Saturday 16 March 2024

Music and poetry - still an item? Also self-compassion, lemons and fishing

It’s about time for an update I think! It just takes a little dose of Covid to clear my diary and give me the time needed for things like this 😊

I started off the year by performing at the Cygnet Folk Festival, at the Poet’s Breakfast, and on a panel organised by TasWriters. Chaired masterfully by Danielle Wood, I spoke alongside fabulous local poets Gina Mercer, Anne Collins and Young Dawkins, with Tim Hodgkinson  playing double bass. The panel discussed the topic: 'Music and Poetry - Still an Item"?' and poets shared our thoughts and read some of our more musical works.

Photos thanks to Yvonne Gluyas

Last month I ran an Oasis Women’s Poetry Workshop on the theme of “Exploring connection and self-compassion through poetry.” We looked at Mary Oliver’s famous poem Wild Geese and explored how poetry exercises can help us mindfully notice our emotional states and manage our moods. I invited participants to write about their connections with special places, people or objects. Creative writing can have a powerful effect on our ability to understand and accept ourselves and I shared some exercises to enable us to view our characteristics and insecurities with self-compassion, based on the work of Dr Kristin Neff.

 “the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.”

-          Mary Oliver, from Wild Geese


In October I had my second haiku published in Echidna Tracks, the Australian Haiku online journal.

after four years  
the first lemon

It’s a short, simple haiku, testament to less is often more. It was accompanied by a striking painting of a lemon by Ron Moss.

Also in October last year I won the FAW Tasmania 2023 Poetry Prize and was awarded Highly Commended. I hope to get this year’s winning poem published so I can share it with you. It's called A different kind of online and is about fishing, of all things! Inspired by many fishing trips with Dad when I was a kid.

I participated in a national ekphrastic competition judged by Chris Mansell. Andrew Bennett Ekphrastic Poems (30 pages A4) was subsequently published by WordXimage, September 2023. My poem (abridged below) was the second poem included in response to the painting “An Afternoon Adrift” by Andrew Bennett.  




Malted rye toast

with a dash of olive oil

thinly sliced plums

on top.







Sandals off

notebook ready

wrists relaxed.



words will come

like ants to crumbs.


I also came across a poem of mine called Veteran that a friend liked enough to include on her Resistance Words blog back in 2015. You can read it here.

In August last year I was interviewed by Arianne James for her Book Shelf program on Edge Radio. The recording was up online for a month but is now unavailable. We had a great chat about poetry and verse novels. Speaking of which, I'll do a separate post with Dancing with Empty Pram updates.

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