Sunday, December 21, 2008

merry xmas

Merry Xmas you lot. Have a safe and happy one…

Well it’s been a big year for me. So many cool things have happened, not least my No Other Life But This getting a mention at Literary Minded as one of Angela Meyer’s top reads of 08. Crikey!

2009 will be kicking off with my Cable Car of Death on at the Short and Sweet Festival in Sydney. And I’ll have news on the launch date of The Ghost Poetry Project later in the new year.

oh and the new header picture is of the gaol gates on Norfolk Island... a fave of mine... think I'll keep it up for a while.

ciao for now & thanks for stopping by

Sunday, December 7, 2008

the quiet faith of others

New pic in the header again. This one is from Old Adelaide Gaol. It's up there as the spookiest night of my life.

I’m just home from performing at the launch of harvest magazine, another beautiful issue from the mob at RMIT. This officially wraps up my gigs for the year… and what a year… I’m exhausted. Now it’s downhill to Xmas.

One of the nice things about launches is the people you run in to. Can’t name them all here but you know who you are, you Melbourne lit lovers and wonders. And it was a lovely surprise to finally meet Fiona Wright from Sydney. Catch you next time in Newtown!

But the biggest surprise was meeting Clare Renner who is managing the RMIT creative writing course these days. Clare was one of my first teachers back in 2001(?) when I seriously set out to learn more about writing. I still remember her playing us Poe’s The Tell Tale Heart on cassette. She’s been a real believer in me from the start… and the quiet faith of others has been so important over the years.

Getting reflective at the end of the year ain’t I!

Now I’ve managed to score a studio space down here for launching in to a new play over December and January. And trying to get my head in order for a big 2009. Coming up later, an interview I've done with Angela Meyer (that young powerhouse)

and more news on The Ghost Poetry Project soon.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

girly socks

Well as you can see I’m still mucking around with a new pic for my header. This one is from the Dining Hall of the Quarantine Station in Sydney. There are numerous ghost stories attached to it… including accounts of smells, like fresh roasting potatoes, or the little girl who appears in the kitchen downstairs with plaits and bubonic plague.

Now big thanks to Going Down Swinging who commissioned our spoken word show Static. Our last performance up in Bendigo was a blast. Met some lovely people including Tru Dowling and heard from local poets… Spring is a slut… won’t be forgetting that line for a while.

After that we retreated to our hotel room to eat pizza and watch Revenge of the Nerds. Alicia and Sean finally confronted me with the fact that I wear girly socks (a real breakthrough moment for us) then we laughed, drank, oh how we laughed some more, and then I crashed out first. The following morning was spent in the spa.

Ah, life on the road.

Desperate to get into the studio now to record the Static show. Hopefully you want to hear it…

And don’t forget the launch of GDS No. 27 at Northcote Social Club, 3rd December, 7.30pm. I’ve been lucky enough to have a squiz at it already and they say the spoken word cd is a knockout this year.

On Friday, 5th of December I’ll be up in Melbourne for the launch of the new and exciting, harvest magazine. 6pm to 9pm at the Order of Melbourne on Swanston Street. I'll be reading with superstar Geoff Lemon and major bud of mine, Paul Mitchell.

And I’m fine with girly socks. I try to wear em like a man.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

typewriter walks

Big thanks to my friend, Leah, for letting me know about the results of the Bruce Dawe Poetry Prize. I came in with a High Commendation for my poem The Last Day, one inspired by Kevin Hart. Turns out that John Kinsella picked up the first prize and you can go and read it here...

In other news it looks like Static, commissioned by Going Down Swinging, is back on the road again: three spoken word performers, one musician – absolutely no interference.

A lion with the face of actor Harvey Kietel; a fist-fight with Paul Davies at the football; and what the Bible has to say about aliens. Come and buy the Universe a beer...

Alicia Sometimes, Sean M Whelan, Quinn Stacpoole and myself are performing in Bendigo on Friday, Nov 28th. 7.30 pm. Under the Grandstand at the Queen Elizabeth Oval, View St.

$8 supper, lucky door, books/cd’s available
More info: Tru Dowling 5441 1424
Or Sheree 5442 3634

And don’t forget the launch of GDS No. 27 at Northcote Social Club, 3rd December, 7.30pm. It’s a bonfire night of words & performance.

