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Interviews with poets from Australia and overseas about what they read and how they write.
Jul 27, 2020
Ep 124. Gayatri Nair reports from Western Sydney
Gayatri Nair is one of the many women of colour who are part of Sweatshop—a literacy movement out of Western Sydney that aims to empower ‘culturally and linguistically diverse communities through reading, writing and critical thinking’. We talk about how a community like this can support new writers, why critical feedback on your work is … Continue reading "Ep 124. Gayatri Nair reports from Western Sydney"
Jul 13, 2020
Ep 123. ‘What was terrible was simple.’
I discovered Hilda Morley and her poem ‘Song of the Terrible‘ while hunting for something else, but this was exactly the poem I needed in the moment I found it. It reminds me of one of my favourite sayings: ‘Relax. Nothing is under control.’
Jun 29, 2020
Ep 122. Antonia Pont: ‘Pessimism is very imprecise.’
Every interview I do for this show offers its own rewards. Speaking with Antonia Pont, I got to hear a message of truly radical gentleness that helped me turn the corner out of a recent stretch of darkness. We also ate whiskey cake. Antonia’s stunning new book, You Will Not Know In Advance What You’ll … Continue reading "Ep 122. Antonia Pont: ‘Pessimism is very imprecise.’"
1 hr 23 min
Jun 15, 2020
Ep 121. ‘Are all poets depressed?’
The other side of having a border collie brain is, occasionally, having to look after ‘the black dog’. In this episode I look at the persistent myth that being a poet is somehow connected to poor mental health. Show notes Quora: ‘Do poets get depression or do depressed people write poetry?‘ ‘30 depression poems to … Continue reading "Ep 121. ‘Are all poets depressed?’"
Jun 1, 2020
Ep 120. Ellen van Neerven: Love poems, comfort and writing ‘Throat’
Mununjali author Ellen van Neerven’s new collection Throat, just out from UQP, has incredible breadth. The book moves from themes of love, sexuality and gender to ideas like ecopoetry, queer elders and the exchange of power between writer and reader. In this conversation we touch on all those ideas, always returning to the question of … Continue reading "Ep 120. Ellen van Neerven: Love poems, comfort and writing ‘Throat’"
May 18, 2020
Ep 119. Hypochondria vs Poetry
I used to be (still am?) a hypochondriac. When I read Anne Boyer’s new book The Undying recently, I was reminded of some long months (years?) spent trawling online health information for a sense of comfort—and not finding it. In Anne’s work, I saw again how poetry resists the flat, reductive language we read and … Continue reading "Ep 119. Hypochondria vs Poetry"
May 4, 2020
Ep 118. Alison Whittaker on First Nations poetry and unanswerable questions
‘If this book can be a memory for us, then I would consider it successful.’ So says Alison Whittaker of the new anthology Fire Front: First Nations poetry and power today, just out from UQP. In this episode, Alison and I talk about everything that went into creating this new collection and why it was … Continue reading "Ep 118. Alison Whittaker on First Nations poetry and unanswerable questions"
Apr 20, 2020
Ep 117. David Stavanger on community, self-care, burnout and dog minding
‘The poetry community is a living thing,’ David Stavanger says. With all in-person poetry events on hold when we recorded this interview, that statement has never felt more true. David and I talk about his latest book, ‘Case Notes’, along with the joys and challenges of being a producer in the arts, the work of … Continue reading "Ep 117. David Stavanger on community, self-care, burnout and dog minding"
Apr 6, 2020
Ep 116. Daniel Swain: Straight men, tarantulas and institutional absurdity
Daniel Swain describes himself as ‘a gay man but also so much less than that.’ Self-depreciation aside, Daniel is just as funny and intriguing as the poems in his new chapbook You Deserve Every Happiness But I Deserve More. In this episode we talk about life in isolation, the absurdity of higher education, why straight … Continue reading "Ep 116. Daniel Swain: Straight men, tarantulas and institutional absurdity"
Mar 23, 2020
Ep 115. Michael Farrell & the swimming pool of poetry
On March 19th, 2020 I sat under a tree with Michael Farrell – one of the most influential poets working in Australia today. We were meeting at a strange moment in history, but spent a lot of our time laughing. We discussed everything from One Direction to the role of Catholicism in Michael’s poetry, the … Continue reading "Ep 115. Michael Farrell & the swimming pool of poetry"
1 hr 2 min