This Saturday, the 24th of October, 330-5pm, I’ll be one of nine poets performing at the Newcastle Library in the final event in the Stand up for Poetry program, The Language of Identity LIVE. Our work will reflect on the nature of identity and the role of language as an expression of identity. The event is free to attend, but bookings are essential: https://www.facebook.com/events/3586291861401561/ The event will also be livestreamed via the Newcastle Libraries Facebook page. The livestream is open to all and no bookings required for that.
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/
I’m very pleased to have two poems: “Migration is as Risky as Love” and “A Voice to Shatter Glass” in this month’s issue of The Blue Nib. Check them out here: https://thebluenib.com/2-poems-by-magdalena-ball/
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:
You can check out all of the LEGERE readings here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYtSvjO3cM8XvelGYDR7ONQ
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:
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
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/
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/
I’ve been in conversation with the wonderful Joan Schweighardt over at Occhi Magazine. Joan and I talk about many things, including why I started Compulsive Reader, my books and their themes, my day job, and even which of my novels would make the best film (I’m afraid I went so far as to cast the protagonists), and lots more. Check it out here: https://occhimagazine.com/occhi/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Logo-BG-1.png