In April, my poem Cartography of Loss appeared in Islet‘s island-themed issue. It was nice to appear alongside Sonya Faint, a founding member of my Brisbane poetry group. I was lucky enough to be published with the other founding member, Chloë Callistemon, in June, when a couple of my haiku were among the finalists for the paper wasp Jack Stamm Haiku Award 2010.
More recently, my poem Man in a wingsuit was published in Eye to the Telescope‘s Australia/New Zealand issue. Speculative poetry, it’s fair to say, is a niche genre, so I was delighted to discover that a whole bunch of other poets in this neck of the woods are writing poems with a science fictional or fantastical bent.
My most exciting news, though, is that I’m appearing at the Queensland Poetry Festival (26-28th August) in little over a week’s time. It’s my first festival appearance, and at one of the biggest and best poetry festivals in Australia. QPF is the least pretentious festival of words I’ve been to, and mixes high literary poetry with down-to-earth music and street poetry. Don’t miss it, even if you can only get along to one or two sessions. The people are friendly, the venue is great, and the bookshop is loaded with rare items, including the festival anthology and my first collection Bashed Flat by Heaven, in Brisbane New Voices II.
I’m appearing in the Sunday session The Zen Method of Bingo, along with Brisbane matriarch Julie Beveridge and the very zen Matt Hetherington. I’ll also be reading a poem for A Million Bright Things on Saturday night, with every poet on the festival program, including Jacob Polley and Sawako Nakayasu. A Million Bright Things is always a highlight of the festival, and I’m really looking forward to being a part of it this year. Fellow poet and festival organiser Jeremy Thompson asked some great questions in his festival interview of me, in which I talk about why I write poetry, how PNG influences my writing, and the time I woke up in bed with a Japanese gangster.
Speaking of interviews, the wonderful speculative fiction writer Angela Slatter has recently interviewed me as well. After taking out the 2010 Aurealis Awards for Best Fantasy Short Story and Best Collection, she’s just been nominated for a World Fantasy Award for Best Collection, for Sourdough and Other Stories. In a world with shiny things everywhere, The Bones Remember Everything is one blog I make a habit of checking in on. Unlike me, she updates regularly, and her pithy injunctions about writing, along with news and interviews from the wider world of speculative fiction in Australia and overseas, are always well worth the visit.
That’s more than enough for one blog post. To coincide with QPF, and in the interests of making this blog more blog-like, I’ll be posting some poems over the next few weeks, including the above-mentioned haiku and some more poems in my Homo sapiens series. The photos above and below were taken while walking the stunning Larapinta Trail, of which more anon as well.