Tag Archives: The Voyage by Zenobia Frost

Poetry Picks of 2010 – Zenobia Frost

Pam Schindler launched A Sky You Could Fall Into (Post Pressed) at the Queensland Poetry Festival this year. I’d been waiting for Pam’s debut collection for a long while, and it didn’t disappoint. Her poems have a quiet melody that gets under your skin, and a voice that is tender without sentimentality. Frogs, dragonflies, birds and possums are recurring characters in a book where the line between wilderness and suburban Brisbane life blurs joyously. The poet’s hand is invisible; each poem seems to spring straight from the earth.

Reading A Sky You Could Fall Into was like finding space and time to sit and breathe for a little while—something I definitely needed in the middle of a very busy year. Schindler’s language is fresh, warm and intimate. Her poems sparkle with the kind of humour that exists between old friends. Her innate sense of rhythm and ability to spin vivid images from few words are skills I aspire to.

What I loved most about the collection was its sense of place. These are Brisbane poems and Queensland poems, and are best read on the veranda whilst a storm gathers over far-off hills, with a cup of tea in hand and a possum nibbling at an apple slice on the balustrade.

(Read a sample of Pam’s work at foam:e)


 Zenobia Frost is a poetic adventurer, hat fetishist and protector of apostrophes. In her writing, Zenobia aims to highlight those common enchantments that are often overlooked. Thus, her debut collection, The Voyage is a whimsical journey on (generally) calm seas with a crew of curious creatures and a compass that points to whichever shore offers the best cup of tea. Zenobia’s poems have found homes in such Australian journals as Going Down Swinging, Small Packages, Stylus, Mascara and Voiceworks. She coordinates The Ruby Fizz Society for Superior People, a light-hearted excuse for performance arts and baked goods.


Filed under discussions, poetry & publishing

A quick chat with Zenobia Frost

Zenobia Frost is one of the five feature readers at the final Riverbend Books: Poetry on the Deck event for 2009 to be held on Tuesday June 23 (see below for full details). She has also just launched her debut collection The Voyage … so I took the time to fire a few questions her way.




What initially drew you to poetry?

The way so much can be expressed in so few words.


When is a poem ready to be published/performed?

As Paul Valéry said, ‘A poem is never finished, merely abandoned.” It takes a rare poem to be publication-ready on the first draft, and I find that my poems need to be hacked away at for weeks or months before I find the gem shiny enough to put out into the world.


Has publication changed the way you approach your writing?

In a sense. Sometimes I write with a specific project in mind, considering where this poem might fit in a potential collection. (But usually, I don’t think too hard and just write.)


Why perform/read your poetry?

Words taste nice, and chewing them over tends to let more subtle flavours come out. I find different things in my poems when I read them aloud. Performing other people’s poems can be like tucking into a gourmet dinner; performing my own can be like baking and eating my own cookies. (They might be a bit burnt, but they’re mine, and I get to wear a pretty apron.) 


What is the greatest challenge faced by poets/poetry today?

Th vwl shrtg—lttl knwn sd-ffct f th glbl rcssn. T’s vry hrd t fnd pms wtht thm. Strvng pms qckl thn nd bcme jst lttrs sldng ff ppr.

We are concerned that the vowel shortage will soon extend even to ‘y’. Please conserve your vowels during this difficult time.

Seriously, though, I think the trickiest thing is staying abreast of new publications, new opportunities, and changing ideas. The Interwebs allow things to move disturbingly quickly.

Winter also presents the problem of needing to type with kid gloves on.


Poetry on the Deck:

Join Zenobia Frost on the Riverbend deck as we wrap up the 2009 Poetry on the deck events with a QLD Poetry Festival Showcase. This QPF showcase event also features multi-skilled artist, Angel Kosch (Standing on the Road); winner of The Dream Ain’t Broken chapbook competition Nicola Scholes (Dear Rose); one of Australia’s finest exponents of the Japanese forms haibun and tanka, Jeffery Harpeng (Quarter Past Sometime); poetic adventurer and protector of apostrophes; and experimental writer and musician, Marisa Allen (Fire in the Head).

Date: Tuesday 23 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

The first two events this year have been hugely successful, so book early to avoid disappointment!


