Tag Archives: poetry readings

In the Red Chamber

Just back from a cracking reading held in the gorgeous Red Chamber of Old Parliament House.

The evening opened with a reading from Ross Clark, who read a great new poem, The Death of Jazz (one to keep your eye out for). Next up were Emily XYZ & Myers Bartlett who totally nailed their set, opening with bill of rights: prologue, the whole room reverberating as they echoed, ‘You are called upon to deliberate those things which are essential to liberty.’ Never has a poem seemed so at home… every politician needs to hear this poem! They then went straight into the second part of the poem, Separation of Church and State. So good! Here’s a clip of them performing it at Cornelia St Cafe in 2008.

And to close the night, John Tranter gave us a selection of poems from his soon to be released collection, Starlight: 150 poems. His reimaginings of Charles Baudelaire’s poems from Les Fleurs du Mal (The Flowers of Evil) were a real highlight. I totally recommend checking out the selection Tranter has published on his website: Starlight Selection. His reading of Paradise was particularly mesmerising. Can’t wait to get my hands on this collection.

And now, it’s time for dreaming…


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Lunar Eclipses & Poeteevee

Well, this Lost Shark has made it through to the holidays and tommorow I head up to beautiful Woodford to perform at Woongooroo Estate Winery alongside John Koenig, Rowan Donovan & Clayton Adam and Glenn Donovan. Sheish Money and I will close the night, hitting the stage at approx 9:15pm, just as the lunar eclipse takes hold, leaving us to light up the winter sky. Needless to say, I am looking forward to this gig.

If you too are looking for some poetry this weekend, and there are no gigs happening in your neck of the woods, why not check out Poeteevee. It’s a relatively new site with the first posts made in April this year, but already there is a great selection of readings available. Well worth sitting down with a tumbler, cup or mug of your chosen beverage and taking in the words of Stacy Szymaszek, Frank Sherlock, Anselm Berrigan, Eileen Myles & co.

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Riverbend Poetry Series Event #3 featuring Ynes Sanz

The final event in the Riverbend Poetry Series for 2010 is coming up and it is going to be one heck of a celebration! The event will be the launch of the 2010 QLD Poetry Festival program as well as the launch of a new CD – A Million Bright Things – featuring many of the artists from the 2009 QPF Program. And if that is not enough to get the inner poet clicking their heels, there will also be feature performances from the word-spitting, rhyme-spinning Darkwing Dubs, the soulfully elegant Suzanne Jones and the author of some mad and magnificent poems and stories, Ynes Sanz.

I will be posting a feature on each of these artists over the coming weeks, so to kick things off I would like to introduce you (or reintroduce you as it may be) to Ynes Sanz:

Ynes Sanz won the Arts Queensland Val Vallis Award in 2005. Her poem ‘Taken as Required’ was short-listed for the 2010 ABR poetry prize.
In 2006/7 Ynes was on the QPF Committee. An experienced workshop presenter, poetry judge and editor, in 2007 she judged the Vallis with John Tranter and Luke Beesley. In 2009 she co-judged the QPF Short Film Competition with Francis Boyle.
Her short stories, haibun and other verse can be found online and in print. Some of her children’s poems and haiku are installed in the Children’s Rainforest Hide’n Seek Trail at Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens. Publications include Lady with Weasel, SweetWater Press, 2005; Talking Poetry Blues, 2006 and Fanny the Flying Housewife & other stories: poems for mad and magnificent women, 2009.
Ynes is currently working on Flash Harry and other stories: poems about mad and memorable men, a companion volume to Fanny the Flying Housewife.


(Rudolph Valentino, film star)
dear Mr Valentino
can I call you Rudolph
I wish I could visit your marble crypt in Hollywood
and if I could I swear
I would put roses in those metal rose-holder things
but I would not wear black like the Mystery Woman
my friends think you are Some Dead Guy
they don’t know you are Forever Young
I wasn’t even born when you got sick
didn’t they have decent doctors back then
my Nanna said the moment you passed away
a light went out of women’s eyes
she says a man these days is just No-Good
and will treat a woman Like A Slave
but I read how your Mamma spoilt you bad
and you will think I’m crazy but I have to know
did you toss your underwear
in the corner like they all do
or did my Nanna make that up
and were they really made of silk
which I hope they were on account of
you deserve Only The Best and even she agrees
or maybe you wore no undershorts at all
and were A Free Spirit or whatever it was called
before it was called Commando Style
sorry if this is embarrassing
yours truly
a fan

You can read more of Ynes’ work at http://www.commonshrew.blogspot.com/  


And to make sure you don’t miss out on this wonderful event, full details are below:

Date: Tuesday 22 June
Location: Riverbend Books, 193 Oxford St. Bulimba
Time: Doors open for the event at 6pm for a 6:30pm start
Tickets: $10 available through Riverbend Books and include sushi and complimentary wine. To purchase tickets, call Riverbend Books on (07) 3899 8555 or book online at www.riverbendbooks.com.au

These events are always hugely popular, so book early to avoid disappointment!

