The Gift of Reading

It’s that time of the year again. How quickly it comes around. Maybe you’re on the lookout for some original festive gift ideas? For the reader in your life, might we suggest a copy of the Elwood Writers anthology Every Second Tuesday? We think there’s something in the book for everyone. But don’t just take our word for it:

The anthology Every Second Tuesday hangs together well. It covers periods from the First World War to the far-too-soon future, with a variety of poetry, memoir, fact and fiction. The evocation of place, from the 1916 trenches near Boulogne to Luna Park in St Kilda is marvellous. Each of the authors has their own distinct voice – the voices blend together like a great choir.

Tim McQueen | Producer and presenter of Cover to Cover, Vision Australia Radio

You can order the paperback from most online platforms. Book Depository offers free worldwide delivery, and they currently have 10% off their list price – find them at the link below:

Every Second Tuesday at Book Depository

If ebooks are preferred, Every Second Tuesday is available from all the major retailers, including the one below:

Every Second Tuesday Kindle Edition

Why not share the wonderful gift of reading this December? Books make great stocking fillers, and you’ll also be supporting Australian writing.

Happy December,

EW

Currents: What I’m working on, by Helen McDonald

In recent weeks I have been aware of a light tap-tapping on my shoulder, sporadic but consistent, that I’ve been trying to ignore. Waving it away like a bothersome fly, I finally began to tune in after receiving my fifth, albeit encouraging, rejection from a literary journal. 

I hasten to add that I have been fortunate enough to have had a number of my poems published, in Australia and overseas, so I know that the tap on my shoulder is not a gentle suggestion to pack away my pens and give it all up. My thinking has changed from the years when a ‘no’ from a publication would send me into a spiral of rejection with thoughts of ‘I’ll never be good enough!’ My mantra now, thanks to experience and the unwavering support of Elwood Writers, is: ‘this poem hasn’t found a home yet’. I’ve come to realise that it can all come down to a suitable ‘fit’ – whether the publisher or journal editor can find a place for this particular poem. It might not complement other work chosen for the collection, or indeed may not be what the editor has in mind. Of course we won’t always hit the jackpot. I’m jostling for recognition in a field of highly talented and creative poets. The way I write won’t appeal to everyone, and – this is an important point – one editor might love the piece, while another won’t be moved at all. In many cases it comes down to an individual’s choice.

I think the message I’m now receiving from the universe, is maybe it’s time to step back and reflect on exactly what I have been saying for all these years. I write because I have to and there’s always more to say.  It’s my way of making sense of where I fit into the whole chaotic turbulence that is life. Affirmation is incredibly important to all artists, but so too is trusting in oneself. 

So I’m taking time now to gather my poems into a collection that will say: this is me – my work, my thoughts. This is how I navigate this world. And I hope to learn something about myself along the way.

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.

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

San Fedele Press: The Second Ice Cream Social | reviewed by Jennifer Bryce

Most of us here in Australia were sipping coffee rather than eating ice cream when we logged into the Ice Cream Social at 7.30 am Eastern Australian Daylight Time on Sunday 31st October – it was 4.30 pm Saturday in New Jersey. Patricia A. Florio, the founding publisher of American Writers Review, was a most welcoming convenor.

Continue reading “San Fedele Press: The Second Ice Cream Social | reviewed by Jennifer Bryce”

oxygen | Issue 2 October 2021

Elwood Writer Helen has poetry published in Issue 2 of oxygen, which came out last month.

oxygen Issue 2 October 2021 | ISSN 2653-0376

oxygen is a biannual magazine, issued in April and October. Subscriptions are $30 per year, for two issues including postage.

Contact:
Cheryl Howard, PO Box 614, Woodend, Vic 3442.
Email: poetry.clh@gmail.com

And remember, one of the best ways to support writers is to read their work. That way, you’re supporting the industry they work in, and everyone benefits.

Happy reading, as always!

UNUSUAL WORK No. 32

The latest issue of Unusual Work (edited by Π.O.) features Helen’s poem ‘Breaking Up’, and is now available to read and enjoy.

If you haven’t already subscribed, get hold of a copy of the journal for $10 (cash/cheque/money order) from:

Collective Effort Press
P.O. Box 2430
GPO Melbourne
Vic 3001

$30 gets a subscription for 3 issues.

The current issue also features work by Retta Hemensley, Jeltje, D.G.Lloyd, Eddie Caruso, ACR, Albert Rotstein, Linda Judge, Henry Briffa, Ross Jackson, Alan Wearne, Allan Padgett, Michael Leach, Glen Murdoch, Peter Murphy, Gershon Maller, Jebediah Costin, Abe Dunovits, Sandy Caldow, Peter Jones, and Π.O., and includes a tribute to Retta Hemensley from her life long partner Kris, with FLASHBACK poems from ACR, and a tribute and salute to Kate Jennings.

Lots to savour. Happy reading!

 

Poetry d’Amour

Love in popular culture is so overrun and overwrought with mass-market metaphor that it’s hard, especially in love’s thrall, to find language unsaid before, to find words that do justice … It is the intention of Poetry d’Amour to explore new and intriguing ways of saying “I love you”.

WA Poets Inc
Poetry d’Amour 2021

We’re delighted to learn that two of Helen’s poems feature in this year’s issue of Poetry d’Amour from WA Poets Inc. They are ‘Socks’ and ‘Do we ever grow up?’.

You can buy copies of the anthology directly from the WA Poets Inc shop, here. Back issues are also available from the shop.

We can’t wait to get hold of this beautiful publication. Congratulations to Helen and the other featured poets. Happy reading to everyone! And much love, of course.

American Writers Review 2021: Turmoil and Recovery

As of this writing, the pandemic continues, killing record numbers of people. Moreover, countries that had enjoyed democratic governments are facing authoritarian attacks. Divisions run through the fabric of our homes, our families, our nations. At the same moment, there are wellsprings of hope, love, and connection.

‘Our 2021 Issue’, from American Writers Review website

A brand new edition of American Writers Review has just been released by San Fedele Press, and once again we’re excited to see the journal featuring original work from our own Elwood Writers Helen McDonald and Barry Lee Thompson.

American Writers Review 2021: Turmoil and Recovery

Helen has three poems in the book: ‘Aftermath’, ‘Covid Lockdown (an Haibun)’, and ‘Restoration’.

From Barry, there are three short stories: ‘Glassy’, ‘Afterdark’, and ‘First Day Of Summer’.

For more information, including how to get hold of a copy of American Writers Review 2021: Turmoil and Recovery, follow the links found here.

Congratulations to everyone involved in this latest issue. We can’t wait to get our hands on it.

Happy reading and writing, as always.

Elwood Writers