Watermark Literary Muster

Not totally convinced about the design features of the Watermark Literary Society brochure that arrived this week; reminds me a bit of the student handbook from Melbourne State College in 1975, but hey, maybe that’s the point.

But, I love the idea of the backyard as a conference theme, and it’s still a conference I have always wanted to get to.

Celebrating the work of Evan Jones

I received news today of a n evening to celebrate the work of Melbourne poet Evan Jones, coming up at the Wheeler Centre on Dec 1. I encourage you to begin summer the way you intend to continue, with fine poetry!

This is to let you know that an evening to celebrate the work of Melbourne poet EVAN JONES will be held on Wednesday, 1 December 2010, at the Wheeler Centre, at 6 for 6.30 pm. You are most welcome to come along and help us celebrate.

The event will take the form of readings and short tributes by a number of Evan’s friends, and his recently launched (fifth) collection of poetry, Alone at Last!, will be available for sale. Its publisher, Picaro Press, has also brought out a reprint of Evan’s acclaimed second collection, Understandings, first published in 1967 by Melbourne University Press.

Apart from the guest of honour, there will be seven programmed participants: Jack Hibberd, Rob Riel, Philip Salom, Alex Skovron, Peter Steele, Tony Thomas, and Chris Wallace-Crabbe. It promises to be a colourful event. Refreshments will be served.

Please spread the word. Our venue is the “Workshop Space” on the 4th floor of the Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale Street (the south side of the State Library building). It should easily accommodate 50 to 60 people.

The Nude Mirror Exercise

I got to the launch of Garth Madsen’s latest chapbook, The Nude Mirror Exercise (Picaro Press), a lovely collection of love poems dedicated to his wife Keryn. In typical idiosyncratic Garth fashion, he launched the book himself and read from the first section of the collection. The poems were written as a twenty-fifth wedding anniversary for Keryn and as Garth said, celebrate love in its maturity, not the first flush that poets so often try to capture.

The book was launched at Frankston Lifesaving Club.

The Nude Mirror Exercise

Magnificent Maps

Oh, to be in England, now that the British Library Magnificent Maps Exhibition is about to open this week. It’s reviewed by Jonathan Jones in the Guardian HERE.

Attentive readers will know how much I love maps, and this exhibition features maps that  have rarely been show before, with a focus on the map as an instrument of power and propaganda. I’m ordering the catalogue, but I’d love to be seeing these maps in real life. If you’re in London, get along!

Poetry on a plate with Robert Gray

I thought this bit of news from the recent Poets Union newsletter was worth sending out again. Lunch in a winery listening to Robert Gray read his poetry would be pretty much up there in my ideal afternoons

In Berrima Friday 23rd April – POETRY ON A PLATE hosted by Robert Gray.Acclaimed Australian Poet Robert Gray, is to host the next in the successful series of Bluemetal Vineyard’s Poetry on a Plate, on Friday 23rd April 2010. Robert will read from a selection of his works over a relaxing lunch at Bluemetal Café starting at 12pm until around 2.30pm.

This is a wonderful opportunity to relax and listen to poetry within a beautiful vineyard setting. You will enjoy a delicious local produce Jackaroo’s Plate, complete with tea, coffee and dessert treats for $40.00 per person. The Cellar Door is open for wine tastings and sales before lunch and throughout the afternoon. The atmosphere is casual and friendly and there is the opportunity for discussion afterwards with Robert, along with Mark Treddinick who mediates the luncheon.

Robert Gray grew up in Coffs Harbour and trained there as a journalist. He then worked in Sydney as an editor, advertising copywriter, reviewer and buyer for bookshops and his first book of poems, Creekwater Journal, was published in 1973.
Gray was a writer-in-residence at Meiji University in Tokyo and at several universities throughout Australia. He has also won many writing and poetry awards including:
– The Adelaide Arts Festival
– The New South Wales Premiers’ Awards
– The Victorian Premiers’ Awards
– The Patrick White Award
With Geoffrey Lehmann, he edited two anthologies, The Younger Australian Poets and Australian Poetry in the Twentieth Century. He edited Selected Poems by Shaw Neilson and Drawn from Life, the journals of painter John Olsen. After Images is his latest release and much anticipated memoirs, The Land I Came Through Last.

