It’s almost time to launch Brisbane New Voices III, featuring March Pin-Up Poet, Vanessa Page’s debut collection, Feeding Paper Tigers. This week Vanessa & I continue the conversation and she gives us the low down on the experience of putting together the manuscript.
The launch of Feeding Paper Tigers is fast approaching. It has been a real pleasure for me to work on the poems that make up the micro-collection; reading through the longer manuscript, the lost art of penning you a love note, to find poems that speak deeply to each other and create something unique as a whole. What was your first reaction to the poems that I selected and how have you found the process from start to finish?
It is a very exciting time for me to see this collection of poems being published and released to the world. The selected poems definitely speak deeply to each other and I think the selection sings sweetly as a little package. My initial reaction to the selection was surprise – and this is because it is always interesting to discover how others see your work, what speaks to them, what strikes a chord. I think the most interesting element is that more than half of the selected poems were ones that came to me very quickly and formed with a minimum of fuss, just a small amount of shaping. In that way, I believe the selection is very organic and stems from some pretty deep and intense experiences and concepts – all of which wanted to be told!
There is a lot of ‘me’ in these poems, which is to be expected being an initial collection. For example, Christmas 1982 has come exclusively from memories of my childhood and Christmas days spent barefoot and carefree in my home town of Toowoomba . When I think of that poem I see it visually, like a collection of memories displayed under an Instagram filter. I think the collection also reflects my preference for simplicity in expression and I am completely enamoured of the idea that something moving and profound can come from a few lines of carefully selected words. Gone #2 is exactly that. A poem of great longing that lingers on long after its been read through.
The process of preparing the poems for publication has been very exciting. While I have had to do a little tweaking here and there during the editing process, I believe this process has helped to fine tune my poems to the point where I have no further ‘itch’ to tinker with them. It is amazing what the omission or addition of a comma can do for a line! It is a pleasure to work with Graham, who has been a fantastic support and mentor to me since I first started writing poetry ‘seriously’ just over three years ago. It is fitting that Graham is responsible for publishing this debut collection of poetry and I am very much looking forward to the launch event and sharing these poems with the world.
It’s in the way the foliage deepens to viridian, each
time you leave
and in how the sky spills over to inhabit
the impressions you’ve left.
these tiny fissures, these sweet little fractures.
I paint what’s left of the afternoon with a brush as fine
a weeping emulsion, watercolour thin.
In this kind of emptiness, even the sound of a leaf
detaching and spinning back to earth booms.
I am a fulcrum. I am carved from stone.
Last month Riverbend Books lit up the Brisbane sky with it’s opening event… And we’re set to go again! On Tuesday 24 April the night will come alive with the voices of Victorian singer-songwriter / poet / troubadour Andy White, slam goddess Tessa Leon, Brisbane poet and former QPF director Brett Dionysius, and the launch of Brisbane New Voices III featuring March Pin-Up Poet, Vanessa Page and Carmen Leigh Keates.
Copies of Brisbane New Voices are limited to 100, so be there to make sure you don’t miss out!
Date: Tuesday April 24
Location: Riverbend Books, 193 Oxford St. Bulimba
Time: Doors open for the event at 6pm for a 6:30pm start
Bookings: Online at: www.riverbendbooks.com.au or call the store on (07) 3899 8555