You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘David Malouf’ tag.

With Adelaide Writers’ Week wrapped up for another year, I want to share some of the highlights for me, predominantly poetry, despite the limited selection this time.

The Opening Address, Imagination Redeems, was delivered by Ben Okri, a Man Booker Prize winner for his novel The Famished Road. Ben was an engaging speaker, believing that “literature is one of the great freedoms” and that “reading happens in the theatre of the mind”. Being human is a strange condition, which we “seem to accept and hurry about our lives”, and Ben went onto explain the concept of unfreedom, where “our deepest dreams are strangled at the roots of their dreaming place”. Ben left us with these words:

The strength of our freedom is wholly dependent on our imagination. Children see small castles in stones growing into adults who cannot see the small stones in castles. Literature is a way of seeing with the mind.

The first session was Open Book with David Malouf, the title of his new collection, which spans all stages of life. David explained how he learnt poems by heart, his first favourite being Kenneth Slessor, quickly followed by Rainer Maria Rilke, Wallace Stevens, Emily Dickinson and W B Yeats. For David, poetry comes from a dreaming, rather than a thinking, place, and when planning a collection, he waits until he has enough poems and then tries to order them in a coherent way. David shared the title poem from his new collection, and ‘On the Move’ and ‘Late Poem’, stressing the importance of close listening and layering in language.

Next up was Fiona Wright’s The World was Whole, the follow up to her award-winning essay collection Small Acts of Disappearance. Fiona’s writing is mesmerising, part poet, part memoir, who doesn’t consider herself to be a confessional writer. She’s not ashamed of her illness, with her new book about managing it on a daily basis. When stuck, she reads Helen Garner, a famous diarist and thinks herself a slow writer, having to battle with a double consciousness in that she can never just sit in a park and relax, her mind is constantly working. Fiona spoke about transcendent time (a journey) and imminent time (here and now) – her new book focuses on the latter.

The final session I went to were the Poetry Readings with Birgitta Jónsdóttir, David Malouf, Fiona Wright, Joelle Taylor and Ben Okri. Birgitta’s an Icelandic poet, who read a moving piece about refugees as heroes and another about colonising women inspired by the #metoo movement. David read a poem about the war in Brisbane in 1944 from his first solo collection, followed by a few from Earth Hour, another of his fascinating works. Joelle’s a spoken word poet, sharing how she was raped by soldiers when she was five then reading excerpts from a canto in her new collection, Songs My Enemy Taught Me, to express this trauma. Fiona read from her new collection, Domestic Interior, including the title poem and the entertaining ‘Thank you internet’ which comprised a conversation Fiona overhead in a café. Ben closed the session by sharing a love poem, and another about stars and wishes/fishes, a clever play on words.

Needless to say my book collection has grown considerably with a few of them signed, so roll on next year’s Writers’ Week, and may there be plenty more of the poetic kind.

is a must have collection. Published by Puncher and Wattmann and edited by Martin Langford, Judith Beveridge, Judy Johnson and David Musgrave, this 658-page book anthologises Australian poetry for the last 25 years.

2017-01-20-13-12-34

Taking 10 years to compile over 200 poets and 500 poems, it really is a landmark publication, a credit to the Australian poetry scene, and includes some incredible poets – Ken Bolton, Jennifer Compton, Peter Goldsworthy, Jill Jones, John Kinsella, Mike Ladd, David Malouf, David Mortimer, Les Murray, Jan Owen, Dorothy Porter, Mark Tredinnick, Fiona Wright, not to mention the editors themselves.

It’s being launched in Adelaide at the SA Writers Centre next Friday, which unfortunately I can’t make (off exploring Noosa), so I promptly ordered a copy. Flicking through for the first time, because this will need endless reads, two poems caught my eye – ‘Grief’ by Elizabeth Allen and ‘Snowflake’ by Anthony Lawrence.

Elizabeth is a Sydney-based poet and her chapbook Forgetful Hands is on my wish list.  Hers is a powerfully poignant piece about her sister, who having lost her ‘Botticelli curls’

‘…has been looking into people like mirrors

but does not know how to make a face

that resembles the pain inside her.’

Anthony I saw at Mildura’s Writers’ Festival the year Sharon Olds headlined, who I was lucky enough to meet.  His poem centres around his mother who cultivates a snowflake in the freezer ‘between the peas and the ice cream’, setting sapphires into her teeth:

‘At dinner I would pretend

to be a good son, and her smile

enameled the table

with points of dark blue light.’

This is a remarkable anthology, to be read, smiled, laughed, cried and absorbed between breaths, bit by brilliant bit.

February and March is a busy time in Adelaide – the annual Festival, the Fringe and of course, Writer’s Week.

20140307_113823

And what an eventful week it’s been! Last Thursday I attended a workshop by the inspiring Mark Tredinnick, a non-fiction literary master class that explored the process and influence of writing from fact.  The workshop generated a few ideas, thoughts and writers to research, so a very worthwhile investment I felt.

And then I went to a few sessions at Writer’s Week, conveniently taking place in the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Gardens just around the corner from where I work.  There was a poetry reading on Monday with the likes of Lisa Jacobson, one of the poets shortlisted for the 2014 John Bray Poetry Award with her verse novel The Sunlit Zone and David Malouf, who’s collection Typewriter Music was one of my many purchases from the frequently visited book tent.

On Tuesday evening I attended the monthly meeting of Friendly Street Poets (FSP) at the University of Adelaide where I read two pieces as a first time reader, for which I received a welcoming round of applause that managed to calm the nerves a bit (that and the free glass of wine I had beforehand!).  I have submitted both poems for consideration in the new annual anthology being finalised by the FSP editors so we’ll see how that goes.  I enjoyed the company of fellow poets Pam Maitland, Louise Nicholas and Nigel Ford, all of whom read extremely thought-provoking pieces, some not without humour, and were very supportive of my own performance.  Another noteworthy act was delivered by a group of New Zealand poets over to participate in their Fringe event taking place on Saturday night, Aotearoa Speaks – Chewing your Ears.  If their outstanding performance on Tuesday is anything to go by, this will be a fantastic and memorable evening so very much looking forward to it.

The final Writer’s Week session I attended was another of Mark’s where he was interviewed on aspects of love, birds and nature in his work by Mike Ladd, series producer of ABC’s Poetica.  This insightful chat prompted me to purchase another of Mark’s collections Fire Diary, which I have yet to indulge in.

So now I will take some time to breathe, reflect and do the thing that must be done following any whirlwind of words and wisdom…write, and then write some more!

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 12,041 hits
Deep Wild Journal

Writing from the Backcountry

Poetry in Process

Understanding poetic process from inspiration to final edit

Antarctic Poetry Exhibition

The world's first and only poetry exhibition in Antarctica

Plumwood Mountain

An Australian Journal of Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics

EYELASHROAMING

A blog by Ashleigh Young. A burning wreck

WA Poets Inc

Developing and promoting poets and poetry

Not Very Quiet

a twice yearly online journal for women's poetry

Poet Laureate

Poetry is an act of peace. – Pablo Neruda

Freefall

'She would say to discover / the true depth of a well, / drop a stone, / start counting.' - Andrew Greig

The Hearth

Conversations. Creativity. Ideas.

District Lit

an online journal of writing and art

Nomadic Permanence: Rob Packer's Blog

Places, pictures, food, impressions, thoughts.

Wakefield Press

Wakefield Press blog

Andy Jackson

Poetry from a body shaped like a question mark.

Tears in the Fence

an independent, international literary magazine

Shooter Literary Magazine

Short fiction, non-fiction and poetry