Finally. How long has it been since my last confused and bemused post on returning to the grey streets of Melbourne? Too long. So, of course, there’s a bit of an unhealthy build-up of news. I myself don’t like to read long tracts of text on the internet, so I’ll try not to afflict you too much with the blowing of my own trumpet.
Before that, a few reading recommendations. First, Robert Pinsky’s deceptively deep and broad short book, written in reflecting on the impact of the USA’s Favourite Poem Project, Democracy, Culture and the Voice of Poetry. Pinsky has a lot of intelligent things to say about exactly what it is that poetry is and does, in distinction to other artforms, but especially in its unique role in the culture, its ability to reconcile the individual and communal. Read it.
I’d also say hunt down, at any cost, the poetry of Eunice De Souza. A wise, courageous, precise poet from Pune, India, who I read in an Oxford anthology while I was in India.
And, go and see Kafka’s Monkey at the Malthouse. A provocative, multi-layered allegory, performed in stunning physicality by Kathryn Hunter. If you want it reduced, it’s about the process and cost of becoming human.
OK, so now me. I’ve just come back from the Woorilla Poetry Prize. Congratulations Bob Morrow on winning. I carried away the runner-up certificate, but also the glow of being in good company. Kevin Gillam had two poems commended (Hi, Kevin, if you’re out there!).
The other thing that’s just arrived this week is confirmation of the Australian Poetry Centre’s Cafe Poet in Residence program. It’s extended to (now) five of us in Melbourne. After A Minor Place in Brunswick mysteriously baulked, I approached a little joint on Albert St, La Paloma. Actually, perhaps I shouldn’t say who they are. They’re not interested in publicity. It’s a lowwcal place for lowwcal people… Great coffee, and a place to sit regularly and write, and watch, and write, and listen, and be… Thankyou APC. Check out http://www.australianpoetrycentre.org.au/?page_id=379 or http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cafe-Poets/6899549657 for more.
I also won the Rosemary Dobson Prize for an unpublished poem, for Secessionist. http://www.arts.act.gov.au/pages/images/Secessionist.pdf
Oh, please, that’s enough!… 😉