Filed under interviews/artist profiles

Brisbane Poetry Gig Guide: April 9

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. Get along and check it out!
Sunday April 26
Acoustics on Sunday

Sunday 26th April, 12 noon – 2:15pm in the Sound and Vision Lounge, Level One Brisbane Square Library. The live sounds keep coming! Some of Brisbane’s finest singer songwriters will be performing in the library on the last Sunday of each month and for the month of April, don’t miss the original sounds of:

Join local performance artist & surrealist spoken word ringmaster Ghostboy as he directs a stripped down eye into the void with his muse & sister singer-songwriter Skye Staniford (Golden Virtues/ We All  Want To). And to round it all off square, he will also present two of  his underground f(r)iends in local sci-fi hip hop genre bender Darkwing Dubs as well as Graham Nunn & Sheish Money – poetry’s answer to the ocean call.

Acoustics on Sunday @ Brisbane Square Library, April 26, 12:00pm – 2:15pm featuring Darkwing Dubs, Ghostboy & Skye Staniford + Graham Nunn & Sheish Money. Entry is Free!


Sunday April 26 
Ahimsa House proudly supports the local community-based poetry group in West End—The Kurilpa Poets. The next gig is Sunday, 26th April 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). 
Our feature poet for April is Brent Downes. Brent is a dynamic, innovative, gifted and talented poet, writer, artist and performer from Brisbane. Brent can be found loitering with creative intent at most of Brisbane’s spoken-word events. He is the new MC and host of the long running, avant-garde West End poetry group, Contraverse.
In November 2008 he launched his first book of poetry Coat of Arms. This first, seminal book decisively probes modern, urban, romantic, lyrical, expressive, and conversational themes. His poetry fearlessly explores subjects you may or may not hear in a confessional! Hypnotic, cryptic off rhymes, off beat suburban lines, music for the end times, whispered declarations of post-coital love, yelled portents of sex and apocalypse, the last taste of wine on your lips—all pepper his provocative and enigmatic verse. Don’t miss a stellar performance from one of the young lions of the Brisbane poetry scene!
For more information please phone Vij Chandra on 0411 033181, or e-mail a message to kurilpapoets@yahoo.com.au
Tuesday April 28
Poetry on the Deck
Queensland Poetry Festival, QLD Writers Centre & Riverbend Books are proud to present the second Poetry on the Deck event for 2009. Join us on the Riverbend deck and enjoy the rural sounds of Longreach poet, Helen Avery (Seduced by Sky) alongside established local voices Rosanna Licari and Philip Neilsen (Without an Alibi) and emerging poet, Sophia Nugent-Siegal (Oracle).
Date: Tuesday 28 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=2199
The first event for the year was a huge success, with tickets selling out quickly, so book early to avoid disappointment!

Saturday May 2
Bruce Dawe launches A Good Harvest (Post Pressed, 2009) by celebrated Queensland poet, Maureen Freer. The launch will feature readings of Maureen’s poetry by Ross Clark. Drinks and nibbles will also be served.
Where: In the Red Chamber, Parliament House
When: Saturday May 2, 2-4 pm.
All welcome. Free.

Maureen Freer is one of  this state’s best-known and loved poets. Indeed, as Bruce Dawe has said, ‘She is one of our most immediately accessible poets, and one who has established a firm reputation over many years’. She has received a number of awards including the Premier’s Poetry Prize 1987 and the Order of Australia for services to Australian literature, 1984. She was Chair/Convenor of the Brisbane Writers Festival from the early Warana days for fourteen years, and also chaired the 1982 Commonwealth Writers Week.

Maureen was the first person to organise a poetry reading in the Red Chamber — featuring Tom Shapcott, Bruce Dawe, David Rowbotham, John Blight and Rodney Hall. It’s appropriate, then, that what is probably her final collection of verse is launched there also.


Sunday May 3

SpeedPoets is back for Round 3 of 2009! 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 the delicate beauty of Ichabod’s Crane: http://www.myspace.com/ichabodscranemusic. This Brisbane ensemble conjures the sounds of horses being ridden on sand and snake tails speeding beneath gumboots… music to be shipwrecked to! There will also 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… See you there!

SpeedPoets, Sunday May 3 @ The Alibi Room, 720 Brunswick St. New Farm. 2:00pm – 5:00pm.


then get along to…


The launch of The Voyage, a poetry chapbook concerning the adventures of Zenobia Frost with illuminations by Bettina Walsh.

Time: 7:00pm
!Metro Arts Basement
109 Edward Street, Brisbane
Featuring [~support act TBA~]
$5 entry / free drinks and nibblies

Presented by SweetWater Press

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