Tag Archives: Tiggy Johnson

Seasonings: The Poetry of Food

The poetry calendar is beginning to burst as we enter the second half of the year and one of the events I am really excited about is Seasonings. This event brings together the best of food and poetry… two of my absolute passions in life.

Mondo - 1

Queensland Poetry Festival has teamed up with one of Brisbane’s food innovators, Mondo Organics to curate an evening of fine dining and intimate poetry readings by Eleanor Jackson, Tiggy Johnson and this Lost Shark on Thursday June 20. Tickets for this event are priced at $110 and include a 3-course meal, wine and drinks, a special gift for every guest and of course an evening of words.

Seating is limited for this special, one-off evening, so don’t hesitate… it’s the perfect opportunity to treat yourself and a friend/loved one/lover, or if you are in the mood for a larger celebration, a table of 10 can be booked for the discounted price of $990.

Mondo - 2

So if you are a lover of food and poetry, this one is for you. Tickets are now available from the QPF bookstore.

Date: Thursday 20th June
Time: 6:45pm for a 7pm start
Where: Mondo Organics, 166 Hardgrave Rd, West End

 

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Notes from the Gean + new haiku

The latest issue of Notes from the Gean is out now and is bursting at the virtual seams, with 134 pages of haiku and related forms from many of the world’s leading writers. And what makes the release even more exciting is that it features haiku from two of the ginko group from 2011 – Tiggy Johnson (pg 25) & Trish Reid (pg 115). I also have two haiku featured on pg 37, so I hope you enjoy the wealth of poetry this issue has on offer. The issue can be read in its entirety here: http://notesfromthegean.com/nftg/current-issue.html

And while we are talking haiku… here’s a new one to leave you with:

camp oven
the dipper pours
out sky

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Mt Gravatt Mountain Ginko

Last Sunday our wonderful haiku group met at the summit of Mt Gravatt Mountain, a place where I misspent many a day of my school years, for our final ginko of 2011. The mercury was soaring and I was thankful for the small offering of shade from my old straw hat… it was summer come early and you can feel the heat rising in many of these fine poems…

*

a different call
on each branch
friarbird

Lyndon Norton

*

a white man
with tribal tattoos
place of the echidna

Chris Lynch

snog hill
taking the southern
route

Tiggy Johnson

*

walking in thongs
along the track
every stick slithers

Andrew Phillips

*

wind shifts
the invasive fern
holds its ground

Trish Reid

no breeze
just the beat
of butterfly wings

Cindy Keong

*

aged sundial
too old
to tell

Lee-Anne Davie

*

scarlet flowers
climb the razor wire
‘authorised persons only’

Corrie Macdonald

passing bikes
soft breeze dries
my perspiration

Lyne Marshall

*

clouds drift
across the city
a hundred thousand backyards

Rebekah Woodward

photography by Cindy Keong 

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Southbank Ginko

Last Sunday, our haiku group descended on Brisbane’s iconic, Southbank Parklands for our weekly ginko (haiku walk). The Spring weather turned it on, and the park was teeming with wildlife of all varieties! Here’s a few poems from the group + a couple of my own:

pink ice cream
a baby sucks
its thumb

Tiggy Johnson

*

this green place
all my own
one willie wagtail

Rebekah Woodward

*

rubbish
in the lily pond
catfish eyes

Lyndon Norton

*

city beach
all the fathers running
like children

Graham Nunn

smoking
the tarot reader slips
out of character

Trish Reid

*

breeze ruffles
a seagull’s snowy chest
cloudless sky

Corrie MacDonald

*

hot sun
Pauls milk sign spoils
the view

Lee-Anne Davie

*

white stains
by the ice cream stall
sacred ibis

Andrew Phillips

*

waiting for you
the bouganvilla
pours out its song

Graham Nunn

photopraphy by Corrie MacDonald

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City Botanic Gardens Ginko

Here’s last Sunday’s haiku harvest from our ginko around Brisbane’s City Botanic Gardens. It was a rolling Spring day where the only colour that remained certain in the sky was the purple of Jacaranda blossoms.

on the path
crow throws a sideways look
I know! I know!

(Trish Reid)

*

photographing flowers
the eye of a curlew
fills the lens

(Cindy Keong)

fig tree
a quick root
against the wall

(Tiggy Johnson)

*

family picnic
a jacaranda
provides the blanket

(Lyndon Norton)

mangrove forest
passing bikes tremble
the bridge

(Lyne Marshall)

*

river surges
twenty masts
sway in agreement

(Corrie Macdonald)

*

in the flower garden all the names I never learned

(Chris Lynch)

photohgraphy by Cindy Keong

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Kurilpa Bridge Ginko

Last Sunday a group of us set off from the State Library of QLD across the Kurilpa Bridge on our first Spring ginko. Was a gorgeous Spring day that sparked many fine haiku. Here’s a handful of them along with some stunning photographs by Cindy Keong. This Sunday, we are off to City Botanic Gardens… can’t wait!

