Poetry for Public Transport

Elwood Writers’ Helen is published in Poetry for Public Transport #27. Poetry for Public Transport is a regular publication that makes poetry easily available to the many passengers travelling each day on our public transportation systems.

What a wonderful way to spend your journey: reading and contemplating a poem or two while on the bus, tram, train, ferry, or whatever form of transportation you choose to get around. Pop your smartphone away, unplug from social media, and arrive at your destination calm and refreshed. Or maybe you’ll be inspired to seek adventure, go right past your intended stop, and see where the day takes you.

This is an initiative well worth supporting, so if you spy a copy of the publication, please pick it up and read it, then share with your friends, colleagues, and other loved ones.

Poetry for Public Transport #27 | Please do not litter. Recycle.

My book launch

Elwood Writers’ Jennifer Bryce celebrated the official launch of her novel “Lily Campbell’s Secret” at Readings Books in Carlton earlier this week. Here’s her report on the event, from her website:

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For me, the most exciting part of publishing my book was to see it there, bound, in a cover — a real book, rather than a word file or a heap of pages spewing all over the floor from my printer.

Sorrowing woman leaning on table in front of photo of her husband

But the next most exciting experience was last night, at Readings Bookshop, Carlton, where Toni Jordan launched it. Toni has a huge deadline to meet in a couple of weeks’ time, yet she had spent time thoroughly reading Lily Campbell’s Secret and looking back to her notes, to the time, in 2015, when I took her workshop, Refining Your Novel. I had naively thought that my carefully drafted novel was ready for refining! No way. It went through several iterations, but after the workshop with Toni it gained direction and purpose.

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Toni Jordan launching Lily Campbell’s Secret

Barry Lee Thompson, from my writing group, Elwood Writers Elwoodwriters.com gave a…

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Book launch: American Writers Review 2019

Speaking of book launches …

The day after the launch of Lily Campbell’s Secret, way across the globe in Pennsylvania, San Fedele Press will celebrate the release of American Writers Review 2019 with an ice-cream social at Wilkes University.

If only Elwood Writers could go along to this. Not just because we adore a good old ice-cream social, but because three of our writers have work included in this terrific anthology. More about that later. Congratulations to Margaret, Helen, and Barry, and to all of the other contributors in this latest edition of AWR.

Friday 14 June, Wilkes University, Henry Student Center Ballroom (2nd floor), 7:30pm for readings, mingling, and ice-cream.

Book launch: Lily Campbell’s Secret, 6:30pm Thursday 13 June

A reminder that Jennifer Bryce’s novel Lily Campbell’s Secret is being launched next Thursday 13 June by Toni Jordan at Readings Bookshop, Carlton. The event is free, and no booking is required. Come and say hello at 6 for a 6:30pm start.

More information is available at the Readings website. Click here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Release of Jennifer Bryce’s novel, Lily Campbell’s Secret.

Congratulations to Elwood Writer Jennifer Bryce on the publication of her first novel, Lily Campbell’s Secret. Jennifer’s book will be launched by Toni Jordan at Readings Bookshop in Carlton, details below. We’re looking forward to celebrating!

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Sorrowing woman leaning on table in front of photo of her husband

It’s 1913, and Lily’s comfortable middle-class Melbourne life is completely upended when she falls in love. As she sits in the hall of her private school, portraits of past headmistresses frowning at her, she realises the ‘glaring, unalterable fact’ that she is pregnant, the father a young stablehand called Bert. Her parents disown her: the first of many wrenching challenges she must face. She marries Bert and they have a few happy months together in rural Woodend, where their daughter is born. When the war starts, Bert volunteers and Lily is thrown very much on her own resources. After Bert returns home, Lily has to face the most momentous decision of her life.

Lily’s role as mother, musician, wife and lover, leads her to confront issues of patriarchy, nationalism, love… and the value of a human life.

In Jennifer Bryce’s ‘Australian Gothic’ novel, the suppressed grand passions of her long-suffering…

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French Film Festival: Non Fiction

“This film, directed by Olivier Assayas will have special appeal to writers. There are animated discussions about the nature of fiction, the future of print media — everyone huddled over wine and finger food. I felt very much at home!”
A recent film review from Little Smackerel, Elwood Writer Jennifer’s website:

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This film, directed by Olivier Assayas will have special appeal to writers. There are animated discussions about the nature of fiction, the future of print media — everyone huddled over wine and finger food. I felt very much at home!

Near the end of the film there is a reference to words from Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s The Leopard: Everything must change so that everything can stay the same. And indeed, this can be seen as the main premise of the film — most significantly as a response to discussions about the future of literature, but also as an underpinning to the lives of the main characters in the film. Should the publishing company focus on E-Books and audiobooks? There is an amusing suggestion that Juliette Binoche would be a good person to read a particular audiobook: Binoche plays the part of Selena in the film.

