Monthly Archives: June 2010

SpeedPoets feat. Emily XYZ

SpeedPoets rolls back into InSpire Gallery Bar (71 Vulture St West End), this Sunday July 4 with a feature set from the 2010 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence, Emily XYZ.

This will be the first chance for audiences to experience XYZ’s unique brand of spoken word during her 2010 residency in Brisbane. I had the pleasure of recently publishing Tiger Stadium in issue #37 of Stylus Poetry Journal, so if you have not yet checked it out, it is well worth the read. And to give you a taste of what’s to come, here’s a couple of links to Emily XYZ and Myers Bartlett performing The Bill of Rights and Separation of Church and State. Myers will be joining Emily for her performances at QPF 2010.

There will also be free Zines, raffles/giveaways, live sounds from Brisbane’s guitar slinging poet, Sheish Money and let’s not forget, the legendary SpeedPoets Open Mic section.

Doors open at 2pm – along with sign up for the Open Mic section.

 SpeedPoets, Sunday July 4, 2:00pm – 5:00pm, InSpire Gallery Bar – 71 Vulture St. West End


Emily XYZ (USA)

 Entry is a gold coin donation


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Lunar Eclipses & Poeteevee

Well, this Lost Shark has made it through to the holidays and tommorow I head up to beautiful Woodford to perform at Woongooroo Estate Winery alongside John Koenig, Rowan Donovan & Clayton Adam and Glenn Donovan. Sheish Money and I will close the night, hitting the stage at approx 9:15pm, just as the lunar eclipse takes hold, leaving us to light up the winter sky. Needless to say, I am looking forward to this gig.

If you too are looking for some poetry this weekend, and there are no gigs happening in your neck of the woods, why not check out Poeteevee. It’s a relatively new site with the first posts made in April this year, but already there is a great selection of readings available. Well worth sitting down with a tumbler, cup or mug of your chosen beverage and taking in the words of Stacy Szymaszek, Frank Sherlock, Anselm Berrigan, Eileen Myles & co.

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spoken in one strange word

Last night at Riverbend Books a crowd of 70+ gathered on the deck eager to get the first glimpse of the 2010 QLD Poetry Festival: spoken in one strange word program. And no one went home disappointed, with stunning feature sets from Suzanne Jones, Darkwing Dubs and Ynes Sanz, all of whom will be perfoming at QPF 2010.

The full program (including artist bios) is now available online at and it is a program that I am very excited about!

QPF 2010 features six international artists - Emily XYZ (USA), Jon Paul Fiorentino (Canada), Angela Rawlings (Canada), Ken Babstock (Canada) and August Kleinzahler (USA) alongside more than 30 performers from all over Australia including Andrew Taylor (WA), Kelly-Lee Hickey (NT), Andy Jackson (VIC), Les Wicks (NSW) and Bruce Dawe (QLD) as well as a session paying tribute to one of Australia’s finest poets, Judith Wright and the much loved, A Million Bright Things, featuring every poet on the program.

And while I am speaking of A Million Bright Things, another highlight of last night’s event was the launch of the CD featuring 16 red hot performances from the A Million Bright Things session at QPF 2009. Readers included Adam Phillips, Zenobia Frost and Jeffery Harpeng as well as members of the QPF Committee performing a selection of poems. It was a buzz to hear these poems light up the winter night and to celebrate, I have 5 copies of the CD available for $12 incl. postage to send to the first five people who email me at geenunn(at)

Here’s the track listing:

1. Jane Williams – Attention to Detail
2. Jayne Fenton Keane – A Jazz Poem for Miles Davis
3. Adam Phillips – Gem Cutter
4. Bremen Town Musician – Sailor (filmed live at A Million  Bright Things 2009)
5. Angela Costi – Grandmother Maroulla’s Liturgy
6. Geoff Goodfellow – Blue Sky Mornings
7. Maurice McNamara – Elizabeth’s Baby Cries
8. Brianna Carpenter – Jacqueline
9. Elizabeth Bachinsky – Tips On Performing From My Mother
10. AF Harrold – Beowulf
11. Rob Morris, Sheish Money & Graham Nunn – Vegemite
12. Barbara Temperton – Purl
13. Jeffrey Harpeng – Horse Tail
14. Zenobia Frost – Bathing with Neil Gaiman
15. Hinemoana Baker & Christine White – Talk You Up
16. Neil Murray – Anywhere Tonight

Am looking forward to sending the copies out to some very lucky listeners!!!

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The Crying Light

This morning, we read the light
a cloud of mosquitoes rising

and the river wears the tinny’s wake
like a childhood scar.


