First… Then… wins award

I’m very pleased to announce that my next-to-last book, First… Then…, has won the Poetry category of the ACT Writing and Publishing Awards, for books published in 2012.

Many thanks to the publisher, Ginninderra Press for nominating it, and to the judges Judith Crispin and Michael Farrell for picking it. The judges’ citation was: “[First…Then… is an] emotionally brave and truthful testimony of raising a child with autism, elegant poems across a range of diverse styles, unashamedly feminine, humorous and lively forms.”

Image of award certificate and sticker

The evidence

The awards are administered by the ACT Writers’ Centre, and were presented last night at Gorman House Arts Centre. Also nominated in my category were books by Suzanne Edgar and Leon Trainor. Very gratifying to win in such a strong ‘field’.

If you would like to find out more about the book, it has its own blog where you can browse the poems and find out how to get your hands on a copy.

Merry Christmas !

Drag down to unlock or place an emergency call

Picture of the book Drag down to unlock or place an emergency call by Melinda Smith

The book itself

Hello, world, here is my latest book – and my first with Pitt Street Poetry. Just in time for Christmas / the holiday giving season !

The book was launched last week, with many kind words, by Geoff Page in Canberra and Mark Tredinnick in Sydney, and is now making its way, a copy at a time, into pool rooms everywhere.

If you were not able to be at one of the launches, and simply must have one of your very own, allow me to recommend a couple of strategies:

  • Front up to your local independent bookseller and demand that they order you in a copy from Pitt St Poetry; or
  • Visit my Pitt St Poetry author page, which has a link to their online shop. Only $2 postage and handling within Australia and delivery is generally within two business days.

There is also a Melbourne launch in the offing, but this may end up being in early 2014. I will post details when I have them.

If you already have the book, why not post your review in the comments below ?

 

Possets on Poetica

Just re-posting this information, as I now have a definite date for the broadcast:

Another poem of mine will be read out on ABC Radio National’s Poetica program on the Saturday after next (November 9, 2013).  More information about the broadcast is available here. I am feeling very lucky as this is the second time this year I have been Poetica-ed (read about the first time here).

Posset

Posset

This time my poem, called ‘Possets’ is actually two linked haiku, so it should take up all of 15 seconds of airtime.  It appeared earlier this year in an anthology called Women’s Work, and Poetica will be featuring the book on their program. (You may remember my post about the Women’s Work anthology launch in March 2013. I must give a shout out to Moya Pacey (the poet who Freudian-slipped the word ‘shagging’ into her poem ‘Smalls’ when reading it out at the launch)  as her poem will also be featuring on the Poetica program. Unfortunately without the Freudian slip this time…)

As for my own tiny little poem, it explores two sides of being a modern mother – working ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ the home – and shows that neither is an unmitigated festival of fabulousness. This is (I think) why it was originally selected for the ‘Women’s Work’ book.

Anyway, if you are free on Saturday 9th Nov at 3pm (or the following Thursday 14th Nov at 9pm) why not tune in ? Alternatively, for about a month after the broadcast, you can pop over to the Poetica home page and listen online or download the podcast. Enjoy.

My new book of poems and its launches

image

I am very pleased to announce a few details for the launch(es) of my new book, Drag down to unlock or place an emergency call, out in November 2013 from Pitt St Poetry.

There will be two Canberra launches and one in Sydney (plus possibly one in Melbourne but this is not yet confirmed).

I am also extremely pleased that two eminent poets have agreed to do the launch speech honours: Geoff Page (Canberra main launch) and Mark Tredinnick (Sydney launch).

Details as follows:

Canberra – ‘Soft’ Launch
Wed 6 Nov 2013
From 7.30pm
Manning Clark House
11 Tasmania Circle, Forrest ACT

This was a reading I was booked to do anyway – along with Adrian Caesar and Jen Webb – only now I will have a stack of newly pressed books to sell. The cover charge is $10 non-members, $7 students, MCH members free.  Bookings 6295 1808 or email info@manningclark.org.au.