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The pleasure of a poem – an interview with Amanda Joy

It is the first Sunday of the month, and for this Lost Shark that means SpeedPoets, but as today is Easter Sunday, we have moved the gig back a week to let everyone enjoy the festivities. But believe me, it will be worth the wait, as the April SpeedPoets features sets from Benjamin Sawon and the lovely Amanda Joy. Here is a recent interview with Amanda and a couple of poems to carry you through until next Sunday… Hope to see many of you there…


Amanda, what pleasure does a poem bring?

When I was a kid, one of my favourite things was lifting up rocks to see what was underneath, I think a poem, whether I’m reading it or writing it gives me a similar sensation.

There’s a quote from Jean Baudrillard which I love which says something like, “Never resist a sentence you like, in which language takes its own pleasure and in which, after having abused it for so long, you are stupefied by its innocence.” I think language taking its own pleasure is quite a delicious idea also.
What are the themes you keep coming back to in your poetry?

I suppose anything that has given me a strong feeling or an intense moment in life is something I return to in my poetry, the desert, music, the ocean, relationships, other poems. Deleuze wrote some great stuff on poetry as sensation, Steiner in ‘The Arts and Their Mission’ wrote that meaning equals feeling. I suppose in a few ways that is Romantic with a capital R, and always a little bit beyond itself, but I also think that’s where my love of poetry squats, I want to keep striving for some primacy of image, of sensation, but all I get are these refractions.

Your MySpace blog and poetry blog Little Glass Pen both attract a large readership. How have you established such a strong online following? How do you see digital platforms such as blogs evolving in the future?

Ha! by accident and naivete originally. Three years ago I posted some poems on Myspace for my partner to read in Africa, without really thinking about the public forum it was in, someone read my blog and commented, I read someone else’s blog and commented, it was a viral thing. By the time I set up Little Glass Pen I had a really dedicated group of readers who had been encouraging me for a while, including Jon Sanders, a poet and pro basketball player who created the Poetry Blog Rankings site, which still directs a lot of new readers through to LGP.

I want to get back to using Twitter for my six word poems too, although I have the sense that I’m enjoying them more than anyone following yet.

I enjoy the egalitarian nature of blogging. I think anything that encourages people to get up & turn off the tv and write or paint or read or do anything creative has to be a good thing. It takes such a little bit of encouragement for most people to continue to create once they put something out there and elicit a response in someone. I try to respond to everyone who asks me to read their blog.

I really enjoy reading poetry or viewing blogs which are created specifically for this media, visual poems, audio recordings, even poems written simply with scrolling in mind make me smile. I will be curious to see how much more video and audio work appears online over time and in what forms they evolve.
We are honoured to have you as our feature poet for the April SpeedPoets event. How do you go about selecting poems for a reading? What makes a poem perform better in a live setting?

Jeez louweeze, the honour’s all mine and I can’t wait.

As for selecting poems, well, I’m learning a really simple thing and that’s to read what I enjoy reading (It seems to have a follow-on effect) and that clever tricks with enjambment and line breaks tend to trip me up rather than any one else when reading them aloud. I wish I was more disciplined when it comes to writing for spoken word.

I used to write a lot of songs and I think a split stemmed from that; if it sounded good it became a song, if not it became a poem. I’ve still not really padded around in that place between.

When I was in Belgium I went to a performance by a group of sound poets, which really excited me, just feeling the vibrations of the words, the air, gesture and the tone was a really profound sonic experience. I really enjoy listening to Gabby Everall read, Santo Cazzati is great too. I suppose its always exciting to hear a different rhythm or cadence, the way it revitalizes language.

SpeedPoets, Sunday April 11, 2:00pm – 5:00pm, InSpire Gallery Bar – 71 Vulture St. West End


Amanda Joy + Benjamin Sawon

Entry is a gold coin donation



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Riverbend Books Feature Poet #3 – Pam Schindler

Pam Schindler is a Brisbane poet who has also lived in Hobart.  In the past few years, her work has appeared in various magazines, including Blue Dog, Island, and Meanjin.  In 2009, she began to present her work in readings.  She is also a bushwalker and a university reference librarian, and is working on a first book of poems.



