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).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwZnr2zWyY8

 

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

 

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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

 

Perth Poetry in the 1960s – Call Out!

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John Lennon’s Doodles from The Daily Mail

Were you a poet based in Perth in the 1960s? Or, do you know anyone who was and is still alive to talk about it? I am currently researching the poetry scene in Perth from 1960 – 1970 as part of a supervised and approved independent studies unit at Edith Cowan University. My aim is to  interview poets of the era from Perth, regardless of where they live now. Interviews can be done in person or via email. For more information please contact me, wendybeach.author@gmail.com

Poets in Harmony Submissions Reminder. One Day to Go!!

Only one day left to get your poems on harmony in.
The City of Belmont Harmony Week Concert ( Sunday, 19 March from 3pm to 6pm at Tomato Lake, Kewdale) is a celebration and reflection of cultural diversity within the community. It aims to highlight the benefits and potential that cultural diversity brings and provides an opportunity to reflect on where Australia has come from whilst also recognising the traditional owners of the land.

WAPI poets are invited to write poems on the theme of Harmony. This could be their personal experience with Immigration and settling in Australia, what it means to be an Australian, about reconciliation and similar. The chosen poems will be exhibited at the WAPI marquee.

 

Please email your poem/s (a maximum of 3 per poet) to wapoets@gmail.com as separate MS word attachments with Harmony Poem as the subject. Poems need to be

 

  • less than one A4 page in length and family friendly
  • written using 14 point Times New Roman text and 1.5 line spacing with 2.54 cm margins
  • each poem to include a title and the poet’s name at the end of the poem.
  • appropriate black and white designs can be included as part of your poem.

 

Poets who have their poem/s chosen for the exhibition will be contacted by email. No other correspondence will be entered into.

 

Poems must be received BEFORE the deadline, midnight, Thursday 9 March

POETS IN HARMONY – Exhibition Submissions Open

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Help WA Poets Inc. celebrate Harmony Week at the City of Belmont’s annual Harmony Day Concert on Sunday, 19 March from 3pm to 6pm at Tomato Lake, Kewdale.

The free, family friendly outdoor concert is a celebration of the City’s cultural diversity, unique heritage and acknowledges local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ contribution to the community.

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All poets (you do not have to be a WAPI member to submit to this event) are invited to write poems on the theme of Harmony. This could be their personal experience with Immigration and settling in Australia, what it means to be an Australian, about reconciliation, harmony, and similar. The chosen poems will be exhibited at the WAPI marquee.

Please email your poem/s (a maximum of 3 per poet) to wapoets@gmail.com as separate MS word attachments with Harmony Poem as the subject. To be eligible, poems must be

  • less than one A4 page in length and family friendly
  • written using 14 point Times New Roman text and 1.5 line spacing with 2.54 cm margins
  • each poem to include a title and the poet’s name at the end of the poem.
  • appropriate black and white designs can be included as part of your poem.

Poets who have their poem/s chosen for the exhibition will be contacted by email. No other correspondence will be entered into.

Poems must be received BEFORE the deadline, midnight, Sunday 5th March. Late submissions will not be considered.

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TRANSPORT

The 39 bus leaves Elisabeth Quay bus port and arrives at Tomato Lake (Oat street before Patterson road. Stop ID: 11684 ( https://goo.gl/maps/nCkNd8FVKsC2 )

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I look forward to seeing you there!

Wendy Beach

‘Poetry And Other Things’ at Henry on Eighth

Last night I headed over to a slam poetry event in Perth’s inner city suburb of Maylands. The area has a wonderful café strip and is close to both the Maylands Train Station and Guildford Road bus stops. Henry on Eighth has fantastic rustic industrial décor throughout. As  a café bar and art space the entire premises was visually interesting and appealing;  from the collection of seating nooks and elevated stage on the ground floor to the full sized Knight in Shining Armour on the second floor where more cosy seating places could be found in the gallery rooms. This is one of the best new poetry venues I have come across.

The place filled up fast, and there were a few familiar faces.

Arran, Tammie, Ray & Maggie

Staff were all very friendly and welcoming, as were other guests. This man stopped in the stairwell to have himself blinded by my new camera’s flash, several times.

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Drew, really trying hard to smile as I made him pose again, and again.

There is no smoking on the café strip, but smokers can go down the side of the building and have a cigarette with this woman, and her weird friend (we all have one, hey Tam?)

