A great time was to be had at this year’s Castlemaine State Festival. Absolute favourites were staying with my gorgeous friends in “the west wing”, getting to know the new generation of poetry movers and shakers in the central Victorian poetry scene, catching up with the old. Loved the night-time poetry readings, the dinner, being part of the panel poetry chat with Andy Jackson, Nathan Curnow, Mike Ladd and then after that, Mike and I doing the reading, but there were so many good poems and lovely encounters PLUS I LOVE Castlemaine. Roll on 2017 festival!
Words in Winter has been a bit of a favourite over the years for me but this year’s event had two added joys. I was commended in the inaugural Venie Holmgren environmental poetry award for my poem Hygrocybe at the Terang Market and, I was invited to read and speak at Trentham, one of my favourite places on this earth.
The topic is one I am most often invited to speak on: Variations on the idea of doing death better and as usual, I use my poetry to say some of what I want to say. A fantastic interested and engaged audience. I love it when there’s way too many questions for the time frame.
It was fun to meet some of the new faces around town and a delight to meet quite a few from my days of living in Central Victoria. So thanks to Karen McCrea and your team for your hospitality and interest and for Mary and Tom Walsh for further hospitality and sharing your wisdom and experience in this field. Br B’s Bookshop was not there in my time but what a joy to discover it and sitting there waiting for a home was an Estonian novel by Sofi Oksanen When the Doves Disappeared.