Monthly Archives: June 2009

Seamus Heaney

” … Keep at a tangent.
When they make the circle wide, it’s time to swim
out on your own and fill the element
with signatures on your own frequency,
echo-soundings, searches, probes, allurements,
elver gleams in the dark of the whole sea.”
– Seamus Heaney, from ‘Station Island’

‘Zimbabwe thunder’

Poet and performer, Jenni Nixon, lives in Sydney. She is a graduate of the Independent Theatre and worked as an actor for many years, touring with the Queensland Theatre Company. ‘Zimbabwe thunder’ is included in her recent performance poetry chapbook, Agenda (Picaro Press, 2009).
Zimbabwe thunder
Jenni Nixon
boy billionaires in Zimbabwe
can’t buy an egg
twenty-five billion Zim dollars
won’t buy a newspaper
King Despot is in his counting palace
counting all the bodies
ninety percent unemployment
amnesty to his henchmen
activism in a time of cholera
protest brings arrest
generals give the orders
BOOM BOOM go the guns
unpaid teachers cannot feed
or clothe themselves     schools close
distant thunder     river undercurrents
flow around rocks     over mud flats
locked away in stinking cells
dispossessed in land invasions
white farmers killed by looting
     ‘war veterans’
land lies fallow
stagnant sewage and water
smoke rises on burning corpses
enter another medieval age
King Despot Mugabe’s birthday bash luxury
long silent queues register to vote
hope in Zimbabwe
change will come
Zambezi River
     deafening roar over the Falls
Mosi-oa-Tunya – ‘smoke that thunders’
is the people’s voice
Published in Agenda (Picaro Press, 2009).
Read more about Jenni.

An Experiment in Criticism

“The first demand any work of art makes upon us is surrender. Look. Listen. Receive. Get yourself out of the way. (There is no good asking first whether the work before you deserves such a surrender, for until you have surrendered you cannot possibly find out.)”
– C S Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism

Pascale Petit’s The Treekeeper’s Tale

Pascale Petit has an interesting interview on her new blog.  Romanian MA student, Oana-Teodora Ionesco, interviews the French/Welsh poet about her latest collection, The Treekeeper’s Tale (Seren, 2008).
On her blog, Pascale has also posted photographs and accounts of her trips to Venezuela’s Lost World as well as an article about translating Yang Lian’s ‘The Valley and the End: A Story’.
For fans of Frida Kahlo, Pascale’s fifth collection, What the Water Gave Me – Poems after Frida Kahlo, is to be published in June 2010.
Read the interview by Oana-Teodora Ionescu here.
Visit Pascale’s blog and website.

Writing as Ritual

“An act of will that changed my life from that of a frustrated artist, waiting to have a room of my own and an independent income before getting down to business, to that of a working writer: I decided to get up two hours before my usual time, to set my alarm for 5:00 A.M. … Since that first morning in 1978 when I rose in the dark to find myself in a room of my own –  with two hours belonging only to me ahead of me, two prime hours when my mind was still filtering my dreams – I have not made or accepted too many excuses for not writing. This apparently ordinary choice, to get up early and to work every day, forced me to come to terms with the discipline of art.”
– Judith Ortiz Cofer, ‘5.00 A.M.: Writing as Ritual’

Rob A. Mackenzie’s De-Cabbage Yourself! Tour

On 3 August 2009, Peony Moon is thrilled to be hosting Rob Mackenzie’s De-Cabbage Yourself! Tour. Rob’s collection, The Opposite of Cabbage, was published this year by Salt Publishing. 
Here’s what Bernadine Evaristo has to say about the volume:
“Rob A. Mackenzie’s vibrant, kaleidoscopic poetry displays a playful, witty and fertile imagination. But sometimes, just sometimes, it dips into a deep reflection on the frailty of our mortality such as in the exquisite poem, ‘In the Last Few Seconds’, which took my breath away.”
Read Barbara Smith’s review of The Opposite of Cabbage here.
The tour has already stopped at three destinations, so to catch up with Rob’s interviews take a look at the following blogs:
Nic Sebastian: Very Like A Whale
Marion McCready: Poetry in Progress
Ivy Alvarez: Dumbfoundry
The next stop on 22 June 2009 will be Nicolette Bethel’s Scavella’s Blogsphere.
For full tour details take a look at the De-Cabbage Yourself! Cyclone page and to read more about Rob and The Opposite of Cabbage visit his Salt author page. Do visit Rob’s blog, Surroundings, too.
See you on 3 August!

Cecilia Woloch

“I fall out the door on my way to you with the passionate suitcase that I’ve carried so long flapping its one broken arm in the breeze. It spills all the words in the street like coins. The words for desire and regret. I fall out the door on my way to you. The night slams shut. I don’t look back.”
Cecilia Woloch, from ‘The Passionate Suitcase’
  (Late, BOA Editions, 2003)

Siri Hustvedt

“I think we all have ghosts inside us, and it’s better when they speak than when they don’t.”
– Siri Hustvedt, The Sorrows of an American (Sceptre, 2009)