Rain. Sleep. Chocolate. Family. It’s been a blissful Easter. I’ve even managed to find a couple of small windows for writing and squeezed in a bayside walk between showers. It’s good to feel the energy levels increase as the heat recedes. April is my favourite month. In fact, 2021 has exceeded expectations so far, and there have been some happy poetry peaks on the graph.
I thoroughly enjoyed being a feature poet at StAnza International Poetry Festival in March. A huge and heartfelt thanks to outgoing festival Director, Eleanor Livingstone and Programme Coordinator Annie Rutherford. It was such a buzz having my poem ‘Never Turn Your Back on the Sea’ incorporated in the Festival launch event too. There was a lot to take in at StAnza and I saw as much as I could considering the time difference. I particularly liked the daily ‘inspire’ segments and picked up some excellent ideas. There were lots of positive reviews of the festival and I congratulate all at StAnza for the positive experience.
I’ve had some poems published this year. ‘Painting the Even Air’ was included in Issue 2 of the new and thoughtful online journal, Burrow, where there was an ekphrastic theme, two poems — ‘Going Fishing’ and ‘Crossover’ — were accepted in the visually stunning Blue Bottle Journal, and I was pleased to have ‘Day of the Dead’ accepted in Not Very Quiet‘s wonderful issue themed around the concept of ‘mask’. This is a feast of incredible work by so many women poets I admire and it’s an honour to be in that list. My grateful thanks go to editors Phillip and Jillian Hall, Sean West, Moya Pacey and Sandra Renew. This week, Rochford Street Review also published — a little belatedly — the beautiful launch speech Nathan Shepherdson gave at the launch of Wide River in August last year at Under the Greenwood Tree on Tamborine Mountain. Sincere thanks to editors Linda Adair and Mark Roberts at Rochford Street Review.
It was a lot of fun reading poems two Thursdays ago at Smallroom Writers ‘Black Market Therapy’ gathering at Griffith University, Gold Coast together with colleagues, students and friends. Poet Matt Hetherington read from his new collection Kaleidoscopes (Recent Work Press, 2021) and there was amazing music — ‘gritty desert blues’ — by Bones Rivers. Really good to spend time with Sally, Stephanie, Christi and the whole Smallroom gang.
A particular highlight of 2021 has been working collaboratively with the dynamic and unstoppable Robert Campbell Henderson – photographer, printmaker and visual artist among other things! Robert responded to my poems with a triptych — a project we titled ‘Kites and Stones’. I’m looking forward so much to working on another project with Robert soon, assuming he hasn’t given up on me! This project will be bigger and I’m excited about it. Thanks Robert.