Monthly Archives: September 2011

Next stop Tasmania…

It’s been another massive year for this Lost Shark, with trips to Melbourne, Blackall, Murgon & Hervey Bay. And in just over a week, Sheish and I will be flying south for a guest spot at the 2011 Tasmanian Poetry Festival.

The program has just been released, featuring a poem from each of the guest poets including, Andrew Burke, Les Wicks, Sandra Thibodeaux & Petra White. To get a taste of each of the fine poets who we will be sharing the stage with, head to the Festival website. I just know we are going to have a ball.

So, Tassie… here we come!

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Help Make A Difference: Raising funds for a High School Poetry Project

I have spoken at length on many occasions about the state of poetry in schools (most notably this article: The Death of Poetry in Australian Classrooms), so each year, I make it my business to ensure I offer workshops to teachers and students where I can, to help bring a love of poetry back to the classroom.  But one person can only do so much… that’s where you come in.

As part of his recent residency, 2011 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence, Jacob Polley, collaboratively wrote a stunning long poem, titled Daily Rituals, Vernacular River: A Telegraphing of Brisbane, with four students from the QLD Academy of Creative Industries (QACI). The poem is elegantly designed and printed on fold out card, to simultaneously represent the flow of the river and the rise of the city; five voices melding together to bring us snapshots of a day in Brisbane’s history and the lives of the poets.

The Story Bridge is open like a book
that tells a tale about the city’s people
from point to Valley, bank to bank, across
the river’s jagged mouth. One must begin
the journey down between the flow of words
Vernacular rivers are spoken, unconfined.

The poem, Daily Rituals, Vernacular River, is a fine reminder of what can be achieved when poetry is skillfully introduced into the classroom; of the thrill and passion that poetry can produce in us all. So to help make a difference, Jacob came up with the idea of establishing a Poetry Competition for High School students in 2012. The competition will be administered by Queensland Poetry Festival, and judged by Jacob and a prominent Australian poet.  QLD Poetry Festival also plans to send poets out into schools to run workshops and give readings, to generate some real excitement and give the project authenticity. But as you know, all of this requires funds…

Here’s how you can help:

A copy of Daily Rituals, Vernacular River can be yours for just $5. The full amount of every purchase will go towards establishing the Competition. The goal is to raise enough funds to offer first, second, and third place cash prizes, as well as run poetry workshops for high school students across the state. As an added bonus, Queensland Writers Centre has generously pledged to match the total amount of money raised.

To pick up a copy of the poem and to help make a difference, visit www.queenslandpoetryfestival.com, click on the Paypal button on the home page, and away you go. If you don’t have paypal and still want to contribute, just send an email to Sarah Gory at qldpoetry@gmail.com with ‘DAILY RITUALS’ in the subject heading, and she’ll get back to you to arrange a suitable method of payment. 

And never one to shy away from helping out, I am also getting on board to give this project a push and raise these much needed funds. Each year I publish Brisbane New Voices as a way of showcasing some of the fine talent emerging from this great city. I have 20 copies of this gorgeous publication available at $12 each, and I plan to donate 100% of all sales to establishing this exciting High School Poetry Competition in 2012.

To get yourself a copy email me at geenunn(at)yahoo(dot)com(dot)au with the subject ‘High School Poetry Project’ and we can arrange payment from there.

You can also help by spreading the word wide and far… facebook it, tweet it, blog it, email it, shout it from your kitchen window! The wider the word spreads, the better.

Join with me… together, we can make a difference!

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The Back Room’s All Star Menu: featuring Pascalle Burton

Tomorrow night is your last chance to dine out on the fine food and live arts served up by, The Back Room at Confit Bistro. One of the highlights of the all-star menu is avant-garde performance poet musician-lady, Pascalle Burton.

