Tag Archives: Vanessa Page

SpeedPoets fills your Easter with words

SpeedPoets is gearing up to bring the words to The Hideaway this Easter Saturday from 1:30pm, and we have a sexy new poster to help spread the word!

sp

As part of the March gig, we are launching two brilliant new collections, haematograms by Nigel Ellis (aka Bruce Dorlova) and Confessional Box by Vanessa Page. Here’s what I had to say about each book:

“Confessional Box maps the undulating landscapes of home, love and letting go. Page’s poems are sensuous, compassionate and filled with quiet wisdom; they are a celebration of the world’s infinite gifts.”

“haematograms reaches into the tight corners of the mind to seize instants of clarity. Ellis is unique in his knowing, sharpest when catching things that he knows won’t last. This is an impressive debut, one where the charm of the ordinary and the mysterious collide; where the reader is transported into the poet’s other-world to walk the edge of his imagining.”

So, if you are anywhere near Brisbane, tuck a poem or three in your pocket and come along. All readers in Open Mic Section are automatically in the running to be named Call-Back-Poet for the month. Each Call-Back-Poet earns themselves a feature spot at the final gig for the year in November as well as the opportunity to win cash prizes and be named SpeedPoets Open Mic Champion for 2013.

Hope to see you all there…

Date: Saturday March 30
Venue: The Hideaway, 188 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley
Time: Doors at 1:30pm for a 2pm Open Mic Start
Entry: Gold Coin Donation

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Tickets for Riverbend Poetry Series on sale now!

The Riverbend Books front deck has become synonymous with poetry in Brisbane over the course of the last eight years, hosting the annual Riverbend Poetry Series in collaboration with QLD Poetry Festival and QLD Writers Centre. So if you don’t want to be standing on the street, craning your neck (and ears) to get a slice of the action, check out the details below to book your ticket. These events book out notoriously early and the line-up… well, the year is off to a flyer!

Riverbend Poetry Series 1

The first event in the Riverbend Poetry Series features graveyard poet Zenobia Frost,  multi-award winner Anthony Lawrence and two very special launches – Vanessa Page launching her full length debut,  Confessional Box and the Choose Your Own Poetry Adventure amplified e-book launch.

When: Tuesday 19th February 2013, 6pm for a 6:30pm start
Where: Riverbend Books, 193 Oxford St, Bulimba
Cost: $10
Bookings are essential and can be made by calling Riverbend Books on 07 3899 8555 or via their website.

***

Here’s a little bit about the poets…

Vanessa-PageVanessa Page is launching her full length debut, Confessional Box. Vanessa is a Brisbane-based poet who hails from Toowoomba in Queensland. In 2011 and 2012 she was named runner-up in the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Prize for an unpublished manuscript for The lost art of penning you a love note and Confessional Box. In April 2012 she launched her first micro-collection of poetry Feeding Paper Tigers through Another Lost Shark Publications.

Confessional Box is her second collection of poetry, published by Walleah Press, combining the best of Page’s two shortlisted Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Prize manuscripts, Confessional Box is an extended love letter to place, heart and memory.

“Vanessa Page writes with the complex simplicity of an artist like Paul Klee – her language is ‘skin, papered/over skin’. There is an arresting music to this book, worked at deep pitch, performed with great skill and a compassionate vision.” — Robert Adamson

lawrenceAnthony Lawrence has published thirteen books of poems, the most recent being The Welfare of My Enemy (Puncher & Wattmann, 2011) which was shortlisted for the Judith Wright Calanthe Award and the Age Book of the Year Awards. His books and individual poems have won many of Australia’s major poetry awards, and his work has been translated into Italian, German, Japanese and Slovenian. He lives at Casuarina, on the North Coast of NSW, and teaches Reading and Writing Poetry at Griffith University, Gold Coast.

Zenobia-FrostZenobia Frost is a Brisbane-based poet and critic with a PhD in burning the candle at both ends. In 2012 she was invited to tour with the Queensland Poetry Festival Regional Roadshow; then, in October, she spent a week at Varuna, the Writer’s House, coaxing her debut manuscript into shape. Zen edits with OffStreet Press, Cordite Poetry Review, and Voiceworks Magazine, and she enjoys long walks in graveyards, incisive verse, theatre, and tea.

