In the Pines

I’m a couple of days behind on this one, but I’ve had a lot on at uni and work. Last Sunday I went to the RTRfm (local radio station) ‘In the Pines’ event at the University of Western Australia. This featured over 20 Perth bands performing alternatively in 30 minute lots on two separate stages.

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I arrived early with a friend and set up a picnic blanket for lunch. The area where the audience sits or stands is surrounded by pine trees, hence ‘In the Pines’. After lunch, I laid back with my head on a cushion, staring up at the clouds floating tranquilly over tree tops as the music pounded through the earth and reverberated through my body. I also napped for about 20 minutes, because Im getting old and the sun was deliciously warm!

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Once night fell, we packed the blankets away and took to standing closer to the stage.

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My favourite bands, in order of preference: The Love Junkies, Doctopus, and April Rain. A big favourite with the crowd was Jebediah. I’m going to be heading out to see more of The Love Junkie’s gigs around Perth real soon. Wow!

 

 

The whole event was recorded live and you can listen to it here, if you feel so inclined. This was my first time In the Pines and I will go again. Lots of fun! And a slight bit of carefree stupidity on my part 🙂

What happens in the pines, stays in the pines!

On the way home, RTRfm played an awesome rap song called White Sugar. Turns out it was by none other than Mathas, who hangs out at the Moon café. I’ve heard him recite his rap poetry, and its good, but putting music to it makes it even better.

An excellent weekend all round.

Till next time, thanks for reading.

Wendy Beach

 

 

 

 

 

My First Feature Poet Performance & The 2017 Vic Park SLAM!

 

My Feature Spot at the Perth Poetry Club

Happy Easter to everyone. What a busy day and night it has been. I did my first performance as a feature poet at the Perth Poetry Club. Of course, I was nervous. But about half way through something within me clicked. I think it was the first time I felt the poetry rising (almost spiritually) from within me—not as something I was performing, but something I was being, or that it was a physical presence and I was merely a vessel for it. I am very honoured that the Perth Poetry Club’s ‘Overlords’ gave me the opportunity to have ten minutes at the mic, to be in that moment, and share my poems.

Wendy Beach. Images: Vin Heffernan (for Perth Poetry Club)

Thank you also to everyone who showed up and encouraged me to get up and share my poems. Touchingly, my mother made an almost three-hour round bus trip to come and see me perform, and that was very special to me. Also, my daughter, Mona, and her boyfriend, Jarrad, were also there. Thanks to Geoff Spencer who gave me a blue moon rose (my favourite) the moment I walked in the door of the Moon Cafe! Then there were also people that made the effort to come to the moon to watch me perform, even though they were going through considerable pains. Bill Jennings who had a back and leg injury and asked them to move my performance forward to an earlier timeslot so that he could hear it and leave. Unfortunately, he was in considerable agony and had to go before I went on, but not without coming to tell me he really had tried, and I must say, he made me feel very special indeed 🙂

 

 

I do have to add that I really appreciate Elio (one of the Overlords) encouraging me to get on stage late last year. I have gone from trembling, stuttering jellyfish-woman to being much more confident. Yes, there is still a fair way to go. But I am pretty sure Perth Poetry will have my back. Thank you very much.

After the poetry club event was over, Tam and I headed to Victoria Park. We bumped into Brillo and Arran there and had dinner at a Malaysian restaurant.

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Brillo, Tam and Arran at the end of a fantastic Malaysian Meal

The 2017 Vic Park SLAM

Then we went down The Dutch Trading Co. where the Vic Park Slam was being held. This was a great venue. WAPI hired a function room down the back for the event. It had an excellent atmosphere and a huge selection of beers. The service was very good also.

The Dutch Trading Co.

The Slam’s turnout was brilliant. We had a full house of over fifty people. There were fifteen SLAM poets registered for the competition. Our MC was Jakob Boyd, and he did a first-rate job hosting the show from the mic. He was skilled and entertaining. We could not have hoped for anyone better.

MC, Jakob Boyd

Guests and competitors at the Vic Park SLAM

Judges were picked from the audience through a raffle system, giving scores to the competitors. Many of the entrants were new to the stage, and I must say, I think everyone was impressed by the high standards of Slam poetry being performed.