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Giant mural on the side of Henry on Eighth

As Maggie and I secretly plotted about possible future events that could be held at this wonderful venue, the SLAM began. The theme was Mental Health: Suicide. Appropriate trigger warnings and information were given. Steve and Michael read poems by themselves and others, which were touching and poignant. After the break, Arran climbed up the ladder to the stage. Neither Maggie or I thought we could make it up and down without sneakers and the microphone could not be moved to the lower level, so Arran did the righty and read our poems for us (yes, he gets brownie points), along with his own.

Arran Lodge reading Mother’s Day by Maggie Van Putten

For a new event, the slam went down very well with the audience. It began at 6.30pm and ended at 9pm.

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Slam poets Steve and Michael (event host)

Michael is planning on doing more regular poetry slams at Henry on Eighth. He is dedicated to Mental Health issues. When I spoke to him about what he would really like others to understand about mental health, he said, “We must change the culture of this topic and make it okay to talk about mental health and suicide.” The next theme will be about Mental Health: Self Medication and Self Harm. You can find out more about the slam from Michael by following the !! Poetry And Other Things !! Facebook page, or by asking the staff at Henry on Eighth.

!! Poetry And Other Things !!  https://www.facebook.com/events/1891335304434414

Henry on Eighth’s  Facebook. They also have some very interesting Art nights. https://www.facebook.com/henryon8th/events/

And while your there, why not try one of their great toasties or have an awesome iced chia.

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Of course they have alcoholic drinks too!

Thanks for visiting my blog.

A couple more poems read by Arran Lodge:

 

DISCLAIMER: If you are at risk for suicide, homicide or other harm or injury, please call 000 or seek other help, such as Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14 (Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week).

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

Hey Everybody,
I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day. Arran and I ventured out to an evening poetry event with picnic bag and mat in hand. Along the way, we stopped at Govinda’s Hare Krishna Restaurant in Northbridge. This is a great place to pick up a delicious vegetarian meal for a low cost in a very pretty setting.

Yep, food does come on plates, but I wasn’t too hungry and asked for a takeaway container – then ended up eating dinner there anyway!

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Then we caught the bus to Swanbourne beach and strolled by the sea until the sun melted into the sea.

A couple of streets over was Mattie Furphy’s house Amphitheatre, where we attended the fifth ‘Love Poems on Valentines Day’.  There were some familiar WA Poets inc. faces and many other people spread out with their picnics on the grass. Readings of love (and other) poems were done under stars by Shane McCauley, Liana Joy Christensen, Nandi Chinna, Dennis Haskell and Amanda Joy. A mix of old and new poetry was read. The poems were a good choice. Not all were love poems, but there was a wonderful mix of sad, happy, and very humorous poems to keep everyone entertained. Danny Gunzburg provided a serenade of gushingly romantic guitar music and lyrics, which was a good balance to the eclectic poetry.

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Not wanting to bother everyone with my camera’s flash, and realised the photos were going to be too dark! So that is the last of them. I laid back, watched the stars and listened to the poetry. What a fun night. I will definitely go again next year 🙂

Wendy

Published in the ‘Sonnets on Western Australia’ Anthology :)

Last year I entered a sonnet competition hosted by the Shakespeare Club of WA as part of the 400 birthday celebrations of William Shakespeare. Today I received ‘Sonnets on Western Australia’ in the mail. My poem, ‘Sonnet for a Native Girl, 1974’ is on page 13.

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I wrote the original version of this poem a few years ago now. Back then it was entered into the Talus Prize for poetry and was commended. Over time, and for last years competition, this sonnet has changed considerably. I did not find sonnets easy to write in the early days of my studies, and still don’t- but am somewhat better for the practise. It is simply about an early childhood memory I have of seeing a small Indigenous girl with her new adoptive family at our church in Mt Lawley. I had never seen a child so miserable. She was the last in the line of children following her new parents back to their car when the service was over, and everyone was staring at her. I still remember the comments, ‘Look there! A little native girl.’ ‘What a wonderful Christian family, saving that poor child from savagery.’ and ‘It costs so much to raise a child, they are very good to take in one that isn’t their own.’ Now days we know about the Stolen Generation, but back then I really didn’t understand. Being small myself, I only saw a very lost girl, and I hope she found a way home, if not in her heart at least.

Thank you to the Shakespeare Club of WA for publishing my poem 🙂

Thanks for reading 🙂

Wendy Beach

 

 

This Week… an update

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Image: a Mural from the wall inside Clancy’s restaurant

Fremantle Press Great Big Book Read

As I have said before on this site. I will always tell it as it is. I do not care about the Arts Scene Politics. I will say it if it is the good, the bad, or the ugly. So, here is my review of the Fremantle Press Great Bog Book Read. It was held on a Monday, which should have been warning enough, in Fremantle at Clancy’s Fish Pub. The venue was lovely, but all the tables had been reserved and filled by Fremantle Press staff an hour before the event began, leaving us (non-Fremantle Press invitees) standing, crammed into the room while chip bowls were shared with ‘only the staff’. Although not a major issue as we bought meals and I don’t eat chips, it was plain rude to have people strategically avoid you while passing a bowl of chips around, because you are not a member of their special little club of Artsy-Fartsies.

