Tag Archives: Small Change Press

Riverbend Poetry Series II – Julie Beveridge

Just two more sleeps until the deck of Riverbend Books lights up with the words of local poetic shape-shifter David ‘Ghostboy’ Stavanger; new voice, Vanessa Page; the award winning Max Ryan and Brisbane lady of words, Julie Beveridge.

Julie is an emerging poet. She is the Program and Services Manager for Queensland Writers Centre and was Festival Director for the Queensland Poetry Festival in 2008 and 2009. Julie is an active member of the Brisbane poetry community and is passionate about innovation in the promotion and distribution of new work to audiences. Julie has been a feature artist at the Queensland Poetry Festival: spoken in one strange word; Byron Bay Writers Festival; Brisbane Writers Festival; Tasmanian Poetry Festival and the Sydney Writers Festival: 2006 Word Wrestling Federation SLAM as well as reading at various arts events throughout Queensland, Melbourne and Vancouver. Her latest collection, Home is where the Heartache is (Small Change Press), is her first collection of haibun. As she has been promising for several years now, her follow up collection home{sic} is still under development.

Here’s a recent poem:

by way of explanation– a letter to my former self

i

in that pivotal moment
overcome by language

longing    surrender   fatality

all too vast to even whisper

vast

like ocean liners appearing in a landscape
distant and unassuming
evolved from nautical miniatures
into colossal water vessels that
carry the wealthy and retired
who secretly hate to travel
but who live like sharks
swimming
swimming

ii

words
fused to the walls of my memory
rocks weight the pockets of suicidal expectations as the water rises

suddenly I cannot describe the soft white flesh of the ripe green pear

iii

the precise moment I can’t exactly pinpoint
cannot articulate the second when the
thought of a poem became infinite
cannot recall the shift of sky (though probably grey)
or the correct mass of expectation
i have placed upon myself (though probably heavy
to the point where you need a hand
outstretched kindly
to help you lift it)
can probably recall my husband
quiet supportive and over achieved
facing me with the simplicity of a man waiting at an open door
with tea in one hand and toast in the other
though he may not have been physically present

iv

consumed with the figure of myself
that i thought had been painted on my behalf
by some gorgeous designer who wears
off shade single breasted suit jackets
to hide his gentle breast line
but that was really self drawn and
unflatteringly inaccurate

v

later in the bathroom
a wet moth takes solace
in the cool ice white tile
before getting sucked
into the exhaust fan

so swiftly
not even the moth
it turns out
knew it was turning
to dust

If you haven’t already got yourself a ticket, here’s all the details:

Date: Tuesday 19 April
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/2491/Riverbend+Poetry+Series

Hope to see you all there,

2 Comments

Filed under events & opportunities, poetry & publishing

Riverbend Poetry Series II: David Stavanger

April is here and in just over two weeks, the second event in the 2011 Riverbend Poetry Series will light up the Riverbend Deck. One of the features on the night is one of Brisbane’s most dynamic performers, David ‘Ghostboy’ Stavanger.

David Stavanger – and his bent alter ego Ghostboy – are the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde of Australian poetry. These two artists in the one skin have become known for their distinct work on both the page and the stage, with pieces published in The Courier Mail, Blue Dog, Cordite, Going Down Swinging, and The Spoken Word Revolution: Redux (USA, 2nd Ed) as well as performing work live on ABC & Triple J radio. Their first book & CD Station to Station was released in 2006.  David’s first solo book, And the Ringmaster Said… was released to good reviews through Small Change Press (2008), the independent South-East QLD imprint he co-started in 2006 with poet Graham Nunn. A live hybrid of performance poetry, spoken weird theatre & surrealist soundscapes they have both been a feature at many major festivals including Brisbane Writers, Sydney Writers, Byron Bay Writers, Tasmanian Poetry, Broken Hill Poetry, Woodford Folk Festival, and QLD Poetry Festivals as well as featuring as part of NightWords at the Sydney Opera House.  David is fresh back from a spoken word/poetry tour of the US, funded by Arts QLD. You can check out more of his work at www.myspace.com/davidstavanger

If you have had the live David/Ghostboy experience, then you are in for something out of the box. Here’s a recent poem:

