Several of my poems have been published in the 2020 Sappho Anthology Sappho Lives! edited by Suman Lahiry and Heidi Chappelow. The book, a beautiful collection of 40 poems by mostly local poets, has, as the title suggests, a focus on queer themes, with a striking cover designed by poet and artist Claire Albrecht.
Sappho Lives! will be launched on Monday the 21st of September at Poetry at the Pub, The Wickham Park Hotel, 61 Maitland Road, Islington. All are welcome. There may also be a possibility of attending by Zoom. Details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2310955502363048
I’m honoured to have a poem, “FKA”, included in the 2020 Australian Poetry Anthology, Vol 8, edited by Melinda Smith and Sara Saleh. The wonderful anthology, full of good work, is being launched on the 20th of July (that’s today at the time of typing!) online via Zoom, live-streamed to Australian Poetry’s Facebook Page at 7pm (AU EST), featuring readings from ACT poets Judith Nangala Crispin, Anita Patel, Isi Unikowski, and Merlinda Bobis, and from poets from across Australia including Laniyuk (NT + Vic), Shastra Deo (Qld), and Noemie Huttner-Koros (WA). There will be launch speeches by chair of Australian Poetry (ACT poet Martin Dolan) and the editors. The event also forms part of the Poetry on the Move Online festival and the ACT’s Where You Are festival. You can pick up a copy of the anthology here: https://www.australianpoetry.org/our-publications/the-members-anthology/
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I am excited to be the first non-Pitt Street Poetry poet to be invited to read for the LEGERE video poetry festival. PSP books are gorgeous (I hope one day to rectify the ‘non’ bit) and the readings have been a delight to watch and listen to. LEGERE is the Latin verb ‘to read’ (PSP likes their Latin!) and it also means light in French. Poets are asked to read one poem of their own and one poem that they love from another poet. For my other poet I chose Dorothy Porter (who else) and read the poem “Everything Becomes Mysterious” from my favourite DP book Other Worlds:
For my own poem, I read “Double Acorn” from High Wire Step:
A number of the sessions held at the Maitland Indie Festival have been recording and are now available here: https://ifmaitland.org/videos/. You can check out the session I held with the wonderful Gillain Swain and Brian Purcell on their poetry writing processes (with lots of reading) below:
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Kit Kelen invited me to have a ‘public’ conversation with him for his Daily Kit blog. We ‘spoke’ in verse, responding to one another’s poems, over the period of a few weeks and you can see the results, which covered the making of art in dark days (particularly through Covid-19 isolation), gardening (especially pumpkins), on feeling grateful, our parents and grandparents, and a whole lot more. You can check it all out, as a series of works in progress, and possible even a future collaboration in progress, here: https://thedailykitkelen.blogspot.com/2020/04/a-conversation-with-magdalena-ball.html
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It seems like a long time ago that we were battling bushfires in our backyard. Though we evacuated twice, we were lucky, and well-protected by our incredible local fire brigade – mostly volunteers. As part of the #authorsforfireys fundraising effort (which raised nearly $500k!), the wonderful people at Westerly have put together a bushfire themed issue in which they both paid authors and donated generously to a registered charity of the author’s choice. I asked for a donation to the lovely Little Oak Sanctuary because small sanctuaries were doing it tough, and continuing to do the critical work of caring for a growing number of injured and orphaned animals. This is a special issue indeed, and my poem can be read here: https://westerlymag.com.au/ash-forest/
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I love Plumwood Mountain and am so pleased to have 2 poems included in their stellar “Plant Poetics” issue. About the issue John Paul Ryan writes (in his editorial): “I am intrigued by the range of techniques and strategies adopted by contributors. Several poems invert the human-plant hierarchy with which Western societies have become so comfortable by narrating from a vegetal perspective. Such a deceptively simple move in fact constitutes a powerful means for reimagining relations between plants and people in an era of ecological collapse.” Of one of my poems, “Signals in the Wild”, Ryan says: An unresolved longing for a common language characterises Magdalena Ball’s ‘Signals in the Wild’. However, it is inevitably the human tongue that is deficient in ‘the ability to detect / volatile compounds in the air’. Ball’s poem provokes us to rethink polylingualism in terms of the languages of plants expressed organically through electrical signals, volatiles, ‘heavy metals / pathogens, gravity, heat’. These poems and others indeed coincide with emerging scientific conceptions and therefore encourage a rapprochement between ways of knowing plants. Check out the issue here: https://plumwoodmountain.com/plumwood-mountain-volume-7-number-1/ My other poem, titled “not all invasions” can be found here: https://plumwoodmountain.com/not-all-invasions/
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My poem “Technological Singularity” from Repulsion Thrust was one of three highly commended entries in the Inaugural Published Fantasy Authors Competition. The winning poem will be set to music and feature on The Lost Codex of Avalon album, which can be pre-ordered at: davidyardleymusic.com.
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