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From the back of the room, slightly out the hallway, most of us could not hear or see anything. I knew several people there and most of them gave up and left as soon as they could hear their friend recite or recite their piece. Quite a pity really.

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I networked, as I knew several of the poets published in one of the books, an anthology of poetry, but everyone seemed so frustrated by the lack of tables and seats that the mood wasn’t wonderful. See the flyer above, I quote: “This is your invitation to enjoy a relaxed evening…” Not so. Many, like me, had travelled over an hour to get to the venue and just wanted to relax comfortably, listen to the poems being read and mingle. This certainly did not happen. I left after the poetry reading was done, though I only caught one poem in its entirety. And no, I didn’t buy a book.

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Wendy Beach and Arran Lodge

I learned so much from this event. I do not regret going. I am organising events myself at the moment, and if the customer (you know, the people you want to buy your books/ part with their cash) isn’t comfortable and doesn’t feel welcome, you can be damn sure they wont buy anything – or if they do, they still wont bother going to one of your events again. However, I will be going to future events with Fremantle Press. I am hoping that this dreadfully organised fiasco, was some sort of appalling anomaly. In my mind, I simply don’t want to believe that it actually happened! Therefore, one more chance.

Clancy’s, on the other hand, was a great venue for food and service, and the highlight of the whole event. Across the road is a wall of graffiti where skaters like to ride. Here is one of the artworks, before it is covered.

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Perth Poetry Club

Open mic is on every Saturday at the Moon Café in Northbridge from 2pm to 4pm. Check their website www.perthpoetryclub.com to see who the featured poets will be.

This week, I arrived late. I became caught up at  Robert Muir, Old and Rare Books, Bookshop http://www.muirbooks.com/ buying a 101 year old gem. So, I missed a chance at open mic, but enjoyed listening to others. There was also quite a bit of grumbling about the previous night at the above event.

Afterwards, many of us went to the local hotel for Happy hour. Along the way, we went down a small laneway of murals… this one being quite funny and rather depressing!

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Here is the book I bought from Muirs:

 

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Front cover, The Australian and Other Verses, Will H. Ogilvie, 1916

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Inside the front cover.
This week, I also bought this this book, slightly younger at 100 years old. The Glugs of Gosh:

 

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Front Cover, The Glugs of Gosh, C.J. Dennis, 1917

Excuse the poor lighting of the pics. Both books are a lovely green colour – but it is time for me to get a new camera! CJ Dennis is a very well known Australian poet. This entire book is one large poem about the ‘Glugs of Gosh’. Here is a little exert, which I found amusing, considering all the attention a certain president is getting at the moment.

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“I’ve watched his abdomionous, ominous shape/ Abroad in the land while the nation slept,/ Marked his satanical/ Methods tyrannical;/ Rigorous, vigorous vigil I kept./ Good gracious! Voracious is hardly the name for it!/ Yet we have only our blindness to blame for it.”
Umm, and I also bought ‘Other Men’s Flowers’, an anthology of poetry compiled by A.P. Wavell, 1944… (I was having a good book find week 😉 Don’t you love these little scribbles inside books? This one says, “Jeannie” All the best. Love Donald. 30th August 1944. It is a book of love and other poems… how romantic.

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I also went to the movies tonight. Another Perth International Film Festival event at UWA.

Toni Erdmann (German Movie)

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I went to see the German movie, Toni Erdmann tonight with Arran. It was a wonderful story about a father-daughter relationship. The father, played by Peter Simonischek is quite the clown, while the daughter, played by Sandra Huller, is the straight person in this comedy duo. When her father’s dog dies, he realises his own mortality and chases his career-oriented daughter to Romania, dressed in various novel disguises, in order to see if she is happy with her high pressure life. This was a much needed happy ending to my week, and proof that Not every day is a Monday!

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Valentines Day Event

Valentines Day is cancelled. (Joke). Nope, but the event I was to perform at on the 12th at a yoga spa in the hills has been cancelled due to possible inclement weather. *sniff* Still, I did get quite a few love poems written for it, and may write some more, just in case the opportunity arises again.

Thanks for reading,

Wendy