Monthly Archives

January 2018

Artist’s Dates in Melbourne

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There are few things I enjoy more than an artist’s date in Melbourne. Everything seems an inspiration: the beautiful old architecture the interesting new architecture and the ugly architecture in between. I enjoy the sauntering in alley ways and through the State Library and galleries. I love it if my day can end with a book event and I’ve squeezed in quite a few of these this summer.

I often call into the Immigration museum and this last visit I delved into the display on Bonnegilla, such a feature in the lives of some of the Estonian people about whom I am currently writing.

I had never heard of or seen the sculpture of The Reuniting Family created by Michael Meszaros. It is at the foot of the Rialto Towers on Collins Street. I was so moved when I saw this work. Meszaros has captured so poignantly the emotions of the family members reuniting after the father has “paved the way” in Australia.

We are familiar with this story yet I am struck by what happens to me when this sculptor conveys so compellingly this one family’s experience… one sculptor, one painter, one poet, one storyteller.

The joy of launching a book

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I am thinking of how much I love launching books. The truth is, I love going to book launches, other peoples’ …hearing the story behind the book, discovering some of the significant people and then a new book with all its promise and possibilities.

I have just launched my third book, Small Acts of Purpose and have loved each of the launches it has had. There have been three launches in Victoria. Each of the three outstanding launchers has taken a completely different approach; Anne M Carson in Melbourne, Helen Durant in Terang and last week, Mary Kerr in Port Fairy. Each was the perfect choice, for the venue, the audience and me. I relish the way each highlighted different poems, different appreciations of the book and in each case, I treasure their creative friendships.

And so now my third book of poetry is making its way in the world. This year I will take Small Acts of Purpose further afield, first to Canberra, then Estonia and onto Belfast where the first section is set.

Of course I hope they like it but in the meantime, I’ll relish the comments that have come in by text and phone call and the occasional card. I am glad the readers are finding something in it for themselves, which I think highlights the universal power of the humanity we share which is far more important than the location of particular poems.

It has taken me four years to complete each of my three poetry books, The next one is due in 2020. Now that I am writing more, perhaps it will be finished sooner and where will I be then. Will I be?  A question for the third section in my book on mortality. Every thing changes.