Ten Things About Poetry and Me: J.R.Poulter/J.R.McRae

Another in the series Ten Things About Poetry and Me.
Enjoy!

Ripple Poetry

1.What is  your earliest memory of poetry?

I’m told, I knew all my nursery rhymes by heart before I went to Kindergarten. So someone, possibly my mother or maternal grandmother, taught me. My love of verse came from listening, firstly, to my father recite comic verses by Lewis Carroll and melodramatic poetry by Mrs Felicia Hemans [Casablanca, in particular, which he recited with flair] and, secondly, to my maternal grandfather recite The Man from Snowy River, and reading The Hunting of the Snark, by Lewis Carroll.

2.When and why did you begin to write poetry for children?

I started writing poetry and illustrating my verse whilst in primary. Many of the poems were either narrative or humorous or both, which I read or wrote to my maternal grandmother, who is responsible for having encouraged this behaviour in her granddaughter..

3.Do you think writing for children is the…

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In Eumundi with Magic Fish Dreaming

Trip to Eumundi.

Magic Fish Dreaming

Thanks Eumundi for your great reception to Magic Fish Dreaming.

On Saturday the 15th of April  I visited Berkelouw books, the  Sunshine Coast to sign copies of Magic Fish Dreaming.

It was a super busy market day, and there were so many  wonderful stalls.  I heard about these from my daughter and husband who went for a walk around the market after they were finally able to find a park.  They saw bird whistles,  art, special healing skin creams and lots of psychics. But even with so much to choose from Magic Fish Dreaming was not overlooked by wayfarers in the market.

Berkelouw books who stock the book suggested that being stationed out the front of the shop to catch the passing foot traffic would be a great idea.  And it was!  Thanks to staff for having me at the shop.

I forgot to ask someone to a…

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Meet the Sandcliffe Festival Presenters: Lauren Daniels

Lauren Daniels has worked in publishing since ’92 with Ziff-Davis in Boston. In ’99, she completed her MFA and moved to Australia where she has edited 70 titles of fiction/non-fiction for the literary publisher, IP, among others, and supports authors who seek publication both here and overseas.

Since winning the Newport Poetry Contest in ’87, Lauren has published work in various international periodicals. The manuscript for her novel, The Serpent’s Wake: A Fairy Tale for the Bitten shortlisted with the 2016 Half the World Literati Award in Singapore and her essay, ‘Maternal Lines’ appears in Australia’s Antic Literary Magazine this year.

 Lauren served on the Board for the Erica Bell Foundation in Hobart and as a Youth Arts Queensland mentor. She taught writing at UQ and TAFE and directs the Brisbane Writers Workshop.

1.Have you been to the Sandcliffe Festival Before?

 This is my first time and the line-up is wonderful. The dinners and panels are a tremendous Queensland roll call.

2.What are you looking forward to and how did you become involved in it this year?

First, I’m excited for the collage of viewpoints. The topics are rich and provocative across the schedule. Late last year, I chaired the Alice Award panel with Shelley Davidow, Kris Olsson and M.K. Hume for the Society of Women Writers Queensland and Brisbane Square Library. The topic was gender bias in the publishing industry and I have to hand it to the Society: they have brilliant events and know how to gather our talent.

3. What is the main focus of what you will be speaking about at the festival (A short sneak peek )

I’m chairing the event at the Brisbane Square Library with Veny Armanno and Melissa Lucashenko for ‘Insights of an Outsider’; a theme that underscores much of their literary work and serves up as a familiar perspective for writers across the globe.

For ‘Write of Passage’, Susan Johnson, Jacqueline Henry and I will be discussing the power of language as a societal catharsis and catalyst. That is both an immensely personal and vastly universal topic and I’m excited to see where it will go.

4. If you could choose to a favourite literary character, who would you be and why?

A tough question, considering all of my favourites are mired in conflict and usually end in tragedy. Still, I’m a New Englander called due south, so call me Ishmael. The consummate writer—though he himself doesn’t write a word—observes everything meticulously and disappears into the action to offer as objective a vision as possible. Ishmael survives an alien, dangerous world captained by a madman and befriends those worth befriending, especially Queequeg. His wisdom is hard-earned as it shapes every page of Moby Dick. There are so many potent one-liners like this one: ‘Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian’, sharp as scrimshaw carved from a sperm whale’s tooth.

To find out more Lauren Daniels visit the following links

www.ledaniels.com

www.brisbanewriters.com

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First Sandcliffe event. ‘Insights of an Outsider’

Sunday 23rd April,

11am – 12pm

Brisbane Square Library, 266 George St. Brisbane

Panel Session: Featuring Melissa Lucashenko, Veny Armanno and Lauren Daniels

Organised by Society of Women Writers QLD and funded by Lord Mayor’s Writers in Residence program.