In the end, the third place went to Scott-Patrick Mitchell, second place to Maddie Godfrey, and the winner of the 2017 Victoria Park SLAM was Kai Schweizer.

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Congratulations to Kai, Scott, Maddie (left to right)

This was the first event I had played a part in planning. It was definitely an eye opener. WAPI first decided to approach the Town of Vic Park for funding to be involved in their annual Arts Festival late last year. Four of us came up with four different poetry event ideas. After gaining committee approval, we put forward these ideas to the town. One, the Vic Park SLAM, received the funding and approval.

In the end, the SLAM was a complete success and that just shows the quality of work WAPI members are doing around Perth. High standards of events is something they strive for at all times, and under all circumstances. Well done to WAPI committee member, Zan for her impressive effort in pulling this event together!!

A big thank you, again, to the Town of Vic Park for supporting WAPI in this event. We really do hope to be a continued feature of the Victoria Park Arts Festival for many years to come.

Sonnets, No Soup & ‘Shingles’ (A Poem)!

Mona_Wendy

Mona and I mucking about with Snap chat.

Hi everyone,

I think you can probably tell I am feeling very inspired by tonight’s Sonnets, No Soup event at the Vic Park Arts Centre. I guess it would be fair to say that the turnout wasn’t as good as hoped, and yet I can’t help but feel that those who couldn’t make it really missed out. We had a wonderful night of poetry, conversation, and ‘Delta blues’ music (and poetry / other music) by Brad Brittain.

Getting back to Sonnets no soup. Yes, this is how it was spelt. I couldn’t bring myself not to add the comma in the title. What a little grammar Nazi I have become after 6 years at uni! Ok, I am drifting… I am distracted (you will find out why at the end, if you didn’t figure it out from the title).

The event was held at the Vic Park Arts Centre, a lovely old house on Kent Street.

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The first thing I noticed as I walked through the door was that the Creative Connections art exhibition was still up. It was a chance for me to see my poem next to the artwork that inspired it. The art is all by artists with complex needs, and each piece is showcased with poetry. It really did look marvellous. I loved ‘Whirlwind of Love’ by Mike Greenacre, and another poem called ‘Aladdin’ (I forgot to note the poets name, but I do think it was my favourite poem on the walls). There were a few poets I knew, who also wrote wonderful poems. The art was very good. I think all the artists should be very proud of their masterpieces.

Wendy Beach with her Poem ‘The Man at the Piano’ and artists work.

Some of the Creative Connections Artworks.

The event was called, Sonnets no soup, because last year they had a Soup & Sonnets night. This year, with a decrease in Arts Grants they couldn’t afford the ‘soup’ (I think, or at least the catering)… but wow they did put on an excellent prosciutto, cheese, and fruit platter. And along with the coffee and wine, I think everyone was pleased. by the spread.

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Slideshow of Poets at the event

I was so inspired by Brad’s description of the stylistic form of Delta Blues music, that I decided I would try to learn how to write it, to form–which he described to me in great detail.

Last few moments of Brad doing his Delta Blues song.

Later, after singing the blues all the way home, I promptly threw everything Brad had said to the wind, and wrote what came to mind. Okay, I did remember that a good starting line is “I woke up this morning…”. So, yes, I am having my first bought of shingles *sad face*. I did manage to cover up most of the spots with clothing and makeup. But it is now 1.40am and I am up putting salve on my face, ear, and side. I guess it comes in waves 😦 For those of you who don’t know what shingles are, it is an adult form of chicken pox (same virus). I am trying not to scratch, the marks from my childhood are still upon my flesh and don’t need to be added to *very sad face* (starts singing… ‘I’ve got the shingles blues…’

Shingles Blues

Well I woke up this morning, itching head to toe
Thought I’d go to work, but ended up a no show
So, I went to the doctor, to see what he’d say.
He said, “Miss you’ve got shingles, so no work today!”

I’ve got the Shingles blues, can’t do a dog gone thing
I’ve got the Shingles blues, I’m gonna stay at home.

Well I’m gonna call in sick, feet up, and stay home.
Gonna call in sick today, salved from head to toe.

I’ve got two poetry performances this week
And I just have to go. Yeah, I can’t be a no show.

He said, “Not contagious, but you’ll itch all over.”
He said, “Not contagious, just put salve all over.”