CYOPA-2Choose Your Own Poetry Adventure, a co-production of QPF and if:book Australia, is a journey through the byways and the streets of the Valley. Weaving language into the physical spaces that we walk around daily, these poetic trails combine language and landmarks to showcase Fortitude Valley in a whole new light.

Choose Your Own Poetry Adventure has three poetic journeys created by three Brisbane poets: Julie Beveridge, Carmen Leigh Keates, and Chris Lynch.

Carmen Leigh Keates’ collection One Broken Knife was published in Brisbane New Voices III, 2012. Her verse novella, Second-Hand Attack Dog, was commended in the 2011 Alec Bolton Prize for an Unpublished Manuscript.

Chris Lynch’s poetry has appeared in Blackmail Press, page seventeen and Islet. He recently edited The Tangled Bank: Love, Wonder, and Evolution, an anthology of speculative fiction, poetry, and artwork about evolution.

Julie Beveridge is a poet and cultural producer. Her collection, Home is where the Heartache is (Small Change Press), was her first collection of haibun. Her follow up collection, home{sic}, was released in June 2012.

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The Next Big Thing(s) – Vanessa Page & Nigel Ellis

2013 has some exciting releases about to drop, two of which, are the debut, full-length collections from Vanessa Page and Nigel Ellis.

Vanessa-Page

Vanessa released the micro-collection, Feeding Paper Tigers last year as part of Brisbane New Voices III and will follow this up with the launch of her collection, Confessional Box (Walleah Press) in February this year.

You can read all of Vanessa’s responses to The Next Big Thing interview on her blog, but here’s a preview to send you on your way…

What is the title of your book?

Confessional Box

What genre does your book fall under?

Poetry

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

I’d say poems about love, loss and hope in domestic and Queensland-based settings. But my friends Brett Dionysius and Graham Nunn say this a little more eloquently:

“Confessional Box maps the undulating landscapes of home, love and letting go. Page’s poems are sensuous, compassionate and filled with quiet wisdom; they are a celebration of the world’s infinite gifts.” – Graham Nunn

“Page’s poems are growth rings in the tree of human experience. Like the embodied moment, these are poems to run your hands over and remember how they felt. Page’s sensual poems are a fine addition to the contemporary Australian lyric.” — B. R. Dionysius

*****

Nigel has been an essential part of the Brisbane poetry community for many years, so this is a release I have been anticipating for sometime.

Nigel Ellis

Nigel also responded to The Next Big Thing interview and this is what he had to say:

What is the title of your book?

Hæmatograms

What genre does your book fall under?

Poetry

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

It’s a work of reportage – an exploration of the surging currents & deadly undertows of intimate relationships, peppered with attempts to understand, delineate, & in some ways even construct a self

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The very lovely very brave Dale Winslow of Neopoiesis Press suggested that i publish a collection, & encouraged me to overcome my big-match nerves.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

The book is a collection of around 45 poems from the last 5 or more years.  The tricky part was choosing works to include that would enable the creation of some kind of loose narrative thread, or threads.  It was roughly two years from initial discussions to finished product.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Recent years have brought all kinds of profound shifts, reversals, advances, & so on, in my personal circumstances.   The constant but largely subconscious process of constructing & maintaining interpersonal relationships & self-identity that we all perform as, in whatever ways, we narrate our own lives, has been thrown into sharp focus for me.  The primacy of languages, and how we may and do use them, inspires my every word-choice.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

The book is published by the US-based Neopoiesis Press; a young & vibrant independent publisher.  A few years ago, some poems of mine were included in the anthology that was their first-ever publication.  Although they’re very small, It’s great to be able to hook into their network and resources.

What other works would you compare this book to within your genre?

I’m letting this one through to the keeper.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Sheesh!
uUMmmm…  Harold Lloyd?  The entire cast of Fantastic Voyage?

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

As far as I can tell, my coinage of the word ‘hæmatogram’ (writing in/with blood) is, outside of obscure medical terminology, original & so far, unique.

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QLD Writers Week Feature #4: Vanessa Page

From poems landing on International Space Stations, we head west to the big sky country of  Western QLD; a landscape that continues to reveal its beauty to Vanessa Page.

