Congratulations to Helen whose two poems ‘Gasp’ and ‘Carry the Truth’ have been selected for inclusion in Creatrix #50, the online poetry journal of the WA Poets Inc. You can find Helen’s poems here.
Earlier this year, when poets could still meet, perform and share their work in person (remember those times?), she was awarded Poet of the Month at Chamber Poets, held in regional Victoria, for her poem ‘Unsaid’. The judge was poet and author Kevin Brophy, Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Melbourne.
Don’t ever let it be said that a mere world-wide pandemic can hold back Elwood Writers!
Barry Lee Thompson’s short story collection, Broken Rules is already proving to be a stunning success. It is to be launched, virtually, by Readings bookstore next Monday 14th September at 6.30pm Eastern Australian Time. Don’t miss out on the chance to hear Barry ‘in conversation’. The event is free, but you need to book: https://www.readings.com.au/event/barry-lee-thompson-in-conversation
Already there has been a range of very complimentary reviews, including in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. The following review was written by Amanda Rayner of Readings Books. We hope to see you at the Launch next Monday.
The short-story collection from a single author is something I have grown to appreciate, especially in the last ten years or so. Australian writers have definitely made their mark in this area, ranging from those works with a strong sense of concept (Ceridwen Dovey’s Only the Animals), those linked by a sense of mood (This Taste for Silence by Amanda O’Callaghan) and those that are simply an impressive, varied collection (Fabulous Lives by Bindy Pritchard). Broken Rules and Other Stories by Barry Lee Thompson (who was born in Liverpool but now lives in Melbourne, so we’re claiming him!) touches on all these approaches but is its own unique collection and brought unexpected tears to my eyes in the closing pages.
Broken Rules and Other Stories is described as seventeen interlinked stories. I found coming to each story individually and not worrying too much about how it should ‘fit’ resulted in me slowly seeing the possible links between them. By the time I read the final and longest story, ‘Angel’, I had developed my own perspective on how these stories worked together, which bought a sense of closure for me as a reader. The stories cover two main themes. The first focuses on stories from gay male perspectives: fantasies as a young boy, first approaches, random encounters with strangers, sex work, and the continuing search for true intimacy. Scattered between these stories is a group of tales that centre on family dynamics, with a particular focus on the relationship between mother and son.
Regardless of connections the individual reader may make between the stories, there is not one weak link. All pieces capture your attention quickly and none outstay their welcome. It is Thompson’s ability to create a vivid sense of place and tone that makes this an exciting (although sometimes unsettling) reading experience. At this point I am still wondering if I can forgive the author for the terrifying pictures in my head after reading the opening story!
The publication of Every Second Tuesday, an anthology of our writing from over the last ten years, is being held back until early November. By that time we anticipate seeing a little more stability in the literary landscape as new and exciting models of delivery are embraced.
In the meantime, here’s a peek at the book’s back cover:
And before the anthology arrives, we have the release of Barry’s collection of fiction to look forward to. Broken Rules and Other Stories is coming out on 1 September. More information is available at the Transit Lounge website, here.
So please stay tuned – there’s a lot happening this year, and we’ll be providing plenty more updates along the way.
Happy reading and writing.
There’s another chance to hear last night’s special edition of Cover to Cover on Vision Australia Radio tomorrow at 1:30PM (AEST). You can listen live from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Just follow the links on the VAR website, here.
This program was first broadcast in winter 2019, and was chosen for rebroadcasting. It features fiction, memoir, and poetry written by, and in some cases read on air by, Elwood Writers.
The Vision Australia Radio Network incorporates ten community radio stations across Victoria, southern New South Wales, Adelaide and Perth. There are also five digital radio services available in the three metropolitan areas as VAR, VA Radio and IRIS.
We may have been in lockdown for a few months but Elwood Writers has been busily putting the finishing touches to a project we’ve been working on over the past two years. We’re currently checking printed proof copies of Every Second Tuesday, an anthology of our writing drawn from over the last ten years.
Now we’re excited to share news of the anthology’s forthcoming publication in both paperback and ebook forms. We’ll keep you posted …