Tuesday, 3 March 2015

It's Here!!!

After lots of brainstorming, writing, editing, piecing together the blog tour for 'Celebrating Australia'
a year in poetry' is finally here.

Check out the sites for revealing information on poetry!

And an extra treat as each poet shares a poem modelled on one of mine!!!

Celebrating Australia, a year in poetry’ Lorraine Marwood Published by Walker books    BLOG TOUR

2nd March  Jackie Hosking: www.jackiehoskingblog.wordpress.com  Topic:  What makes a good poem ( according to LM)

3rd March  Kathryn Apel: https://katswhiskers.wordpress.com/blog Topic: Bringing a poetry collection together

4th March   Rebecca Newman:www.rebeccanewman.net.au   Topic: Researching  for poetry writing

5th March   Claire Saxby:  www.letshavewords.blogspot.com Topic: Inside this collection

6th March  Janeen Brian: http://janeenbrian.com/blog/ Topic: How you create for the creators: how you create ideas to excite children and adults to write poems of their own.

9th March  Alphabet Soup ;  www.alphabetsoup.net.au  Topic:  Writing a class poem- the results!

How grateful I am for writing friends!  Thank you Jackie, Kathryn, Rebecca, Claire and Janeen.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

A blog tour coming

Next week some dear writing friends will be helping to launch my new book!

I'll post over the weekend with the websites and dates.

So it's kept me very busy writing blog posts about all kinds of processes and even defining what makes a good poem according to me!

I also need to craft and found some amazing old patterns in an op shop recently.

I like to be creative on all levels.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

So it's a 'Finish' word for this year...

I've seen a few blog posts at the start of the New Year all about focusing on one word and for me when I reviewed where I am with my writing and other creative passions, I realised that my word is to 'Finish'.  To actually cross that finishing line and say I completed that story, that sewing project, pushed that idea to its final conclusion...

So the tally so far is an historical novel completed and yesterday submitted to my publisher, working on a fantasy novel I started um... three or four years ago, but this is a hard slog.  As a poet my work is mainly short and succinct, so turning to a work that requires 30,000 and 40,000 words is a major test.
Wish me well.

As well my first Aussie Nibble has been translated into Chinese and I am beginning the publicity for my new book.

Here is a link to a post I wrote about the back story to 'Celebrating Australia, a year in poetry.'
Always good to reflect on the journey and know that through many twists, turns, roadworks and detours a finish line is acheivable.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Happy New Year!

Hello to a new creative year.  I have been slow in blogging in 2014, lucky every new year brings opportunity to make resolutions.

My new book is out now 'Celebrating Australia, a year in poetry' has taken a long time and much writing to finally make its appearance.

I was part of a blog post recently where I wrote about a bit of back story to the book.   It can be found here.  Thanks Rebecca for promoting and loving all things poetic.

I promise to blog more about what happens in a writer's life soon.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Celebrating a poetry picture book with Janeen Brian

I love these guest posts.  there's nothing more magical than enjoying and helping to spread the word about children's poetry and today I have Janeen Brian with her new picture book of poems called:
'Our Village in the Sky', illustrated by Anne Spudvilas, published by Allen and Unwin.

So I posed some questions for Janeen after reading her book.  What ground breaking work- a picture book in poems exploring the everyday world of children in another country.

Were the poems based on real life observation?

They certainly were. I lived with a family for a month in a remote village situated in the region of Spiti. It lies in a valley within the rugged, Indian Himalayan mountains with its scree slopes and astonishingly deep gorges and adjoins Tibet. With language being a barrier, I spent a lot of time observing the local children and their lives.

How important is it to give action and details in your poetry?
 When I first began writing poetry, I was like every other ‘newbie’ where I thought a generalisation or a bland, all-encompassing comment was sufficient or even good. After all, I was just learning to express myself, and attempting to feel comfortable writing poetry, which had never really been a big part of my school or home life.  It took years before I discovered that poems only resonate when readers or listeners can picture an image or relate to a mood or emotion. You can’t picture or relate to a generalisation. And a poem needs to move, either with active events, or words that suggest movement and energy.

Why did you choose this location in the world to write about?

It was part of a writing trip I was on, travelling with an artist friend.

There’s an audio link to the book inside. Is this innovative or intrinsically tied with the nature of poetry?