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city expressway
swallows race
ahead of traffic

Cindy Keong

*

cats purring
at her feet Kuril tosses
her knitting bag

John Wainwright

silent couple
the space between them
too wide for hands

Corrie Macdonald

*

white shirt
high in the mangroves
summer river

Rebekah Woodrow

sunday service
bikes chain themselves
in rows

Trish Reid

*

peeing a mosquito out of the urinal

Andrew Phillips

rising moon
nappy change
in the park

Tiggy Johnson

*

on a bridge
on either side
a bridge

Chris Lynch

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Things to do in Melbourne when you’re walking

Been a busy couple of days in Melbourne. The city has turned on some good-ol-fashioned sunshine, so I have been out enjoying it and some of the amazing stores, pubs and cafes that dot the streets and laneways. Places I have visited so far include:

Collected Works: Quite possibly the best poetry and ideas bookstore on the face of this (or any other) planet, run by one of the world’s true gentlemmen, Kris Hemensley. Located on Level 1 of the Nicholas Building, 37 Swanston St., this store is a must visit for poetry lovers. Yesterday I had the chance to chat with Kris at  length and I know the store is facing some tough times, so if you are on the lookout for poetry, make sure you do your shopping here. You can ring up the store and order over the phone (no online store as yet, but keep an eye out in the future for this) and believe me when I say, this is the most comprehensive collection of poetry you are ever likely to see assembled in a retail outlet, so they are most likely to have what you are looking for! I can also recommend checking out the Collected Works blog, poetry & ideas.

Missing Link Records: Very cool independent music store, boasting sections as diverse as psych/folk/drone (now that’s a genre I can get into!). Great place to find out about local, independent bands or get your hands on that hard to find import. Great vinyl section too!

Sticky Institute: This is place is a treasure trove of zines and independent writing. There are zines covering just about every topic you could dream up… some are printed on squares of toilet paper, some are printed on high quality glossy stock; there are titles like culture slut and all my friends are dead because I killed them. You can lose yourself in this place for hours!

Mag Nation: if you dig magazines, this is the place for you! Again, you can lose yourself in this place for hours. Great range of music, art and literature magazines as well as some pretty cool t-shirts and other bits and bobs.

Readings (Carlton): Last night was lucky enough to catch a reading there by the delightful Nick Powell (who will feature at the final SpeedPoets gig on Sunday December 5), Bonny Cassidy and Melbourne favourite, David Prater. Great store with a comprehensive Australian poetry section.

The Brunswick Hotel: Had the immense pleasure of featuring at their fortnightly poetry gig, Passionate Tongues last night with Tiggy Johnson. Tiggy’s work has that hit of authentic domesticity that makes it immediately accessible. Her sets last night featured poems from her debut collection, First Taste as well as a number of new poems, inspired by her recent trip around the country. We in Brisbane are very lucky as Tiggy and her family are about to make the move north! I also performed two sets last night. In the first, I read a number of haiku and longer poems from Ocean Hearted and then a set of completely new work. Michael Reynolds as always was in fine form as MC and kept the night rolling along. Good times indeed!

Degraves Espresso Bar: Melbourne prides itself on being a good coffee city and Degraves Espresso Bar serves up one of the best coffees you will find. Their menu is simple, but tasty… the homemade spicy beans on toast is a great start to the day!

And tonight I am off to a wonderful event called ‘Haiku & Soup’ at Myron Lysenko’s place and then tomorrow I am being interviewed by the ever smiling Alicia Sometimes on Aural Text. You can tune in to the radio live at 12:15pm Melbourne time. Details about how to live stream the show are here.

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SpeedPoets Open Mic Championship this Sunday

While Brisbane is in the midst of festival fever, SpeedPoets keeps things hot, hosting its annual Open Mic Championships at InSpire Gallery Bar (71 Vulture St, West End) this Sunday September 5. And to make the afternoon extra special, there are three interstate feature acts, that you don’t want to miss!

Fresh from her appearance at QLD Poetry Festival, Tiggy Johnson will perform a feature set alongside fellow Melbournite, Randall Stephens. And to round out the southern trio, the delightful Andy White will make a special appearance playing a set of songs and poems; his first performance in Brisbane in more than 2 years. Here’s a quick taste of Andy’s work:

There will also be the regular live sounds from Sheish Money, free zines, raffles/giveaways and much, much more!

The Open Mic Championship Rules are:

1.  Sign on for the SpeedPoets Open Mic Competition will commence at 2pm and cease at 2:30pm

2. Each poet will be given 3mins to perform/read one poem (without musical accompaniment or props).

3. Each poem read must be the original work of the poet.

4. Two judges will be selected to choose a shortlist of at least 5 poets for the second round

5. Poets selected for the second will be given another 3mins to perform a second poem. This poem cannot be the poem they performed in the first round and again, must be their own original work.

6. A winner and runner up will be selected by the judges from the second round performances.

7. The winner will receive $100 and the runner up $50, with a range of book prizes to be presented to commended performances.

(NB. Judges decisions on the day will be final and no further corresspondence will be entered into)

 
So start fine tuning your poems and your performance! Doors open at 2pm – along with sign up for the Open Mic Competition.

