Traumata author and academic Meera Atkinson has written a beautiful and deeply fascinating piece on Bobish and trauma, as an analytical review which explores Bobish in the context of Dr Ahona Guha’s nonfiction book Reclaim. This is such a tender reading with beautiful gems such as the description of the book as a “kind of intuitive-affective translation that “comes with its own linguistic and creative reading of the experience of others” or describes the cover image as “a young woman with the thousand-yard stare of the trauma survivor.” You can read the whole piece here: https://theconversation.com/trauma-is-trending-but-we-need-to-look-beyond-buzzwords-and-face-its-ugly-side-201564
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It doesn’t matter if you’re south or north, I’ll be in your neighbourhood. Greedy gal that I am, I’ve agreed to participate in two different literary festivals in one very busy (for me) weekend! First up is the Addi Road Writers Festival on Saturday the 20th of May. At 11:15am I’ll be part of a panel moderated by the wonderful Michaela Kalowski on the boundaries of art and motherhood, built around Edwina Preston‘s novel Bad Art Mother with Edwina and Gillian Swain. At 245 I’ll be moderating a session on the ‘literary arts of oppression and transcendence’ with Alan Fyfe, author of T, and DG Lloyd, author of Alive in Dubbo. Tickets are only $25 for the whole day of fantastic events and all proceeds go to Addi Road Food Relief.
If you’re in Newcastle or Lake Macquarie, you can come join me on Sunday the 21st of May at the Lake Macquarie Write Here festival in Belmont where I’ll be talking with Alisa Bryce and Fiona McArthur about their new nonfiction books Grounded and Aussie Midwives, and the art of nonfiction. Alisa is a soil scientist and Fiona a midwife and the author of a lot of fictional books (often with a medical theme) and I think we’ll have a lot of fun exploring our very different nonfictional genres and ways of approaching research and communication. The event requires only a gold coin donation so you can attend for a $1 – that’s Belmont Library, ngarrabangba, 19 Ernest Street, Belmont.
I’ve known Alice Allan for many years – we met as co-students of the great American poetry course ModPo – a fact Alice reminded me of when we caught up in person recently on the back of a trip to Melbourne. I enjoyed listening to this episode almost as much as I enjoyed the initial conversation and I think you will too. I tried not to say anything mean about anyone but I did end up suggesting that Kenny Goldsmith might be replaceable by ChatGPT and admitting to my difficulty with the work of John Ashbery.
I had an amazing interview with Darren Kasenkow at Australian Book Lovers in which we talked for rather a long time (that felt like minutes) about all things Bobish. You can go and listen to this gem (and subscribe to their wonderful podcast while you’re at it) here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1718602/12554858
Red Room is such a wonderful organisation. They do the most innovative things with poetry to bring it into a public view – from educational projects like Poem Forest, Mad poetry, supporting Afghanistan women through Voices in the Cage, Poetry in First Languages, poetry on toilet doors, on pigeon legs, on garden walkways, on ferries, and many other projects – take a look here: https://redroompoetry.org/projects/
As a reader I love so much of what their organisation does, so it is with great delight that I announce my shortlisting for the 2023 Red Room Poetry Fellowship. This is an extensive opportunity designed to foster poetic and professional development of an individual within the wider poetic community and includes a range of commissions, residency, recordings and publication. The poets who have shortlisted along with me include some of my absolute favourites – writers at the very top of their game – so I am humbled and happy to be among that group and delighted to help promote of all that Red Room does. The full shortlist can be found here: https://redroompoetry.org/projects/fellowship/shortlist/
The fabulous Newcastle Writers Festival is coming soon! I might be biased but I think it’s the best festival in Australia – both intimate and exciting with a very wide range of exceptional authors and such an incredible range of topics that I struggle to choose what to attend. As always I have a full roster of my own events including a big poetry launching day on the 1st of April:
3pm joint book launch with the wonderful Willo Drummond, who will be launching my Bobish and I’ll be launching her Moon Wrasse. Willo and I are good friends and a mutual admiration society so it will be a fun and exuberant session with lots of laughter and of course powerful readings.
430pm Woman of Words anthology launch featuring readings from this fund-raising collection by me, Ellen Shelley, Gillian Swain and host and the powerhouse behind the series, Janette Hoppe.
On the 2nd of April at 130pm I’ll be hosting a panel with editor Mohammad Awad and two authors – Claire Albrecht and Kristen Dunphy from the Red Room and Upswell anthology Admissions: Voices within Mental Health.
A new ekphrastic poem has been published in the exquisite Openbook magazine, published by the State Library of NSW. The poem was written for Brian Purcell’s “Cathedral Gums at Sunset” which is part of his Cathedral series. An absolute honour to have his painting wrapped around the poem.