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One of the longer pieces I’m currently working on takes a fresh look at the dynamics of ease/unease in online spaces such as those described in ‘Twitch’.

from “The story behind ‘Twitch'” at barryleethompson.com

In Barry’s recent blog about the background to his short story ‘Twitch’, he talks briefly about a story he’s currently writing that shares similar themes. It’d be interesting to hear more about this new story sometime. Come to think of it, it’d be great to hear a little about what other members of Elwood Writers are working on at the moment. But only those who want to share. Writers don’t always like or feel comfortable discussing current work, for a variety of entirely understandable reasons. Oh, hang on just a moment, there’s a call coming in … why, it’s Jennifer Bryce – what a nice surprise! What’s that, Jennifer, you’d love to tell us about a project you’re working on? Well, we’d love to hear about it, so please go right ahead, in your own time. Absolutely no rush.

And now that a forthcoming blog post has been successfully solicited, let’s continue with the current project of spending this wintry Melbourne Saturday afternoon in the warmest way possible, all cosied-up with a good book. The Evenings by Gerard Reve, if anyone’s interested. But first let’s pop the kettle on and open up the cookie tin.

Have a peaceful weekend, everyone.

EW

Chamber Poets lives again

Helen has been busy recently, happily reconnecting with a cultural and literary community that disappeared two years ago, “leaving many poets and writers of a much-loved spoken word event quite bereft”. Chamber Poets attracts poets from Melbourne and regional Victoria, and will be held every second Saturday of the month from 1pm–4.30pm in the Woodend RSL (Returned & Services League) in the Macedon ranges. For more information about Chamber Poets, visit the following link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ChamberPoets

The July event this Saturday 9th will feature three poets: Angela Costi, Grant Caldwell and Claire Gaskin, who are launching An Embroidery of Old Maps and New; blue balloon (Collective Effort Press); and Eurydice Speaks and Ismene’s Survivable Resistance respectively. 

All are welcome to come along and listen to some of Australia’s leading poets and to share their own poems, perhaps written in isolation, that just now might be ready to go out into the world.


Here Helen shares with us her delight at being at the return of the Chamber Poets held in June:

“It’s been a long road for all writers since you-know-what sent us all scurrying indoors, doomed to an artistic life played out on Zoom with its intermittent freezes, loss of audio and anxiety-making meetings, seminars and classes. Needs must.

So many books/collections were written and launched into this weird cybersphere. But happily, writers are emerging from their imposed cocoons, and book launches are at last taking place with live, wildly enthusiastic audiences. So it was that after a hiatus of two years, the Victorian regional Chamber Poets returned triumphantly on June 11th to Woodend, with the largest audience in the group’s history. There were three book launches, plus an open mic section and entertainment by the funky and humorous Black Forest Smoke band, and much-lauded local choir The Woodend Warblers. 

Chamber Poets founder Myron Lysenko’s and Alice Wanderer’s haiku poetry collections – a ghost gum leans over and Lips Licked Clean – were launched along with Kevin Brophy’s latest poetry collection, In This Part of the World.

Inspired by the beautiful readings from each poet, some 20 people hungry for spoken word took to the open mic with their diverse and eclectic styles of poetry.”

Creatrix 57 Haiku

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:

https://wapoets.com/creatrix-57-haiku/

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.

Reading: San Fedele Press | 12 June 2022 @ 2pm EST (US), on Zoom

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”

Following the readings, there will be a Q & A.


To join, click on the link below:
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89951562488?pwd=aE1UaXhQUXpMMEsvbDV6QTlFVU9CZz09
Meeting ID: 899 5156 2488
Passcode: 257657

More information at https://www.americanwritersreview.com/ or email info@sanfedelepress.com
San Fedele Press

Writing or Penning?

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.

WRITINGS AND MUSINGS OF MARGARET MCCAFFREY

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…

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podcast: all about Adelaide, on Cover to Cover

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:

https://omny.fm/shows/cover-to-cover/cover-to-cover-episode-416-15th-april-2022

If you don’t want to move away from this page, you can dive straight in and listen now, below:

Cover to Cover Episode 416 15th April 2022

Thanks as always to Tim McQueen and the team at Vision Australia Radio.

We hope you enjoy the show. Happy listening,

Elwood Writers

Let’s hear it for Adelaide

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.

5 April 2022: Helen reading her poetry at the Vision Australia Radio studios in Melbourne

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.

Happy listening!

ADELAIDE WRITERS’ WEEK 2022 CONTINUES

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.

Continue reading “ADELAIDE WRITERS’ WEEK 2022 CONTINUES”

‘Adelaide’: an upcoming Cover to Cover presentation on Vision Australia Radio

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.

Happy reading and writing,

Elwood Writers