Want to get better at writing poetry?

I recently delivered a writing workshop at The Adelaide City Library aimed at generating new material and drafting a piece of writing using an object or piece of clothing as a prompt. I really love presenting this workshop, and am always amazed at the diversity of work produced. Afterwards, someone asked me how they might develop their work and get better at writing poetry. They were new to poetry, didn't plan on going to university to study but wanted to work at writing and editing poetry. I realised that I didn't have a clear answer, so went away, thought about it and emailed them my suggestions few days later: READ POETRY - there are many websites where you can read free online. Here are a few examples, but there are plenty more: Red Room Poetry (AUS), Cordite Poetry (AUS), Overland (AUS), Poetry Foundation (USA) & Quartet (US). Buying anthologies (or borrowing from the library) is also a good way of getting an overview. Try The Anthology of Australian Prose Poetry , Co

Tips for Dealing with Grief

Rabbit is an Australian journal that publishes nonfiction poetry, and their most recent issue #37 COLLABORATIONS is out in the world. It's full of juicy work, including a piece by myself and visual artist Donna Gordge. 'Tips for Dealing with Grief' is a tongue-in-cheek guide for how you might 'deal' with grief. Let me be clear: I don't believe that grief is something we deal with but rather something that we must go through. Grief turns everything on its head; the reason and logic of language can fall short. This poem doesn't make logical sense because grief doesn't make sense. It has to be felt, not reasoned with, and we need to make adjustments to include loss & grief in our lives. Hence the repetition of the word 'adjust' in the poem.   I approached the making of this work by Googling 'tips for dealing with grief' and included some words from my searches. I also reference the ritual of tea making, punning on the phrase 'adjus

SOLACE, art and poetry exhibition

I've been working on something really special. Not long after meeting visual artist Donna Gordge , I discovered that we were making work in response to similar themes - grief and the loss of a parent. I suggested we exchange some work, and create new work out of that exchange. The outcome is SOLACE, an exhibition of art and poetry that opens at Mrs Harris Shop at 6pm on Saturday 18 February . SOLACE is a free Adelaide Fringe event . Mrs Harris Shop is a suburban single room gallery that, yes, used to be a shop before supermarkets became the place we went to buy our groceries and these little shops disappeared. It's a beautiful, light-filled space. Donna's work is on display (including a canopy made out of teabags!), and my seven poems are exhibited alongside. I copied out the poems using a fountain pen on rice paper and I'll be doing some free readings over the duration of the exhibition. Recently I was interviewed by Vision Australia for their new series on emerging