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Leonard , played by…

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What’s occurring?

2018 was an industrious and fruitful year for Elwood Writers. Among other events, we hosted and thoroughly enjoyed presenting our work at our first public soiree, in August at St Kilda Library, and in November provided the material for the Armistice Day Centenary edition of Cover To Cover on Vision Australia Radio.

We’ve more exciting group projects planned for 2019, kicking off with an excursion to Adelaide for Writers’ Week in March. We’re thrilled to have been invited to collaborate with Tim McQueen and the team at Cover To Cover for another themed program on Vision Australia Radio, and will post more about that closer to the time. Also in the pipeline is another soiree, possibly towards the end of the year.

And of course our individual projects continue, with material regularly workshopped within our fortnightly group meetings.

With so much going on and coming up, from time to time it can be useful to consolidate and reflect. In that spirit, we’ve created a dedicated page on the website for recordings, mostly podcasts, of our group radio programs. All our programs for Cover To Cover beginning with Starting Over in January 2015 can now be accessed easily in one place, here, or by clicking on the link below:

We look forward to updating this podcasts page with the recording of 2019’s radio program later this year.

There’s much to look forward to, and always so much to write about. Here’s to a peaceful year; happy reading, listening, and writing.

Best wishes from Elwood Writers.

Winter 2018 Soiree | Margaret McCaffrey

Margaret’s notes on the Elwood Writers soiree held in August at St Kilda Library:

The Elwood Writers 2018 soiree was our third in a series of evening readings. The group’s first two events were held in a private home where we tested the performance waters with family and friends. This year we branched out a little, presenting at a local public venue and inviting a slightly wider audience.

The concept of a soiree is loosely based on the old-fashioned, European notion of a ‘salon’. People are invited to gather and enjoy themselves while being entertained with stories and musical interludes.

As my own work is mainly memoir and of a personal nature, I can find public readings to be challenging. But I have to be willing to open my soul, while protecting myself with the suited armour of a story and carefully crafted narrative.

Despite the challenges, however, in the long run I value the opportunity to leave my comfort zone (the support of my group and the patient listening of my partner), to spring into the exhilarating and expectant atmosphere of a live audience, whether this be with friends or strangers.

The audience’s response to us can be subtle. It might come in the form of a sigh of satisfaction or as a wave of relief (or even agitation) that ripples through the crowd. One might detect a murmur at the end of a story or poem, or a facial expression of pleasure or questioning. But despite any nervous apprehension on my part, I would not be willing to miss the experience for anything.


“… a sigh of satisfaction or as a wave of relief …”

The graduation from working solo to public performance is all in the path of the writer, I believe, where she must firm her step and ready herself to stride forth into the realm of the more global sphere.


All images HarrietClaire Photography

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we live and write, and we pay our respects to all elders past and present.

Winter 2018 Soiree | Helen McDonald

In August, Elwood Writers held its Winter 2018 Soiree at St Kilda Library in Melbourne. In this post, Helen McDonald describes the work she presented at the event.

2018_08_25-elwoodwriters_058.jpgIt takes time and a good deal of thought for Elwood Writers to arrange our program so that the literary readings are varied, complement each other and hopefully engage our audience. One of the things I enjoy most about our soirees is the range of genres covered, and not only hearing but delivering an interpretation of the pieces we have polished and workshopped in our group meetings.  Each member of Elwood Writers brings their own unique voice to the occasion across fiction, memoir, short story and creative non-fiction.

My own leanings are towards poetry and memoir, and in this, our first public performance, I read a selection of poems as well as haiku, a poetic form I‘m very much enjoying exploring.  Our appreciative audience were even subjected, from me, to a short analysis of what haiku is – and isn’t.

This time it was just as much a treat for us, as for the audience, to have Jenny’s chamber group providing musical interludes.  Duo Con Brio (two thirds of Trio Con Brio) chose Bach as the perfect accompaniment for the literary works, and the combined sounds of oboe and cello clearly delighted everyone.

St Kilda Library’s community room was the perfect venue for this intimate evening with friends, acquaintances and family, and we were so pleased to welcome members of Roomers, the City Of Port Phillip creative writing project.

It is such a rewarding experience to share our work and with each soiree I like to think we raise the bar just a little bit higher.


All images HarrietClaire Photography

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we live, work and learn, and we pay our respects to all elders past and present.

 

Armistice Day Centenary edition of Cover To Cover, podcast

A podcast of last week’s Armistice Day edition of Vision Australia Radio’s Cover To Cover is now available at the link below:

https://varadio.podbean.com/e/cover-to-cover-9th-november-2018/

The program, broadcast Friday 9 November and repeated Sunday 11 November, marks the hundred years since the end of the First World War, and features work from Elwood Writers.

We hope you enjoy listening to the program.


Cover To Cover is recorded in the studios of Vision Australia Radio in Melbourne.