Tag Archives: The Dream Aint Broken Chapbook Competition

Small Change Press Launch: Dear Rose by Nicola Scholes

2009 is shaping up to be a busy year for Nicola Scholes. She is one of the feature poets at the final Riverbend Books: Poetry on the Deck event on Tuesday June 23 and just a few short days after that on Sunday July 5, she will launch her debut poetry collection, Dear Rose.

I caught up with Nicola recently for a quick chat …




What intially drew you to poetry?
I’m not quite sure.  I’ve been writing poems since I was a child, but I also loved to draw, sing, and write songs and stories, so writing poetry was just one outlet for a young creative spirit!  I had a best friend who was also creative, and we wrote poems together, and swapped poems.  It was fun, and part of my growing up.  Just before my 11th birthday, my family emigrated from England to Australia, and after that, I wrote a lot more.  I think that this was my way of trying to make sense of the move.

When is a poem ready to be published/performed?
It is ready to be performed as soon as it is written.  It is ready to be published after quite a few edits.  I have worked on some poems for many years.  Sometimes the original is better than successive edits, if I didn’t know what I was doing with it.  So I go back to the original when time has passed, and try again.

Has publication changed the way you approach your writing?
Yes, it has made me feel much more confident about my writing.  Sometimes I am surprised at which pieces are accepted, and which ones are not.  That teaches me not to be so hard on myself, but to write what I want, and then think about publication after it has been written, and not beforehand.

Why perform/read your poetry?
I love reading a poem that is fresh and that I have just written.  It now feels like a part of the process of creation — to write and then to read to an audience.  I think that you can learn quite a lot from your own poem by reading it aloud to others.  Even words that you had intended to use in a certain way, can suddenly take on new meanings as they cross over into space and other peoples’ ears.  In this way, the audience helps to shape the poem.

What is the greatest challenge faced by poets/poetry today?
I think that the challenge is always to keep going, to keep creating, in spite of general public indifference to poetry, and most forms of artistic expression, especially ones that do not appear to contribute to the economy.


Small Change Press is excited to launch it’s first title for 2009, Dear Rose by the winner of the inaugural ‘Dream Aint Broken Chapbook Competition,’ Nicola Scholes. The poems in her debut collection are brimming with inventiveness and moments of illumination.

In 2007, Nicola also won the inaugural Love Poetry Hate Racism open mic competition. Aside from winning inaugural things, Nicola has had her poems published in magazines such as The Broadkill Review (USA), Cordite Poetry Review, The Courier-Mail, dotlit, Hecate, holland1945, Nineteen-O-Splash (NZ), SpeedPoets, and Stylus Poetry Journal. Nicola has also been involved in Brisbane community theatre for more than ten years. She has performed in plays with Villanova Players, and St. Luke’s Theatre Society. She is currently studying a PhD on representations of the maternal in Allen Ginsberg’s poetry, at the University of Queensland.

As part of this live launch experience, Nicola will be reading from Dear Rose, alongside Melbourne’s intensely musical, Santo Cazzati and the sonic beauty of Bremen Town Musician.

Date: Sunday July 5
Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Venue: Queensland Writers Centre, Level 2, 109 Edward St, Brisbane
Tickets: $15.00 single or $20 couple (including a signed copy of the book, glass of wine & nibbles).

Book your spot now by emailing smallchangepress@gmail.com (tickets to be paid for on the night)


Filed under events & opportunities, interviews/artist profiles

Artist Profile: Nicola Scholes

Finding new voices is a joyous thing and it is something that Small Change Press are passionate about. Their recent ‘The Dream Aint Broken Chapbook Competition’ unearthed more than 30 new manuscripts, one of which belonged to Nicola Scholes. Her winning manuscript, ‘Dear Rose’ is brimming with vivid landscapes of love, lust and vulnerability. Her poems showcase a voice that cuts through the niceties in favour of a frank transmission of experience.

To celebrate the upcoming launch of her debut collection, Nicola will feature at SpeedPoets on Sunday May 3, premiering some of the poems from ‘Dear Rose’.

Here is one of the poems from her winning manuscript.


Like a Giant

Morning barely contained I leave
without breakfast, take the bus to UQ.
Once transported, lap the lake, drink
the mellow green tea, lick the skinny milk
moss shrouding water.  I could like a giant
wet finger & thumb, place them gently
at either end, lift the skirt, cast it away, fling it
on branches, a dripping hammock;
climb the hill, see them tread for Siamese
fighting fish, queue for sushi selling socialist
alternative Marx the big read, speckling the
great court, arched back gorillas reading
under trunks.  I could listen to Ginsberg,
forgive his misogyny, walk under the poem
of the great arches, take that lift, open that
door, step into my purpose.


Nicola Scholes live at QPF 2008 - photo by Elleni Toumpas

Nicola Scholes live at QPF 2008 - photo by Elleni Toumpas


About Nicola:

Nicola Scholes was born in Cheshire, England, in 1975, and came to Australia in 1986.  She has been writing poems ever since she was a young girl.  Lately, her poems have appeared in places including, The Broadkill Review (USA), Hecate, Poems in Perspex: Max Harris Poetry Award 2007, SpeedPoets, and Stylus Poetry Journal.  Nicola performed at Queensland Poetry Festival in 2008, and in 2007, won the open mic competition at Queensland Poetry Festival event “Love Poetry Hate Racism.”  Nicola is currently researching a PhD on representations of the maternal in Allen Ginsberg’s poetry at the University of Queensland.


Be there as Brisbane’s longest running spoken word/poetry event takes over The Alibi Room (720 Brunswick St. New Farm) on Sunday May 3 from 2:00pm – 5:00pm. The May event features Nicola Scholes, the delicate beauty of Ichabod’s Crane and a pre-launch reading from  Zenobia Frost. As always there will be live sounds from the SpeedPoets poetic riff generator Sheish Money, giveaways, free zines and two rounds of Open Mic. Entry is a gold coin… This is a gig not to be missed!
SpeedPoets, Sunday May 3 @ The Alibi Room, 720 Brunswick St. New Farm. 2:00pm – 5:00pm.


Filed under interviews/artist profiles