Now I’ll be up in Melbourne for the launch of the new and exciting, harvest magazine. Friday, 5th December 6pm to 9pm at the Order of Melbourne on Swanston Street. I'll be reading with superstar Geoff Lemon and major bud of mine, Paul Mitchell.

Also please check out the blog of my newest friends, Bean. An artist from Dartmoor UK, she has travelled to Dartmoor AUS for a 10 week residency. Check out pics of her ‘typewriter walks’ and showreel here. Go Bean!

Still waiting on photos for you from a couple of my recent plays… but I hear that a Mystery in a Blimp t-shirt is coming to me from the Benalla production. Merchandise!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Best Australian Poems 2008

I’ve just received my copies of The Best Australian Poems 2008 edited by Peter Rose. Can’t wait to get stuck into it. Poetry from Jaya Savige and Toby Davidson who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting recently. And from Sarah Holland-Batt and Fiona Wright… who I haven’t met, but the pleasure awaits. The book is launched on Nov 17 at 6.30 pm, Readings, Carlton.

Another launch (it must be the season)… is Four W with a launch in both Wagga Wagga and Sydney. I am so passionate these days about opportunities for regionally-based writers and Four W does a great job in selecting work from all around Australia while developing/supporting its local talent. Looking forward to reading pieces from Derek Motion, Belinda Campbell and Kelly Shaw.

Now it looks like none of you have decided to buy my house. Hmm… what if I said that koalas sit in the front tree and walk up and down the street? That’s serious wildlife… that’s value!

Aside from poetry and plays what I really dig is music. Gotta tell you about Kanye West’s latest one Love Lock Down, which is super cool as usual, and The Killers new album available in Australia Nov 22. Go to their site and hear the first single, Human. I’ve played it to death all ready. Plus I’ve been workin the cassette deck in my car lately… returned to Peter Gabriel’s So album… still good after all these years!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Night Air

Recently I’ve been introduced to John Jacobs and have been enjoying his late-night program on Radio National called The Night Air. It’s a wonderful, weird fusion of sound. Check it out. I love it. Here is a link to the stuff he captured and beautifully mixed up from TiNA 08 in Newcastle… featuring snippets from Michael Farrell, Astrid Lorange, Nick Keys and the funniest man on this earth with a guitar, Justin Heazlewood aka The Bedroom Philosopher.

or check out The Night Air website

More news coming soon about Sean Whelan’s launch on the 6th Nov at Bar Open in Melbourne, and the launch of the unstoppable Page Seventeen.

Oh and you gotta check out Justin’s link… that famous bedspread…

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

OzCo news & buy my house

Well the embargo is lifted and I can finally tell you that I’ve been awarded a Developing Writer's Grant from the Literature Board of the Australia Council. This means I am heading back to Port Arthur this year and writing a new play inspired by the stories of the Eaglehawk Neck Dog Chain. And I can’t begin to tell you what this means in terms of financial stability… it couldn’t have come at a better time!

Also check out my 'poem of the week' at the Australian Poetry Centre’s website… up until Monday.

And if you want to buy my house, check it out here…

More news coming soon on Ballarat Grammar’s production of my Cable Car of Death and Benalla Tafe’s production of Mystery in a Blimp.

Monday, October 6, 2008

TiNA & Sean M Whelan

What can I say about TiNA 08?

I read poetry to Tara Moss, went head to head with the Serial Pest and then finished up the day performing to over one hundred people at the late-night reading of my Ghost Poetry at the old Lock Up.

Big thanks to Newcastle poet, Chris Brown, who helped me out with a call-and-response poem at the start of the ‘haunting’. He was hiding in a nearby cell and delivered his lines like a long-time performer. We totally freaked em out! Good job bro (and thanks for letting me crash at your pad).

Then, later in the reading, we heard footsteps on the tin roof above our heads. It totally threw me and by then people thought it was part of the show… but I didn’t know what was going on. I found out later that people were climbing onto the roof because they couldn’t get in… they wanted to look down through the ceiling.

Needless to say… that kind of attention blew my mind!

The other thing that I’m stoked about is Sean M Whelan’s new book of poetry Tattooing the Surface of the Moon, published by Small Change Press and launched up at TiNA. Sean is a master, and poems like Dear Elliot and In The Places Where We Stood are two of my favourites. Stay tune for details of the Melbourne launch soon. It'll be an event you can confidently invite your friends, cousins, extended extendeds to, being sure that it won't suck. He knocks us dead everytime!

