Update: Special winter edition of Cover To Cover | Friday 12 & Sunday 14 July 2019

There was a problem with our calendar and we initially gave the wrong dates for the special upcoming winter-themed edition of the weekly literary program Cover To Cover on Vision Australia Radio. The program will be broadcast on Friday 12 July at 8.00pm, repeated Sunday 14 July at 1.30pm and will feature the members of Elwood Writers performing their own work. There’s poetry, including haiku, from Helen, and stories by Jennifer, Margaret, and Barry.

Cover To Cover can be heard on the radio in Australia or online from anywhere in the world. For frequency and other information and to access online listening visit the station’s website below:

https://radio.visionaustralia.org

A podcast will be available shortly after the broadcast, and we’ll add it to our podcast page here on the Elwood Writers website, so if you don’t get a chance to tune in on the day you can listen at your leisure.


Cover To Cover is produced by Tim McQueen and recorded in the studios of Vision Australia Radio in Melbourne.

American Writers Review 2019 (San Fedele Press)

While parts of the northern hemisphere are currently experiencing very high temperatures, it’s midwinter here in the lower reaches of the southern hemisphere. This afternoon may not be too cold (16C), but it’s gloomy and wet and windy. Ideal conditions for being bookish. And there’s something especially soothing about finding a book that becomes a friend to accompany you through the long wintry nights.

And we’ve found such a book in the brand new American Writers Review (San Fedele Press). We’ve been excitedly dipping into this year’s edition and stumbling across numerous treasures. The bar was set high with last year’s AWR, and the team have done it again. Prepare to be unexpectedly distracted – this is certainly a book to lose yourself in.

We’re very pleased that three members of Elwood Writers have their work included in this year’s edition. You’ll find memoir from Margaret (The Poultry Farm; Yin and Yang), poetry by Helen (In Retreat; Stark against the Sky), and short fiction from Barry (The Birthday). A trifecta of Elwood Writers!

So whatever the season where you are, get hold of a copy of this book, cancel your plans for the evening, plump up your cushions and put your favourite beverage at your side, take your phone off the hook (we’re old school), and prepare to be delighted and moved for hours on end. There really is something in this pleasingly hefty volume for readers everywhere to enjoy. Open its pages and allow yourself to become lost in the many wonderful stories.

Happy reading, everyone.

Special winter edition of Cover To Cover | Friday 12 & Sunday 14 July 2019

Elwood Writers was in the studios of Vision Australia Radio in Kooyong on Thursday morning to record their pieces for a special upcoming winter-themed edition of the weekly literary program Cover To Cover.

The program features poetry, including haiku, by Helen, and stories by Jennifer, Margaret, and Barry, and goes to air on Friday 12 July at 8.00pm, repeated Sunday 14 July at 1.30pm.

Cover To Cover can be heard on the radio in Australia or online from anywhere in the world. For frequency and other information and to access online listening visit the station’s website below:

https://radio.visionaustralia.org

A podcast will be available shortly after the broadcast, and we’ll add it to our podcast page here on the Elwood Writers website, so if you don’t get a chance to tune in on the day you can listen anytime at your leisure.


Cover To Cover is produced by Tim McQueen and recorded in the studios of Vision Australia Radio in Melbourne.

This post originally showed the dates of the program as Friday 5 July and Sunday 7 July 2019. This was incorrect, and the information has been amended.

Poetry for Public Transport

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.

Book launch: American Writers Review 2019

Speaking of book launches …

The day after the launch of Lily Campbell’s Secret, way across the globe in Pennsylvania, San Fedele Press will celebrate the release of American Writers Review 2019 with an ice-cream social at Wilkes University.

If only Elwood Writers could go along to this. Not just because we adore a good old ice-cream social, but because three of our writers have work included in this terrific anthology. More about that later. Congratulations to Margaret, Helen, and Barry, and to all of the other contributors in this latest edition of AWR.

Friday 14 June, Wilkes University, Henry Student Center Ballroom (2nd floor), 7:30pm for readings, mingling, and ice-cream.

Poetry and Place

How do we write?  And, importantly, where do we write?  Each of the Elwood Writers has their own method, quirky or disciplined.  Some are methodical, setting aside regular precious hours to pen papers, while others wait for inspiration to strike and write ‘off the hoof’ – and that would be me.  I find Place particularly important – ideas and images come randomly; when I’m out walking, in the middle of a busy cafe, or regularly at 4 am.  It’s handy to have a notebook or even a smartphone to capture those fleeting thoughts.  It can be a chaotic process.

I write poetry and have just returned from a wonderful, enriching two weeks in Japan, the spiritual home of haiku.  Never was a sense of place more powerful to me than being in the land of the rising sun during both Sakura – the spring cherry blossom season – and the last of the winter snowfalls.