I’ve got the shingle blues, it itches head to toe.
God knows, yeah God knows, it itches from head to toe.

I call up work, and said, “I can’t come in today.”
I called work to say “At home I’d better stay.”

After a sleep, I woke itching all over,
Dropped my meds with a coffee, and took a cold shower.

Applied salve real thick, I’ll be doing this all week.
All week I’m gonna itch, sometimes life is a bitch.

I went out this evening, itching from head to toe.
To my poetry performance, I had to go.

He said, “It’s not contagious.” And I had to show.
He said, “It’s not contagious.” So I did the show.

It itched like a bitch, but I didn’t let them know.
Oh God, O God knows, that I itch from head to toe!

c. Wendy Beach, 2017.

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Happy Easter everyone. I hope you have a wonderful and safe long weekend. If you are in Perth, please come along to the 2017 Vic Park SLAM! I look forward to seeing you there…mind the spots!

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Vic Park SLAM!

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2017 Vic Park SLAM!

Looking for a fun night of slam poetry? As part of the Victoria Park Arts Season, WA Poets Inc. is hosting a community event, the Vic Park SLAM.

At the Dutch Trading Co, 243 Albany Hwy, Victoria Park WA 6100, you’ll see some of Perth’s finest slam poets competing against each other on Saturday 15th April from 6.30pm to 9pm.

Come early to register (from 6pm) for the slam if you would like to give it a go.

You will have the opportunity to listen to slam poets deliver interesting poems about hidden secrets, strange people, and their intriguing inner-selves.

Browse the menu and order one of 300 unique bottled craft beers, or enjoy something scrumptious from the Dutch Trading Co.’s brave menu like chorizitos cooked in cider.

A Silent Voice ~ 聲の形 Koe no Katachi (Movie Review)

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Tonight my daughter and I went to see The Silent Voice, a Japanese anime school drama film produced by Kyoto Animation, directed by Naoko Yamada and written by Reiko Yoshida, featuring character designs by Futoshi Nishiya and music by Kensuke Ushio.

We headed into Leederville’s crowded café strip. It is a bustling area, lit up by both fairy lights on trees and the neon lights of clubs.

At the Luna Outdoor Cinema, we picked up our tickets from the box office and went down behind the indoor cinema. There we found an area of artificial turf covered in large red beanbags. We settled down with our coats on and shawls as blankets, and waited for the movie to begin. Meanwhile, we were given complimentary pizza slices as the place filled up. Soon the body filled bean bags stretched out and together into a giant bean bag bed!

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The movie was very sweet. In sixth grade, a popular boy bullies a new girl who is deaf. He pokes her, shoves her about, steals her hearing aids and refuses all attempts she makes at being his friend. Soon his friends join in in the teasing, and eventually the deaf girl is forced to leave the school. When his teacher confronts him, in front of the class, about his bullying, his friends quickly drop him. No longer popular, he becomes withdrawn and isolated, eventually leading to him attempting suicide. When this fails, he realises that he must make up with the deaf girl, who only ever wanted to be his friend. He learns sign language and when he is older, goes to find her. She has made a life for herself, but feels that she is a burden on those who love her and is struggling to find her way in a hearing world. Between them, they restore all the broken friendships of their childhood. But he doesn’t realise, she isn’t planning on hanging around.

This was a beautifully written, family friendly, movie about the long term consequences of bullying and the true meaning of friendship. It really tugs at the heart strings. The script was tight, characters realistic with good development, and the settings were familiar to all those who like to watch anime.

If you get a chance to see it, you wont be disappointed.

Wendy

Sonnets No Soup (Ticketed Event)

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A casual evening of poetry. Relax and enjoy poetry readings and acoustic music in the intimate setting of the Victoria Park Arts Centre Gallery with a complementary glass of wine and cheese board.

Thu. 13 April 2017

6:00 pm – 9:00 pm AWST

Poetry readings by:

  • Istenad Haddad
  • Elizabeth Mistry
  • Elio Novello
  • Wendy Beach
  • Shey Marque
  • Music by: Brad Brittain
  • What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?  12 Kent Street, East Victoria Park 6160  
  • Free parking is available in the carpark adjacent to the Bowling Club and John MacMillan Park
  • How can I contact the organiser with any questions? Visit our website: vicparkarts.org.au Call us: (08) 6454 1803 info@vicparkarts.org.au

TICKETS VIA EVENTBRITE 

A lot can happen in a poet’s week!

