Writers for the Voice

The Uluru Statement From the Heart painting. (Image credit: The Uluru Dialogue)

On the 14th of October, Australia is holding a referendum which seeks to alter the constitution to recognise the First People’s of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.  It’s a very simple yes/no question and I guess it won’t surprise anyone that I’m firmly on the “Yes” side.

It seems extraordinary to me that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples aren’t already recognised in the Constitution as the first people’s of Australia, and don’t already have a say on laws and policies that specifically impact on them.  As soon as I heard about Writers for the Voice, I was delighted to join them. The website is incredibly informative, well pulled together and a great way to find out more about what is really a very simple, and important change that is long overdue. https://writersforthevoice.com.au/background.

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Sept Poetry Night at Sappho

I’ve long been keen to join in the exceptional list of poets who have read at Sappho Books’ famous poetry nights and it’s finally happening.  On Tues the 12th of September I’ll be appearing with the wonderful Ali Whitelock, Rico Craig and Vivian Pham. The event is free, and if you get there by 630, you’ll be able to sign up for the open mic and join in the fun (or just come along and snap your fingers!).  Drinks and tapas will be served at Sappho’s terrific bar.  You can get all the details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/841640817276713/?ref=newsfeed

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Live poets at Don Bank

Live Poets at Don Bank has been running in North Sydney for over 28 years and on on Wed the 27th of September, I’ll be one of two featured poets, appearing along with the inimitable Kit Kelen. The session will take place at Don Banks Cottage/Museum on 6 Napier St, North Sydney, 7:30-10:30pm. Kit and I will be reading poems from our most recent poetry books and talking about mothers, grandmothers, DNA, Flying Islands Press and a whole lot more.  Entry $10 includes supper and drinks.  Please come along and join us – either sharing your own work in the open section, or asking us hard questions in the Q&A! I don’t think you need to prebook – just show up.

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The Art of Touch

Very pleased to have a poem, “Common Ground”, in a new anthology The Art of Touch: A Collection of Prose and Poetry from the Pandemic and Beyond Edited by Joan Schweighardt and Faye Rapoport DesPres.  This collection contains a number of essays and poems that explore the importance of touch. The book is being released by the University of Georgia Press and will be available in bookstores on the 1st of November.  More details can be found here: https://ugapress.org/book/9780820365336/the-art-of-touch/

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Jewish Women of Words

An article of mine about Bobish and the impossibility and magic of history is now up on Jewish Women of Words:

Recording My Great Grandmother’s History

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History Illuminated

On the 2nd of September I get to chat with 2 legends in one day and you get to come along and join in for a gold coin donation!  First off is none other than Kate Grenville, who will be joining me to discuss her latest book Restless Dolly Maunder which is about Kate’s formidable grandmother which fans might remember from Kate’s book about her mother, One Life.  You can join us at Charlestown Library 2-3pm.  For more information and to book tickets (which are free to book – you pay your $1 or $2 coin at the door), here: https://library.lakemac.com.au/Events/Restless-Dolly-Maunder-Kate-Grenville-in-conversation Directly following on from Kate Grenville at 3:15 I have a session with the fabulous Jean Kent, whose new book, The Shadow Box, is, like my Bobish, a narrative verse memoir.  In Jean’s case The Shadow Box was inspired by the experiences of her maternal grandparents, George and Jean Campbell, during and shortly after World War I and we will delve into why poetry is such a good medium for historical memoir, why we call it memoir, and much more.  Jean’s poetry is, to put it simply, utterly gorgeous, and I am so excited about both of these sessions.  Please do come join us in Charlestown if you’re able.

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Sydney Jewish Writers Festival!

Another impending event is the Sydney Jewish Writers Festival!  Have you seen the program? I’m plotzing myself with joy to be part of this.  I’ve got two events, both on Sunday the 27th of August.  The first is 830am when I’ll be joining Sukha Mukha Yoga director and yoga instructor Idit Hefer Tamir for “Poetry and the Body”.  The second session is at 230pm, where I’ll be moderating a panel titled “Women on the Verge” with powerhouse authors Katia Ariel, Elise Esther Hearst and Kerri Sackville.  I’m knee deep in Katia, Elise and Kerri’s most recent books and I can tell you that this is going to be a session like no other you’ve attended.  The rest of the program is also wonderful.  Go, now, and get tickets – they’re selling like latkes: https://www.shalom.edu.au/event/sjwf-2023/

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Love lines

I am so very blessed to have lots of upcoming events. The first is Love lines, run by The Salons, an absolutely gorgeous organisation that curates boutique festivals of art-after-hours in artist-run venues, galleries and community spaces of inner Sydney.  They do such amazing shows, and the next one is happening at the Chrissie Cotter Gallery in Camperdown, running from Thursday 10 August — Sunday 27 August 2023.  I’ve been working closely with multimedia artist Ieva Clive, writing ekphrastically through her beautiful art, and our piece will be displayed as part of the program – you can see it in the gallery any day through the show, but I’m also in conversation on Sunday the 13th of August at from 2-4pm with my dear friends Gillian Swain and Angie Contini – Angie is also the Salons curator –  to do some poetry performance that will include reading and discussion of the works, the process of this unique experiment, and deeper question regarding the power play between words and images. I’m so excited about it.  You do need a ticket to attend our event, but they are very reasonably priced with concessional rates, and all tickets include refreshments (that’s physical as well as intellectual :-)).  Hope to see you there!  https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/love-lines-conversation-performance-with-gillian-swain-magdalena-ball-tickets-665813976527

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Liquid Amber Press Poetry Prize

I’m very pleased to have been long listed in the 2023 Liquid Amber Press Poetry Prize. Judges Ann M. Carson, Rose Lucas and Reneé Pettitt-Schipp chose the long list out of hundreds of submissions written to this year’s provocation of ‘Home.’  Short List will be announced on 5 August and winners announced on 12 August, with the anthology launched via Zoom on the 30 November.  The full long list can be found here: https://liquidamberpress.com.au/2023/07/14/2023-poetry-prize-long-list-announced/

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ArtsHub Australia – article on competition entry fees

Thuy On has written a thoughtful and balanced piece on competition entry fees for ArtsHub Australia in which, along with many other writers, I am quoted. You can read the whole piece, which is very timely, here: https://www.artshub.com.au/news/features/competition-entry-fees-are-they-worth-the-costs-2644544/

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