There, and back again

eileenchongmarkdotymasterclassI’ve just come home to Sydney after a few whirlwind days at the Queensland Poetry Festival 2017 in Brisbane. I got to meet the American poet Mark Doty, take a poetry masterclass with him, and attend several of his readings and interviews.

As a guest poet, I did a reading, joined a wonderful panel called ‘We All Speak the Same Language’, moderated by the incredible poet and performer Eleanor Jackson who runs Peril Magazine, as well as conducted a poetry workshop called ‘The Poetry of Food’, which was run in an actual dumpling restaurant!

It was intense — so many poets and events in a small space over a very short few days. I didn’t get to see or hear everything I wanted, but I am grateful for all the connections I made in person with some delightful poets and readers. I was also happy to be in Brisbane for the very first time, where the weather was warmer than in Sydney, and where the river meandered right through and around the city.

Some news (in reverse order of dates):

The Newcastle Poetry Prize 2017 shortlist has been finalised and announced, and the winners will be announced in Newcastle on 14 October. I am also running a poetry workshop with the Hunter Writers Centre called ‘How to Speak in Tongues: The Trick of Poetic Ventriloquism’ on the same day, prior to the prize ceremony which will be at 2pm.

I am proud to be part of Monash’s Literary Translation Spring School: ‘Translating the Untranslatable’, which runs from 21 to 23 September in Melbourne. There are several language streams this year, including Chinese, Japanese, German and Spanish. A group of translators, led by a lead translator, will translate a suite of poems alongside the poet — a very rare situation indeed.

My book, Another Language, which is published with George Braziller in New York as part of the Braziller Series of Australian Poets, will be released in two weeks or so. I am very excited, and thank my editor, the poet Paul Kane, for realising this.

If you are in Sydney this Sunday, come along to my reading at the Brett Whiteley Studio. Entry is free, and there is an open mic, so bring your own poems to read. It is always friendly there, and I look forward to seeing you very soon.