Free entry, but library would appreciate bookings so they have some idea of numbers. Please ph: library on 3403 4166.

Dymocks Books will be there selling author’s works

For more information on the festival visit FACEBOOK

10 Things about Poetry and Me: Andrea Gallagher

1.      What is your earliest memory of poetry?

My earliest memory of poetry was having a teacher introduce my class to Spike Milligan’s work in children’s books. He seemed incredibly fun.

 2.       When and why did you begin to write poetry for children?

 I have worked as a professional writer for more than 15 years in the corporate world and while this is a great career, I wasn’t finding it massively inspiring. I loved writing poetry and creative writing in all forms when I was young, but I went over to the very serious side of writing to make my living after school and that took a lot of fun out of it for quite a while.

So in 2013, I just started writing rhymes as a hobby to get my creative juices flowing after my very serious work days, and then the ideas for my two children’s books, Superstar Grandmas, and, Mega-rad Grand-dads, just took over.

3.       Do you think writing for children is the same or different as writing for adults (explain)?

 I think it is absolutely different. I think that writing for every new audience is different if you are doing it with care. If you want to write for the enjoyment, understanding, or action of any audience you need to step into their shoes and write for them, with them specifically in mind – and I believe this is especially important when your audience are children. I like to get down low and think about the world as if I were still 7 years old. I’ll sometimes go back to places I lived back then to try to recapture those feelings and thoughts and then try to write for the little book-loving girl I once was (who still lives inside of the adult me).

4.       If you could be any poet in history who would you choose to be and why?

T.S Elliot, not because I hope to emulate the style, but simply because I read this poetry when I was a teenager and the thought of this work makes me feel connected to that time in my life.

5.       What are five words to describe your poetry?

 Vibrant, punchy, symmetrical, rhyming, childish.

6.       Share a few lines from one of the poems you have written that you are most proud of?

I wrote my first published poem when I was 11 and, although it’s simple and childish, it helped me tell the world what my very unusual experience of life was like (I was going through a battle with cancer and writing was a great outlet for a lot of confusion and grief). It makes me cringe a little but I’m still proud that I found any sort of positive way to express what was going on for me at such a dramatic time:

Wish so hard upon a star,

wish that you weren’t who you are.

Cry all night without a tear

to know the end may soon be near.

Hurt so bad it doesn’t show,

dream, but never let them grow.

Write, but never touch the paper,

not quite now but maybe later.

Think of days that may not come,

the coldest feelings leave me numb.

Carry on and value life,

but sickness cuts deep like a knife.

7.       What is your favourite form of poetry?

I like to write simple and very structured pieces that use rhyme, however I love to read long, meandering prose that uses strong visual elements to tell heartfelt stories. I hope to write like that when I grow up.   

8.       Have any of your poems been illustrated? If so what did you think of the illustration?

Yes – I love the bright and vibrant illustration of Superstar Grandmas and Mega-rad Grandads (created by artist, David Clare) because I think it matches the energy of the characters created with the four-line rhyme I used throughout.

 9.        Where is your best spot for writing poetry and why?

On planes – no real idea why that is but I do a lot of creative writing when I’m on planes. It may be about the movement between my regular life and going somewhere else.  I also wake up with poetic ideas some mornings – words coming out of dreams and sleep!

10.   What advice do you have for other poets wanting to write for children?

Be childish – remember what it is to feel like a child.

Want to know more about Andrea, head to these links.

www.andreagallagher.com.au

www.facebook.com/superstargrandmas

www.facebook.com/megaradgrandads

Read a Kids Book review of her latest book HERE

Launching Mega-Rad Granddads!

 

After a bit of a wait, the Mega-rad Grandads’ book is almost here and (following the fun of the Superstar Grandmas book launch in December).

 

Mega-rad Grandads Community Book Launch

Sunday, 2-4pm, 23 April 2017

Grange Bowls Club

79 Sellheim St

Grange QLD 4051

Dave Clare’s art will be on display, and there will be  games to play outside that everyone in the family can enjoy together.

RSVP to andrea@penelopeandpeter.com

 

Interviewed by June Perkins

(part of an ongoing series on children’s poets)

Magic Fish Dreaming in a Page

Reading Time, Children’s Book Council Australia

Just Kids Lit Review

Vacen Taylor’s Review (Goood Reads)

Georgina Ballantine Review (Good Reads)

Dimity Powell’s Review

Helen Ramoutsaki, a poet’s review