Pascalle flirts shamelessly with poetry, music and visual art. She has performed at many venues and festivals both in Australia and overseas.  She recently played around with David Stavanger, Nathan Shepherdson and reversible poetry on her project, The Outlandish Watch, which is available on 7” vinyl. She performs in The Stress of Leisure, who will be October’s Resident Musicians at the Brisbane Powerhouse and soon releasing their own 7”, Sex Time. Her Lavender Room Zine-in-a-Matchbox series has been nominated in the 2011 Golden Stapler Awards and in 2008, Small Change Press published her debut collection, A Vast Laugh.

 

± reminders
 
the person you felt like killing?
you did.
 
fashion costs less if you stop
buying into it
 
if I repeat this line
will it get stuck in your head?
 
multiple cars rear-end the ghosts
of victims
of machismo-wielding drivers
 
how many exhibitions have been cut short?
how many protests worked?
how much lipstick do we eat?
 
if I repeat this line
will it get stuck in your head?

there is a small cat in the carpet
leading to endless bedtime stories
with the same character
 
dreams are set in different tourist destinations
they are doing a world tour
to a sellout crowd
 
if I repeat this line
will it get stuck in your head?
 
if I repeat this line
will it get stuck in your head?
 
it doesn’t matter
there are more pressing concerns
 
like the person you felt like killing?
you did.

********************

Here’s the details and remember, this is the last gig for the year, so come on out and raise a glass to what has been a superb series of events!

Where: Confit Bistro, 4/9 Doggett St, Fortitude Valley
Date: Wednesday September 28
Time: 6pm doors for a 6:30pm start
Entry: Free

To book your seat, call 3254 4001 or email info@confit.com.au or drop me a message in the comments box below and I will do the rest.

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Butterflies

The National Library of Australia has been releasing its very successful series of ‘Little Books’ for the better part of the last decade now and there are a couple of new editions in the pipeline, including The Little Book of Butterflies, which will be released next year. I am excited to have had a poem from my collection, Measuring the Depth, selected for this anthology, as they are beautifully produced books and they reach a completely different audience. Previous releases include The Little Book of Dogs, The Little Book of Australian Children’s Rhymes, The Little Book of Trees and the most recent release, The Little Book of Weather.

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The Back Room’s All-Star Menu: featuring B. R. Dionysius

Next Wednesday, September 28, The Back Room at Confit Bistro (4/9 Doggett St, Fortitude Valley) serves up its final helping of live art for 2011, with an all star menu, visual art by Olivia Shale and Tricia Reust, the vibrant sounds of avant-garde performance-poet musician-lady, Pascalle Burton, the blues rumble of Sheish Money & this Lost Shark, the exciting announcement of the two poets who will grace the pages of Brisbane New Voices III and chef Jason Peppler’s cutting edge cuisine. We are also thrilled to have, founding Director of the Queensland Poetry Festival, B. R. Dionysius featuring as part of the closing night celebrations.

Brett has won many awards, including the 2009 Max Harris Poetry Award. A chapbook, The Negativity Bin was published by PressPress in 2010 and his latest chapbook, The Curious Noise of History was released by Picaro Press in 2011. He lives in Ipswich, Queensland where he teaches English and writes sonnets.

***************************

Wristwatch

What can you tell of a father from his timepiece?
The expandable band was German steel, tough
& worn with equal pride. Mini-springs folded like
Tank track over the terrain of his hand when slid
Up his wrist. He was armed with life’s ID bracelet.
Swiss made, the Lauris signified otherworld elegance
Amid wheat stubble heartland. Old Europe ticked
Adrenaline quick, as clocks converted young crops.
The date stuck on the 18th refusing to budge like the
Recollection of his candle’s blue flame. The length
Of a monarch’s reign separates them now. If only
Memory were precise as his watch that, once wound,
Ran forward in time, as if its last thirty years in a box,
Had been an eye blink & their grief, a speck of grain.

***************************

Here’s the details for the weekly planner… and remember, this is the last gig for quite a few months, so come on out and raise a glass to what has been a superb year of events!

Where: Confit Bistro, 4/9 Doggett St, Fortitude Valley
Date: Wednesday September 28
Time: 6pm doors for a 6:30pm start
Entry: Free

To book your seat, call 3254 4001 or email info@confit.com.au or drop me a message in the comments box below and I will do the rest.