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The New Folk XV – Winter Sounds

This Lost Shark is moving slowly today… winter sun, lapping between my shoulder blades and the gentlest of breezes prickling my neck. Sunday’s don’t come much better, and today’s soundtrack comes courtesy of two fine Australian bands and one from the windy city of Chicago. Lose your self in these sounds… let your day find its own pace.

E-Song – Nikko

Brisbane band, Nikko have just released their much anticipated debut, The Warm Side. It is a brooding, densely crafted song cycle that seeps further into your consciousness with each listen. The band swings moodily across the nine songs, creating sonic peaks and troughs for singer/guitarist Ryan Potter to climb in and out of with his sparse lyricism. The Warm Side is a mature, intelligent debut, one that combines tension and tenderness, and leaves you with a feeling of discovery. While E-Song is not from the debut, I couldn’t resist posting this collaboration – Killing Time - with filmmaker Oliver Lofgren.

II – Fabulous Diamonds

Reverberated percussion, dubby-synths, isolated vocals, ghostly saxophone, this is the sonic terrain inhabited by Melbourne duo, Fabulous Diamonds. Their recent release II, is nothing short of hypnotic, blending extended, repetitive jams with shorter, surreal pop songs. This clip captures Fabulous Diamonds onstage creating a mesmerising soundscape that takes the boundary of pop music and unrelentingly stretches it.

Red Ants – Sonoi

Hailing from Chicago, sonoi are another band that are challenging the pop stereotype, with their warmly composed instrumentals, ambient collages and off-kilter rock. Red Ants opens their debut album and is one of the tracks that comes close to combining all of their styles. It is dreamlike in its construction, the melodic guitar line, floating keys and pulsing drum rhythms providing the perfect bed for Adam Busch’s heady vocals. Other highlights on the album are the perfectly crafted angular rock of Sherry Fall and the ambitious and album changing Anchor Tattoo.


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A Million Bright Things – feat. Barbara Temperton

Reading back over the poems I have posted during the last few days has been a real thrill. Each of these poems, a highlight from what was (and remains) one of the best poetry readings I have ever attended – QPF 2009′s, A Million Bright Things. And the thrills don’t stop there, as each of these poems will be performed at the CD launch this coming Tuesday at Riverbend Books, either by the poet or by one of the QPF Committee. To round things out, here is the fifth and final poem I will feature from the soon to be launched A Million Bright Things CD, by WA poet, Barbara Temperton.

Barbara Temperton is an award-winning Western Australian writer. Her poems, song lyrics, short stories, reviews and articles have appeared in journals, newspapers, anthologies, have been performed live and broadcast on radio. Barbara lives in Geraldton where she is employed as Librarian and editor and moonlights as the poetry editor for Westerly. Barbara has also worked on community writing and theatre projects and as tutor in English and Creative Writing courses at the UWA – Albany Centre, Edith Cowan University and Curtin University in Perth. Southern Edge is her third collection of poetry, written for her MA at the University of Western Australia.

Barbara’s poem Purl, from her collection, Going Feral appears on A Million Bright Things.



If she wasn’t knitting, she says,
she’d be down the road measuring the level
of the muddy brown puddle her husband calls a dam.
And if she wasn’t knitting,
she’d be ironing a dress
for the CWA show she’s supposed to be going to,
pumping fuel by hand from a forty-four gallon drum
into the tank of the car for the long drive into town,
and she’d have to come home straight after,
has to hand-feed the horses, milk the goat.
If she wasn’t knitting, she’d be patrolling the farm
checking fences for breaks and tangled stock,
crow-struck lambs, fly-struck wethers,
inspecting gates
so plagues of emus and kangaroos
gathering at the boundary can’t get in,
watching the clear hot sky – no clouds,
paddocks burned bare by drought.
If she wasn’t knitting, she’d be down in the yards
where her husband and her daughter
are killing starving sheep with crowbars
because they can’t afford the bullets.
If she wasn’t knitting, she says.


A Million Bright Things will be launched at Riverbend Books on Tuesday June 22 so make sure you are there to experience what is sure to be one of the poetry events of the year. Doors open at 6pm for a 6:30pm start. Tickets are $10 and include a glass of wine and sushi nibbles. To book your ticket call Riverbend Books on (07) 3899 8555 or book online at


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A Million Bright Things – feat. Zenobia Frost

Here’s another dazzling local, featured on the soon to be launched CD – A Million Bright Things… ladies and gentlemen, Zenobia Frost!

