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Posts Tagged ‘Poets Corner’

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When I met 90 year old Tom, he was a West Australian Living Treasure and an absolute gentleman.

Also the winner of the Patrick White Award in 1992, Tom was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1988 for services to literature, the author of many novels, including The Ridge and The River, Sowers of the Wind, Swagbelly Birdsnatcher and the Prince of Siam.

He’d been writing for 60 years and celebrated his 90th birthday with a collection of stories & poems which illustrated his life.

At the official launch, I sat in selfish wonder listening to the magnificent voice of Jack Thompson booming, blasting passion into the masterly poetry and prose of T.A.G. Hungerford’s new book.

Taken from the back cover of  What’s Happened to Joseph?:  “With dazzling ease he moves from prose to poetry, from the ancient past to the present, from the small, absorbing passions of suburbia to the grim demands of jungle warfare. Hungerford makes us wonder just what did happen to Joseph, farther of Jesus Christ- did he continue to work in his carpenters trade, perhaps in Jerusalem?- then takes us to the heart of Anzac Day, to the shimmering colours of outback Australia, or to his own front garden, and with every word he illuminates our own experience.”  

I loved every word of his book and want everyone to enjoy his insight, his sensitivity and his ability to place me right there, where he was when writing them.

‘ANZAC Day’ is a poem I believe would work well on screen; the opening lines; dense, establishing and heartfelt:

“This spot at the corner of Pier Street and the Terrace

between two churches – Presbyterian one side,

C. of E. on the other – is just made to order

for us Second Eighth blokes to form up for the March

this mild April morning.  Wild men we were, all of us.”

When Tom allowed me to host ‘An Afternoon With Tom’ during a very special Poet’s Corner event, devoted entirely to him, the place was packed with lovers of words wanting to hear him read and provide further insight to his writing.

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T.A.G. Hungerford graciously allowed me to interview him for BOOKS Australia during Poets Corner. FMF © 2006

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Kevin Gillam playing ‘Fascination’ for “An Afternoon with Tom” at Pages Cafe during Poets Corner. FMF © 2006

The last poem in his book; ‘Fascination Waltz’ is another favorite and made me cry.  That’s why I asked Kevin Gillam, a fellow poet, admirer of Tom and professional cellist to play ‘Fascination’.  I felt the love and saw a tear in Tom’s eye, too.

Although he’s gone now I still think of him and his words, often. I treasure the firstly hand-written, then typed letters we exchanged and an (as far as I know) unpublished poem “Grey Ghost”, which would also make a fantastic film.

I want to pay a larger tribute and help make his writings available to more by getting them up on the big screen. Any producers out there, interested?

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #TAGHungerford  #What’sHappenedToJoseph? #JackThompson  #Stories&Poems   #Poetry  #KevinGillam  #PoetsCorner  #PagesCafe

 

 

 

 

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I’m very proud of our  State Library  situated in the beautiful  Perth Cultural Centre:

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State Library Western Australia. (Photo: Frances Macaulay Forde @ 2005)

Years ago the staff supported me when I ran  Poets Corner @ Pages Cafe  for 3 years between 2005 and 2008.  The Library provided a microphone and speaker, displays and advertising in the Library Book shop on the 1st floor and generally encouraged and supported our endeavors.

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Poets reading at Poets Corner @ Pages Cafe

More than 80 poets from emerging to firmly established, to first time readers and writers participated for the love of words, sharing them with a new audience; other writers and importantly, the general public.

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The audience included luminaries such as (L to R) Andrew Burke, Andrew Taylor and Glen Phillips. 2005

Pages Cafe allowed us to meet there on the 3rd Saturday of each month and welcomed the influx of word-smiths, considering the noise levels and while reading, helped by quietly proving excellent service to patrons.

The library and cafe continued to support myself and many others when launching many, many books (where else would you do it – seriously) over the years:

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Interviewing a West Australian Living Treasure, T.A.G. Hungerford for BooksAustralia CTV during ‘An Afternoon with Tom’ at Poets Corner in 2005.

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Annemaria Weldon with her book ‘The Roof Milkers’ July  2008

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Sarah French was one of many writers included in the ‘Lines in the Sand’ anthology published by FAWWA in 2008. (My poem ‘desertification’ appears on page 28.)

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Tracy Ryan and her book ‘Scar Revision’ from Fremantle Press. 2008

 

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An anthology I published to thank the more than 60+ poets who participated at Poets Corner during the WA Spring Poetry Festival in 2005.

Today you’ve accepted the  Film & Television Institute  into your midst on the 2nd floor!

