Monday, August 30, 2010

Norfolk Island...

Just a glimpse, more photographs to come...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Norfolk Island...

So I have been exploring the beautiful Norfolk Island for the last week and something very exciting has happened...

My partner and I got engaged!

Handmade Romance...

I have been away for a week - sorry about all the what's on posts that I pre-prepared for my absence.

Just before I went away I received this wonderful brooch in the mail and I didn't have time to blog about it, but I have been wearing it while I was away. It is hand made by the very talented Evie of Handmade Romance blog fame and she has a wonderful store on Etsy. I wish I had taken a photograph of it all wrapped up and beautiful, but I was a bit too excited and unwrapped it really fast. I hope from the bits and pieces of the wrapping you get the idea of how lovely it was.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bookmark the Writers Festival...

It's almost here! The Brisbane Writers Festival 1st -5th of September. Lots of "what's on" recently on this blog - forgive me, but there is so many great events and festivals at the moment. Are there any I have missed? What's on your calendar?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Queensland Poetry Festival...

Queensland Poetry Festival starts today! Get on over to the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts tonight or this weekend for the annual three day festival for "a tastes of things poetic".

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

French River Breakfast...

My sister-in-law alerted me to this excellent event!

For one glorious Gallic morning, our very own Goodwill Bridge will be transformed into a Parisian boulevard, complete with café, croissants and chic.

Be entertained by the ‘oh la la’ antics of roving mime artists, cancan dancers and a live broadcast from hit station B105. Enjoy the ambiance of the French-themed village setting including café style seating, crepe stations, fresh food markets and all things French!

Take pleasure in watching local chalk artists create spectacular 3D scenes or be amused by cheeky caricature artists that will leave their impressions of the crowd.

Get a taste of la belle vie, with tasty treats from our cooks and enjoy the style, sounds and pizzazz of Paris without the airfare! A free French breakfast box will be available. There will also be a selection of French food, coffee, and drinks available for purchase.

So grab your beret and get along to the Sunsuper RiverBreakfast during this year’s Brisbane Festival.

VENUE Goodwill Bridge WHEN Sunday, 05 September DURATION 2 hrs

TICKETS Free entry event

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Australian Poetry Slam...

Where: When:

Brisbane (heat 2)
State Library of Queensland
Stanley Place,
South Bank

3 Sep


Featured artists:

Almaryse and the Frill of the Fight
Emily XYZ and Myers Bartlett

(Arts Queensland Poet in Residence)


State Library of Queensland
ph 3840 7307

The Australian Poetry Slam heats are still going. The next Brisbane event is on the 3rd of September and the State final is on the 22nd of October 2010.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Meeting strangers...

Some people are better at meeting strangers than others, I have never been very good at it -though sometimes with little encouragement I will put out my hand and introduce myself. This is what happened on Saturday just gone by.

The Arts Faculty held their induction day for all new Research Higher Degree (RHD) students. It was an opportunity to meet the Dean, various Professors and interact with about twenty new students. Suffice to say people are amazing, I met someone doing an Economics and Philosophy PhD, one on Middle Eastern Religion and even one on IT and Pedagogy. Current students and graduates also spoke about their experiences during their own RHD - there was a creative writing PhD student, a Comparative Literature PhD, a Political History and a Music Composer. It was amazing to be surrounded by people from such diverse fields, but all so passionate about their area and their research.

Still on the uni idea, Tuesday night was the first class for the Advanced Research Methods course that is compulsory for all new RHD students. I again met a range of new people and we had to share our freshly devised synopsises with each other. This turned out to be a great method of introduction that eclipsed putting your hand out as a way of meeting strangers.

This week has been great, I did a "How to write a Thesis" seminar and a "How to write a Literature Review" class, and attended an engaging, fast paced public lecture by Simon During titled "How to live in endgame capitalism", based around his latest book Exit Capitalism: Literary Culture, Theory and Post-Secular Modernity. Very very interesting (another birthday idea Mum and Dad?).

Description from the Routledge website:

Exit Capitalism explores a new path for cultural studies and re-examines key moments of British cultural and literary history. Simon During argues that the long and liberating journey towards democratic state capitalism has led to an unhappy dead-end from which there is no imaginable exit.

In this context, what do the humanities look like? What’s alive and what’s dead in the culture and its heritage?

It becomes clear that the contemporary world order remains imperfect not just because it is unjust but because it cannot meet ethical standards produced in a past that still knew genuine hope. Simon During emphasises the need to rethink the position of Christianity and religion in the past, and at a more concrete level, also analyses how the decline of the socialist ideal and the emergence of endgame capitalism helped to produce both modern theory and cultural studies as academic fields.

Friday, August 13, 2010

So creepy...

... it's cool?
Elvis Presley's hair is for sale on Heritage Auction Galleries. It is currently at $13 000 - but don't worry, it still has 17 hours to go! Expected to come in over $20 000 it is listed for serious Elvis collectors (are there non-serious ones?).