Cost: Poetry on a Plate is $40.00 per person and places are limited.
RSVP: 22nd April. Bookings are essential Tel: 02) 4877 1877 or
Email: cellar@bluemetalvineyard.com
Media Contact: Louise Horsley – Ph: 0438 377727
wine@bluemetalvineyard.com www.bluemetalvineyard.com

Bluemetal Vineyard is located in the beautiful NSW Southern Highlands region and produces premium single estate, award winning wines including Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Fumé Blanc, Sangiovese Rosé, Petit Verdot, and The Cabernets.
The Cellar Door and Cafe is open Thursdays to Mondays from 10am to 5pm.
Bluemetal Vineyard and Cafe – 112 Compton Park Rd, Berrima, NSW Ph: (02) 4877 1877

Crime tales: Boroondara Soiree for June

This from the Boroondara City website; their literary soirees are generally well worth a look.

This month features two queens of Crime writing Vikki Petraitis and Lindy Cameron. Come along and hear gripping and compelling tales of both fact and fiction.

Vikki Petraitis has been writing true crime since the early 1990s. Her first book, The Phillip Island Murder, has been made into an episode of Sensing Murder with TV audiences of several million Australia-wide. Vikki’s third book, The Frankston Murders, about serial killer Paul Denyer, is a best-seller and has become a classic in the Australian true-crime genre. In 2007 Vikki won the Scarlet Stiletto Award – Best New Talent Prize and the John Hill Award: Australian Police Journal. Vikki’s latest book is Crime Scene Investigations – more stories from the Australian police files and she is always working on her next book.

Lindy Cameron writes both crime fact and fiction. She is the author of Redback, the first in a new espionage thriller series featuring Commander Bryn Gideon and a crack team of Australian retrieval agents. She has also published four crime novels: Golden Relic; and the Kit O’Malley PI series Blood Guilt, Bleeding Hearts and Thicker than Water. Lindy is co-author, with her sister Fin J. Ross, of the true crime book, Killer in the Family; and contributing Editor of the true crime anthologies Meaner than Fiction, and the forthcoming Outside the Law2. A national co-convenor of Sisters in Crime Australia, Lindy is also editor of the mystery fiction anthology Scarlet Stiletto the first cut. www.lindycameron.com

MC, Matt Hetherington is a writer and musician based in Preston. His first collection of poetry, Surface, was published through PRECIOUS PRESS and the latest is I Think We Have (Small Change Press, Brisbane, 2007). He has translated poetry from French, Persian (with Ali Alizadeh), Spanish, and Turkish (with Hidayet Ceylan). Matt was off-line editor of “Straight from the Tank”, a film featuring over 60 poetry performances in Melbourne, culled from footage for the ‘Red Lobster’ TV show. He is also on the board of the Australian Haiku Society and a founding member of rookuTroupe, part of the team responsible for the Moving Galleries Project. Some current poetic inspirations: Antonio Porchia, Jellaladin Rumi, Paul Eluard, Emily Dickinson, Henri Michaux and Thierry Henry. Further details at: myspace.com/mattheth

The Boroondara Soiree also provides a platform for emerging and established writers to share their work in an encouraging and supportive ‘open mic’ session. Arrive at 7pm to register. For further information or to join our mailing list, contact Leisure and Cultural Services on 9278 4770.

Friday 13 June

Each session starts at 7.30pm with registrations for the Open Section commencing at 7pm.

Cost: Full $7.50, Concession $5.50, refreshments included.

Hawthorn Town Hall

First Floor, Mayors Room

358 Burwood Road


Poetry ISN’T Everywhere


Contrary to popular belief poetry, isn’t in fact, everywhere. The VATE Festival which I was going to speak at later this month, has been cancelled due to a lack of enrolments.

It’s a shame because one of the things I was arguing for strongly in my work with the Education Committee of the Poetry Australia Foundation was that schools needed access to poets and poetry. In my piece published in Five Bells, Accessing Australian Poetry: What Schools Need, I argued pretty for pretty much exactly what VATE have tried to do here; that is piggy-back on to poetry events and inspire teachers with poetry and poets.