Each month, the Verity La Poetry Podcast talks with a member of our poetic community. We discuss a poem they’ve published in the journal, as well as hear about a poet they admire. Our interviewers are Melbourne poet Alice Allan and her faithful sidekicks, Verity La co-poetry editors, Robbie Coburn & Michele Seminara. Occasionally Alice may be joined by a mystery guest interviewer, because that’s just how we roll.
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Alice Allan’s poetry has been published in previous issues of Verity La as well as in Cordite, Rabbit and Australian Book Review. She is the creator and convenor of the Verity La Poetry Podcast, as well as producing her own weekly podcast, Poetry Says.
Episode 8: Michele Seminara interviews Tricia Dearborn
In this edition of the Verity La Poetry Podcast Michele Seminara chats with Tricia Dearborn about the many poems of hers we’ve published over the past few years including ‘I text you a photo of my knitting‘, The Change: Some notes from the field and The running doll.
We also hear how Tricia’s new book Autobiochemistry is coming along, what her writing practice is like, what it is to be a poet who also happens to be a woman and the politics involved in writing from one’s own life.
Episode 7: Alice Allan & Tim Heffernan interview David Stavanger
In this edition of the Verity La Poetry Podcast Alice Allan and Tim Heffernan talk with with David Stavanger about the launch of the 2017 Queensland Poetry Festival along with his poem The Electric Journal, published as part of our Clozapine Clinic project.
Ahead of the Clozapine Clinic’s presence at QPF this year, we also talk about the question of writing as therapy and whether such writing has, or needs to have, ‘merit’ (and who gets to decide what that means).
Episode 6: Alice Allan & Michele Seminara interview Melinda Smith
In this edition of the Verity La Poetry Podcast Alice Allan and Michele Seminara chat with Melinda Smith about her new book, Goodbye Cruel, just published by Pitt Street Poetry.
We also hear how Melinda’s poem manifest was created, before diving into a discussion of motherhood and writing. Melinda talks about how she tackled the theme of suicide in Goodbye, Cruel, and about how Janet Frame’s poem The Suicides was an important cornerstone for her.
Finally we hear what’s been happening in the Canberra poetry scene over the past few years and consider how much things have changed since the days of Wright and Hope.
Episode 5: Phillip Hall and Anne Elvey on Ecopoetry
If you’re thinking birds, trees and butterflies, take a seat.
Join Anne Elvey and Phillip Hall as they pick their way through defining ecopoetry (vs ‘nature poetry’), looking at the work of the praise poem and the lament, and wondering what it all means for the work poets do away from the page.
To get deeper into the discussion check out Harriet Tarlo’s editorial for the latest edition of Plumwood Mountain, Robin Cadwallader’s review of John Kinsella’s The Vision of Error: A Sextet of Activist Poems, and grab yourself a copy of Bonny Cassidy’s Final Theory (Giramondo, 2014).
Episode 4: Alice Allan, Tim Heffernan & Alise Blayney on Ben Frater
This month we’re celebrating the work of Ben Frater with Tim Heffernan and Alise Blayney.
To kick off, Tim shares his plans for the upcoming Mad Poets Workshop, Panel and Performances, inspired by Ben’s own original ideas and experiences. Then we question the romanticisation of the mad poet vs the unromantic reality, and talk about what it takes to reshape pain and trauma into something that might actually move an audience.
We hear Ben perform ‘The Argument’ (watch Ben in action here), while Alise talks about its creation and Tim discusses how hearing the poem affected him. Finally, Tim reads and discusses his own mad poem, ‘Reasonable Delusions of a Religious Nature’.
And if you loved the music check out Alise’s Mad Poets Playlist.
Episode 3: Alice Allan and Michele Seminara interview PS Cottier
Alice and Michele get straight into it with Canberra-based poet PS Cottier. Does entering and judging literary competitions put you on a special level of Dante’s Inferno? Is there a hierarchy of poets and poetry? And why do so many poets succumb to writing ‘misty cow poetry’?
Penelope reads her poem from Plumwood Mountain, Reading the Frog Economy, along with Denise Levertov’s To Live in the Mercy of God, and her own poem published on Verity La, All the blond Jesuses. We end with a recommendation for Samuel Wagan-Watson’s Smoke Encrypted Whispers, and grapple with a definition of speculative poetry (and whether snobbery exists around it).
Episode 2: Alice Allan and Robbie Coburn interview Ian McBryde
In this month’s Verity La Poetry Podcast, poetry editor Robbie Coburn and Alice Allan talk with Ian McBryde about his poems ‘Orchid’ and ‘Serpentine’, his book Slivers and his upcoming new and selected collection, We the Mapless.
We also cover Ian’s writing process, his influences and the subject matter he works with. When Ferlinghetti comes up, we move into a discussion of Poetry as Insurgent Art (which Alice happened to be using to prop up her laptop).
Episode 1: Alice Allan and Michele Seminara interview Phillip Hall
Alice and Michele chat to poet Phillip Hall about the joys and challenges of working in a remote Indigenous community, the raucous collaborative writing process of the Borroloola Poetry Club, and the evolution of a postcolonial eco-poetics. Phillip reads from his magnificent poem, Concourse, and introduces us to one of his favourite poems, Dorothy Hewett’s luminous ‘Inheritance‘.
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