This from In the Places Where We Stood

In a luck filled future, loss is highly collectible
and a valuable jewel in any trophy cabinet.
And in the places where once we stood,
nobody knew how to lose,
like we did.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Almost TINA

The This Is Not Art Festival is almost here. I’ve been busy preparing for my late night reading at the Lock Up on Thursday night and also for my other panel sessions.

There are so many writers I’m looking forward to meeting, having only ever known them by name… including Ivy Alvarez… check out her blog here…

Recently I’ve had some good news from Going Down Swinging. They've accepted one of my ghost poems for the next issue. Plus Peter Rose has selected 'Those Adamant Shapes' for inclusion in Black Inc’s Best Australian Poems 08. So I’m thrilled.

On the play front, Ballarat Grammar have just approached me asking if they can do Cable Car Of Death. I love the thought of 7s and 8s playing Ollie, Floyd and Kat… stuck on a cable car above the Swiss Alps, with nothing but Harry Houdini’s mobile phone number. I’ll post pics up when they come in. And also in Ballarat i have a reading coming up on 13th of October at the Craig Hotel, for the Ballarat Writers' Roving Readings night. Come and hear some ghost stories and poems if you're around.

Now hope to catch you somewhere… and don’t forget the Dream Technologist.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dream Technologist

If there is a dream you would like to have but the Sandman hasn't delivered yet, why not try the Dream Technologist? As advertised in The Age...


Send a brief description of the dream you would like to have and your phone number to...

The Anonymous Voice
447 Church St Richmond 3121

I encourage you to try it. Word on the street is that the Dream Technologist is remarkably good.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Essential Pablo

We performed the show Static for the second time last night over at Port Fairy. Afterwards I got to thump Alicia Sometimes in an arm wrestle and then she translated my Japanese tattoo for me beneath a street lamp outside.

Had no idea it meant that! What was I thinking!?

I have a few writing workshops lined up now at schools/mental health groups and then I’m off to the This Is Not Art Festival in Newcastle (hence the pic above). So I finally have time to do some prep…

Warning: to anyone hanging out with me up there… we’re getting tattoos! Oh, and I'll be sporting the Karate Kid headband again at some stage. It's tradition.

Finally, I’ve always been a Nerudiano, so I’ve been enjoying some ‘essential’ Pablo which I picked up at Collected Works the other day. But where are the questions? Not one of his questions in there. Grrr…

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Well the craziness is over… for now.

Just home from the Melbourne Writers Festival 08. I performed at Fed Square with two of my favourite poets, Alicia Sometimes and Sean M Whelan... plus the cool-for-cats muso, Quinn Stacpoole. Big thanks to the literary journal, Going Down Swinging, who commissioned the show in the first place.

Was the gig of a lifetime, and we totally rocked! People really seemed to dig it. But you should have seen us in the Green Room beforehand… soooo nervous. Sean was reciting to himself in the corner, I was plugged into my headphones and Alicia was going back and forth chatterboxing to both of us. Can’t tell you what an honour it was to be up on stage with them. Check out the write up on it (and the rest of the fest) from Angela Meyer.

I also spoke the following night at the Festival Club about The Ghost Poetry Project. A big thanks to David Ryding and the Emerging Writers Festival for sponsoring the session. The ongoing support is deeply encouraging. David, you’re amazing!

So now I’m trying to process all this while looking forward to the next performance of STATIC this weekend at the Ex Libris Book Fair in Port Fairy.

Check out the article on me in the Warrnambool Standard… lamest article I’ve ever read but they have a shot of me in my favourite chair (looking way too serious).

Also click on the link below for the what I’m doing at the This Is Not Art Festival in October… can’t wait to get up there for my late night ghost poetry reading…

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Static MWF 08

Going Down Swinging presents STATIC: white noise writ large

Three spoken word performers, one musician – absolutely no interference

A lion with the face of actor Harvey Kietel; a fist-fight with Paul Davies at the football; and what the Bible has to say about aliens. Come and buy the Universe a beer...

Featuring Melbourne poets Alicia Sometimes, Sean M Whelan and Nathan Curnow, backed by composer Quinn Stacpoole.

Premiere: The Age Melbourne Writers Festival – Friday 29 August –
BMW Edge Theatre, Federation Square
Double Bill: 8.30pm Tracie Morris 9.20pm STATIC
For tickets and information:

Plus see me the following day, Sat 30th Aug, in conversation with David Ryding about The Ghost Poetry Project or listen here to my recent interview with Sarah L'Estrange on ABC's The Book Show...

