I was delighted today to attend the launch, and read a poem, from a new collection called City of Stars, an ‘anthology of love poems for Frankston’ edited by Avril Bradley.
The new collection is published by Gininderra Press and features poems from Garth Madsen (the unoffical poet laureate of Frankston), Jennifer Compton, Ann Simic, Glenn Harper and others.
I was fortunate enough to have three poems included in the collection: Beginnings, The Day it Snowed in Frankston and The Wedding Train, about the train journey on the Frankston line, loosely inspired by Philip Larkin.
I read the one about the day it might have actually snowed in Frankston, inspired by a story a student named Eloise told me a long time ago.
It was good to hear some of the poems being read aloud, and to get together to celebrate a place that seems an unlikely catalyst for poetry at times. In praise of place.
You might be able to get a copy of City of Stars from local bookshops like Robinsons.
Below from left: Avril Bradley (editor) launches the collection, Jennifer Compton, Garth Madsen.
Frankston can get some bad press at times. Like many regional centres, especially at the end of the railway line, it has its share of problems: youth unemployment, drugs, crime and all that comes out of that.
But there’s another side of Frankston too; it was once a sleepy seaside holiday town, with a long, sandy beach and a meandering creek wandering by the shoreline. You can even read a passionate defence by the Mayor of Frankston HERE
I grew up in Frankston and though I haven’t written about it a lot, just a few poems now and then, it’s part of who I am. In my writing, my interests have moved further south, to Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Bay particularly.
But I was delighted to be asked to contribute to a forthcoming anthology of poems about Frankston and I can’t wait to see how other writers have responded to this place. I think I’ll have a couple of poems in the collection including, The Day it Snowed in Frankston. More details when I know more about a launch date.
Enjoyed the Water Rat experience, though I only read three or four poems, but they seemed to get a good response (someone actually called out for me to read a poem they KNEW! ‘The Day it Snowed in Frankston’. I couldnt’ find it!
The main readers of the night were Kevin Hart, who read some wonderfully tender love poems, and Alex Miller, who read from his forthcoming novel. That was good too, but the difference between the poetry form and the novel for readings was pronounced. I bought Kevin’s new book ‘Flame Tree’ and sold a few of my own too. I also met up with Lauren Williams, former editor of ‘Big Bang’ magazine, who’d published me years ago and remembered me. We had a short talk but I could see the attraction of an event like the monthly readings, to catch up with othe writers, hear some new work and have a couple of beers. I’ll definitely go back again later in the year.
Who is Lauren Williams?
‘The State of the Rivers and Streams; was officially launched last night at Robinsons Bookshop last night by Garth Madsen. Garth spoke eloquently about the book and read some poems including ‘Packing’ and I read ‘The Day it Snowed in Frankston’, ‘Bush-Bashing and ‘Landscape’. Afterwards a group of went to the ‘Seagull’ Greek Restaurant in Frankston for a meal. It was a good night and nice to officially have the book out.
They’re saying that tomorrow (the day of the launch) could be the coldest June day on record! That should encourage a healthy turn-up! Maybe I’ll read the poem, ‘The Day it Snowed in Frankston’!
Launch this week; spoke to Garth today and he likes the book, which is great since he’s launching it, and discussed what poems he would read etc.
Still no copies of the new book to hand, but only a week to the launch and lots of good responses from people indicating they’ll come along, which is very supportive. I spoke to Garth today (who’s launching the book) and we’ll meet later in the week to discuss the final details of that.