Sunday, July 29, 2007

Norfolk/Passionate Tongues

Just home from Norfolk Island where I got to spend the night in the pier store, its most ‘haunted’ building.

Built by convicts, it is said that a grey figure appeared one night, walked down the front stairs, out onto the pier and disappeared into the ocean. The witness of this was so alarmed that he went straight to the authorities and reported it. Since then there have been other accounts of strange noises and sightings.

Now converted into a museum, I was allowed to sleep upstairs among the relics of the Bounty. My buddy for the night was one of the original cannons salvaged from the ship that Fletcher Christian and the other mutineers burnt at Pitcairn Island.

Check out the gallery for pics of ruins, pines and the cemetery of this incredible place. Thanks to Brian Hubble, Maev Hitch and others who introduced me to the local history and Norfolk language (a cross between Tahitian and Old English.)

My final ghost-poetry stay is coming up at Australia’s most haunted location: Port Arthur. So keep in touch.

And why not come and see me perform at Passionate Tongues in Melb, 6th August, 8pm. $5. (Noise Bar, 291 Albert St, Brunswick) I am featuring with Kevin Brophy, Paul Mitchell and James Waller. Fine poetry by some of Melbourne’s best.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Norfolk Island (Ghost Poetry)

My ninth stay on the ghost poetry project is the picturesque Norfolk Island. With 1800 residents, a third of whom are direct descendants of Fletcher Christian from Pitcairn Island, it sits two and half hours from the Queensland Coast, a jewel in the Pacific, a living museum.

Yet Norfolk Island was once an isolated penal colony, perhaps the most brutal every established. Many place names on the island give a hint to its gruesome past: Bloody Bridge, Ghost Corner, Gallows Gate and Cemetery Bay. Some claim it has more ghosts per square kilometre than any other region of Australia.

It looks like I will be staying the night at the Kingston Pier Store. The pier and storehouse were built by convicts, and is said to be haunted by the ghost of one that drowned (presumable during its construction). Check out the links below for more info on the island. Aren’t I lucky to go to all of these cool places? The only downside is the terror!

Judith Rodriguez will be launching a new book of poems, Mr Wittgenstein’s Lion, written by that other sensei of mine, Kevin Brophy. Sunday 29th July, 5 for 5.30pm, Glenfern (417 Inkerman St, East St Kilda, Melbourne). So pop that into your diary. We are all looking forward to it.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Voices of experience

Don’t know if you caught the A2 liftout of Melbourne’s Saturday Age but you would have seen Judith Rodriguez and myself splashed across the centre page. Larry Schwartz wrote an article on mentorships and tracked us down through the Australian Society of Authors. (which all writers should consider joining… I really must renew my membership!!) Jill Dymond you’re the best.

So check out the article (you'll have to copy and paste the address below.) Larry talked to other mentor/mentees including Lex Lasry, Renee Geyer and Liesel Jones. He even gives a mention to my current 'ghost poetry' project.