I was lucky enough to visit Walden Pond on a trip to the USA over ten years ago now, in a time when travelling overseas seemed a normal thing that one might aspire to. It was a pilgrimage of place, to the place that inspired Thoreau in his life and writing.
You can read a bit more about that trip on my earlier post HERE
I was reminded of all this by this short film I came across, just called Walden, a Ewers Brothers Production with input from Ken Burns and narrated by Robert Redford. I enjoyed it on a rainy late winter morning. You might too.
I’ve been looking recently at new possibilities for a web site and/or blog space. I like WordPress, but the ads not so much, and I can’t get it to look as I’d like sometimes. My latest foray is moving my poetry page to Weebly. I looked at whether that was possible and it’s not, so in the meantime they’ll stay here. But you can take a look at the new site here: https://warrickwynne.weebly.com
I’ve had a long held dream to promote some means for teachers to get hold of contemporary Australian poetry, for classroom use, and this week I learned that the Australian Poetry Library was attempting to do just that.
Funded by the Australian Copyright Agency, there’s none of my poetry there, but there is a pretty good range of poets with extensive range of poems: 1600 from Les Murray, over 700 from Peter Porter, nearly 500 p oems from Diane Fahey. Downloading is a little clunky (PDF by PayPal) and maybe they might have been better going for a broader spread of poets (they’ve closed the site to new poems I see) and spent a little more time on better searching, but it’s a pretty impressive start.
One of the things that interested me about the Sebald film I saw last week was the mapping and the way that one of the researchers was plotting the Sebald walk on something that looked a lot like Google Maps. I liked the idea, and had already been toying around with the idea of mapping some of my poems and where they are set; a bit like the way Instagram is now mapping photos you upload.
In my looking around I can see there are quite a few projects that are into mapping literary places: for tourists who want to walk the walks of Wordsworth (like I do!), for historians, for students and teachers and just for the fans.
One interesting one is Google Lit Trips, a nice tool for teaching some literature.
One of the things I like to do, when I have some time to myself, is to walk along the beach. Sometimes poems come, other times I take photographs or just enjoy the light.
Yesterday, when taking some short videos, I came across a lost object near the shore in the water. A yellow flipper. It wasn’t a watch, but I was reminded of an early poem of mine, “Lost Things”, partly about finding lost things at the bottom of the sea. “These lost things still exist”. You can find that poem on my website or you can see the yellow flipper in this short video. Or do both!
Last week my new favourite fancy microphone I bought myself for Christmas came in handy when I recorded some postcard poems for the Varuna Writer-a-Day Project. I recorded some poems for the project and they’ve gone online this week.
Varuna is a beautiful house in the Blue Mountains where I spent some time a long time ago on a writer’s residency. Varuna describe themselves as:
Australia’s national residential writers’ house in the former home of writers Eleanor and Dr Eric Dark. It has a long reputation for attracting and inspiring exciting new Australian writing and providing support for a thriving writing community. Writers can enjoy residential space with an extensive library, professional development opportunities and pathways to publication via selective programs and innovative partnerships
I spent some time just prior to my first book coming out and I was intoxicated by the physical and mental space of a couple of weeks just to write! I met some great people and made real progress on the manuscript, but also was inspired enough by the Blue Mountain landscape to write some postcard style pieces, some of which were published in the now defunct Bluey magazine. It was good to look at these pieces again and record them for a new audience.
My Blue Mountainalia poems are HERE on the Varuna blog. Words and audio!