Eleanor Jackson: Image credit
"We all know the formula for love, right?
Boy meets girl, they fall in love, conflict occurs, boy loses girl, boy finds girl again, true love triumphs and they all live happily ever after.
But what do you do if it’s girl meets girl? How will they know who’s meant to sweep whom off their feet? What if both parties are troubled by a dark secret? And can one be a lady sheikh?
Betsy Turcot and Eleanor Jackson blend popular romance, slam poetry and the occasional dirty limerick to create a poetic narrative about love in a modern age."- from http://mbswoon.com/about/
I saw you read together at Riverbend books, you were both engaging and dynamic. The poems that you performed that night were ostensibly about modern relationships, but also love and loss, attraction and desire. The stranger sitting next to me was breathing heavily throughout your performance (sorry strange man I have never met before, but I could hear you). Are we in for similar up-beat and off-beat love poems (perhaps with the accompaniment of heavy breathing) at Queensland Poetry Festival (QPF)?
Hopefully not the heavy breathing!
But yes - more of the same, but this time, we're going all the way... The previous performances (we've done two short taster sets, one at Riverbend Books and another at Words or Whatever) were only excerpts from the show, which modified the pieces to try not to give too much away... This time around, it will be the full set of poems. Which both Betsy and I are really excited about having the chance to perform.
Definitely love poems, but not all lovely dovely, some are in fact much more dark, about the failures and heartbreaks of love.
You have great timing in your performances together, as you swap back and forwards and your voices interact. How do you go about writing for collaborative work? Can you describe the processes you have been using leading up to the QPF?
The process of writing together has been a fabulous experience for us both - we've generated pieces together, then adapted them in conversation. Sometimes we've edited each other pieces, or had to edit our own work in relation to a piece written by the other person. Which has been illuminating and exciting. We are different writers, with different voices but - like the character in the relationship in the show - we've had to learn to compromise, adjust and adapt to each other in order to create something that is bigger than the work we would have developed alone. I can't say it's been an exact science, but a bit like falling in love, it's been exciting to learn more about the other person, and then also about ourselves as writers and performers.
You are performing in the Smitten Cobras session with Ghostboy (and friends) who recently set the challenge on this blog for a nude poet run in the Valley - do you think anyone will take up the gauntlet (maybe during that session)?
If anyone would be able to create a nude poetry run - it would be Ghostboy. I can't guarantee that I'll be getting my kit off - god, the show feels "exposing" enough - so we'll just have to see if the audience is feeling it!
Catch Betsy Turcot & Eleanor Jackson at the Queensland Poetry Festival in Smitten Cobra's / Judith Wright Shopfront / Sunday 28 August / with Ghostboy / 3:15pm