This is going to be a big one, so get in early…

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Blunt / Scar

The empty page hurts more than a paper cut

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Come on a ginko with me

spring breeze
at her thighs
the towel loosens

 

In late October/early November, as Spring bursts in all its beauty, I will be leading a series of six ginko (haiku walk) around this fine city of ours and its stunning surrounds. Masaoka Shiki, one of the four pillars of haiku (along with Basho, Buson & Issa), believed that haiku poets should practice shasei – sketching from life – in order to heighten their powers of observation. A traditional way of developing these powers and opening yourself up to the everyday magic that awaits, is to participate in a ginko. On a ginko, participants are encouraged to jot down notes about what they can see, hear, smell, touch and taste as well as making notes on other thoughts and feelings that may arise during the walk. At the conclusion of the walk, participants then share their notes and spend time writing and workshopping their haiku.

As part of the last series, we visited Sandgate Beach, Downfall Creek, Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, New Farm Park & Southbank, and some stunning haiku were composed, many of which I had the pleasure of publishing on this site and many of which have gone on to be published in journals and magazines all around the world.

Here’s a couple of links to haiku written on the Mt Coot-tha and New Farm Park Ginko earlier this year to give you a taste.

So if you want to develop your haiku-eye and start your Sunday’s off in a meditative headspace, come on a ginko with me…

Details are below:

Ginko (Haiku Walk) with Graham Nunn

Dates: Sundays 16, 23, 30 October and 13, 20 and 27 November

Venue: We gather at Queensland Writers Centre, Level 2, State Library of Queensland

Time: 9am – 10.30am

Fees: Flat Fee $95 for the six sessions

Bookings: You can book online here or contact QWC by calling 07 3842 9922.

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Grandma’s House

first of spring
memories of grandma’s house
overgrown

*

wrong turn
thirty kilometres
of silence

*

ahead
the ocean
pure of us

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The Back Room’s last stand for 2011

The Back Room has become a regular on the Brisbane poetry calendar, serving up some of the finest poetry, live art, music and cuisine this city has to offer from the stunning surrounds of Confit Bistro (4/9 Doggett St, Fortitude Valley). On Wednesday, September 28, The Back Room will light up for its final 2011 gig and the line up is stellar.


Poetry features for the final event include, founding Director of QLD Poetry Festival, Brett Dionysius and avant-garde performance-poet musician-lady, Pascalle Burton.

Brett has won many awards for his poetry, most recently, the 2010, PressPress chapbook award, resulting in the publication of his latest book, The Negativity Bin. Pascalle recently launched her reversible poetry experiment, The Outlandish Watch on 7″ vinyl at QPF 2011, with co-conspirators, David Stavanger & Nathan Shepherdson and regularly releases her gorgeous Zine-in-a-Box, Lavender Room.

To cap off the night, there will be readings from the two poets who will be featured in Brisbane New Voices III. Just who are they? Well, the announcement will be made on the night, so make sure you are there to raise a glass to these bright things! And of course, Sheish Money and I will be there, ever-ready to belt out a few new songs and poems.

Where: Confit Bistro, 4/9 Doggett St, Fortitude Valley
Date: Wednesday September 28
Time: 6pm doors for a 6:30pm start
Entry: Free

To book your seat, call 3254 4001 or email info@confit.com.au or drop me a message in the comments box below and I will do the rest.

This is going to be a big one, so get in early…

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Farewell Jacob

Jacob Polley’s time as 2011 Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence is sadly coming to a close. I know that I speak for many when I say that he has made an invaluable contribution to our poetry community, during his stay; his deep love of poetry, his warmth and skill as a teacher and his sublime readings have inspired writers all over the state. I am super excited to hear, read and see his legacy poem, written in collaboration with a number of students from QLD Academy of Creative Industries, that will be launched tonight. I have heard on the vine that it looks pretty special… So, to celebrate what has been a superb residency, here’s a video from Jacob’s reading at SpeedPoets on Sunday August 7. Safe travels Jacob… hope to see you back here one day soon.

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