Voiceworks launch: Brisbane edition

 

A rare Brisbane Voiceworks shindig — in one week’s time! Helllls yeah! This is editor Kat Muscat‘s and designer Elwyn Murray‘s final issue — and my final spin on the editorial committee — so make sure you come along to raise a toast to the end of an era and the start of a glorious new one. Welcome VW’s new ed, Elizabeth Flux.

Features: VW Perspective contributors James Butler, Sophie Overett, Emily O’GradyKhalid Warsame and Zenobia Frost; John Marsden Prize-winner, Jeremy Poxon; and the launch of new FREE Brisbane femmo zine, WOOLF PACK.

When: 6pm for 6.30pm, Friday 28 March 2014
Where: Avid Reader, West End
Tickets: Bookings essential online or on (07) 3846 3422. $7.50 entry fee includes a free drink.
Share: Invite yo’ friends along via facebook

Express Media: John Marsden Prize

I received some good news this week! A poem of mine, “The Hobby”, was awarded second place in the 18-24 division of the John Marsden Prize for Young Australian Writers. This was my last chance to enter, so I’m pretty stoked! Jeremy Poxon won first place with “The last time I went fishing, it was raining”. (I can’t wait to read it!)

Thank you, Express Media and John Marsden!

I’m fond of this poem. Anatoly Moskvin is such an interesting figure. I have performed “The Hobby” with Richard Grantham accompanying on piano a couple of times — Richard’s music gives it such pathos and humour. Here it is (sans piano, alas):

The Hobby

for Anatoly Moskvin, a cemetery archaeologist arrested in Russia in 2011

I crawl from dust to dust
each Monday morning

I have the teeth of archaeopteryx
and flaking tomes I drew up with the dead

each man must claim one diversion
from corner desk buried
under papers in shrinking faculty

the first dig was the thrill of my career
her skin was perfect, dry as leather
her lips were parted just to whisper
nothings in the words of Cleopatra

I took her home and made her dinner
I seduced her with thirteen ancient tongues
she stayed for breakfast
she stayed forever

the second was more delicate
but her name had struck my linguist’s heart
I dressed her in my mother’s clothes

my bevy, twenty-nine exotic birds
there’s barely room for me against my desk
there’s barely room anymore at home

let me keep the only company I keep
let me have my littlest of rewards
and do not doubt that they will testify

our histories are six foot in all their rot
I’ve exhumed and slept in coffins for this art
I have walked for miles with my chisel
eaten dirt and sipped from graveyard puddles

yet with one bag of much-loved bones
you find me, and you call me mad

2012: One Week In

One week in and 2012 is already miles better than 2011. I spent NYE in good company, and started the year with a clean house and an organised office. Let’s see how long that lasts. Anyhow, I’ve decided that 2012 will be a year of writing. Today I emailed in the first poetry submissions of the year, along with another poetry-related application. And there are more to come this week; I’ll be working hard to meet a crowd of deadlines!

I should also cut 2011 a little slack: the year ended well, in poetry at least. I was thrilled to be awarded third place in the John Marsden Awards for Young Writers for a poem called auf wiedersehen spiegeltent. It should be up on the Express Media website soon if you’d like to read it, otherwise I’ll plonk it here at some point. And that poet I live with, Jeremy Thompson, had a well-deserved success at UQ: he won the Ford Memorial Prize for Poetry. Just to bring it all full circle, both of us had pieces published in the latest issue of Voiceworks (#87 Play).

My new year’s resolutions are to blog more frequently, write a poem a week (at least!), submit more writing and apply for more opportunities, and start a dream journal. (Seriously, weird things go on in my brain at night. I shouldn’t let those ideas slide!) So far I’ve used Freedom a lot to keep focused and I’ve blocked most of the silly blogs I read regularly, with the exception of Sex is not the Enemy and Oglaf.

As a final note, I’ve been listening to Flap! all week, and I recommend that you check out their album. They produce ear-to-ear grins and bounciness. Oh, and I saw The Dresden Dolls a few days ago at The Tivoli. It was amazing! I’ve seen Amanda a few times, but Brian’s incredible drumming creates a sound that’s quite different — and really rich. And loud. Hooray!

Happy new year, readers. I hope 2012 is the year it all falls into place.