Wednesday, December 31, 2014

So endeth the year

2014-12-23 18.08.59 So glad to see the end of 2014.

It wasn’t all bad, indeed creatively it was a really good year.  Getting nominated and winning two Ditmars was perhaps the highlight. Growing as a poet and getting some paid publishing credits to my name was very rewarding.

I became an uncle again. I attended conventions, met some long time friends for the first time in the flesh. I did lose about 20 kilos which I need to keep reminding myself about, because its slipped my mind as an achievement this year.

The end of the year came with disappointments and illness.  I didn’t get a job that would have set me up for the next few years and I underwent treatment for some health issues that seemed to come from nowhere, but which after reflection I can see have been a long time coming.

I participated in the Australian Women Writers Challenge for the third year running and will need to compile that and a gender audit of my reading and reviewing for the year.   I read more poetry and discovered more poets.

I am still reading for the Aurealis Awards and that has been rewarding and educational.  I recommend saying yes if you get the chance.

So until I have the wherewithal to write again, please have a happy and safe new year.

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Celebrities, poetry and the policing of creativity

I read the the following article by Myf Warhurst Celebrities, do your worst with verse – just don't call it poetry at the Guardian and it grated ever so slightly.  Sure I don’t like Gina Rhinehart’s poetry, but it is poetry- technically poor poetry, offensive to the ear perhaps but it is poetry.  I tend to agree with Anthony Lawrence’s opinion on Clive Palmer’s poetry as well ie :

“I really celebrate the fact he’s done it, I love the fact he’s taken the time and care to explore his emotions and his affections for someone in verse and I think that’s a big deal. Most people stop writing poetry in high school and move on and he clearly had something to say and felt poetry was the best vehicle for that.” – Source: Guardian.

Jimmy Franco, I haven’t heard but I’m sure there’s much that’s worse and better.

The reason why I didn’t write poetry for a long time is because if the weight of expectation attached to it, both personally and by the public - whether they have read anything published in the last 50 years or not. 

It’s only with the encouragement of friends that I was able to start writing and start writing bad poetry, stuff that makes me cringe.  But I began to get better and I began to read more, began to realise that our most lauded poets wrote some absolute clangers at some stage. Half the time I feel like I am an apprentice to an absent master. The other half I just enjoy expressing something about my life, an observation etc.

I’d rather people wrote more poetry, talked more poetry.  Sent doggerel into newspapers, had fun with words.

Your thoughts?

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