A Moment of Serenity

A sense of place plays a central role in my creative process. I feel deeply connected to the land in particular, with many of my poems set against the landscapes of central and western Queensland.

I enjoy working with the idea of examining the complexities of human relationships against these settings. Sometimes I will start a poem with a landscape in my mind and this will later become the base for the layering of the storytelling component. When simple, powerful stories develop on these canvases that is when I really begin to feel my poems ‘sing’.  While the process of writing poetry usually starts in an organic, sensory way it usually ends with a lot of painstaking fine tuning as I meld all the elements together.

I am inspired by the landscapes of western Queensland, and in particular the places between Toowoomba (my home town) and Mitchell (a town where my family lived for many generations) and out as far as Charleville, Blackall and Barcaldine – places where I have spent quite a bit of time.

I think because of my personal connection to these places, I get a lot of joy and satisfaction in showcasing them through words. Part of this is about wanting to share the beauty I see with others, and part of it is paying a bit of a tribute to my heritage and the pioneering bush labourers, drovers and bullock team drivers who were my grandparents and great grandparents.

Quite often it is a moment of serenity or beauty that sparks the creative process. It might be something as simple as sitting by a weir at daybreak watching tiny birds stamp signatures in the red dust or admiring a flock of black cockatoos propped in an enormous river gum like some kind of strange and beautiful fruit that strikes a chord and either becomes a metaphor for a story that is developing or which is just a beautiful picture in its own right waiting to be painted in words.

I think the extreme and sometimes desolate beauty of these places helps me to connect more deeply to different concepts particularly around the theme of human relationships – like the way connections between people are tested through processes like loving and losing.

There is nothing like the ‘big sky country’ in central Queensland to create the perfect environment for this sort of thinking. More often than not it is just the quiet and the relative emptiness of journeys in between places that inspires creative thinking in me. I find that I can draw deeply on my own experiences, and my observations while at the same time being in tune with the landscapes that are unfolding around me. Simply driving west seems to bring me into an incredibly rich creative space, because of the connection I feel to the land.

In my poems I try and bring the reader with me to the places where the story is unfolding. I like them to feel – if not connected to, then aware of – the environment I am describing by using words and visual arrangements to evoke the senses. I tend to write in a detailed manner, finding the perfect descriptors and then reshaping the lines until they glow and reflect my concept and vision.

I like discovering beauty in little ‘polaroid moments’ and have written poems about very simple experiences, like observing how the first light of the morning inhabits an outback town or the tiny ways in which the landscape changes and prepares ahead of an approaching summer storm.

For me it’s ninety percent about getting the level of detail right, choosing the right words and then piecing the elements together to help transport the reader to these settings and moments. The other ten percent comes from my personal passion and joy and love for the natural environment, helping me to complete the connection.

by Vanessa Page

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

Saddle Dreaming
             for Billy Page
 
Out here, he might find the shape of her face
in a night basin speckled with stars
 
just by purchasing shares in the thought of her,
a lifetime south in Gunggeri territory
 
Wife
 
She’s a vignette back there, with five children
topped and tailed in two small rooms,  
shadow-formed; getting by on instinct
 
Sleep pulls through her like an accordion.
 
Next time, before regret can come into it
he might leave off the drink, and whisper her
a homecoming as sweet as wood-smoke
 
Next time
 
A dog’s bark slices through the morning pink,
as day cups the edges of the Gulf country
 
It won’t be long now, til it begins again
 
Saddle dreaming drenched in sun violence,
and the miles of emptiness drawn out between.

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

Vanessa Page is a Rosewood-based poet who hails from Toowoomba in Queensland.Vanessa is a frequent reader at Brisbane’s SpeedPoets events and was one of the featured poets at QPF’s Riverbend Poetry Series in 2011. Her work has been published at kipple, bluepepper, SpeedPoets zine and in the 2010 Central Coast Poets Inc Anthology. She won the USQ Poetry Prize in 2011 & 2010, and in 2009 was runner up at the Ipswich International Poetry Feast. Vanessa will be one of two poets published in Brisbane New Voices III, which will be released in April 2012.

