Australian Poetry Centre

It’s an impressive sounding name, but if the launch of the Australian Poetry Centre last night is any guide, it should live up to it.

Located in a beautiful 19th century mansion in St. Kilda called Glenfern, the Australian Poetry Centre looks to become a centre for poetry in Victoria, and indeed Australia.

At the launch last night Chris Wallace-Crabbe spoke about the vision of the APC and there were readings by John Clarke, Francesca Haig and Dorothy Porter.

Clarke read a series of very funny poems based on the premise that most of the world’s great poetry has been stolen from Australia, Francesca Haig read a series of haunting love poems from her first book of poetry, Bodies of Water (FIP) and Dorothy Porter read sections from her most recent verse novel, El Dorado. (Picador 2007)

The wine flowed and the conversation spilled out of the old drawing room on to the front veranda and into the garden as well.

Funded at least partly by the Copyright Agency Limited, and supported by an enthusiastic board led by Melbourne poet, Professor Chris Wallace-Crabbe, the APC aims to

  • strengthen the presence and profile of Australian poetry within Australia and overseas
  • promote the writing, reading, and appreciation of poetry as an integral part of personal and community life

Australian Poetry Centre

Poetry at Fed Square

First installment: Saturday 10th March. Two featured readers:

Julie Jose, Julie was born in the Western district and her mob comes from Gunditjmara, up Warrnambool way but she has lived in Wathaurong country, Geelong for over 20 years and is a Wathaurong Community woman. Julie, a member of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative in Geelong is currently working on the reclamation and teaching the Wathaurong language, which is the ancestral language of the Aboriginal people of the Geelong area’ , and has been in that role for 12 months. Prior to this position she worked as a Koorie Educator at primary schools in the Geelong area for 5 years. This inspired her to become a teacher and a role- model for her Community. Julie had the notion of being a classroom teacher with a Koorie perspective but since commencing work as the language worker she has a goal and a vision to become a specialist Aboriginal language teacher in the future and to make a difference towards Aboriginal education, culture and understanding. Julie has completed her studies at Sydney University, where she gained a Masters degree in Indigenous Language Education . This experience and learning is a great opportunity for her to understand the complex linguistics associated with Indigenous language and she is really energized about this learning journey.

Carla Sari, Italian by birth and education, has been writing poetry in English for the last 15 yeas. Her poems have been published in literary magazines such as: Studio, Quadrant, Poetrix, Hobo, Arena,Redoubt, Arts Poetica, Linq, Centoria, Papyrus Publishing, Weekend Australia, Still (UK), Melbourne Poets Union Journal, Wagga Wagga Writers Writers, Pelt, various MPU anthologies and chapbooks, and the online magazines, Divan and Stylus. Her main concerns are: family life and relationships, otherness, the comfort of Visual Arts.For the past few years she has become interested in short poetry such as Haiku and Tanka. She has been published in six countries and has won first and second prizes and numerous awards.She has been anthologised in Australia and the USA.

More detailed HERE

World Poetry Melbourne

Stumbled upon this wordpress blog today, part of a group who are involved in Poetry at Federation Square, a program of some of the best local poets alternating between the FAW and the World Poetry Group.

World Poetry is a Melbourne, Australia-based organisation formed in 2004 with the express aim to help create a more inclusive literary scene. From its very beginning it has operated under the auspices of Multicultural Arts Victoria.

In brief, World Poetry ’s raison d’être is to be inclusive, to work towards the recognition of literatures outside the English language sphere

World Poetry Melbourne

Boroondara Soiree

Went down to the local town hall last Friday night for their bi-monthly soirée, which was fun. I hadn’t been to a reading for a while and enjoyed the atmosphere, the hecklers, the cask wine, the eccentrics, the performers and occasional moments of beauty too, like that of young poet Melanie Lowe who read a love poem.

The featured writers were performance poet Maurice McNamara who was funny and sad at the same time, and Canadian poet, Vicoria Stanton, who sang, read, told stories and capped it off with a low-tech self-duet where she held a tinny cassette player up to the microphone and did a duet with herself.

I read two poems, Walking to the Plaka, for Harriet, and The Wilderness Cabin inspired by photographs I saw of the unabomber’s cabin, dismantled and then set up for evidence in a giant warehouse in some American city.

Gary Snyder in Melbourne

I put up a couple of postings (October 1st 2004 and around that date) about Gary Snyder, and in particular seeing him in Melbourne back in 1981, and what an influence it had on me, even though I may not have known it at the time.

I’m reliably informed since that post that the probable date of that reading was Friday 16th October, when Snyder did an afternoon reading at Melbourne Uni. John Low, who has done some research into Snyder’s Australian visit, tells me that the Melbourne Uni reading was followed by sessions at Montsalvat over that weekend on the Friday night, Saturday morning and Sunday morning and the Australian tour also included other cities.

Gary Snyder in Melbourne

I can’t find any of my notes about the Snyder reading I went to all those years ago. It must have been October 1981, and it was a poetry reading at Melbourne Uni. I’d heard a couple of poets read locally, even heard Peter Porter, who was more international than Australian, even by then, but Gary Snyder was the first overseas poet I’d heard. It was a great reading, inspired me to write and know more about those American poets, who I hadn’t experienced much in my English course, which was pretty English-centered. I went to the Melbourne Uni bookshop and bought Turtle Island, Regarding Wave (a bargain at $7.50) and Riprap, & Cold Mountain Poems’. Much later, I got a copy of Left Out in the Rain (New Poems 1947-1985)

Gary Snyder. The cover photo from ‘Riprap & Cold Mountain Poems’ 1958 Posted by Hello