I LOVE and THANK my State Library of Western Australia.

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Andrew Burke hosting Poet’s Corner, May 2008.

I’m shocked!  Andrew Burke has always seemed particularly inspired but wrote on a FB message to me that his writing “has stalled and needs a push start downhill, in gear – like in them good old days” ending with a smiley face.

It shocked and saddened me; I honestly can’t imagine that quick, witty, incisive brain NOT being inspired.  He’s always been such a  prolific poet  dabbling in many genres (even documentary inspiring and supporting others with his blog.

But first I got to wondering why…  As John Lennon once said “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”  A totally appropriate quote to use for Andrew because he’s an accomplished  writer, but very much a musician in his soul.

He even has a Wiki page!  (How do you get a Wiki page?)

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I also discovered an e-book ‘Blue Rose’ on Smashwords which I have just purchased for a measly $4.99 (!) and because Andrew has inspired me (once again) I’ve joined the site to explore the possibilities for my own words.  (Thanks, Andrew.)

Often as writers needing the head-space to write,  life overwhelms us with what we HAVE to do.

Be selfish sometimes and take a moment to do what you NEED to do, too… we’ll all be better for it.

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I’m going to be off-line for a while as my computer needs some hospital treatment after I joined DropBox then decided to delete my account.  Before cancelling the account I deleted all the files for safety.

What I didn’t know was DropBox  deleted everything on ‘all my devices’ – my hard drive too!  BUGGER!

I’m just really hoping my computer guru/fixer can find them and restore everything again.  I’ve got most files & photos backed up but not since November – so all Chrissy photos and writing… Oh well.  Hopefully I’ll be back in a couple of days.

Thanks so much for reading my humble blog and have a good week.    Remember to back up often!

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Now that internet is ‘old hat’ I don’t feel the need to have multiple ‘pages’ spread all over the place although they serve me well when people Google my name, I’m slowly reducing the information on my official web pages here:  http://francesmacaulayforde.com to cut down the repetition.

Of course I’ll keep my presence on professional sites where I have full membership such as the Australian Society of Authors, the Australian Writers Guild, Australian Poetry, Australian Literature, SCWBI or crew pages: Screenwest, Film & Television Institute, ABC Tales   IMDB  and others.  There’s even an interview on Fremantle Press.

So in future, I’ll just focus on regularly updating Facebook (for all the goss), LinkedIn (for professional networking), ABC Tales (to post writing regularly) and here, where I’ll keep in touch with my followers in gratitude for their interest.

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I spent 14 glorious months living and learning everything I could in the ‘Cradle of Storytelling’, Ireland.  I became a member of  Munster Literature Center in Cork and attended inspiring weekly workshops with masters of poetry and short story.  I also joined the Midleton Writers Group and attended their monthly meetings, welcomed warmly by local writers.  Anne, Joan and Mary shared many an inspiring pub lunch and writerly discussion.

The opportunity to publish my first book of poems arose and I took great advantage. The book was very well received and reviewed and I thank all those who encouraged me to go ahead, particularly my partner Padraig.  Cover 'Hidden Capacity ~ a poet's journey'

Cover ‘Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey’

Since returning to Perth, I’ve had the self-confidence to publish more:

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Pages Cafe ’05

Pages Cafe ’05 a thank-you to the 60+ poets who participated at my Poets Corner events during 2005 National Poetry Week.

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‘Rail Tales’ a chapbook of just those pieces written on the train travelling between Perth and the Northern Suburbs, previously published in my first Irish book.

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‘Love’ a book concentrating on poems written about that universal theme of love.

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‘Santa’s Swim’ a children’s story with pictures.

The last three were necessary to have something to offer when the invited guest of the Avon Valley Writers Festival as my first book was sold out.

I still have some copies of the last three book available – there’s further information regarding purchase here:  http://francesmacaulayforde.com/buy_books__postcards

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What fun I had fasciliating Poets Corner, a monthly poetry reading held in Pages Cafe on the ground floor of our State Library in the Perth Cultural Centre across from the main City train station.

The readings happened on the 3rd Saturday of every month between June 2005 and October 2008 and incorporated serving as one of three organisers for the inaugural, very successful WA Spring Poetry Festival where more than 80 poems participated at Poets Corner.

To celebrate those poets and their words, I published a chapbook of my favourite poems from over 60 poets in 2006.

Eventually I’d like to include clips of readings into this blog, so watch this space.

Book PC: Pages Cafe '05 Antholody

Pages Cafe ’05

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