What a great question! Firstly, it was an innovative suggestion from the wonderful publisher at Allen & Unwin, and I was thrilled about it. By clicking onto the website or accessing the QR code, anyone can listen to the poems being read by two child narrators, a boy and a girl. It’s a great way for children to read along with the narration. Or for children who simply want to look at the pictures or the words, and listen to the poems. I think it could also help reluctant readers, because they can both hear and see the words at the same time.
The second great reason is, of course, that poetry is meant to be read aloud. It’s word music. It’s wonderful to hear words and language coming together in poetry form, in a concentrated, pared-down style that often shortcuts to the emotions. Often a feeling, image, memory or phrase stays with you long after the book is closed and the words are hushed. 

Janeen, you have always written poetry, so how did the idea for this picture book of specific poems come about?

My poetry writing varies from free verse to humorous verse, often done in rhyme. I’ve written, and had hundreds of individual poems in both genres published in anthologies, children’s magazines or they’ve been the basis of picture books. I spent a lot of time in the village, observing, photographing and jotting down notes. At the time I had no firm idea what I would do with such material, but later I decided I wanted to compile a set of poems depicting the play and the responsibilities of village children living in a remote village, which was so different to our Western style of life. Several publishers were keen, but it was only when the illustrator, Anne Spudvilas took some sketches and my poems to Allen & Unwin, that it was accepted. It was a long wait, but well worth it.

What do you hope will be the outcome in terms of readership and ideas/pictures conveyed in your book?

The poems are simple, easy to read and can be read independently of the wonderful, evocative illustrations, but I believe, in this instance, they help support each other. They are deliberately understated but they are honest observations, with my own imagination thrown in. I hope the readers or listeners will enjoy the language and anecdotal imagery that hopefully highlights the lives of children of another culture. Perhaps they might like to try writing poems based on observations themselves.

Thanks Lorraine, for these interesting questions!

And thanks Janeen for providing that inside information about writing a book that we eagerly seek.
If you'd like to purchase a copy for yourself here's the link.
And I wish 'Our Village in the Sky' great success.

Monday, 13 October 2014

A Residency

Excitement!  I have been offered the chance to write for a week with the May Gibbs Literature trust
residency to write for a month in Brisbane, 2015.  The unit sounds wonderful and information can be found here.

I have been fortunate to have obtained residencies before in Adelaide and loved the supportive writing friends and those who donate time to look after the 'fellows'.  In fact my verse novel 'Star Jumps' was written in Adelaide and went on to win the children's section of the Prime Minister's award in 2010.

I just appreciate so much the focused time away from commitments at home, distractions and with a writing program of my own to follow.

This time it's to pull apart and re-write a novel that's dear to my heart- no poetry, or verse novel, but a 'normal' novel.

How fortunate we are to have such an organisation in Australia supporting our children's authors.

I will take workshops with the state library of Queensland while I'm there.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

What a busy few months...

I've had my first taste of taking workshops in Queensland and met some wonderful audiences and teachers.

Here is a lovely face from Toowoomba and the wonderful library.
Hello Anne!

 I also took two weeks of poetry workshops at Sydney Boys' grammar and had the delightful experience of my verse novel 'Ratwhiskers and Me' set on the goldfields chosen as a term read for year 5 boys.

Li, the lovely librarian stacking the books ready for distribution to the boys.  Wonder what they thought of the novel?

In between travels and a massive workload of writing strategies for new workshops, I lost my father.
But was so glad I took a plane back to be with my mother and family at dad's bedside.

Here is a poem I wrote a few years ago, remembering the hard work my father did on our little poultry farm.  It was read out by one of my son's at Dad's funeral.

A Drink

On an afternoon when
the concrete path
burned our bare feet,
we hobbled along
on shade shoes,
past the limpness
of the gum trees,
past the long sizzle
of the chook pens
where dust corded
the heat into visible

We carried a beaker
of lime cordial
to the bottom fence
or to the sheds
where ever our father worked.

 The promise of thirst slaked and abated
sang in the tinkling music of ice,
in the slithers of cold
that didn't melt.

We presented the drink
to our father, but the blisters
of sweat needed more
than one beaker full
to begin the translation
of hot, to warm, to cool.

Thanks was all the breeze
we craved as we scampered
back the way we came.

(c) Lorraine Marwood