Finding myself mentally free from the entrapments of daily chores and routine, I felt creatively open to these unique sensory experiences.  In Kyoto I visited the 17th century home of Mukai Kyorai, the great haiku master Basho’s most famous disciple. I even dared to write a Sakura haiku and post it in the dedicated haiku letterbox.  The timing was serendipitous, as it was close to International Haiku Day.

img-2914.jpg

The home of Mukai Kyorai in Kyoto

Where I live in country Victoria we have a monthly poetry-reading afternoon, Chamber Poets.  In the very week when I was trudging through four inches of snow on a mountain pass on the ancient Nakasendo Way, my haiku, which seemed to spring effortlessly into my head day after day, were being read aloud at Chamber Poets as that important day was celebrated. The joy for me was in being able to relay that wondrous sense of place to my fellow poets so many thousands of kilometres away.

Earlier in March I had the privilege of being the featured poet at Chamber Poets.  Our meetings are held in the local RSL (Returned Servicemen’s League) Club.  I read a short memoir piece about my English grandfather’s experiences in the trenches as a 17-year-old foot soldier in World War 1, and I was both comforted and overwhelmed to share his history in that most appropriate of places.

Poetry and place; the words bind us, wherever we are.

Winter 2018 Soiree | Margaret McCaffrey

Margaret’s notes on the Elwood Writers soiree held in August at St Kilda Library:

The Elwood Writers 2018 soiree was our third in a series of evening readings. The group’s first two events were held in a private home where we tested the performance waters with family and friends. This year we branched out a little, presenting at a local public venue and inviting a slightly wider audience.

The concept of a soiree is loosely based on the old-fashioned, European notion of a ‘salon’. People are invited to gather and enjoy themselves while being entertained with stories and musical interludes.

As my own work is mainly memoir and of a personal nature, I can find public readings to be challenging. But I have to be willing to open my soul, while protecting myself with the suited armour of a story and carefully crafted narrative.

Despite the challenges, however, in the long run I value the opportunity to leave my comfort zone (the support of my group and the patient listening of my partner), to spring into the exhilarating and expectant atmosphere of a live audience, whether this be with friends or strangers.

The audience’s response to us can be subtle. It might come in the form of a sigh of satisfaction or as a wave of relief (or even agitation) that ripples through the crowd. One might detect a murmur at the end of a story or poem, or a facial expression of pleasure or questioning. But despite any nervous apprehension on my part, I would not be willing to miss the experience for anything.


“… a sigh of satisfaction or as a wave of relief …”

The graduation from working solo to public performance is all in the path of the writer, I believe, where she must firm her step and ready herself to stride forth into the realm of the more global sphere.


All images HarrietClaire Photography

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we live and write, and we pay our respects to all elders past and present.

Winter 2018 Soiree | Helen McDonald

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.

2018_08_25-elwoodwriters_058.jpgIt 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.

 

Cover To Cover | Armistice Day Centenary

This Friday at 8:00 PM (AEST), Vision Australia Radio is broadcasting a special edition of Cover To Cover to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. The entire program features work from the Elwood Writers.

Join us as Jennifer reads an extract from her novel set just after World War I, and a short story set in England at the time of the war. Helen reads ‘Reflections on My Grandpa’, a factual account of her grandfather’s experiences during the First World War and after. ‘Down to the Sea’ features Margaret’s memories of her grandfather, who had been a surgeon at Gallipoli. In Barry’s short story ‘Chloe’, a newly enlisted soldier is captivated by a portrait on the day he leaves home to serve overseas.

You can listen on the radio in Australia, or online from anywhere in the world. The program will be repeated on Sunday 11 November at 1:30 PM (AEST), and available shortly afterwards as a podcast. For listening and other information and streaming links, visit the Vision Australia Radio website, here.

We hope you can make it, and look forward to your company.


Cover To Cover is produced and presented by Tim McQueen in the studios of Vision Australia Radio in Melbourne.

Lit on a Winter Afternoon

At the end of August, Elwood Writers held a literary soiree in the community room at St Kilda Library in Melbourne. The event provided an opportunity for us to present a curated program of short readings from our own work, and included fiction, memoir, and poetry.

Duo con Brio, with Monica Edwards on cello and Elwood Writers’ Jennifer Bryce on oboe, punctuated the proceedings with musical pieces by Bach.

We’ll provide more information on some of the work presented at the event in forthcoming blog posts. For now, wherever you are, happy reading and writing.

2018_08_25-ElwoodWriters_064

The writers.

All images HarrietClaire Photography

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we tell our stories, and pay our respects to Elders past and present.