Tuesday, June 28, 2016

BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT! in the Phoenix Pub, 7:30pm Wednesday 20 July






2 minutes on stage with a microphone with your original material with no props with no music all for the First Prizes!


And glory!

Some claim it as a title, some claim it as an award, others claim it as a CV entry and still others leave it on the table at the Phoenix Pub for the bar staff to bin.



And we have feature acts!

“Ranking 3rd at the 2014 Individual World Poetry Slam, 3rd at the Women of the World Poetry Slam, and 3rd at the 2014 National Poetry Slam, Desireé V. Dallagiacomo is an award winning writer, performer, and educator. She is the program director and a lead teaching artist for Forward Arts Inc, a literary arts non-profit in Baton Rouge, LA, and a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Gate, EverydayFeminism.com, Upworthy, Tulane University’s production of The Vagina Monologues, the New Orleans Fringe Festival, and Tandem Review. Studying creative writing and women & gender studies, she is a student at the University of New Orleans– where she is a recipient of the Ryan Chigazola Poetry Scholarship. She has taught and performed at colleges, universities, and youth organizations across the US and Canada.”

“Hello. I'm a poet and editor. My writing has been published in The Age, Overland, Filmme Fatales and The Lifted Brow Digital, among other places. My second chapbook LIKE is published through Bulky News Press. My practice encompasses installation and writing for performance. Some of this work has appeared at the Emerging Writers' Festival, YouAreHere, Critical Animals, Rubicon ARI, and with the Sipat Lawin Ensemble (Philippines) as part of their devised theatre performance LoveNOT. I'm also the editor of Seizure Editions, an online quarterly of new Australian writing. My new book Knock won the inaugural Noel Rowe Poetry Award, it is available through Vagabond Press.”



“Start date: Founded in February 2013
Genre: Alternative Metalcore
Band Members: Vocals - Connor Mairs; Guitars - Zac Bailey; Guitars - Chris McLaughlin; Bass - Ben Harvey; Drums - James Scott
Home Town: Canberra, Australia
Short description: Whitefall are an alternative metalcore band from Canberra, Australia.

And filling the Hadley Memorial Slots (may he rest in bunny rabbit peace):


Inside the Phoenix Pub!
Sign up from 7:30pm!
Poetry slam from 8pm!
1st prizes!
2 minutes!
No music!
No props!
Your original material (unless you’re a rebel, we welcome rebels)!


Friday, June 03, 2016

Michael Masters – Black & White Landscapes – The Photography Room

For the last few weeks I have been working on a commission for the Photography Room in Kingston. Photographer Sean Davey asked me to come in and look at the photographs in their main space, as well as some of the imagery from the then upcoming solo exhibition by Michael Masters, Black and White Landscapes.

I found a synergy between Michael’s work and a poem I have been working on based on images of Appalachia and some streetscapes of the USA. These two areas have been a focus of Michael’s photography exhibited in the Photography Room and the Black and White Landscapes solo exhibition.
Michael Masters

A second poem which I started specifically for the exhibition examines the Appalachian Trail and Canberra as the ‘Bush Capital’. This one draws concepts from the photographic exploration of critically endangered tree stands and grassy woodlands in Australia, as well as the Appalachian Trail which was established as a means to conserve natural landscapes in the USA.

A third poem has been developed extensively based on Michael’s streetscape photography and my own exploration of Canberra City but I don’t feel it is ready for the performance in the space this evening as it requires more edits to draw out its themes and form them into something that will challenge audiences.
Michael Masters

I am performing two of the three poems developed as part of the commission, along with two poems from my book, For All The Veronicas (The Dog Who Staid), at 6pm on Friday, 3 June in the Photography Room at the Kingston Bus Depot Markets. (This event was rescheduled to Midday Sunday 5 June).

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Today, the voice you speak with may not be your own

I have a piece in the Pocket Issue of Pasalle Burton’s zine, Today, the voice you speak with may not be your own. This is issue Seven.

You can find out more about the issue at her website, and purchase a copy from the Lavender Room Etsy store (I think it may have already sold out).

Tuesday, May 03, 2016


For the last few months BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT! has been making a podcast for Canberra’s 2xx, it goes to air as part of Local'n'Live. Here are the first three episodes on Bandcamp. Thank you to Local'n'Live and 2xx for supporting the radio show, and thanks to the Phoenix for supporting BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT!.

Thank you too to Nick McCorriston (aka  NickaMac) for being our producer.
This is Nick on LinkedIn

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Disappearing 2.0

Last year the Red Room Company commissioned me to write a poem about my connection to Western Sydney and the theme of the disappearing. To complete my part of the project I travelled to Parramatta to record the poem and an interview about the process I went through in its composition. All the poets involved were sent the below series of questions. Because I like to prepare I wrote out some answers. What you will hear in the recording will no doubt be different as they sprung a few unexpected questions on me and I didn’t use these notes while answering, but I hope the sentiment remains the same.