God, everything will calm down and be back to normal soon...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

MWF 08/Book Show

Lots of news soon on my upcoming gigs at the Melbourne Writers Festival 08 ie. Static performance @ Fed Square with Sean M Whelan and Alicia Sometimes. 29th Aug

David Ryding is also in conversation with me at the MWF regarding The Ghost Poetry Project. Check out the link below to book tickets. Plus you can hear me on Radio National's Book Show this Monday 18/08.

A new ghost poem from my manuscript is up on the Famous Reporter site. Check it out if you like… Ralph Wessman does a great job over there. I'm a big fan!

Last of all... please check out some of the old posts for pics from the project. I've just figured out how to put them up. derr...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Writer Around the Murray Fest

Back in my farmhouse writers residency after a fun weekend in Albury at the Write Around the Murray Fest...

I got to meet Hannie Rayson (man, she's lovely!) and caught up with the equally lovely Cate Kennedy who has always been an inspiration. I was even asked to perform a couple of poems at the Festival dinner too, so was a real thrill.

Following the Fest I held a workshop in the town of Griffith and went to James Fallon High today... all the time being looked after by my top host Derek Motion (and yes, he has dreadlocks!) Still trying to get him into Kanye West... might need a few more road trips! He played me the Wombats and I'm hooked.

Plus the Melbourne Writers Festival 08 program is now up... I'll be performing a show called Static at Fed Square with spoken worders Alicia Sometimes & Sean M Whelan. And then talking about The Ghost Poetry Project the following day... so why not book a ticket and come along?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wagga Wagga

I'm enjoying my time up here in Wagga. Got to talk to 80 school kids the other day about poetry, ghosts, and how we go about generating ideas...

One of the kids came up to me afterwards and said... will you write about us?" hmmm...

Now check out the posts below for links of what workshops/readings I'm doing up here and when. About to head down to the Write Around the Murray Fest" tomorrow. Should be fun.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Looking forward now to my residency at the Booranga Writers Centre which kicks off on the 28th of July until the 11th August. I’ve just done an interview with a journo from the Daily Advertiser in Wagga, which is good publicity for the reading and the workshops I’m running. Hope to meet lots of Waggarians. Or is it Waggarites?

And the Write around the Murray Festival will be fun in Albury. I’m doing a workshop on Performance Poetry at the Albury Library/Museum. See the link below…

My interview on ABC’s the Book Show must be coming up soon too. So tune in at 10am... you just might hear me yacking. They aired the interview with emerging writer Kate Mulvany the other day, so it won’t be long before I am on. I’ll post the link for you here soon…

Now before I fly out to Wagga I’ll be getting to the launch of the latest Blue Dog which is publishing my poem Anxiety. That will be at the Australian Poetry Centre at Glenfern, St Kilda on the 27th … so come along if you are in the area. It goes from 5:30 to 6:30pm.

Catch you later... I'm going for a bodyboard now in the rain cause I'm writing a poem about surfers/surfing. New writing territory for me. I'm lovin it.

Plus, Go Cadel!! Hold your nerve in those Alps.

Monday, July 7, 2008

welcome/the homecoming

Well here it is.

Finally ditched the Telstra blog. Was doing my head in. Couldn't handle it any longer.

A friend of mine just bought me a hardcover copy of The Homecoming by Ray Bradbury, illustrated by Dave McKean. It’s a beautiful book about Halloween/a haunting. How come I didn’t know about this before? I’ve read it through once and will need to sit with it for a while now. There is a strangeness to the language which is not easy to swallow but altogether captivating, the reason I will keep coming back to it.

Short stories are built (among other things) upon language use and the art of revelation. It’s as simple and as difficult as that. If you’ve got those two working for you then you’re on your way I reckon. Singing My Sister Down by Margo Lanagan comes to mind here… one of my all time favourites.

I’ve had a few short stories published but plays and poems have been my strength to date. I can see the time coming though when I get back there… tempted by prose amid a desert of sales!

Some lines from The Homecoming…

Silently she stood stiff as a great loaf of nile bread…

Their laughter was a cave of winds…

Uncle Einar, last of all, kettledrummed the air as he descended, laughing at some half-remembered death, perhaps his own, until he lay in the longest box of all…