Showing posts from October, 2010

Workshops, writing and what the....

Last Saturday I went to a workshop run by the Lazy River Writers (my writing group). Each year we choose a different topic, genre and presenter for our workshop and this year it was poetry and poet Peter Bakowski.

Peter ran a great workshop. Not only did he offer up so much information (that applied to all aspects of writing, not just poetry) he gave us the opportunity to write and generously commented on each persons attempts. Writing like this in a different location, with a group of people, some known some not, is not an easy task but I was impressed with what people had accomplished in such a short piece of time. Even those that classify themselves as non-poets wrote and shared with the group.

I find workshops are a wonderful kick up the butt. They inspire, they motivate and they validate some things that quite often  I do know deep inside. Not only am I working on one of the poems I wrote during this workshop but I took home, for me, two very important ideas.

Firstly Peter sugges…

Watch how they sparkle...

Last weekend, a cold and rainy spring Melbourne weekend, I decided to abandon the garden and dive into spoken word. Not that there is much to do this end of the woods, or hills, or ranges, whatever the case may be....but there are two gigs that I do get to as much as I can, when work and life doesn't intrude.

Saturday was Stoppingallstations at Nunawading. It's a lovely venue and Carole is a very welcoming host. There is an open section (offering a wide range of great poetry) as well as a feature each month. This month it was Tiggy Johnson. Tiggy's first reading came from her newly released collection 'First Taste' - and although I know these poems quite well it's always great to hear them again, read with such style and I love watching people's reactions especially to poems such as Concluding and Solitaire.

Her second set was new poetry, mostly inspired by her major camping trip with the family around most of Australia. I was very interested to hear this, …

Slamming at the Spinning Room

What fun it was last night. Geoff Fox organised a slam- held at the Spinning Room, one great venue (thanks to John and Anthony for hosting) . It was a good crowd and dare I say some great poets.
The open mic got the poetry juices flowing (what a great open mic) and then the slam.

Some familiar faces....Michael Reynolds, one minute I'm laughing out loud at his poems, then he's got the room silent with a serious piece on family. Koraly Dimitriadis work- she memorised two poems dealing with the fragility of the everyday- some great insights.  Emily Manger memorised as well, her funny quirky thoughts on the phone and a relative had me torn between laughing and cringing. Emilie Collyer - whose work I so admire- once again delivered the goods. Her words leave me wanting more, and pondering life (in a good way).

Then to me there were some new faces and voices - and I must admit this is one of the reasons I love venturing off the mountain. It's hearing not only poets that I know a…


I was asked this recently when I worked on the mobile library. In the middle of a Storytime session (we were making musical instruments out of paper plates, dried pasta and coloured paper) one little fellow asked 'Can you drive the bus?'. Then he nodded and answered his own question. 'Yep I think you can.'

I can't drive the bus but in this boy's eyes I could. He believed in me. It was simple. Any lady that came into his life, told stories, sung songs (albeit badly) and made musical instruments all within 40 minutes, must be able to drive the bus as well.

If only we believed in our writing abilities as easily. Imagine what we could do There would be no hesitation, no thinking that so much was beyond us. We would 'delve into the darkness' as one of my TAFE teachers used to say. There would be no fear, no editor sitting on the shoulder saying 'you can't write about that. What would your mother/father/husband/wife/children/best friend say?'

It w…