This got me thinking about the weirdest things that you can buy online and that is how I found Regal Titles - Traditional Royal Titles For a New Millennium.

For around $400 you can pick from this list:

  • a Lord or Lady
  • a Baron or Baroness
  • a Count or Countess
  • a Marquis or Marchioness
  • a Duke or Duchess
  • a Viscount or Viscountess
  • a Earl or Sir

  • A great gift idea apparently that according to the website is sweeping the UK and the USA.
    If you visit the site, make sure you scroll down for the winning customer reviews.

    "I have found certainly, a royal title creates instant trust. I wasn't questioned or doubted nearly as much as I would've been without my royal title."

    Lord David Parker, March 2005

    Better Book Titles...

    aka. Michael Onaatje's The English Patient.

    Kristin pointed out the very funny work of Better Book Titles.
    Where book titles are changed to reflect the true content of the text. Having read The English Patient for my masters, it seemed like an appropriate example of what the website offers. No beating around the bush with long complicated reviews about it being a multi-layered, post-modern novel with competing narratives and complex relationships woven amid wars, deserts and borders etc. etc. The new title sums it up beautifully "Erotica for Classics Majors". Simple, quirky and fantastic. Check them out if you have time, there are many more covers given the same treatment.

    Thursday, August 12, 2010

    More things to do...

    Head over to the Queensland Poetry Festival website and check out the 2010 program. The festival will be here soon (27th - 29th August) at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts.

    The official opening on the Friday night looks fantastic and is followed by two days of readings by a range of national and international poets and spoken word artists.

    Also, if you are in or near Toowoomba from the 21st to the 24th of October you might want to check out Spamalot at the Empire Theatre. I am looking forward to the production, but I am biased as I have two friends performing in it!

    "Winner of the 2005 Tony Award® for Best Musical, Monty Python’s Spamalot is the outrageous musical comedy lovingly ripped off from the film classic Monty Python and The Holy Grail.

    Telling the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and their quest for the Holy Grail, the Empire Theatres’ production of this smash hit musical will leave audiences in stitches. Flying cows, killer rabbits, a bevy of beautiful dancing divas, serfs, flatulent Frenchmen, a legless knight and show stopping musical numbers are just a few of the reasons that you will love Spamalot!

    We’re Knights of the Round Table,

    We dance when ere we’re able,

    We do routines and chorus scenes

    With footwork impeccable.

    We dine well here in Camelot,

    We eat ham and jam and spam a lot."

    (from the Empire Theatre web page)

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    Things to do today...

    Images by Able Parris

    Check out the amazing artwork of Able Parris and get over to the I Love Typography blog to read about The Origins of abc. A fascinating look at where our alphabet comes from and the header to the post is a work by none other than the collage artist Able Paris. Makes me want to pick up some scissors and glue!

    Monday, August 9, 2010

    Brisbane Writers Festival...

    I have just purchased tickets to three Brisbane Writers Festival Events - very exciting! There are so many wonderful writers and interesting events to choose from, it was hard to narrow down the options. However, since reading Sophie's World in high school, a groundbreaking book for a fifteen year old, I have loved Jostein Gaarder and read all of his books (I have his new one on order!). So I am going to see him at the festival twice, firstly at "Science vs. Philosophy" on the 2nd of September and then "Is Consciousness a Cosmic Coincidence?" on the 3rd.

    Also on the 3rd is "Poetry (and spoken word) in the Red Chamber" at Old Parliament House, poets include Emily XYZ, Mayers Bertlett and John Tranter (a poet who will be a corner stone of my thesis).

    With a plethora of national and international writers from a broad range of genres, with varying locations all over Brisbane, workshops, master-classes etc. etc. the Brisbane Writers Festival seems to have something for every literary persuasion, I can't wait!

    Friday, August 6, 2010

    Love At First Sight...

    The Nonsuch Book blog, via The Casual Optimist blog have introduced me to the world of senior cover designer Coralie Bickford-Smith. I have seen some of her beautiful clothbound covers in Borders previously and not known that they belonged to her.

    She has just released a series of metallic covers for selected works by F.Scott Fitzgerald. They are so fittingly elegant and grand.

    Thursday, August 5, 2010

    More Recycled Books...

    While on the recycled books theme, here are some amazing pieces of art and furniture that all utilise books as their building material. It just goes to show,
    "A good book has no ending." ~R.D. Cumming

    Book sculpture here

    Book house here

    Book shelf here

    Book table here

    Book vase here

    Book bench here

    Book river here

    Made It things...

    My sister has just created a jewellery store on Made It and while I was perusing the site I stumbled upon the FoundnBound store. Bibliophiles will probably be divided about recycling old books into new objects - but I think they're great. Each journal contains 80 recycled lined paper pages and 10 pages from the original, as well as the library cards, inscriptions or illustrations. So you get a book that comes with its own history and saves them from sharing the fate of the disappointed book in the short film below!

    Would make a charming birthday present (hint, hint darling sister)

    Edit: What is blogger underlining everything? Help?

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010

    Anthology Wars...

