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 !

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Geek Mook Launch

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So. I have some poems in this hybrid magazine / book thingy Vignette Press are bringing out, called Geek Mook.  It is being launched on Friday 13 July at Bella Union in Carlton (see details below). I’m not even sure I can make it yet, but the launch party sounds fun.

*Geek Mook* Launch

Time and date: 6pm, for 6.30pm start, 13 July 2012

Venue: The Bella Union (Trades Hall), cnr Lygon and Victoria Sts, Carlton VIC

Mr McClelland’s Finishing School (an indie and retro dance party) will take place after the launch ( http://www.bellaunion.com.au/program_guide/show_21/ ).

If you stay in the venue, you get free entry to the dance party!

By the way the poems of mine in Geek Mook are also in my recently launched third book of poems, First… Then…. The poems in that book are all about autism, and the ones selected for Geek Mook were a series of small, haiku-esque Twitter poems (I called them AutisTweets). Here is a sneak preview (this takes you to my autism poetry blog, CircleQuirk).

Enjoy – and maybe see you at the launch party if you’re in Melbourne that night…

My new book First… Then… on sale now

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My latest book of poems, First… Then…, is on sale now.

To buy your copy, go to Ginninderra Press , scroll aaaaallll the way down to Melinda Smith, find my third book ‘First… Then…’ and click BUY NOW.

If you fancy a sneak preview, some poems from the book are on my other blog CircleQuirk.  Enjoy.

If you’re free and in Canberra tomorrow night or the night after, you are cordially invited to a launch and a reading.

The launch is on Wednesday 11 April at Smiths (no relation!) Alternative Bookshop, Alinga St Civic, at 6.30 for 7pm. Poet and novelist Alan Gould will be doing the honours. Light refreshments provided, buy your own drinks at the bar.

The night before (Tuesday 10 April) I will be doing a poetry reading as part of the regular series at The Gods Cafe at ANU. Kickoff 8pm. I will be reading some from the book and some new stuff as yet uncollected. Also reading will be PS Cottier and Russell Erwin, both awesome poets and great readers. Should be a fun night.

Love to see you at either, or both !

Launch of my new book ‘First… Then…’

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Hello there. We have a launch date ! Two in fact:

Launch One – for the autism community – is on Easter Sunday Afternoon (8 April), from 2-4pm, in the Chifley Community Hub (old Chifley primary school), at the premises of Autism Asperger ACT, in the Bendigo Room. Light refreshments provided

Launch Two – for the literary community and anyone else who can’t make it to Launch One – is on Wed 11 April, at 6.30 for 7pm, at Smith’s Alternative Bookshop in Alinga St Civic (in the Melbourne Building opposite the GPO). Eminent poet and novelist Alan Gould will be doing the honours at this one. Light refreshments provided, buy your own drinks at the bar.

Love to see you at either – or both !

In between, I’m doing a reading at the Gods Cafe, on the ANU campus, from 8 pm on Tuesday 10 April.

[By the way, also reading that night will be P.S. Cottier , author of the excellent Cancellation of Clouds. Go check out her blog, linked to from the sidebar over there. Go on.]

But back to talking about me and my new book…

About the book

First…Then… is a short collection of 24 poems, mostly dramatic monlogues in various voices. The poems focus on the experience of living with autism, but you do not need to know or be an autistic person to enjoy this book. The poems are by turns moving, harrowing and laugh-out-loud funny, and provide a unique window into a much misunderstood facet of the human experience.

The writing of the poems in First…Then… was supported by an ArtsACT new projects grant during 2011.  You can take a sneak peek inside the book over at my other blog, CircleQuirk.

My forthcoming book of autism poems: First…Then…

Hello again world (or the six or so inhabitants of it who are reading this). And a belated Happy New Year.

So things have been a bit quiet on this blog of late.  That would be because I have been busily working away finishing my ArtsACT-funded project, a chapbook of autism poems.  The manuscript is with the publisher, the grant acquittal is done, and you can read all 24 poems here between now and April 2012, when I will be taking them down and encouraging people to buy the book instead.  The book, to be called First… Then… will be launched at a yet-to-be confirmed location by Alan Gould, with the help of Daltons Books.  It will be launched again a bit later in April at the premises of Autism Asperger ACT. Watch this space for details.

I did actually publish some early drafts of some autism poems on this blog (check out the Autism Poems Category to see some), but after a while I realised the book had such a specific audience that it really needed its own blog.  I also provided a link to the other blog over there in the side bar but have not been very good at drawing people’s attention to it.  Better late than never, I suppose….

I’ll also be reading from the book on Tuesday, 10 July as part of the Poetry at the Gods reading series. Go on, put it in your diary. Surely five and a half months in advance is not too early 🙂

Anyhoo, here’s hoping you, your loved ones and your pet projects all have a happy and productive 2012.

Cheers for now

Melinda