Magic Fish Dreaming at APT 9

This is me reading at APT9 Summer Festival on the GOMA Lawn
A special moment in front of sign with my name on it! Also meeting the Kiribati community. I travelled to Kiribati when I was twenty so it was lovely to see them storytelling at the festival as well.
Checking out the Bollywood dancing. Fantastic fun. All families especially into it.
Meeting two Papua New Guinea ladies, Veronica from the Bouganville Brisbane community and a Papua New Guinea lady resident in Brisbane learning PNG weaving. This reminded me of my days in Tully with my Vanuatu and Aboriginal friend, crafting and chatting. Although today I just watched.
Debut of the Brolga poem. It went so well this day. Here we are being brolgas.
The two hand puppets. Must do a post on them all on their own. Thanks so much to David Perkins for making these. So happy with how they came out.
Very special to have my poetry auslan translated for two of the performances by Maree from Deaf Services, Queensland.

I read some Magic Fish Dreaming poems as well as a poem inspired by Sydney Long’s painting Spirit of the Plains daily over the three days of the festival.

It was so much fun to share these poems and the story behind their inspirations.

I loved performing my new ‘Brolga’ poem and ‘Cassowary Chat’ with the help of the children and two home made puppets.

Some other poems performed were ‘Giggle Poems’, ‘Curtain Fig Tree’, ‘River Song’,’Brahminy Kite’, ‘Discovering Magic’, and ‘Magic Fish Dreaming.’ I varied it a little each day, but performed the participatory puppet poems every day!

The setting by the river under the shade of a tree was just perfect, and cool and comfortable for families.

Thank you so much to all those families who stopped to listen and participate in the storytelling.

A big thanks to Laura, Roshni, David and my family for their supports on the day and Hannah for support in the lead up. As well as to Maree from Deaf Services Queensland, for her Auslan of the poems.

Working hard towards some new poems, and especially keen to include the Brolga poem in a new collection for children.

Whilst the festival is over, the exhibition continues and you can find out more here. APT9 DETAILS

Reading At Riverbend Books

Reading at Riverbend Books, next week!

Magic Fish Dreaming

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WEDNESDAY 18th January 11am

RIVERBEND BOOKS

193 Oxford Street, Bulimba Queensland 4171

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Excited to be doing my first reading gig at a bookshop at Riverbend books, a shop I just adore.

We will also  do a creative activity to encourage children and their parents to create their own poems.

This is free but you need to book in at the Riverbend events link  MAGIC FISH DREAMING EVENT

“Help your kids discover the magic of poetry these school holidays at our special kids poetry event!

Magic Fish Dreaming by June Perkins is sure to ignite your young ones imaginations!

On Wednesday January 18th at 11am, June will read us some of her delightful poems, followed by a craft session perfect for kids between the ages of 5 and 9.

This is a free event, but places are limited, so be sure to book and join us for this…

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Magic Fish Dreaming at the Big Draw

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Courtesy of Ozan Tortop

It was a brilliant weekend reading some of the work from Magic Fish Dreaming, at the Big Draw, at the State Library.  This marked the first public appearance where Helene and I shared samples of the book.  Heidi, our designer, worked on three pages especially for this event.

Perched comfortably in a super red story chair,  miked up, and with a red mat for families to sit on, I read three poems, ‘Wishing For A Fish,’ ‘Beyond Caterpillar Days’ and ‘Discovering Magic.’

I asked if any of the audience had been to Far North Queensland, and one parent had grown up there.  I then explained about the kickstarter and working together with Helene on the book and pointed her out in the audience.  I actually picked her as my illustrator which you don’t usually do with a mainstream publisher.

I talked to everyone a little bit about fishing and the large and beautiful Ulysses butterflies from where I used to live.

I asked if any of the children knew what a Thylacine was, and told them about it being extinct, and then showed them where it was tucked in the illustration.  They came closer and looking for all the animals on the dragon.  Many of them they identified straight away and some were trickier like the thylacine and quoll.

At the end one young man asked, ‘Did you write all those poems?’

I then gave out an activity based on ‘Discovering Magic’ and some launch invitations and posters.

Then over at the demonstration art area Helene gave a sneak peak of the story board, and insights into her illustration process.

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Courtesy of Ozan Tortop

This included a delightful video demonstration.

 

It was great to catch up with Helene, as we are both busy completing a variety of projects other than Magic Fish Dreaming,  which is presently with the designer.  We stay in touch of course via email and phone, but it is always great to see each other in real space.

We loved having this opportunity to present on the same day and we’re thankful to all the organizers for inviting us.

14040117_10209111617920497_7918633927857669289_nOne of my dear friends from Goodna,  Minaira, traveled with a friend to give support on the day.  She is  a fabulous artist and it was lovely to see her connecting and chatting with Helene.  It was special to share this first public reading with someone I consider family.  I hope to see her illustrated books one day too.

14068406_10209112114052900_9123785854540585190_oHere I am with these dear young women from Goodna.

14067833_10209111617880496_8193615689196394645_oAnother friend to offer her support, and one of our many kickstarter backers, was Nancy, who came along with her husband Andrew.  Nancy, Helene and my friends from Goodna all took some fliers to distribute in their areas to let people know our launch is on October 30th.  It’s support like this that made our book happen in the first place.  So thank you all!

