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The Poetry Shed

It’s been a week of books through the post – even though I moved house they still managed to track me down. Looking forward to Siegfried Baber‘s book after Robin Houghton was able to join us for supper on a writing week (our own visiting poet) and talked about the press, as well as doing a reading. Martin Malone describes Baber as “an Armitage for Generation Tweet”.

bearJ V Birch‘s pamphlet, Smashed Glass at Midnight winged its way from Australia and is part of Ginninderra Press‘s Picaro Poets series. Hailing from the UK, Birch has recently moved to Australia and has a host of poems in magazines over there.

Then there’s The Very Best of 52, from Jo Bell‘s project to write a poem a week, selected by Jonathan Davidson and published by Nine Arches Press. Described by one group member as a “mixture…

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Well here it is folks, my first collection of poetry! And I haven’t stopped smiling!!

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This collection has been hovering around for a while, waiting (and not always patiently), to feel right enough to be allowed out. And when it finally does, reads well (I’m biased of course!) and flows, it’s such a wonderful moment, like you’ve finally achieved that elusive whole. Anyway, I digress…

The chapbook contains 20 poems that explore loss – of the self, another or the connection between – which I hope provoke a few thoughts rather than a need to reach for the tissues!

I am so pleased with how it’s turned out, having been beautifully put together by Brenda and Stephen Matthews at Ginninderra Press, who have had the painstaking experience of dealing with a poet and her precious perfections! And I am honoured to be their first of the new Picaro Poets, which I have no doubt will become a fantastic series as it continues to grow.

So I’m taking Brenda’s advice, of giving my chapbook the life it deserves, by arranging a launch (further details to follow shortly), so for those of you interested keep an eye out, while the other one can be reading it  🙂

is going to be published! Needless to say I am over the moon, with the cow and everything!!

cow over moon

It will be a chapbook, part of the Picaro Poets series published by Ginninderra Press based in Port Adelaide, so about 20 poems. Short and sweet I know but I am absolutely thrilled, a book of all my own work, how amazing is that, and it will even be available in bookshops!!

Ginninderra Press is an award-winning independent publisher run by Stephen Matthews that provides opportunities for new and emerging writers, as well as those writing about more non-mainstream topics. They only accept a very small amount of manuscripts they receive, so I am really quite honoured they are publishing mine.

Having recently acquired Picaro Press, an independent publisher based in Melbourne run by Rob Riel, Stephen and his partner Brenda have developed a new series of Picaro Poets to continue the tradition of Picaro Press chapbooks. So I have been working closely with Brenda to develop mine – choosing a cover design, editing content, adding acknowledgements, writing an author biography, etc. – and I can’t tell you how excited I am to see the final product, you know, just a bit! Launch date to be announced, woohoo!!

So our floor has been papered with poems this weekend to help me finalise my first solo collection to be submitted to a publisher. Good job the husband’s away!

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Using some of the exercises in Pascale Petit’s Towards a Collection course booklet, I have never had so much fun with my work. And such an intense experience!

Deciding which poems to include didn’t actually take too long. What took time was deciding the order of them. So onto hands and knees I went to arrange them all around me, and I know this sounds weird but pretty soon they were talking to each other. And connections were made and a kind of pattern emerged, almost organically, when I considered form, shape, length, perspective and content. I wanted poems to compliment each other as well as producing contrasts, and alongside the overall theme others emerged, images echoed and after reading it all through in one sitting I felt quite emotional – as  all the characters and feelings from each piece met for the first time in my head.

Following Pascale’s advice, I started the collection with a few strong poems to pull the reader in and closed using the same technique because let’s face it, we do all have our favourites in our work. And I must admit I’m very pleased and excited by the final product. Fingers crossed the publisher is too!

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