SpeedPoets, Sunday September 5, 2:00pm – 5:30pm, InSpire Gallery Bar – 71 Vulture St. West End

featuring:

Tiggy Johnson, Randall Stephens & Andy White

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2010 SpeedPoets Open Mic Competition

Entry is a gold coin donation

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The Beauty of the Book – what makes print publication so satisfying?

This weekend I spent Saturday morning at the bi-annual Lifeline Bookfest. For those of you have never been, picture two incredibly large exhibition halls, lined with tables, each one stacked with literally hundreds of secondhand books. ‘Bargains by the kilometre’ is how the Brisbane Times described it, with more that 2.5 million books for sale. Lifeline Bookfest is the world’s largest second hand book sale, and this Lost Shark picked up some incredible bargains, including Fractured Karma by Tom Clark, The Epigrams of Martial by Laurie Duggan, Voyage into Solitude by Michael Dransfield and Cup Full of River by Billy Jones. I walked away with a dozen poetry titles, some first editions, for just $3. That is a great way to start any weekend.

While I was walking around, semi-intoxicated by the smell of old books, I thought back to a question that was posed by Ashley Capes in response to the interview I did with Tiggy Johnson. Ashley asked ‘whether any of us could pin-point some of the things that made print publication so satisfying?’

As tactile beings, books offer a gift that is hard to define, and the experience of reading a good one can last a lifetime. For me, there’s no way to compare the fine art of bookmaking to designing even the most sophisticated web site/blog/ebook etc… I don’t see the digital revolution as a threat to books. In fact I think it provides exciting opportunities for print and digital media to intersect and evolve, with both forms benefiting.

But it is a great question that Ashley raises and one that I hope many of you will respond to… I look forward to reading your comments and exploring this issue further.

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Jumping the Poetic Hurdle (part 6) – an interview with Tiggy Johnson

To continue the discussion about the publication and distribution of poetry in Australia, I thought it would be interesting to speak with publishers of literary journals both in print and online. First up I spoke with Tiggy Johnson from literary annual, page seventeen.

 

As a small, independent publisher, what do you see are the major challenges for the publication and distribution of poetry in the 21st century?

This is a tough one and probably something I don’t tend to think about a lot. Maybe I should, and, after engaging in discussions about this with other small, independent publishers, I often come away feeling like there’s heaps more for me to do. But, if I am honest with myself, I think it might be more suitable that I stay perhaps somewhat naïve as, if I spend too much time and energy worrying about publication and particularly distribution of poetry, it would all seem too hard and I’d possibly give it all away.

This is possibly a luxury I can afford given I am such a small publisher, producing only one literary journal per year. At times, I have considered producing additional titles, but other than the time commitment (that I don’t currently have), I guess the idea of marketing and distribution turns me off a little. For now, I am happy with the success of page seventeen and doing the distribution myself.

I feel it’s unlikely that there will be a solution to distribution in the near future.

 

Why is it that poetry, an art that arguably best reflects the speed at which we absorb ideas, information and imagery, is being neglected by corporate publishing houses and distributors throughout Australia?

Perhaps if Jamie Durie were to write a collection this might change? And really, we probably don’t want that. It’s all about the money. Everyone knows there’s no money in publishing poetry. Independent publishers publish poetry for other reasons, such as its cultural value, and accept that they may sell enough copies only to ensure they may continue to publish more.

 

Do you see a light at the end of the tunnel? What is the future of poetry publishing and distribution?

I don’t see a light as far as distribution of actual books goes, but there are more poetry journals appearing online. This will help ensure poetry remains available to readers as well as potentially helping the (non-poetry-reading) public to become more aware of its existence. Advances in printing technology also help ensure books are still being produced. Printing costs wouldn’t be viable for page seventeen if it weren’t for digital technology.

 

What is on the horizon for page seventeen?

Mostly more of the same. Issue 7 in 2009. I’m not currently looking to produce anything additional to the annual issue of page seventeen.

However things are changing from the inside with procedures and so on. With the current issue (Issue 6), I stepped aside from reading submissions, and adopted an editorial committee. This proved to be successful for everyone involved, and so it will continue to happen. I guess we are moving from a journal that not only promotes the published work of new writers (along those who are more established, of course) to a publisher that provides additional opportunities to those ‘new’ to the field in other ways too.

In 2009 we will be running our short story and poetry competition again and will also be accepting general submissions. We are changing the general submission guidelines too, so look out for those, along with a new cover sheet.

 

About Tiggy:

Tiggy Johnson is the editor/publisher of the annual literary journal page seventeen. She also writes fiction and poetry, some of which can be found in Cordite, paper wasp, kipple, The Mozzie and on Melbourne (Connex) trains as part of the Moving Galleries exhibition. She was awarded 2nd prize in the Herald-Sun Short Story Competition 2004, and her short story collection Svetlana or otherwise was published in 2007 (Mockingbird/Ginninderra Press).

Find out more:
 
www.pageseventeen.com.au
www.pageseventeen.com.au/Tiggy.htm
www.tiggyjohnson.blogspot.com
http://www.ginninderrapress.com.au/

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