Helen McDonald’s poem New is published in the anthology Love’s footprint from Poetica Christi Press. Congratulations to Helen. We’re looking forward to reading her work and that of all the other poets featured in this beautiful volume.
Helen McDonald’s poem ‘In deep blue’ is a prize winner in July’s Poetry Matters competition. That piece, along with Helen’s ‘A Friday, like any other’, is published in the always excellent Poetry Matters journal (Issue 36, July 2019). The theme of the issue is ‘runaway world’. More information on the work of Poetry Matters is available here.
Many congratulations to Helen!
A peaceful weekend and happy reading and writing to everyone.
Congratulations to Helen on winning ‘Poet of the Month’ at the July Chamber Poets meeting in Woodend with her poem ‘Stark Against the Sky’. If you use Facebook, you can find out about Chamber Poets here.
And Helen’s poems ‘A Friday, like any other …’ and ‘In Deep Blue’ are published in Poetry Matters Issue 36 – the 2019 Competition edition. You can read more about Poetry Matters here.
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.
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.
It 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.
Helen McDonald has a poem, Labours, published in Issue 32 of Poetry Matters (pub. Cheryl Howard, March 2018). Congratulations, Helen!
For information about the journal and to find out how to get your hands on a copy, visit poetrymattersjournal.blogspot.com
Because poetry matters.
“American Writers Review is a multi-genre literary journal published by San Fedele Press. For five years, AWR has shared fiction, non-fiction, poetry, photography and art from a diverse group of contributors. We welcome writers of all experience levels, who want to explore their art with us.”
Helen McDonald’s poem Deluge is published in Poetry Matters, Issue 31, November 2017 (edited and published by Cheryl Howard).
From the journal’s website: “Poetry Matters is a home-grown print poetry journal that began in Spring 2006. Censorship can take many forms. The inability to find a place of publication can be social censorship. Poetry is freedom.”
To discover more about Poetry Matters and to find out how to subscribe, click here.
Poetry matters! Hashtag poetry!
Elwood Writer Helen will be reading two of her poems – “Twilight” and “Loss” – tomorrow afternoon at Chamber Poets in Woodend (Saturday 9th December 2017).
Venue: Woodend Neighbourhood House, 47 Forest St, Woodend, Victoria 3442
Hosted by Myron Lysenko
John Flaus Reluctant Poet Segment
Black Forest Smoke
Entry by donation, raffle for book prizes. BYO alcohol. Tea & coffee facilities available, or visit nearby cafes for a cup.
2 p.m. for a 2.30 start
Once again Adelaide delighted with its heady mix of festival fare. Writers from round the world took to the stage in the wonderfully situated Pioneer Women’s Memorial Gardens by the river. This year I was drawn to the writings of the chroniclers of our times – the journalists and social commentators who strive to show us the truth of complex human situations through both non-fiction and fiction. A highlight was the poetry reading session curated by Peter Goldsworthy, with six of Adelaide’s noted poets reading from their collections. I particularly loved the simplicity of Jules Leigh Koch’s and Cath Kenneally’s readings. Their observations on the small, often suburban details of life can be both profound and poignant. Leigh Koch’s Man in the Bookshop ‘tucks his thoughts away like a bookmark’ while one of Kenneally’s characters is ‘leaking at the seams’.
In US journalist Thomas Frank’s ‘Listen Liberal’ he explores the failings of the US left and the disintegration of the middle class. He believes the Democrats cannot find the policy or conviction to alter the economy and ‘the gravity of discontent keeps pulling to the right, and the right and the right’. Ben Ehrenreich and Mei Fong, respectively writing about the lives of Palestinians living in the West Bank in ‘The Way to the Spring’ and the effect of China’s one-child policy in ‘One Child’, discussed the very real issue of bias and objectivity in telling compelling stories. Ehrenreich posed the question: How can you write about Palestine objectively when it is very clear there is an absolute imbalance of power? You cannot denude the truth, he purports, and you must be transparent about where you stand. Fong concurred that the reader wants to know the truth and you must give your reader a clear point of view. Of course bias is in her book by her very status of being Chinese and a woman.
Journalists Patrick Cockburn (Ireland), ‘The Rise of Islamic State’, and Janine di Giovanni (US), ‘The Morning They Came for Us’, both Middle Eastern experts, gave a sobering and thorough account of the chaos that is Syria, painting a clear picture of the major players involved and the likely outcome. On the other hand, two novelists have brought the stories of the marginalised to readers via fiction. Mexican author Yuri Herrera, ‘Signs Preceding the End of the world’, and Korean Krys Lee, ‘How I Became a North Korean’, explore the realities of displaced people. Herrera delves into the shadowy world of border communities where people are not ‘recognisable’ (no papers or passports) and must adapt to many migrants from different worlds living together. He deems ‘art allows us not to be hostage to one version of reality’. Lee wanted to write about the people she knows who are not just ‘North Korean’, but complex human beings. How do we know what it is like to be that person who is simply a stereotype to the outside world? she asks.
I enjoyed an entertaining session on Books and Reading with Keith Houston (Scotland), an expert on the history of the book, and Alberto Manguel (Canada) who has written extensively on books and reading. It was heartening to hear both authors emphatically stating that the book will survive, that libraries are our identity and memory, and can and must collect everything, including new technologies. Libraries must be preserved, they concurred!
Of course there was so much to sample of the Arts and Fringe festivals running concurrently. Watching the Berlin company Schaubuhne Berlin’s rendering of Shakespeare’s Richard III in German was a roller coaster of frenetic-paced, fantastic acting, to the accompaniment of heavy metal music, rapping, and with audience interaction and nudity (his) on stage. A phenomenal performance and for this writer quite thrilling as Richard limped off the stage, plonked himself next to me at the end of the row and asked ‘Do you mind?’ as Anne delivered her soliloquy over her dead husband’s body. No proscenium arch here!
Finally, as part of the Fringe Festival, a delightful concert of popular music by The String Family, mum, dad and two teens all on cellos or violins, had everyone’s toes tapping. Their story of life on the road for the past thirteen months, travelling around Australia, living in a caravan and winning the Australian National Busking Championship, had moments of great poignancy as they live out ‘the dream’. While missing the family and friends they have left behind, they have come to understand, first hand, the hardships of life on the land for so many Australians. Now there’s a book in that.