The launch of Same Sky by Cindy Keong is edging closer, so in the lead up to the launch on Saturday July 27, I have been chatting with Cindy about the call of poetry and how it feels to have her first publication out in the world.
How does it feel to be holding Same Sky in your hands?
Strangely enough, a mixture of pure excitement and relief. Same Sky is a mix of older and newer work that evolved considerably during the editing process. So after spending so much time with the same set of poems there is definitely a feeling of accomplishment. I am also starting to feel deep within me, the stirring of new work buzzing to be written.
When did you first feel the calling of poetry in your bones?
With a brother called Clancy it is no surprise that bush poetry was a feature in my childhood. However, my earliest memory of really being fascinated with poetry was reading a collection of Kath Walker’s (Oodgeroo Noonuccal) poetry when I was nine. I distinctly remember a short poem about Albert Namatjira, and even as a child it conveyed a profound sense of loss and cultural injustice. Fast-forward a decade or three and the inclination to learn how to write poetry became more significant. Through the local poetry community and the fine poets I have met along the way I have been guided and inspired to write, share and perform my work.
The work in Same Sky covers three distinct landscapes; the east coast, the big-sky country of Western QLD and the the interior landscape of love and family. Was this a distinct choice when you began writing the poems? And what is the significance of these landscapes to you?
I did not necessarily start out to write poems that could be grouped distinctly by physical or interior landscapes, but would say my initial writing process was all about feeling satisfied I could write a poem that not only meant something to me but would hopefully resonate with an audience. Starting with what I know and had a deep connection with seemed like the place to start.
The poems that explore aspects of my interior landscape were probably the most deliberate in choice as these experiences whilst unique to me are ones that connect us all. The specific physical landscapes that locate my poems are born out of lived experiences as a child and as an adult. I calculated recently that in total I have moved 21 times in my 41 years so it is no wonder this has vicariously made itself a distinct feature of my poetry.
Another Lost Shark Publications
Same Sky by Cindy Keong
When: Saturday July 27, 1:30pm – 5:00pm
Where: The Hideaway, 188 Brunswick St Fortitude Valley
Entry: Gold Coin Donation