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Riverbend Poetry Series II – Julie Beveridge

Just two more sleeps until the deck of Riverbend Books lights up with the words of local poetic shape-shifter David ‘Ghostboy’ Stavanger; new voice, Vanessa Page; the award winning Max Ryan and Brisbane lady of words, Julie Beveridge.

Julie is an emerging poet. She is the Program and Services Manager for Queensland Writers Centre and was Festival Director for the Queensland Poetry Festival in 2008 and 2009. Julie is an active member of the Brisbane poetry community and is passionate about innovation in the promotion and distribution of new work to audiences. Julie has been a feature artist at the Queensland Poetry Festival: spoken in one strange word; Byron Bay Writers Festival; Brisbane Writers Festival; Tasmanian Poetry Festival and the Sydney Writers Festival: 2006 Word Wrestling Federation SLAM as well as reading at various arts events throughout Queensland, Melbourne and Vancouver. Her latest collection, Home is where the Heartache is (Small Change Press), is her first collection of haibun. As she has been promising for several years now, her follow up collection home{sic} is still under development.

Here’s a recent poem:

by way of explanation– a letter to my former self

i

in that pivotal moment
overcome by language

longing    surrender   fatality

all too vast to even whisper

vast

like ocean liners appearing in a landscape
distant and unassuming
evolved from nautical miniatures
into colossal water vessels that
carry the wealthy and retired
who secretly hate to travel
but who live like sharks
swimming
swimming

ii

words
fused to the walls of my memory
rocks weight the pockets of suicidal expectations as the water rises

suddenly I cannot describe the soft white flesh of the ripe green pear

iii

the precise moment I can’t exactly pinpoint
cannot articulate the second when the
thought of a poem became infinite
cannot recall the shift of sky (though probably grey)
or the correct mass of expectation
i have placed upon myself (though probably heavy
to the point where you need a hand
outstretched kindly
to help you lift it)
can probably recall my husband
quiet supportive and over achieved
facing me with the simplicity of a man waiting at an open door
with tea in one hand and toast in the other
though he may not have been physically present

iv

consumed with the figure of myself
that i thought had been painted on my behalf
by some gorgeous designer who wears
off shade single breasted suit jackets
to hide his gentle breast line
but that was really self drawn and
unflatteringly inaccurate

v

later in the bathroom
a wet moth takes solace
in the cool ice white tile
before getting sucked
into the exhaust fan

so swiftly
not even the moth
it turns out
knew it was turning
to dust

If you haven’t already got yourself a ticket, here’s all the details:

Date: Tuesday 19 April
Location: Riverbend Books, 193 Oxford St. Bulimba
Time: Doors open for the event at 6pm for a 6:30pm start
Tickets: $10 available through Riverbend Books and include sushi and complimentary wine. To purchase tickets, call Riverbend Books on (07) 3899 8555 or book online at http://www.riverbendbooks.com.au/Events/2491/Riverbend+Poetry+Series

Hope to see you all there,

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Riverbend Poetry Series II – Max Ryan

It’s only a week away until the second event in the Rivernbend Poetry Series is here, so if you haven’t got your tickets, check the details below and make sure you snap one up. This is a poetry line up that is bound to light up the deck – Vanessa Page, David Stavanger, Julie Beveridge & from just across the border, award winning poet, Max Ryan.

Max Ryan’s collaborative CD with musician Cleis Pearce has received several music industry awards. He has twice won the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival Poetry Prize and been short-listed for the Newcastle Poetry Prize. His  first book Rainswayed Night won the 2005 Anne Elder Award. His latest collection Before the Sky won the Picaro Press Poetry Prize.