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Going Battye Over 60s Poets!

 

The past week have seen me going Battye! (at the J.S. Battye Library of West Australian) I have been doing research on poetry in Perth in the 1960s for a university project. If you read my blog, thank you, then you would know that I also put a request for poets who were in Perth in the 1960s to get in touch with me. I am pleased to say that almost 20 poets did respond! The entire experience, to date, has been very exciting and I am thoroughly enjoying conversing with them about the changes in poetry and poetic processes over the past 50 years. Thanks as well to the many people who emailed with an interest and wanted to help guide me in various research directions. I am truly grateful for all the wonderful advice and anecdotes. It is my honour and pleasure.

 

Red Man

My son is studying filmmaking over east. This is his latest film. It is quite funny! It is nice to see him on the other side of the camera for a change (he is playing the male lead in this short film).

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RTRFM 92.1 Neon Picnic

Though not technically about writing, if you were wondering where many of the Perth Poetry Club poets were this past Saturday April 1, it was here! I too, was also here! Although I did leave early, missing The Triffids music in order to see one of my favourite local poets, Derek Fenton, do his guest feature spot at the Moon Café. (I will come back to that).

RTRfm went live from Hyde Park all day. They called the event the ‘Neon Picnic’ to commemorate a series of RTRFM festivals of that name held in the late 80s and early 90s.

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The “‘Neon Picnic’ also features the best in local music from bands on the radio now, and those that always have been. Expect classics and new favourites performed acoustically and enthusiastically.” And they picked the perfect spot for the event. Weather was great and the lakes were reasonably full.

I had a lot of fun. I also hung out with fellow poet Steve Fulcher and we did a few laps of the park together. Steve, a tree-lopper, knowing almost everything about trees, pointed out all the different species along the way, their age (some several hundred years old) and even read out all the historical and ecological plaques to me (because I need glasses, as Maggie Van Putten has told me, a few times!).

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Hyde Park has changed since I was a child. The playground had a lot of large steel framed climbing frames. I was telling Steve about it… when he pointed out that “Yeah, the trees were probably saplings back then too!” After I caught him…he bought me an ice-cream to make up for that comment! I almost forgive him.

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Derek Fenton at The Moon Cafe

Not long after, I headed over to the Moon Café to watch Derek Fenton’s performance. Derek writes formal poetry, which I enjoy the challenge of learning. Fortunately, Derek also gave the entire audience an introductory lesson in poems with form, explaining sestinas and other types as he read.

Here is a bit of his bio from the Perth Poetry Club website:

“Derek Fenton was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, in 1946. He now lives back in Australia where he teaches Mathematics and English as a Second Language. His poetry is informed by the experience of being a migrant and the difficulties of adjustment to a new country and alienation from the old.”

You can read some of his marvellous poetry here: http://fieryfenton.blogspot.com.au/

At Mettam’s Pool

I was about to wrap this blog up, but I had to add that today I went snorkelling for the first time with fellow poet and poetry enthusiast, Geoff Spencer. Who knew the ocean had fishes! (just kidding-but really, we weren’t far from the shore). It was an amazing experience. I had been worried I would get bitten by a shark, until I got in the freezing water at 6am, then I realized I wouldn’t feel it anyway—I’d just be wondering why I was swimming around in circles and why the water had turned red 😛

Here is where went:

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Followed by Geoff’s zen garden 🙂

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Thanks for reading!

 

Wendy Beach

 

Poets in Harmony

 

 

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WA Poets Inc. (WAPI) set up a marquee at Tomato Lake today. We had a lovely time there celebrating Harmony Day with many others. Thanks to all the poets who sent in their wonderful poems. Many were very moving and touching. Thanks also to the poets who showed up to celebrate with us. It was a pleasure.

Yes, I did run amok with Tammie and Maggie – we all ended up with stress cows (squeezy things) and I had a braid put in my hair (pleasing the inner child!). Tam also won a huge basket of goodies (health foods) from another stall.

Here are some photos of the WAPI marquee and the crowds attending the event, many who popped in to read the exhibited poetry.

 

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Thanks to everyone who sent in their poems.

Wendy