Poetry at the Pub Feature

Poetry at the Pub is a lovely institution.  The Newcastle one has been going for some 35 years and the sessions are generally well-attended, genial, warm and inclusive.  Since Covid, there is an online option so poets and poetry lovers from everywhere can join in, read their work, and support one another – and it is really very supportive.  Each session has a feature poet and I’m delighted to be the next feature, reading solely from my new book Bobish. I’ll be talking about the book, about my great-grandmother Rebecca Lieberman, the subject of the book and her story and would love for you to join in, in person or online.  The session will be held on Monday, February 20th 7 PM – 10 PM at the Wickham Park Hotel, 61 Maitland Road, Islington. Full details are here: https://www.facebook.com/events/774065320813280/?ref=newsfeed

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Talking Maurice Sendak and Creativity at The Writer Laid Bare

I’ve been following Lee Kofman’s excellent blog The Writer Laid Bare for a while now, so I was delighted when she invited me to contribute a post about one author who has had an influence on my writing practice. I was listening to The Book Show with Claire Nichols today and in her introduction to her interview with Paul Jennings she said that the books you read as a young child really shape your worldview. I agree fully and in this piece I talk about why and how Maurice Sendak’s children’s books have really shaped my creativity. Check it out here:

Fear as a Tool for Creativity: A Guest Post by Magdalena Ball (leekofman.com.au)

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Interview with Mirta Ines Trupp

Author Mirta Ines Trupp and I had a fascinating conversation about Bobish, Rebecca’s story and what drew me to it, the immigrant experience in general, why I chose to write in verse, the complexity of retelling one’s history and lots more (the interview was picked up by the Jewish Book Carnival as part of their January roundup). You can check it out here: https://mirtainestruppauthor.com/2022/12/26/authors-interview-with-magdalena-ball/

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The Next Best Book Blog

I am reading a poem from Bobish titled “Ocean Mandala” as part of The Next Best Book Blog (TNBCC) audio series “The Authors Read. We Listen.”   The terrific blog focuses on small publishers and is well work an explore (I’ve spent far too many hours on there reading through Q&As and reviews).  You can check it out here: http://thenextbestbookblog.blogspot.com/2023/01/the-audio-series-bobish.html

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My new book is available now!

Though it doesn’t officially come out until Jan (and the actual in-person launch will be at the Newcastle Writers Festival in April), you don’t have to wait!  Bobish is now available from good book stores everywhere (and if your store or library–yes, I’d love you to get it from the library– doesn’t have it, please ask for it by name or ISBN 9781925571601). If you’re in Aus, the best place to get the book is directly from my publisher: Puncher & Wattmann

Otherwise of course the book is available through all the major book buying channels, Amazon, B&N, Book Depository, etc.  Just type in Bobish and you’ll find it quick smart.  If you’ve got a reading group and want me to come chat about any number of things – history, writing trauma, poetry and history, poetry and memoir, or really anything at all, just let me know.  I’ve got a few of those lined up for 2023 and I’m very excited about doing that.  I’ve appended back cover information below including some of the gorgeous blurbs I’ve received from my early (and rather wonderful) readers.

Though she was only fourteen years old, like many other Jews in Eastern Europe’s Pale of Settlement in 1907, Rebecca Lieberman gathered her few belongings and left for the United States. What follows is a unique and poetic story of history, war, mysticism, music, abuse, survival and transcendence against the back drop of New York City in the 20s, 30s, and 40s.

‘A fourteen-year-old girl is launched by pogroms and poverty into the New World, fearful and alone. How can she know that her great-granddaughter would weave her story, through imagination and a careful reading of history, into a poetic gift to her memory, and for many more generations to come?’
~ Ramona Koval

‘Magdalena Ball’s powerful re-imagining of her great-grandmother’s life, from crossing the ocean in steerage, alone, at the age of fourteen, to the hardships of immigrant life in New York, is a vivid, lyrical portrayal of a woman that is as much an act of love as it is the preservation of a life, with its lessons of quiet courage in the face of crushing despair.’ ~ Charles Rammelkamp

