Monday, May 19, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Tour

100_5680 I’d like to thank Jodi Cleghorn for extending the invitation to write about my writing process.  Jodi is one of those quiet achievers in the speculative fiction scene, she runs Emergent Publishing, she writes, by her own admission “dark weird shit”, has recently had a novella published and continues to surprise herself (but perhaps not those that know her) by making headway as an accidental poet.

 

What Am I working on at the moment?

In creative writing terms, my poetry.  In particular, trying to explore writing free-verse which everyone seems to write but which no one seems to provide any explicit teaching on.  Specifically though I have just finished and subbed a poem called A Shepherd Mourning,  which began its life as a Shakespearean sonnet and which I decided to write as a free verse poem after reading some essays by American Poet Lawrence Schimel. It was inspired by a glance at our local war memorial.  

My work in progress is another attempt at free verse which seems to be focussed on themes of rural abandonment again instigated by my observation of an abandoned church.

 

How do you think your work differs from that of other writers in your genre?

I have only really been writing poetry seriously for about 18 months and in that 18 months I am not sure I have even got a handle on the nature of poetry writing in Australia so how I differ I can only say in broad terms.  One noticeable difference is that I  am much more interested and pleased by poetry that uses traditional form, rhyme and metre. My first paid publication was a rhyming pantoum in iambic tetrameter, a poem that even some months on really effects me emotionally.  You can play it from the Soundcloud link to the right. In terms of themes, or genres I tend to write more realist/ observational poetry and there’s certainly a social justice angle to some of  it.

 

Why do you write what you do?

I write poetry because I find that I can hold the idea of a poem, in its entirety, in my head. I can hold the essence of what it is and then the process is just working out details.  It might take me a week to finish a poem to a first draft or considerably less if I am lucky and I don’t seem to build up the same amount of fatigue that occurs when I rip a short story apart.  I also find all parts of the process; conception, writing, revising, immensely pleasurable. 

With form poetry there’s  a degree of satisfaction in “solving the problem”, of making the poem work under constraints of metre and/or rhyme.  Usually when I finish a short story I hate it and don’t want to see it for a long time.

 

What's your writing process, and how does it work?

I carry a paper and pen everywhere I go.  Lots of things operate as a catalyst: trying new forms, reading about poetic technique, observations, the sounds of language, dialogue etc.

My current work in progress began on the back of a printed essay. I then transferred it to my Poetry Zoo account where it’s undergone several drafts.  I like to create new drafts( a feature of Poetry Zoo), because on occasion I come back to what I wrote first as being the better idea or choice of words.  Then I also transfer the most recent version to a Google document (backup, backup, backup).  When I have something solid I take it to my writing group, who have a variety of experience or I might perform it just to get some feedback. I try and work on some poetry every week, practicing and learning, stretching myself and find it easier to be inspired when I do.

 

So that’s me and as is traditional in these sort of posts I must select some new victims writers to entertain you.  So lets take a trip overseas and mention:

 

Joyce Chng (Singapore)

Joelyn Alexandria (Singapore)

The Stars Like Sand Anthology preparing for lift off

Apparently it’s a physical thing, this anthology I’m in.  One of our intrepid editors, Penelope Cottier, has a photos of it in the wild here. But it’s not quite a thing that you can own yet.  You can order it in physical or digital form from the IP website here.  It’s official release date is in June

starsFollowing up on our award-winning Voyagers: Science Fiction Poetry from New Zealand, IP has released an anthology of even wider scope showcasing the best in Australian speculative poetry from early times to the present.

Co-edited by renowned editors Tim Jones and P.S. Cottier, it features a virtual Who's Who of Australian poets including Judith Beveridge, Les Murray, Paul Hetherington, John Tranter, Diane Fahey, joanne burns, Caroline Caddy, David P Reiter, Peter Boyle, Alan Gould, Luke Davies, S.K. Kelen, Peter Minter, Jan Owen, Dorothy Porter, Philip Salom, Samuel Wagan Watson, Rod Usher, Jo Mills ... and many more!

Travel to the stars and beyond in this anthology by Australia's leading poets. Witness the end of the world, time travel to the future near or far, or teleport with a fairy or witch. 

Ghosts, dreams and strange creatures breed and mingle in these pages. 

Poetry has never been so mind-bending, or so entertaining.

 

So um yeah I’m in a collection with some really, really good Aussie poets. 

Now if you would like to get a copy signed by some of the poets you can come along to one of the launches.  I’ll be at the Melbourne launch on Friday 6th of June, details as follows:

 

Friday 6 June 2014, 6 for 6:30pm
Collected Works Bookshop
Level 1, 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Free event, book signings available!


RSVP: Phone (03) 9654 8873
or email collectedworks@mailcity.com


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Thursday, May 15, 2014

It has been exceedingly busy

100_5453 - Copy …and I have even been doing poetry related stuff.

I have just noticed that its been almost a month since I posted here. So a bit of an update on what’s been going on poetically.

  1. I attended another poetry in the pub in Gawler event.  This time with a short workshop with poet John Malone on metaphor poems. It was a fairly light workshop that I managed to pluck some interesting titbits from.  I performed an older poem, Summer Squall, which was quite apt following on from the mornings workshop.  I also tried out a work in progress that was well received (its currently awaiting rejection from one of our fine lit journals).  I was also commended on my diction and poetry performance which left me chuffed.
  2. I am meeting with some poets that are closer to me (40 minutes away as opposed to 2 hours) and we are trying to get a weekly poetry performance and critique group going at a local bohemian cafe, The Dragon’s Well, the first of these went well, we even had some audience members.
  3. I have about 5 poems out under consideration
  4. I managed to get a hold of Mary Kinzie’s A Poet’s Guide to Poetry, which seems to have some of the explicit teaching that I have been looking for in regards to free verse.
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