Sleep, hit me (a response to Blue Velvet)

a.

first key opens the door. this
key unlocks the night. when
you enter, the room, it has no
corners. her voice falls down
the hall. lock up the tears.
young water breaks here.

there is a black scar across my blue heart

b.

on Lincoln, we shot the breeze
under winter trees. in these woods
I tried to be frank, we curious cats,
your skirt sang like a fire engine.
open enough boxes, you soon discover
the siren behind every door.

kiss me. don’t kiss me. kiss me.

c.

stay in the car. stay hard to the
wheel. wait for my call. don’t
answer the phone. hit the horn.
never brake. matches lit burn.

she watches him leap the stairs
like a man on fire. her desire to
not find answers is lost before
the sandman gathers the creases.
sleep, hit me.

in dreams we are not together / we are not alone

d.

on Lt Williams desk are two phones,
police radios knife the air. he can’t tell
you where this is heading but he can tell
you when it will start. “you can call her
pretty” he says “cause’ pretty girl graves
aren’t deep”. fat chance dances on a rooftop.

when Frank arrives he never comes.
he is leather, he is the fucker, he is love.
some people wear masks to surprise
the senses, others don’t wear fear at all.
he smells of well heeled jacks at the spring ball.

the teeth aren’t the problem / he will cut you with his eyes

 

Full details of the event are:

Tuesday April 19
 
Queensland Poetry Festival, QLD Writers Centre & Riverbend Books are proud to present the second event in the Riverbend Poetry Series for 2011. The April event features one of Brisbane’s finest new voices, Vanessa Page, reading from her debut collection, Memory Bone, the wildly wonderful, David Stavanger (And the Ringmaster Said), lover of all things rock’n’roll, Julie Beveridge (Home is Where the Heartache is) and Max Ryan, who’s latest collection Before the Sky won the inaugural Picaro Poetry Prize. 
 
Date: Tuesday 19 April
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/2491/Riverbend+Poetry+Series

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

1 Comment

Filed under events & opportunities, poetry & publishing

Riverbend Poetry Series, April 27 – featuring Nathan Shepherdson

The second Riverbend Poetry Series event for the year takes place on Tuesday April 27, when QLD Poetry Festival, QLD Writers Centre and Riverbend Books join forces to present a night of poetry with Tim Collins, Nathan Shepherdson, Kent MacCarter (VIC) & the launch of Brisbane’s favourite lit-mag Small Packages (vol. 11).

Tickets for the event are now available:

Date: Tuesday 27 April
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=2242

Here’s a quick bite of poetry from multi-award winner, Nathan Shepherdson:

 

Nathan Shepherdson is the author of three books of poetry – Sweeping the Light Back Into the Mirror (UQP 2006); what marian drew never told me about light (Small Change Press 2008) and Apples with Human Skin (UQP 2009). He has been a guest at a number of festivals in recent years. He has been the fortunate recipient of a number of awards and is the fortunate son of the painter Gordon Shepherdson.

 

from Eve 1528

before this moment
light had never walked to the back of the eye
it slides by like a transparent fate in rusted shoes
it is a rare moment
where we are allowed to unbutton the filaments in our eyes
indulge in a profound emptiness
where perfectly decayed questions drift like miniature suns
and perfectly formed answers hum a barely audible indifference
there is a stillness to be siphoned from other planets
a substance to be kept under the eyelids
to be invoked at certain temperatures of thinking
when my optic nerves are placed in a vase by the window

1 Comment

Filed under events & opportunities, poetry & publishing

The evolution of the author/publisher relationship

I was over at Electric Alphabet the other day and was interested in Kate Eltham’s examination of the question posed by Mark Coker in his article for The Huffington Post, do authors still need publishers?

Coker argues that an author (he uses names like Stephen King and JK Rowling) with a dedicated fanbase could get a much better return from the marketplace by self-publishing. And while there are few poets (if any) who boast fanbases with the size and sustainability of King or Rowling, this also rings true in the poetry world. But as Kate points out:

the author that can make a self-publishing project successful is the author who is an entrepreneur, a small business manager, a savvy marketer and a tireless communicator.

