Saturday, May 19, 2012

More than a few words about Wordstorm

Last weekend was huge!!! I spent as much time as I could at wordstorm. A few times I've started on this blogpost, but it's hard to know where to start. It's like I've eaten a feast and I'm still savouring and digesting it.

So here goes... On Saturday I went to a panel called 'The Aesthetics of Poetry', which started off as a debate about performance poetry versus page poetry, got onto who cares as long as it's good poetry, then how do you define good poetry, the fact that poetry can be so bad it's actually good. A beautiful tangent where people talked about what got them into poetry, what made them fall in love with it or inspired them to want to write.

I saw Emilie Zoey Baker (one of the poets from the panel) perform at the Women of Letters Event in the afternoon. She and Clare Martin were the highlights for me. All the women of letters were very funny and entertaining, but those two left me with something more serious to think about.

On Sunday morning I went to a poetry workshop with Cathy Altmann, called 'you don't have to be a poet to write poetry'. I'm not at all a beginner poet, but I'm often stalled or floundering, a workshop can be a great kickstart. This one was held at the museum, in the maritime section, so that we could write about the boats. The idea was to write about the concrete thing, not feelings, to really pay attention to the thing and its details, and hopefully the feeling will be there underneath. It was a great workshop, just a pity that more people didn't take advangate of it - tho lucky for us who did and got heaps of attention!! (here's the proof of the pudding - I've been doing some writing this week, not boat poems but bus stop ones!) We got some great hand-outs with quotes from poets and poems, hopefully I can find a link to Missing the boat by Naomi Shibab-Nye - completely new to me- which I love.

All weekend there were readings under the trees at Civic Park (and an open air coffee shop!). I caught some of the poetry readings on Sunday afternoon - Kaye Aldenhoven and Virginia Jealous, Leni Shilton and Cathy Altmann - wonderful and I admit there were moments I was sitting there with tears running down my cheeks.

I would like to give a quick shout for Spineless Wonders Press - a new small independent publisher. I have treated myself to one of their books 'Small wonder - an anthology of prose poetry and microfiction'. I'l let you know how it is when I get to it. Check out their website, lots of interviews with writers and a novella competition...

I'd also like to mention Kim's Cubby - named in memory of NT childrens author Kim Caraher - there were readings, performances and activities for children all weekend. Thanks to Di Lucas for overseeing all this!! I led an activity of making a foam stamp to print on bookmarks. It was fun and the kids were great - 4 year olds in particular seemed to be so enthusiastic and pleased with their efforts where older children were embarrased to start drawing, and more critical of what they'd done.

So here's to living life like a 4 year old!! Hope you've had a great week. xxx

(Picture is of a bird box - my second piece for the outside the square exhibition which closes tomorrow)


  1. Beautiful box and what a week for you,

  2. I took my mother along on the Sunday and we had a ball. We wrote oodles at Leni Shilton's writing place workshop, savoured the free poetry readings in the park and finished off with backyard as fading? metaphor for Australians in the Town Hall ruins. Good to embrace it when we get it. Thanks for your post.

    1. Hi Veronica, it's lovely to hear about your wordstorm...I'm curious about the poetry workshop, I couldn't decide which one to choose!! Looking forward to 2014 already!