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                                                                          Courtesy Nancy

There were many other fabulous readers on the day  and it was lovely to learn from them how they do it particularly Peter Taylor with his Puppets, Sarah Owens, with her use of kinetics and a bike horn.   It was also brilliant to see Shannon Horsfall, reading ‘Was Not Me’ and sharing her art processes.

Illustrators Anil, Giuseppe, and Lachlan were just brilliant to watch in action.  Anil was so relaxed working with her digital tools and looking at her work in progress on the screen.

My fellow Write Linkers  produced two collaborative stories with the guidance of Charmaine Clancy.  Children made their way to the art tables to illustrate these, and had some volunteers to talk to whilst they did their art, with either an art or writing background.  These are some of the art works fromthe children in response to the story.

 

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Upstairs Charmaine was conducting a Writer’s Workshop for youth. I caught up with her briefly before heading home.

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To see more photographs and details of the day head to the Children’s Book Council Awards – Queensland Branch  facebook space.

A big thank you especially to Sam Sochacka  for coordinating the program and volunteers, all the Write Linkers who were there in force, and a big thank you to our first audience for making it such a great experience.

Listening Divas

Dad
Family Archives – with Dad

When we were young, Dad told us bed time stories. They were always silly with us in starring roles.

Dad liked Spike Milligan and AA Milne. Sometimes he’d recite his favourite poems and direct them to one of us. Snatches of AA Milne come back to me at the oddest times, with his poetry of children whose parents run away and cautionary tales to not step on the cracks in the footpath.

Dad’s stories were funny and satirical but sometimes we protested about the way he portrayed us. We were unruly characters, tiny divas, jostling for bigger and more complimentary roles. We directed our storytelling Dad just so.

Our favourite thing was Dad giving us magical powers. We told him the names we wanted and what we should be doing.
‘No I wouldn’t do that.’
‘I should be taller’
‘I need to run faster’
‘I’d jump to … the moon’

We loved to take over his stories. Sometimes our diva listening ways were so out of control they would make our storyteller abandon his tale and he’d grab out the Muddle Headed Wombat book to read to us and do all the characters voices for us. Tabby Cat, Mouse and Wombat became our friends. I read all the books when I had mastered the art of reading.

Read the Rest of this story over at  ABC Open

And catch up with Ali’s Posts on World Read Aloud Day

Listening Divas – A Family Ritual Contribution

You can find Listening Divas over at the ABC Open project 500 words.

It’s day one of the project and we already have twenty contributions.  These began coming in this last week.

There are some beautiful stories arriving into the space.  My present favourite has to be Helen’s Puftalons.   The combination of rain, food, and overcoming drought is just mesmerising.

I like writing about the everyday that elevates it to some poetic level and I think Helen has achieved that.

There are lots of others to appeal though on themes from holidays to christmas and I’m sure there’s many more stories on their way

Yesterday I began work on my memoirs.  Some of the stories I’ve written for the ABC Open challenge will be in there, others are from the blog here, and my personal blog challenges, some are written for writing challenges over at Write Practice and some are never before seen stories.

I am so excited about it.  As of this morning the memoirs is at 25,000 words.  I have listed several more titles for story/passages  I wish to write, have a structure that I think is working. I’m not going to share it all here. You will just have to wait for the book.  After all you need some surprises!

I might give a sneak peak now and then of the work in progress, but I’m having a ball writing it, so  I hope you’ll have a ball reading it.

Listening Divas
My Dad – with us as Kids- by Anna Ako

When we were young, Dad told us bed time stories. They were always silly with us in starring roles.
Dad liked Spike Milligan and AA Milne. Sometimes he’d recite his favourite poems and direct them to one of us.
Snatches of AA Milne come back to me at the oddest times, with his poetry of children whose parents run away and cautionary tales to not step on the cracks in the footpath.
Dad’s stories were funny and satirical but sometimes we protested about the way he portrayed us. We were unruly characters, tiny divas, jostling for bigger and more complimentary roles. We directed our storytelling Dad just so.
Our favourite thing was Dad giving us magical powers. We told him the names we wanted and what we should be doing.

‘No I wouldn’t do that.’
‘I should be taller’
‘I need to run faster’
‘I’d jump to … the moon’

We loved to take over his stories. Sometimes our diva listening ways were so out of control they would make our storyteller abandon his tale and he’d grab out the Muddle Headed Wombat book to read to us and do all the characters voices for us. Tabby Cat, Mouse and Wombat became our friends. I read all the books when I had mastered the art of reading.

These stories were important because when we were very small our Dad was often away for long periods working as a labourer. Partly because of not having qualifications from his years in Papua New Guinea and partly due to prejudice over our Mum’s race he found it difficult to get and keep other work.

Our Mum told us when Dad came home after long labouring jobs my little brothers had forgotten who he was, and would hide behind her crying as the strange man with the overgrown beard came to hug us.

When Dad was finally home again for most of the time, we were able to know him again through the storytelling ritual.

Just as we were getting used to on tap Dad, he was away again to study and become a teacher and then later a librarian. Luckily I could read some of the books he had read to us so I didn’t miss him too much. Dad lived in another town with a landlady and sometimes we would visit him.

Dad hitch-hiked home to see us when he had a chance. This time when he came home we would come running out to meet him and my younger brothers would pipe up with ‘a story, a story.’ I listened for old time’s sake.

I was less of a listening diva because by this stage I was writing my own stories – partly thanks to my Dad’s early storytelling efforts to reconnect with his children.

For more on the ABC 500 Word Project Head to ABC Open, and check out  rituals families have.