What is poetry for you?

·        What made you start writing poetry? / Why is poetry important for you?

I started writing poetry when I was in primary school. The first poem I remember writing was about school desks chasing and eating people. It was published in the school newsletter. Mum still has it up on a board. I guess I started writing as a means to understand the world and how my imagination was engaging with it.

Poetry is important to me because it is something we can all engage with as reader, writer, performer, listener and critic. I also like the diversity of forms of poetry, from highly structured pieces, to works I find arcane, to free verse, direct and didactic narratives to protest pieces.  I like that poetry is studied at schools and universities, in pubs, in bedrooms and food courts. That authors from ancient civilisations wrote it and that their words live on alongside newly written work that may soon vanish forever. I like that people give away and sell poetry on streets, that they perform it in quiet auditoriums and noisy pubs, that music and visuals and live performance can lift poetry but that at its best for me it needs nothing but shape on a page and a reader, that at its best it doesn’t need its author and that it can be so layered that different readers will find different things in it.

·        What does The Disappearing and this project mean to you? What message did you want to convey through your poem?

The Disappearing started for me with my poem the Max and the vanishing of childhood, of memories of people, and that is still there in (En)Joy Rides in Police Cars, though I think it is more advanced or maybe more discernible in this new poem; that disappearing childhood does not come through age but through experience, and that experimentation with imagination, words on a page, with history, can capture something fleeting, or maybe portray something fleeting so people can examine it through time and space.

I like to keep away from explaining and conveying messages directly but what I did want to do was explore some conversations I’d had about Dad with Mum, to explore some vivid memories, but also explore how memories can be false, distorted, fractured and fuse with imagination in an effort to escape or survive.

·        What was it like writing on the theme of ‘disappearing’?

I enjoyed the research component. I spoke with my mum about dad several times to get a better understanding of my memories of him and what had occurred while they were married and during their divorce and custody battles. This poem is part of a group of three about my family and focussed on my dad and two grandfathers. You can find another with Cordite and a third was a commission for the Canberra Glassworks. So it was a useful opportunity to not only research and write the poem, but link it to the other works, to the location of some of the events it depicts, and to have it published for people to read. As part of the research I went back to Lakemba where my grandfather owned his shop, and to Auburn to investigate where I was born and lived the some of the early years of my life. Throughout this I kept in mind something I’d read in the Tate Modern while I was travelling in 2013, an artist’s statement about his portraiture talked about embracing the distortions and inaccuracies of memory while creating an image of something, hold onto the memories, don’t refine them in the hope of the true image, instead interrogate for meaning. For me that allows imagination to come into art, so while this and the other two poems are autobiographical, imagination is in there.

·        How does the poem begin for you, with an idea, for or image?

Poems begin for me in different ways. I have written for a long time with a writing group and we have a range of exercises that generate the start, middle and sometimes the end of a poem. I also write to prompts such as books, graphic novels and visual art. I really love travelling for this reason. In 2013 and 2014, I travelled in the US, Spain, the UK, France and Italy and visited galleries and museums in every city and town where I could find them. Travel really kicks my imagination into overdrive and combining that with art and architecture in a new place will lead me to write. I also really like to dwell on an idea, research it, and delve into a concept to develop a poem.

·        How do you improve or edit your poems? With the help of a workshop, a reading group, a mentor?

I will constantly edit poems. Every day I will work on something, testing the images, experimenting with the structure, looking for gaps or weaknesses with what I am writing, taking notes of ideas and concepts I would like to explore, collecting images. I work to make sure that where I want the poem to factually and scientifically accurate it is, where the untruth is, it is there for a reason.  Editorially I put my poems through a taxing time. I will run drafts through the writing group I mentioned earlier. With this group I feel like I have received and given a lot of useful critique, hearing other people’s poems and ideas on your and others’ work makes me question my own style and approaches. I don’t always take on board critique but I do always consider it when it comes from a thoughtful place. I also have two close friends in Canberra who will give me constructive and thoughtful feedback on a poem I am developing, and I find their feedback incredibly useful in pointing me to areas of weakness in a poem. In 2015, with the support of an ArtsACT Project Grant, I had several months of mentoring and editorial development with Queensland poet David Stavanger in Brisbane and Canberra, his considered input has improved my overall writing but also given me confidence in the choices I make to break rules and push boundaries.

·        What is the impact of being commissioned and published in this project for your writing career?

I always enjoy when a poem exists without me, as it will through this Red Room Company commission. I usually avoid publicly unpacking my process or the poetry I write but being interviewed for the commission has been a useful process in having my articulate my writing process and the importance of poetry to me.