owe it to my poems to try and write them as well as I can. The thrill of challenging oneself to improve or try something out of one’s comfort zone is probably the driving force behind practitioners of any artform.

I decided to take writing seriously—actually, I don’t know if I ever take anything seriously, so scratch that. I decided to write often and with frivolous abandon when I was nine or ten. I like looking back on old pieces to see how both I and the writing have changed; my goal may be to write great poems, but so long as what I’m writing now continues to be better than what I wrote six months ago, I’m satisfied.

Perhaps poetry’s one of those adventures where your quest is to save the princess from the dragon, and along the way you narrowly escape ensnarement by a goblin, get drunk with elves, learn to swing dance from a fairy who intends to imprison you as a pet, and find a magic amulet or two—all of which make you stronger, but by the time you find the princess, she’s saved herself and is eating dragon kebabs over a roaring fire. Yes, that’s definitely it.


I think it was Eliot that said, “Poets learn to write by being other writers for a while, and then moving onto another one. Who are the people who have influenced you and who are you reading now?”

The first time I tried to write a novel, I was nine and was going ‘above and beyond’ on the word limit for a school assignment, which I was meant to write in the style of Enid Blyton. In my teens, I tried to become Oscar Wilde, but I wasn’t witty enough.

Honestly, though, I’m not good with names and I tend to read a bit of this and a bit of that. I think I could probably cite Goethe, Baudelaire, Rilke, William Carlos Williams, Madeleine L’Engle, e.e. cummings, Tom Waits, Spike Milligan and even fairy tales; just don’t ask me to list titles. I like simple poems with strong, sensory descriptions. I appreciate whimsy above all things.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the influence of the poets of Brisbane upon my poetry, which went through a series of rapid evolutions when I started attending readings and critique groups. There are a great number of fine wordsmiths here, and I’m very grateful to them for their insights.

Lately I’ve been reading the marvellously short poems of Richard Brautigan (they suit my attention span) and Susan Firer’s latest collection, Milwaukee Does Strange Things to People.


SweetWater Press is due to release your debut collection. Tell us about its evolution.

A university manuscript-writing project gave me an excuse to compile a chapbook, so I’ve been working on the collection for a year or so. It’s a quiet little thing, but I quite like the way it’s come to life. It’s funny that you chose the word ‘evolution’, because the chapbook, The Voyage, began as an excuse to bring together all of my oceanic love poems, but somehow it grew legs and crawled onto land with a series of poems about bugs, reptiles, people and finally houses. (However, if we follow the book’s idea of the ‘natural flow’ of evolution to its conclusion, then a tall gin and tonic is the height of civilisation. Maybe I’m onto something?)

The Voyage will be launched around April before I set off on a voyage of my own (with a box of books!) to enjoy the Midwest-American summer.


Finally, where are you looking when you write?

There are a lot of answers to this question depending on how it’s read, so here’s a selection of them. I look:

for my glasses.
out the window. I’m a daydreamer.
to nature, hoping to find small metaphors for bigger things.
into my contact juggling ball, hoping it will show me the future. Or David Bowie.
out to sea. I think this answer’s probably the truest.

Indulge me for a moment while I quote, of all things, a Disney movie. At the end of the first Pirates, as Jack Sparrow is distracting viewers by stroking the helm, he says, “Wherever we want to go, we’ll go. That’s what a ship is you know. It’s not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails—that’s what a ship needs, but what a ship really is…is freedom.”
Poetry allows me to go anywhere. It’s not just words and enjambment and rhythm—they’re what a poem needs, but what a poem is is freedom.

Is that corny? Okay, I can deal with being corny. Just pretend I’m wearing a pirate hat and it’ll sound better, I promise.





I close my eyes to the clutter
of the to-do list on the fridge
and I dance to Elliott Smith. I scrub
the sleep from my eyes, scour the grime
from the sink and swing my hips
in my grandmother’s apron.
I give the slip to furtive panics,
studyworkbillsfatigueandthought so
easily wiped over with a dishcloth
in 4/4 swings as I bottle up and go


Find Out More:

Reading the Ceiling’s Pine Calligraphy: Zen’s poetry blog

Stylus Poetry Journal: Issue 31, October 2008

Mascara Poetry: Issue 4


Filed under interviews/artist profiles