    At the moment I am reading for my PhD various Poetry anthologies of the 1960s and 1970s that helped establish and define new generations of poets. A notable influence on Australian poetry and Australian anthologies was Donald Allen's The New American Poetry (1965) that contains Black Mountain poetry, Beat poetry and work from the New York School. When this anthology landed in Australia, it was for many poets their first opportunity to read across contemporary American poetry from the 50s and 60s that had otherwise been unreleased here or unavailable due to censorship.

    The impact of anthologies like this (and Donald Hall's Contemporary American Poetry (1962)) resonated through young Australian poets and this is seen nowhere more obviously than The New Australian Poetry (1979) by John Tranter and also the earlier Australian Poetry Now (1970) ed. by Thomas Shapcott.

    Out of these Australian anthologies there emerged in print the 'Generation of '68', at least 24 poets that were looking for alternatives to "the world of Henry Lawson and A.D Hope" (Tranter, 1965, xvii) and being influenced by new American forms, technology, rock and roll music, drugs and "a shift in attitudes to authority" (xvi). Australia's answer to Ginsberg, Kerouac, O'Hara and Ferlinghetti in the form of writers like Bruce Beaver, Michael Dransfield, Nigel Roberts, Robert Adamson and Charles Buckmaster (etc.). It is a fascinating period in Australia's literary history and one that my thesis will revolve around. Here is a poem from one of the '68ers:

    by Michael Dransfield

    Inertia of a warm day: the
    lassitude that comes of
    prior opiates and robs my veins
    of meaningful blood, or posons
    with perilous narcotics. Falling over
    a desk, trying to
    stay awake when to sleep means death.
    Overdose. Nothing left but the
    whim of survival. Consciousnes
    dedmands vigilence,
    the courage of a beaconing lightship
    on the wide Sargasso Sea.
    unintelligibly through afternoon, across the day's
    almost endless expanses, wishing for
    the cool shore of dusk. Becalmed now
    on Coleridge's painted sea in Rimbaud's
    drunken boat. High like de Quincey or Vasco
    I set a course
    for the Pillars of Hercules, meaning to sail
    over the edge of the world

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    Diary of a Book...

    I found this on Nonsuch Book who found it via The Casual Optimist originally from Vimo. A beautiful and clever little film about the life of a book.

    Monday, August 2, 2010

    From The Age website...

    The Age short story competition is now accepting entries.

    Entries must be no longer than 3000 words and should not have been previously published.

    Stories for children are not eligible for this competition. Manuscripts must be typed: double-spaced and on A4 paper.

    A separate page should be submitted with the author's name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. No entry form is required.

    No more than three stories per person should be submitted.
    Faxes or hand written submissions will not be accepted and manuscripts will not be returned.

    Send entries to:
    The Age Short Story Competition
    The Age
    Level 2
    655 Collins Street
    DOCKLANDS 3008
    or email

    The closing date is October 1, 2010 - 5pm (unfortunately late entries can not be accepted) Winners will be announced in December.

    The 1st, 2nd, 3rd winning stories will be published in A2. They will also be published at along with all highly-commended entries.

    First prize winner will receive $3000. 2nd prize, $2000, 3rd prize, $1000.
    For further information please contact Jason Steger 03 8667 2044 or

    I have no affiliation with The Age, I just saw this and thought, how exciting! I love short stories and I wish I had something to enter - but I know a few people who should put something in!


    Rita Felski's keynote address was fascinating (see last post), she is a compelling speaker and very passionate about her topic. She spoke about the "hermeneutics of suspicion", a critical analysis approach or deconstructive (or close) reading approach that ascribes agency to the text and enables new "purchase" on existing texts. It has a hostile dimension, it is antagonistic but not paranoid or pathological. It was my first encounter with the idea of "suspicious" reading and I know I don't understand it very well just yet, but I did agree with her that it is "Much better to be criticized than ignored" (if you are a writer or a text) and that suspicious reading is better than reader indifference.

    Yesterday I went and saw "Inception".
    It has been receiving some amazing reviews and I believe it is truly worthy of them. Think "Dark City" meets "Matrix", only the story isn't lost to special effects - the effects are seamlessly interwoven into the compelling drama unfolding in such a way that you suspend your disbelief and are drawn into the intrigue. It is an intelligent film, a multi-layered film with interesting characters played by a wonderful selection of actors (I loved Ellen Page and Joseph Gordon Levitt in this). I heard that the script took ten years to perfect and you can see that in the beautiful intricacy of such a multifaceted plot that is still elegantly resolved at each level.

    Leonardo Dicaprio as Dom Cobb was convincing, Leo has grown up. For me I think we first really started to see him maturing in films like "Blood Diamond" and playing roles within complex relationships like the rather depressing "Revolutionary Road" and the frightening "Shutter Island". This is a big move beyond any of those films and crystallizes him as being a versatile, compelling, mature and engaging actor. "Inception" is a great film and role for him.

    Overall, you embark on a wonderful journey into the unconscious with this film and you will never think of dreams in the same way again. Five stars.