‘The importance of remembering is a cornerstone of the Jewish faith and in this account of the author’s Jewish great-grandmother as she navigates her life of exile, each scene is both clear eyed and evocative, poetic and down to earth, empathetic and far reaching. A marvellous, nourishing book of resilience.’ ~Judy Johnson

‘In Bobish Magdalena Ball picks up the thread that connects us to our ancestors weaving it into the fabric of family memory and public history, creating an intensely vivid and evocative work. A narrative montage of exquisite poems, where choices are funnelled by pogroms, racism, pain, poverty, hope, and nourished by music and family. It was a deeply moving experience to read this book.’ —Beth Spencer

‘Magdalena’s stirring poems are unsettlingly familiar and eerily transcendent. The persistence, the endurance, the quiet resignation, somehow amounts to the telling of a small woman who is nothing less than mighty.’ ~Gillian Swain

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QLD Ekphrasis Challenge

I’m stunned and delighted to report that my poem “Soil Horizon (O)” has been chosen as one of the winners of this year’s

Queensland Regional Art Awards (QRAA) Ekphrasis Challenge by judge Marjon Mossammaparast. The poem was a response to Helen Deniss’ beautiful award-winning artwork “Resilience”. All of the winners can be read and viewed at the Qld Poetry website: https://www.qldpoetry.org/qraa-ekphrasis-challenge-copy and my own piece can be read in full here: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/605d85f92ea1c36bf259971f/t/63951f56fdd1fe1c9049a8f7/1670717270782/Soil+Horizon+%28O%29_Magdelena+Ball.pdf

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Pocketry

Delighted to be featured reading and talking about my poem “Eastern Whip Bird” from The Density of Compact Bone on the marvellous Pocketry podcast with a beautiful explication by host Indrani Perera. https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-zatwm-1307f12

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2023 NWF/joanne burns Microlit Award Finalist

I’m thrilled to be included among the finalists in the 2023 Newcastle Writers Festival/Joanne Burns Microlit Awards.  I’m particularly excited about this award for several reasons, including the fact that this is a local, Hunter based prize, run by two organisations I greatly admire, and because the list of finalists is so very fine. Winners of the National and Hunter categories will be announced early in 2023 and the award ceremony and launch will be held in April at the Newcastle Writers Festival (at which I will be very happily spending the weekend as per usual).

2023 NWF/joanne burns Microlit Award

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Poets from NORTH . EAST . WEST . SOUTH

I’ve been invited to join this exceptional line up of poets next Wed 30th Nov 2022, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm at the Knox Street Bar in Chippendale (21 Shepherd St). The line up includes David Adès, Afeif Ismail, Oscar Douglas, Willo Drummond, Emily Duff, Priyasha Janhavi, Gareth Jenkin, Mark Mordue, Kavita Nandan, and Alec James Wright. Tickets for the event, which can be attended in person or via the professional livestream, can be purchased here: https://events.humanitix.com/news-poets-from-the-north-east-west-south

Live stream link: https://poetrysydney.org/2022/11/11/n-e-w-s-poets-from-north-east-west-south/?fbclid=IwAR3IYa8gBkNPYCFHVBE1FUAoZJRqxW8XDT2Afzd49Gk-bvC0Cy43nc1TQj4

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Book launch and exhibition bash

I’ll be part of the launch team for Kit Kelen‘s new bilingual (Esperanto/English) poetry collection and painting exhibition November 27th at the Shop Gallery in Glebe, 112 Glebe Point Road at 2pm.

Rompitaj Labirintoj / Bung Mazes brings word and image together, in an abstract meditation on the situation of refugees in the world today.

A bung maze is what the asylum seeker must negotiate in order to find a new home in an unknown place. These pictures and poems offer a largely abstract meditation on the situation of the refugee.

The book will be launched in English by Jonathan Shaw
and in Esperanto by Jonathan Cooper
Readings by the author in Esperanto and English
M/C for the event – Richard James Allen

My job is to conduct a roaming/creative conversation throughout (you’ll have to come along to see what kinds of surprise questions I will be coming up with to keep things interesting!).  Kit and friends will be making music to accompany the proceedings. I don’t plan on singing at this stage but you never know.

 

 

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