Striped Marsh Frogs
            by Pam Schindler

the first stars
after so much rain
and the frogs are going off like popcorn

each note
a fingernail flicked on a paper drum
they tap the patter
of rain arriving

my garden’s energetic
invisible typists –
if I come close
they know me for a sort of wading bird
and fall silent

then cautiously begin
again their transcription,
their morse-coded words,
tapping the glad rambling
letters of the rain


More of Pam’s work can be found online at:

“In Paperbark Country” in foam:e http://bit.ly/braXSp


“Brisbane Nightfall” in Stylus: http://bit.ly/ba8L41 


Poetry on the Riverbend Books deck

Queensland Poetry Festival, QLD Writers Centre & Riverbend Books are proud to present the first Poetry on the Deck event for 2010. Join us on the Riverbend deck as we showcase an exciting mix of local poets to kick start the year. Our first event will feature the seductive and award winning words of Bronwyn Lea (The Other Way Out, Giramondo Press) reading along side debut author, Jonathan Hadwen (Night Swim, Brisbane New Voices vol. 1), Pam Schindler and recent finalist in the QLD Poetry Slam, Betsy Turcot. And as the event falls on the 189th anniversary of John Keats’ death, there will also be a special reading of some of his best known works.

Date: Tuesday 23 February
Location: Riverbend Books, 193 Oxford St. Bulimba
Time: Doors open for the event at 6pm for a 6:30pm start
Tickets: $10 available through Riverbend Books and include sushi and complimentary wine. To purchase tickets, call Riverbend Books on (07) 3899 8555 or book online at http://www.riverbendbooks.com.au/Events/EventDetails.aspx?ID=2237

These events are always hugely popular, so book early to avoid disappointment!


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Poetry @ Inspire

If you are in and around Brisbane tonight, you may want to check out this new reading. I know where I will be…

Poetry @ Inspire


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SpeedPoets 8.7 featuring Alan Jefferies & Bruce Dorlova

Well, it is almost that time of the month again… time for the gathering that is SpeedPoets. So, if you are anywhere in the vicinity of Brisbane this Sunday (October 4), pack up your poems and head on down to The Alibi Room (720 Brunswick St. New Farm), from 2pm. This month features poetry sets from Alan Jefferies and Bruce Dorlova as well as Sheish Money and I stepping out again to play some poems from The Stillest Hour (and some new stuff). As always there will be free zines, plenty of Open Mic and other give aways. To make your poetic tastebuds sparkle, here’s a poem from Alan and Bruce.

See you Sunday…


Don’t feed the birds
            by Alan Jefferies

Don’t feed the birds
that’s what the letter said
We, the Body Corporate
prohibit you from
feeding the birds.
He didn’t care
he sat all day on the roof
in his dressing gown
a bucket full of bread by his side
the birds seemed to like it
the skinny ones, that is
the fat ones could no longer make it
to his fourth floor balcony window.
While the hallway filled with letters
threatening court action
                   a firing squad at dawn.
He didn’t worry
as long as they kept coming
swooping over his head like the spokes
of a giant wheel
showering the suburb with the shit
his neighbours now held him responsible for.



water bottle
by Bruce Dorlova 


it has become the custom
among our kind to always carry
this is the age of Aquarians
each polycarbonate amphora
spilling greedy
for want of lack.

i embrace parching
wrap it in thickfurred tongue
close it in creaking voicebox
surrounded by small seas i
drink not.

salt sharpens thirst.
This is the conundrum of oceans

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SpeedPoets & other Brisbane Poetry Gigs

SpeedPoets Logo


Don’t forget that SpeedPoets takes over The Alibi Room tomorrow for their annual Open Mic Championships… should be a great afternoon. Check out all the details tomorrow as well as lots of other upcoming gigs.