Zenobia Frost writes poetry in cemeteries, articles at a desk in a backyard rainforest, and to-do lists on receipts, bits of paper, the back of her hand, and flatmates’ spare bits of skin. She writes, edits, and types for a living, and occasionally orchestrates cabaret events that are really an excuse to drink tea. Her work has appeared in Stylus, Mascara, Small Packages, Burdock (USA), Rave Magazine, Famous Reporter, and Voiceworks, and she has performed at the Queensland Poetry Festival, Tasmianian Poetry Festival, and around Australia with the Queensland Touring Poets Program. Her debut collection, The Voyage, was published by SweetWater Press in 2009.

Zenobia’s poem, Bathing with Gaiman is one of the sixteen poems featured on A Million Bright Things.


Bathing with Gaiman

Before reading in the bath,
I ease the book’s
jacket off. I

the steaming water with one toe
and shuffle off my own dust cover
to step
and slide
in and under,

holding the book above my head
like an umbrella. Then, spread
with my arms leaning on my legs,
I read, turning the pages

with the tip
of my tongue.

Later, while I scrub
or shave my legs
with my right hand,

I realise I’ve gone
cover to cover (or nearly).

The fingers of my left arm sulk
and strain, and I must
balance the book on my head
to flex the lameness out (and again

till feeling returns).
Then I swap hands and finish
my story and scrubbing,

to step out clean and complete,
steeped in someone else’s
glistening words.


Zenobia will feature at the launch of A Million Bright Things at Riverbend Books on Tuesday June 22. Doors open at 6pm for a 6:30pm start. Tickets are $10 and include a glass of wine and sushi nibbles. To book tickets call Riverbend Books on (07) 3899 8555 or book online at


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A Million Bright Things – feat. Jane Williams

The brand spanking, A Million Bright Things CD is literally bursting with stars… and here is another one of them, Tasmanian based poet, Jane Williams.

Jane Williams was born in England 1964. Her first poetry collection ‘Outside Temple Boundaries’ (Five Islands Press 1998) received the Anne Elder Award. In 2006 her second book ‘The Last Tourist’ (Five Islands Press) was published and she was awarded the D.J. O’Hearn Memorial Fellowship. Her most recent poetry collection is ‘Begging the Question’ (Ginninderra Press 2008). Her short story collection ‘Other Lives’ was published by Ginninderra Press in 2007. She lives in Tasmania. For more information visit:

Jane’s poem Attention to Detail is featured on A Million Bright Things.


Attention to Detail

you ask me if I am a lover of books and I say yes you ask me back
to your place to look at your collection and I’m hoping
this is a ploy but once inside I see by lover you mean keeper
the walls are lined with shiny spines in alphabetical order
of subject and author you stand at attention before them
and I don’t know if I’m supposed to salute or genuflect
I don’t do either I just concentrate on moving my eyes
back and forth as if this is a tennis match as if I am a tennis fan
suddenly you say go on then they won’t bite that’s what I’m afraid
of I think reaching with the tips of my fingers only sliding a slim
volume of poetry from its holding you tell me it’s the one
you must have read a hundred times but as I fan its pages
I smell only ink where I would hope to smell blood sweat and
tears the pages are crisp unmarked and clean as false identification
papers the book does not automatically fall open
at a well thumbed well loved favourite all poems here are equal
in perpetuity I think of my own collection mostly second hand
dog eared and as I’m an early morning reader occasionally faintly
vegemite smeared I think of my favourites held together
by a different kind of attention to detail I think of that time
I read Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World how it lived
bruised and battered at the bottom of my school bag for months
reminding me what it was to choose to be human I imagine
for the first time us making love but I can’t get past this vision
of you reaching for the surgical gloves this vision of me
still waiting when it’s all over aching cold on a cold slab
I’m sure you know all the right moves but I don’t I’m still learning


A Million Bright Things will be launched at Riverbend Books on Tuesday June 22. Doors open at 6pm for a 6:30pm start. Tickets are $10 and include a glass of wine and sushi nibbles. To book tickets call Riverbend Books on (07) 3899 8555 or book online at


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A Million Bright Things – feat. Geoff Goodfellow

My second feature from the forthcoming CD - A Million Bright Things – is South Australian poet, Geoff Goodfellow.

Geoff Goodfellow is as tender as he is tough . . . as hard as he is soft. He is a walking contradiction. Throughout his twenty year career in poetry, he has revealed a considerable capacity for listening and close observation. His first collection No Collars No Cuffs, first published in 1986, is now in its 9th printing. Eight books have followed, most running into multiple print runs. He writes with a ‘contrived simplicity’, detailing the lives of seemingly ordinary people. It is however, his poet’s eye for the micro, rather than the macro, that allows him to focus on and dramatise a single crucial moment or situational aspect, to suggest much more the extraordinary.

