Helen has recently been exploring the haiku/senryu/haibun poetry forms. She is delighted to have two haiku included in the latest WA Poets Inc online journal, Creatrix 57 Haiku. Read Helen’s poems at the following link:
If you ever happen to find yourself in the Macedon Ranges of country Victoria, you might catch a glimpse of Helen on a gingko walk with other haiku poets – seeking inspiration in nature to write more of this beautiful short-form poetry.
Our friends at San Fedele Press in the USA are having a literary reading this weekend: Sunday 12 June at 2pm EST (US), on Zoom. All the Elwood Writers were fortunate to be able to attend the last SFP event, an ice-cream social where Helen and Barry were among contributors reading their work from the 2021 edition of American Writers Review.
We’d like to say we’ll be attending this weekend’s event, but with the time difference between the eastern seaboard of the US and Australia, we’d have to be firing up our computers at 4am on Monday. But you never know. Anyway, fingers crossed that the event’s being recorded again, so we can keep an eager eye out for the video.
Details, including a handy Zoom link, below:
On Zoom, Sunday, June 12 at 2 p.m. EST.
Highlighting American Writers Review contributors: Gale Martin, “The Year of Cortisol” Dr. Joel Savishinski, “Toilet Paper Panic” Ana M. Fores Tamayo, in English and Spanish, “New Day Dawn/El amanecer”
From time to time we like to share blog posts from our members’ individual websites. This, from Margaret’s blog, is a recent piece that resonates. “Writing is our craft, and we must do it our way. That is in the best way we know how. Sometimes that takes time, space … and reflection.” Hear, hear. You can enjoy Margaret’s post below (including a recording of our latest program on Vision Australia Radio, just in case you missed it). Happy reading, from a wet and grey autumnal Melbourne.
Do people ask you how your writing is going? I’m sure we all get asked that. Who knows what the right answer is. One acquaintance of mine enquired further: ‘But are you penning or writing?’ he said. I didn’t know the difference.
‘Well,’ he replied, ‘ C. (his partner) tells me she’s been writing during the day, though not been “penning”.’ By this she means she’s wandered about the house, begun the cooking even, or taken herself off for a walk. But in her head she’s puzzling over how to better render her screenplay. This, he says, is writing. “Penning” on the other hand, is when C. puts her thoughts down on paper. Or gets cracking on the laptop.
For me his commentary illustrates that we writers can be way too hard on ourselves. We may make excuses about why we are not actually penning. It’s more than likely that…
The podcast of last week’s special episode of Cover to Cover is now available. The program features Elwood Writers and our individual takes on the theme of ‘Adelaide’. If you’d like to listen to, download, or share the podcast, or browse previous episodes of Cover to Cover or other Vision Australia Radio programs, visit the following link:
Barry first visited Adelaide Writers’ Week in 2008, when Elwood Writers wasn’t yet one year old. The event took place every two years back then, and he enjoyed it so much he went to the subsequent weeks in 2010 and 2012. Thereafter, Writers’ Week became an annual affair, and the other members of Elwood Writers began to attend. Since then, one or all of us has attended almost every year. We had a break in 2021 because of pandemic restrictions, and our only representative this year was Jennifer, but it’s fair to say that Adelaide has been and continues to be important to us, and not just because of its literary festival.
And so last year we suggested ‘Adelaide’ as the theme for a brand new Cover to Cover program for Vision Australia Radio. The program’s presenter Tim McQueen liked the idea, and we’ve been putting together our pieces, including selecting musical interludes, over the past few months. We were particularly excited to have the opportunity to record our work last week at Vision Australia Radio, as access to the studios had been restricted until recently.
The program is almost ready to air, and will be broadcast over the Easter weekend, on Friday 15 April at 8:00PM (AEST), repeated Sunday 17 April at 1:00PM . Listen on the radio in Australia (check the VAR website for state-by-state broadcast variations) or online via the ‘listen live’ option from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. A recording of the show will be available to download after broadcast, and we’ll be sharing that here on our website.
So whether you tune in or connect on the day, catch the repeat on the Sunday, or download the recording, we hope you enjoy the show.
A session entitled Bet the Farm was an interview with two writers I hadn’t heard of: Gabrielle Chan, a political journalist, who has written a book, Why you should give a f*ck about farming, and Anika Molesworth, an agroecology scientist, who has written Our Sunburnt Country. Generally it seemed that there was too much to cover in this session. We are living in a time where we are experiencing the convergence of floods, fire and plague. Some areas discussed were: the problem of favouring the cheapest production of food (the neoliberal approach), one-third of the food produced in the world is wasted, the general lack of vision – everything is siloed – the Minister for Agriculture should have the same status as the Minister for Defence – need for a National Food Policy. Anika is hopeful. Farmers for Climate Action has 8,000 members. Yet it is hard to spread their messages – the rural press has closed down. Since attending this session I’ve been more particular than usual about not wasting food.
Elwood Writers has had a presence at Adelaide Writers’ Week for some years. Last year we were unable to attend because of Covid restrictions. This year, for various reasons, I am the sole attendee. I’ll try to give you a taste of my experience.
The city of Adelaide in South Australia is very special to Elwood Writers. Over the last fifteen years, we’ve regularly attended Writers’ Week, part of the annual Adelaide Festival. Our last visit was in 2020, just before the world started to close down. None of us was able to go in 2021. But Jennifer is planning to be there this year, and we’re looking forward to her dispatches from the beating heart of the festival. No pressure, Jenny.
But right now we’re all excited to be creating and refining the material for a brand new edition of Cover to Cover on Vision Australia Radio, with Adelaide front and centre as the unifying theme. The program is taking shape, and broadcast has tentatively been scheduled for Friday 15 April (repeated Sunday 17 April).
This will be the eighth edition of Cover to Cover featuring Elwood Writers, and we’re grateful as ever to producer Tim McQueen and the entire team at Vision Australia Radio for their ongoing support of the group.
Stay tuned for more details over the next couple of months. If you’d like to be notified of new blog posts, click the ‘follow’ button near the top of this page. And don’t forget you can show your love for any of our posts by hitting the ‘like’ button or letting us know in the comments below.
We thought we’d kick off the 2022 blogs with some recent activity from Elwood Writers members’ individual websites.
Click here for the latest post from Jennifer. You’ll find Margaret’s latest by clicking here. And for Barry’s, click here. And while she might not have an individual site (yet), click here for a recent EW post on Helen’s poetry.
If you do find time to visit any or all of those websites, why not linger and explore. You won’t be disappointed.
Coming soon, news about a forthcoming Elwood Writers radio project. Stay tuned. In the meantime, happy reading and writing.
As we reflect on this particularly challenging year, when it seemed we were stymied in many aspects of our lives, we’re surprised by how much we have in fact achieved, both individually and as Elwood Writers, without actually meeting face-to-face.
We’ve attended online seminars, and taken part in literary festivals, panel discussions and readings; we’ve worked on first drafts of manuscripts, achieved publication in a variety of journals and anthologies in Australia and overseas, contributed guest blog posts, judged short-story competitions, and formed relationships with other writers’ groups here and in the US. And throughout the year, our anthology Every Second Tuesday has been selling from a number of independent bookstores and online platforms.
In spite of all that life and the pandemic might have thrown at us, we’ve kept on writing. Putting one word in front of another. We think it’s important to celebrate this.
We look forward to continuing to share our news and progress throughout 2022. In the meantime, we’d like to wish everyone a safe and peaceful holiday season. Here’s to another new year filled with the joy of reading and writing.