His words sift deep into life and are full of power and insight.
                                                                                      – Judith Beveridge

Here’s a recent poem from Max:

 

krishna

leaps out from behind a tin awning everywhere I look baba I no find you

he says stealing me a sweet from a vendor’s barrow here baba all thing

shine together as I follow his stop-start shuffle down kolkata alleyways

out to chaplin square where a wedding band oomphas round the corner

and a stray dancer twirls on dusty sandals and laughs into the hazy air

laughs till a beggar takes my arm whispering long life too much money

in three week many thanks ten rupee holding me by the arm hissing his

mad mantra all the way down to chor bazaar closed now except for the

lights of a chai stall where a man with a trolley for legs rolls out from

under a table and points to where krishna sits against a wall come come

krishna calls this ground my home baba this my mother krishna one day

shining in saffron robes saddhu beard and trident next day rough-shaven

a tilted fez hawaiian beach shirt and trousers krishna face swollen blue

from one more police bashing come come baba you want charas very

cheap come come very best I find you krishna leading me through smoke

of evening coal fires along to mirza ghalib street where two young

ecstatics sit cross-legged on a blanket wailing to the dim city sky willing

their bodies away from this world of men made of straw bismillah they

sing may the lord deliver us tonight bismillah take us into his final sweet

flame do not trust this krishna a washed-up sailor tells me through the

mist of his steaming chai do not trust this man

 

Full details of the event are:

Tuesday April 19
 
Queensland Poetry Festival, QLD Writers Centre & Riverbend Books are proud to present the second event in the Riverbend Poetry Series for 2011. The April event features one of Brisbane’s finest new voices, Vanessa Page, reading from her debut collection, Memory Bone, the wildly wonderful, David Stavanger (And the Ringmaster Said), lover of all things rock’n’roll, Julie Beveridge (Home is Where the Heartache is) and Max Ryan, who’s latest collection Before the Sky won the inaugural Picaro Poetry Prize. 
 
Date: Tuesday 19 April
Location: Riverbend Books, 193 Oxford St. Bulimba
Time: Doors open for the event at 6pm for a 6:30pm start
Tickets: $10 available through Riverbend Books and include sushi and complimentary wine. To purchase tickets, call Riverbend Books on (07) 3899 8555 or book online at http://www.riverbendbooks.com.au/Events/2491/Riverbend+Poetry+Series

Get your tickets this week!

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Riverbend Poetry Series II: David Stavanger

April is here and in just over two weeks, the second event in the 2011 Riverbend Poetry Series will light up the Riverbend Deck. One of the features on the night is one of Brisbane’s most dynamic performers, David ‘Ghostboy’ Stavanger.

David Stavanger – and his bent alter ego Ghostboy – are the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde of Australian poetry. These two artists in the one skin have become known for their distinct work on both the page and the stage, with pieces published in The Courier Mail, Blue Dog, Cordite, Going Down Swinging, and The Spoken Word Revolution: Redux (USA, 2nd Ed) as well as performing work live on ABC & Triple J radio. Their first book & CD Station to Station was released in 2006.  David’s first solo book, And the Ringmaster Said… was released to good reviews through Small Change Press (2008), the independent South-East QLD imprint he co-started in 2006 with poet Graham Nunn. A live hybrid of performance poetry, spoken weird theatre & surrealist soundscapes they have both been a feature at many major festivals including Brisbane Writers, Sydney Writers, Byron Bay Writers, Tasmanian Poetry, Broken Hill Poetry, Woodford Folk Festival, and QLD Poetry Festivals as well as featuring as part of NightWords at the Sydney Opera House.  David is fresh back from a spoken word/poetry tour of the US, funded by Arts QLD. You can check out more of his work at www.myspace.com/davidstavanger

If you have had the live David/Ghostboy experience, then you are in for something out of the box. Here’s a recent poem:

Sleep, hit me (a response to Blue Velvet)

a.

first key opens the door. this
key unlocks the night. when
you enter, the room, it has no
corners. her voice falls down
the hall. lock up the tears.
young water breaks here.

there is a black scar across my blue heart

b.

on Lincoln, we shot the breeze
under winter trees. in these woods
I tried to be frank, we curious cats,
your skirt sang like a fire engine.
open enough boxes, you soon discover
the siren behind every door.

kiss me. don’t kiss me. kiss me.

c.

stay in the car. stay hard to the
wheel. wait for my call. don’t
answer the phone. hit the horn.
never brake. matches lit burn.

she watches him leap the stairs
like a man on fire. her desire to
not find answers is lost before
the sandman gathers the creases.
sleep, hit me.

in dreams we are not together / we are not alone

d.

