“blog hop” and a few photos

A while back, I was invited into a fiendish scheme called a “blog hop” by the rather brilliant poet/playwright/storyteller Emilie Collyer.  She’s the author of “Your Looking Eyes”, a beautiful book of poems with accompanying visuals on the experience of looking.  She’s also the writer of “Once Were Pirates”, at this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival.  Her blog is here – go on, dive in…

So, what’s this blog hop?  First, it’s the answers to these questions:

1) What’s your writing process, and how does it work?

I’m not a “sit down at the desk like it’s a job” disciplined poet.  I tend to find the best poems are elusive; they require wrangling, but they also come more as an overflow out of an immersed life.  Which means, my writing process is inconsistent and sporadic and mercurial.  I do my first drafts by hand in journals (unlined pages with a blue fine-lined ballpoint, if you want to know).  I then redraft on a word processor; usually, around ten drafts or sittings, although now I’m finding I’m doing less editing, allowing the poem to have a few loose threads.

2) Why do you write what you write?

There’s more to it than this, but I write poetry because I have an unusual body – I want to recognise the value of difference, and I want to connect with others, so that the borders between us are blurred a little.

3) How do you think your work differs from that of others writing in your genre?

I try to resist thinking of myself as special; I’m not.  No-one is entirely unique.  My writing is a composite of so many people who influence me and a whole lot of intangible things.  But if pressed, I’d have to say “see 2) above”.

4) What are you working on at the moment?

I’m writing a series of poems called “Marfan Lives”, portrait poems of people who have (or are speculated to have had) Marfan Syndrome, the genetic condition I have.  This involves either research or interviews, so it’s different from my usual writing process, but it’s exciting to explore other lives/subjectivities – to try to find something within myself that resonates with each person, while respecting that at the same time I can’t presume to fully know them.

I’m also putting the final touches on a book called “Immune Systems” – poetry on medical tourism in India, as well as a suite of ghazals.  This should be out in the first half of 2015.


andy launch 1










audience launch 2












The other aspect of the “blog hop” is to pass the baton – and I’m tagging one of my favourite poets, Peter Davis.  He writes strikingly haunting poetry which is both deeply intuitive and philosophical.  He’s also a flute-playing busker, whose meditations can be found at “Words on the Wire”, here.

These photos, by the way, are from the recent launch of “the thin bridge” – a limited-edition book of poems from Whitmore Press.  Photos by the gracious Di Cousens.

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