I’m just back from a few days at Tugun/Currumbin with my boys so there were many wonderful walks to Elephant Rock. It’s a place that ties past and present together for me like nowhere else. We had some overcast days though, so there was plenty of opportunity to write and I sat up late with an almost full moon over the surf each night. Perfect writing conditions.
The poetry stars seem to have aligned over recent weeks! Good things do seem to happen in threes … it was a complete surprise to receive news about making the Wigtown Prize shortlist for a poem called ‘Green Bathroom’—the announcement about winners is at 4:30am this coming Monday morning (Australian time) and I’ll be up early for the online prize giving event. Fingers crossed!
It was also an honour to be shortlisted for the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize for my unpublished manuscript Wolf Moon at the end of July, and in amazing company. I’m looking forward to reading the winning entry when it comes out next year in book form with UQP. Congratulations to Gavin Yuan Gao for At the Altar of Touch.
A BIG thanks to everyone who shared the launch of Wide River with me on 16 August at Tamborine Mountain—writing friends, work colleagues, neighbours, dearest school friends who made enormous efforts to be there and poetry loving and supportive members of the Tamborine Mountain community. Grateful thanks to Jock Macleod, Janis Bailey and all at Calanthe Press, my friend and outstanding poet Nathan Shepherdson for his very beautiful sentiments as he launched the book and to Janene Gardner at Under the Greenwood Tree Books and Art for hosting the event. It was a very welcome 24 hours of unwinding in the late winter sunshine, breathing in the mountain air and enjoying the generous hospitality at Amore B&B. Such a memorable time. If you would like a copy of the book, you can contact the bookshop or message me as I have a stash of copies.
Since I last posted I’ve had poems published in StylusLit, the Grieve Anthology, Antipodes, The Poets’ Republic and ‘Step Outside the Frame’, a special September issue of the Bengaluru Review. I also read ‘Survey’ as part of Queensland Poetry Festival’s (QPF) Panacea Poets series. Sincere thanks to editors Rosana Licari, Paul Kane, Neil Young/Hugh McMillan, Tuhin Bhowal, Sally Breen, to Karen Crofts, Director of the Hunter Writers Centre and to Zenobia Frost at QPF.
While it’s always a thrill to see poems in print, I’m really just grateful for the calm that writing poetry brings me when so much seems to be unraveling and times are complicated. It makes all the difference to make creative marks.