on Lt Williams desk are two phones,
police radios knife the air. he can’t tell
you where this is heading but he can tell
you when it will start. “you can call her
pretty” he says “cause’ pretty girl graves
aren’t deep”. fat chance dances on a rooftop.

when Frank arrives he never comes.
he is leather, he is the fucker, he is love.
some people wear masks to surprise
the senses, others don’t wear fear at all.
he smells of well heeled jacks at the spring ball.

the teeth aren’t the problem / he will cut you with his eyes

 

Full details of the event are:

Tuesday April 19
 
Queensland Poetry Festival, QLD Writers Centre & Riverbend Books are proud to present the second event in the Riverbend Poetry Series for 2011. The April event features one of Brisbane’s finest new voices, Vanessa Page, reading from her debut collection, Memory Bone, the wildly wonderful, David Stavanger (And the Ringmaster Said), lover of all things rock’n’roll, Julie Beveridge (Home is Where the Heartache is) and Max Ryan, who’s latest collection Before the Sky won the inaugural Picaro Poetry Prize. 
 
Date: Tuesday 19 April
Location: Riverbend Books, 193 Oxford St. Bulimba
Time: Doors open for the event at 6pm for a 6:30pm start
Tickets: $10 available through Riverbend Books and include sushi and complimentary wine. To purchase tickets, call Riverbend Books on (07) 3899 8555 or book online at http://www.riverbendbooks.com.au/Events/2491/Riverbend+Poetry+Series

These events are always hugely popular, so book early to avoid disappointment!

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Riverbend Poetry Series II: Vanessa Page

The second event in the Riverbend Poetry Series is edging closer and it is another stellar line up of poets that will light up the Riverbend Deck on Tuesday April 19. Taking the stage on the night will be David ‘Ghostboy’ Stavanger, Julie Beveridge, Max Ryan and emerging Brisbane poet, Vanessa Page.

Vanessa Page is a Rosewood-based poet who hails from Toowoomba in Queensland. Memory Bone is her first collection of poetry and is due to be published in 2011 by PressPress

Vanessa is a frequent reader at Brisbane’s SpeedPoets events and has been a feature poet at 2010’s Poetry Author Month readings at Avid Reader bookstore in West End.

Her work has been published at kipple, the bluepepper, SpeedPoets zine and in the 2010 Central Coast Poets Inc Anthology. She won the USQ Poetry Prize in 2010 and in 2009 was runner up at the Ipswich International Poetry Feast.

Vanessa will be reading from Memory Bone on the night, so if you are yet to have the pleasure here is a poem by Vanessa to introduce you to her words.

Christmas, 1982

We are kiss curls wet under
paper crowns, sun licked noses over
seersucker cloth, and milk teeth
nibbling corners off white Christmas

Skin poached by December and
hands burnt blue in the mouths of
concrete laundry tubs, fishing
for the last creaming soda 

In bullet heat, the fig tree is
a tangle of arms and legs and
skinny tinsel is threaded loose
through may bush spindles
 
We are barefoot over bindii eyes,
blurs melted into photo paper
squares, lips smiling over icy pole
slicks and fossilised in tangerine

We carve our initials deep into
asbestos cement off-cuts for
safekeeping, and bury them with
memories under the mulberry tree.

                        **********

Full details of the event are:

Tuesday April 19
 
Queensland Poetry Festival, QLD Writers Centre & Riverbend Books are proud to present the second event in the Riverbend Poetry Series for 2011. The April event features one of Brisbane’s finest new voices, Vanessa Page, reading from her debut collection, Memory Bone, the wildly wonderful, David Stavanger (And the Ringmaster Said), lover of all things rock’n’roll, Julie Beveridge (Home is Where the Heartache is) and Max Ryan, who’s latest collection Before the Night won the inaugural Picaro Poetry Prize. 
 
Date: Tuesday 19 April
Location: Riverbend Books, 193 Oxford St. Bulimba
Time: Doors open for the event at 6pm for a 6:30pm start
Tickets: $10 available through Riverbend Books and include sushi and complimentary wine. To purchase tickets, call Riverbend Books on (07) 3899 8555 or book online at http://www.riverbendbooks.com.au/Events/2491/Riverbend+Poetry+Series

These events are always hugely popular, so book early to avoid disappointment!

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