Sunday August 2
This is the big one folks! SpeedPoets fires up for its yearly Open Mic Championships, so make sure you are at The Alibi Room (720 Brunswick St, New Farm) from 2pm to put your name down to be in the running for some cool prizes including $100 first place, $50 second place + a whole range of giveaways. But most importantly, we want you there to share the spoken word love.
The rules of engagement are simple:
* There are 20 places available in the Open Mic Championships
* Sign on will take place at The Alibi Room between 2:00pm – 2:30pm or until the 20 places are filled
* Each poem read/performed must be the poet’s original work
* Each poet has 3 minutes to read/perform their poem (one poem only)
* If the poet goes over the allocated time, they will be notified and given 30sec to finish their poem.
* The poet may not use props or musical accompaniment.
* 5 poets will be selected to read in a second round
* Poets selected for the second round will be allocated 6 minutes to read two (2) poems
* If the poet goes over the allocated time, they will be notified and given 30sec to finish their poem.
* Judges will then select a first and second place (with prizes for the runners up)
Please note: these rules may be changed at the organisers discretion and judges decision is final. No discussion will be entered into.
And to add to the fun, our monthly riff generator, Sheish Money will be bringing some friends from his band Namedropper along to play a set of songs from their forthcoming CD.
As always there will be free zines and the monthly raffle. Entry is a gold coin donation. Don’t miss it!!!
SpeedPoets, 2pm Sunday August 2, The Alibi Room (720 Brunswick St New Farm)
Thursday August 6
Put some poems in your pocket and head on over to Cafe Checoco (Hardgrave Rd West End) for Poetry Soup. Plenty of Open Mic and jamming opportunities for all comers! The gig kicks off at 7:30pm and is a free event.
Wednesday August 19

ouTsideRs cordially invite you to THE SUITS


 ‘One of the most bizarre and brilliant live music events Brisbane is likely to witness this year.’ ouTsideRs Time Off review 

‘An idea that is not dangerous is not worthy of being called an idea at all.’ Oscar Wilde 

Following on from blowing Hunter’s Ghost at The Globe, Beau Brummel’s beckoning you to get your best suit on (bathing/business/birth/track, what have you) and get ready to kiss buttons as we present our second MASSIVE ouTsideRs show of 2009, stuffing David Byrne shoulder pads and Poetry Slam into the Ladies’ Lounge that is The Troubadour. Funded by the fine croupiers’ pockets via the Gambling Casino Benefit Fund, this night will be a three-piece American box cut with the best BrisVegas wordsmiths venting their hearts and words on lapels for all to wear and hear! 

Featuring track-suited drop six house band & their John Butler award winning hip-hop soul Impossible Odds,  the contemporary double breasted chicanery of MAJIK BOX and QLD slam spoken weird suit-master of ceremonies Ghostboy with well groomed word mannequins  Tessa Leon & Pascalle Burton….plus the usual ouTsideRs dandy madness! 

And this show sees the start of the Australian Poetry Slam presented by The State Library of QLD –  in true two-tone style, tailored lines and all. Two minutes to “hit The Troubadour mike and let the words take flight” as part of Australia’s biggest spoken word competition – where the audience is the judge! It’s a Rat Race, the first 20 to sign up on the night will compete. For full event & slam details head to: www.slq.qld.gov.au/poetryslam

ouTsideRs/Australian Poetry Slam Heat 1
The Troubadour
Wed 19th August
8pm doors / 8:30pm start
$5 entry / prizes for best use of a tie… Suits you, Sir, oooh!


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Should Creative Writing Be Taught?

In my Sunday morning travels, I came across this article in The New Yorker.

Show or Tell – Should Creative Writing Be Taught?

It also asks the more direct question, “can it be taught?” and since no one has ever (really) successfully answered this question, there is a belief that all this training and socialization—which never really touches the heart of the imaginative process—is what marks creative-writing programs as “creative.” Academic creative-writing programs are, as McGurl puts it, examples of “the institutionalization of anti-institutionality.”

This article is well worth the read…

And after you have chewed this one over, check out this great reading by Roger McGough at the 1971 Bedford Poetry Bang.

And if you want some more, visit the BBC’s Poetry: Out Loud Page.

After all, it’s Sunday morning… so put down that paper and pick up a poem.


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Listen Up!

For all you good folk in Brisbane, don’t forget the mighty SpeedPoets rolls back into The Alibi Room tomorrow afternoon (Sunday June 7) from 2pm, with its regular Open Mic madness, feature sets from Bremen Town Musician, Marisa Allen and Robert Bos as well as the opportunity for one lucky Open Mic Reader to have their work published in page seventeen magazine… yep, for June only, SpeedPoets have teamed up with page seventeen to select a poem to be published as part of page seventeen’s quest to feature new voices and those extraordinary voices that work on both the page and stage. So tuck two poems in your pocket and come along… there are free zines for the first 40 people as well as raffle prizes and give aways of page seventeen magazine on the day.

And to get you in the mood, here’s a poem from Yusef Komunyaaka (and luckily if one poem just ain’t enough from Yusef on this fine Saturday, there are plenty more there for your reading/listening pleasure). This one really hit me… Blue Light Lounge Sutra For The Performance Poets At Harold Park Hotel


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