No easy feat…

But this is something that poets worldwide have known for sometime and many are now fulfilling all of these roles quite successfully. As Seth Godin suggests in the article Tribe Building 101, increased communication between author and reader through blogs, online forums, and in person, encourages greater transparency and will help to consolidate your fanbase.

Blogging has opened up a new world for me and the countless other poets who regularly post their words each day. It is a way of reaching out to other writers and readers. It facilitates collaboration. It helps build community. And for me, it is a way of discipling myself to write. I feel like a novice in the blogging field, but already it has opened up many new avenues for my work. Combined with regular submissions to journals (online and print), regular readings (open mic and features), organising events, attending events and in general lending support to the development of the greater poetry community, I feel I am finally laying a platform to build on. All this has been ten years in the making and it has all been worth it. I plan to release my next book independently in 2010 and am feeling confident about the process.

That is not to say I am anti-publisher. Nothing could be further from the truth… I am one half of the team that runs Small Change Press and have recently been working on the Brisbane New Voices project. Indeed, I believe publishers have an important role to play, bringing new voices to a wider public, but it has to be said that independent publishers also require their authors to be creating their own platform through blogging, reading, submitting to journals etc… Being published, so to speak, does not mean that you can sit back and watch the sales roll in. In today’s writing/reading world, the entrepreneurial skills of marketing and communication need to be embraced by all.

It is clear that the relationship between author and publisher has changed forever. Some would argue for better, others for worse. What I am most interested in is how authors and publishers can survive and thrive (together or alone) in the future. All thoughts welcome…

 

5 Comments

Filed under poetry & publishing

Brisbane Writers Festival in review + A Taste of Salt

After a big night of poetry on Friday night, this Lost Shark hit the road to get a taste of salt… but before I get to that, a little BWF roundup.

Friday evening’s Small Change Press reading was a lot of fun. It was especially wonderful to hear the words of Julie Beveridge, who has been absent from the mic for a while, due to her QPF commitments. The poems from Home is Where the Heartache is cut clean and deep, pulling back the fat from those moments in life that we often keep hidden. Take Last Cigarette for example:

‘Can I have a cigarette?’ he asks

That once familiar voice, now alien. I take out a cigarette, but don’t light it. In thirty seconds he will forget. I pull the blanket up over his chest. Finger the rim on the hole in his larynx. I want to wear him like a ring. As he falls into sleep his breath grunts and rattles.

thin red line
I light
his last cigarette

It still hurts as good as it did when I first read it two years ago. Check out this review of Heartache on Stylus Poetry Journal.

Next up Sheish Money and I blew out the cobwebs that had gathered during the week with a short set. I have to say, that I am absolutely buzzing about the launch this Thursday, September 17 at the Judith Wright Centre. Sheish and I are really hitting our straps at the moment, and we are both looking forward to sending The Stillest Hour out into orbit and putting the finishing touches on what has been an amazing series of gigs lately. The launch details are on the blog here so come along and help celebrate!

Nathan Shepherdson then read from What Marian Drew Never Told Me About Light. This long poem will never cease to blow me away. With each reading the microscope that Shepherdson so deftly wields, shifts focus and reveals new details:

pick a number between
one and ten
that is how many times
you have died today

Brilliant!

And to round off the evening, Afeif Ismail Abdelrazig was in town, so together we performed his poem, Book of Screams, Afeif in the original Arabic and me in English.

If you see, while your eyes are closed;
the image of a baby suckling at the breast of his
dead mother;
               then know
               that this miserable child
               is
               from
               Darfur!

This poem is profoundly haunting.

Then I dashed over to the Red Chamber of Parliament House to catch Bronwyn Lea, Rosanna Licari, Hinemoana Baker, John Bennett, William Barton and Delmae Barton.

And after hearing Hinemoana’s set, I am even more excited to be sharing the stage with her on Thursday and helping to farewell her in style as she launches her CD, gondwanavista.

 

So with Brisbane turning out perfect Spring days at the moment, Julie and I loaded Hinemoana into the car on Saturday morning and hit the road for Coolangatta, as with her residency coming to a close next week, we felt she (and we) needed to feel the pull of the Pacific, to get a taste of salt.