Geoff’s poem, Blue Sky Mornings is featured on the CD A Million Bright Things.



Blue Sky Mornings

I remember being five years old
& walking up & down
the white quartz driveway
of our family home in Copley St
       dragging on a Rothmans Plain
i was often up at 5am on those
summer mornings
       tip-toeing over the floorboards
& being careful not to let the
screen door slap as i’d creep
out to dad’s cream FX Holden
       to sneak a smoke out of
the red soft pack he’d left on
the front bench seat
i’d walk the driveway then —
& practise doing the drawback
       feeling dizzy at times
but somehow enjoying it
       & i might do the
Chinese drawback too —     
feeling the smoke drift up my
       & i remember blowing
smoke rings into perfect blue
sky mornings
       looking up at the apricots
at the end of the driveway —
& sometimes hearing them fall
       & seeing white cling peaches
still setting on the tree
       & the corn already high enough
to hide a boy like me
but i was big enough to work
       & even then i knew
i wanted to be a working man
those mornings i’d listen for
the jingle of empty bottles
& the clip-clop of hooves
on our unmade street
       knowing that Lennie Sugars
the milky was coming
       & i’d butt my smoke into
the red clay soil & bolt out
to meet him
i’d spend the next two hours
placing pints on front verandas —
        hearing the clink of empties
from the back of the cart as the
horse worked his way towards
Lennie’s low whistle
       i remember too —
my forefinger & index finger
       greasy from the residue of
so many poorly washed empties
i’d picked up
but over the next fifty years & more —
       i’d pick up more than just
greasy bottles

there were sixty to eighty cigarettes
a day for fifteen years
       & over twenty half coronas
for another ten
       & lots of five paper joints

& i’d pick up solvents & sealants
& stains & paints & fluxes
& fluids with peculiar smells
       working through twelve hour
days on building sites in blinding sun 
with no UV protection

& yet no one can tell me with any
       just how i got cancer.

(forthcoming from Waltzing with Jack Dancer)


A Million Bright Things will be launched at Riverbend Books on Tuesday June 22. Doors open at 6pm for a 6:30pm start. Tickets are $10 and include a glass of wine and sushi nibbles. To book tickets call Riverbend Books on (07) 3899 8555 or book online at


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A Million Bright Things – feat. Adam Phillips

The launch of QLD Poetry Festival’s new CD – A Million Bright Things – at Riverbend Books next Tuesday, June 22 is shaping up to be one of the highlights of the 2010 poetry calendar. After having the pleasure of working on the CD over the past month, I am buzzing to get it out into the world. So to celebrate, I have asked a handful of the 16 poets featured on the CD if they would be happy for me to feature their poem on the blog. They all agreed, so over the next few days there will be a new poem up here to give you all a taste of what’s to come.

First poet up is Brisbane boy Adam Phillips.

Adam performed at the Queensland Poetry Festival in 2009. He has also performed at numerous functions around Brisbane and recited his poems on radio. With an eye to the natural world, Adam’s poetry calls upon his love of classic Australian bush verse to tell the stories of our time.

His poem featured on A Million Bright Things is Gem Cutter.



Eureka blue was coming through to hover over land
A digger bends and life upends a fragment in his hand
Solid gold with worth untold once he cashed the cheques
But such a sight brought sweet delight against the sand and specks
So he bent once more to earthen floor, no fortune or no fame
This omen stays for better days just the way it came
And the gem cutter wouldn’t take a chip off you
He’d see your cheeks with wholesome hue
He’d see your smile that lights the day
And send you on your destined way
Desert red was overhead, filmy heartland daze
Lasseter went completely spent into the open maze
In his thoughts were ill reports that stifled all belief
But still he goes by track and toes towards a golden reef
A good man fell but time will tell of hopes that still remain
Beneath the ground a reef is found just the way it came
And the gem cutter wouldn’t take a chip off you
He’d see your mind and heart are true
He’d see your smile that lights the day
And send you on your destined way
Forest green has gone and been but still I can recall
The wall of trees, the island breeze that riots over all
The wattle spines and river lines that run to sea and stars
The mountain rock that holds in stock the crimson waratahs
And while you stare I’m not aware of the scientific name
I’m going and you’re glowing just the way you came
And the gem cutter wouldn’t take a chip off you
And I just want to hold the hip of you
See your smile that lights the day
And join you on your destined way


Adam Phillips will feature at the launch of A Million Bright Things at Riverbend Books on Tuesday June 22. Doors open at 6pm for a 6:30pm start. Tickets are $10 and include a glass of wine and sushi nibbles. To book tickets call Riverbend Books on (07) 3899 8555 or book online at


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