Canberra – Main Launch
Tue 19 November 2013
from 5.45pm
Venue TBC

This is a joint launch with Geoff Page, also a Pitt St Poet. I will be launching Geoff’s new Pitt St Poetry book, Improving the News, and he will be launching mine.

Sydney Launch
Sunday 24 November 2013
3.30 for 4pm
Gleebooks Bookshop
Glebe Pt Rd, Glebe

RSVP at this link

Again this is a joint launch with Geoff Page. This time though, Mark Tredinnick will be doing the honours for my book.

Hope to see you there (if you are within traveling distance and free on the right day). There will be nibbles ! There may even be jazz piano ! How can you miss it ?

Possets on Poetica

Another poem of mine will be read out on ABC Radio National’s Poetica program on the Saturday after next (November 9 2013).  More information about the broadcast is available here. I am feeling very lucky as this is the second time this year I have been Poetica-ed (read about the first time here).

Posset

Posset

This time my poem, called ‘Possets’ is actually two linked haiku, so it should take up all of 15 seconds of airtime.  It appeared earlier this year in an anthology called Women’s Work, and Poetica will be featuring the book on their program. (You may remember my post about the Women’s Work anthology launch in March 2013. I must give a shout out to Moya Pacey (the poet who Freudian-slipped the word ‘shagging’ into her poem ‘Smalls’ when reading it out at the launch)  as her poem will also be featuring on the Poetica program. Unfortunately without the Freudian slip this time…)

As for my own tiny little poem, it explores two sides of being a modern mother – working ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ the home – and shows that neither is an unmitigated festival of fabulousness. This is (I think) why it was originally selected for the ‘Women’s Work’ book.

Anyway, if you are free on Saturday 9th Nov at 3pm (or the following Thursday 14th Nov at 9pm) why not tune in ? Alternatively, for about a month after the broadcast, you can pop over to the Poetica home page and listen online or download the podcast. Enjoy.

A foot in both camps

On 1 September I had poems published simultaneously in Cordite Poetry Review (Issue 43: Masque) and Quadrant Magazine.

Cordite Issue 43: Masque

Cordite Issue 43: Masque

September 2013 Quadrant Magazine Cover

September 2013 Quadrant Magazine Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Here is a link to ‘Gora‘ in Cordite; in order to read ‘Bondi Sketches‘ in Quadrant you need to be a subscriber).

Given the very different readerships of these two publications, I wonder if that means I should be feeling very…versatile ?…schizophrenic?..Perhaps I should settle for just plain happy to be reaching a wider audience. And also chuffed to be on the front cover of Quadrant, and name-checked in the Masque editorial with a multi-stanza quote from my poem. Very happy with that.

Inkerman and Blunt’s Australian Love Poems 2013

ALP_coverA quick post to celebrate the recent launch of Australian Love Poems 2013 (from new publisher Inkerman & Blunt; edited by the Montreal-prize-winning Mark Tredinnick).

The book (an anthology of 200 new poems on the theme of love by Australian poets) was launched at the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival a few days ago. Here is a write-up of how the launch went – a sell-out apparently (in a good way), and here are some photographs of it.

I should declare an interest – I have a small (tiny) poem in it, as do several of my poet-friends such as Suzanne Edgar, Michael Thorley, John Foulcher, Geoff Page, Alan Gould, Lizz Murphy, Russell Erwin, and Helen Thurloe, to name just a few. Michael Thorley was among the poets who read at the launch.

Despite my ulterior motive, you can trust me when I say I do recommend a thumb-through. The poems in the book are extremely varied in style and form, and explore love in all its phases and moods. Some of the poems contain adult themes, some are hilarious, some are poignant, some are quietly luminous and some are just blow-the-top-off-your-head wonderful. It is a book full of surprises, discoveries, insights, and bewilderments. There really is something in here for everyone.

And if you were keen to hear some readings from the book, it’s not too late. While Byron Bay was the first outing, there will be a number of launch events around the country over the next few months. The next launch is in Melbourne on August 14. I even heard a rumour last night of a possible Canberra launch in September, which would be lots of fun. Watch this space.