The sky was spotless, the tide high, the temperature cool enough to bring the skin to goosebumps and then loosen. We checked out Kirra, Greenmount, Rainbow Bay, Point Danger & the Tweed.

                                                           still river
                                                           the current releases
                                                           a mullet

I had forgotten just how much I need the water, how it levels me out, brings everything back into focus. We drove home, smiling and sleepy-eyed. Yep, this Lost Shark is definitely Ocean Hearted.

 

So today, I am heading back to BWF to catch Hinemoana Baker in conversation with Kate Eltham and the final event of the festival, a poetry reading in State Library of QLD’s Red Box featuring Nathan Shepherdson, Bronwyn Lea, Emily Ballou, Felicity Plunkett and Lionel Fogarty.

A great way to wind up BWF, so if you are looking for something to do this afternoon… get along and add some poetry to your Sunday afternoon.

2 Comments

Filed under events & opportunities, poetry & publishing

Brisbane Writers Festival: Small Change & other poetic happenings

The mighty Small Change Press roll out the red tongues of three of their finest tomorrow at Brisbane Writers Festival. If you are in town, come along and make some (poetic) noise and get behind the poetry programmed as part of BWF 2009. If we all get behind it, they may just program more of it in 2010.

So here’s what’s happening:

BWF & Small Change Press presents:

Julie Beveridge, Nathan Shepherdson + Graham Nunn & Sheish Money with MC extraordinairre & co-founder of Small Change Press, David Stavanger.

Come and experience the wild and whirling words of these poets as they transform their poems into columns of air ready to be devoured by your hungry ears.
 
Date: Friday 11 September
Time: 5:15pm – 6:15pm
Venue: The Studio, State Library of QLD (SLQ)
Cost: Free

 

Earlier in the day, you can also catch FLIGHT.

FLIGHT = something is not quite right. QLD performance poets (and Charles Ulm disciples) Ghostboy & Pascalle Burton + guest pilot The Stress of Leisure present FLIGHT: their well feared Q150 experimental spoken word theatre in-flight entertainment for the first time in 2009 ,as part of the Brisbane Writers Festival. Proudly co-funded by Brisbane City Council’s Creative Sparks. 130pm-230pm @ BWF: Aud 2, The State Library of QLD. Remember – no two flights can ever be the same.

And later on you have the choice of Poetry in the Red Chamber featuring Hinemoana Baker, Bronwyn Lea, William Barton, John Bennett & Rosanna Licari. 6:30pm – 8:30pm, Old Parliament House, Red Chamber.

or

Heat 2 of the Australian Poetry Slam @ Brisbane Writers Festival (The Studio, State Library of QLD). Sign up 730pm / slam 8pm. MC Ghostboy with Tessa Leon + feature band The Stress of Leisure.

So get your poetry boots on and I’ll see you there!

4 Comments

Filed under events & opportunities

Another Lost Shark On Tour

It’s poetry season… having just experienced the delights of QPF 2009, I am now preparing to head west for the WA Spring Poetry Festival this weekend. The programme features WA poets Scott-Patrick Mitchell, Amber Fresh, Amanda Joy, Annamaria Weldon, Peter Bibby, Gary de Piazzi & Deanne Leber. I have never been to WA so I am really excited to head on over and check it all out. The programme is now available online.

Then the following weekend, I am heading south to Melbourne for the Overload Poetry Festival with Brisbane ‘Rock Pig’, Mr Sheish Money. Sheish & I will be debuting tracks from our new CD The Stillest Hour and the mighty Small Change Press will be launching Maurice McNamara’s debut collection, Half-Hour Country.

Then it is back home for a gig at Brisbane Writers Festival on Friday September 11 from 5:15pm – 6:15pm alongside Nathan Shepherdson & Julie Beveridge as part of a Small Change Press showcase.

And finally, I am off to Terrigal (NSW) for the 4th Pacific Rim Haiku Conference.

Indeed, if I was so inclined I could put these dates on a t-shirt and call it a tour. Five weekends of poetry across four states… who could ask for more!

7 Comments

Filed under events & opportunities, poetry & publishing