Reading with Australia's favourite redneck (and scone fresser)

Monday, December 3, 2012

A reading with Les Murray in Melbourne yesterday took me back to an afternoon in my youth where I came home from school to find a large poet sitting at our kitchen table eating his way through a bowl of scones mum had just cooked. My mother was the president of the local literary society and had invited Les to come share his words with the community. Although I did go to the CWA tea rooms that night in 1984 (or was it 83?), my hungry teenage mind wouldn't leave the lost scones for the poems. Yesterday, all these years later I actually got to hear his words in relative peace.

Les bookended his reading with Quadrant fitting subjects – big machines and type 2 diabetes. I guess they go hand in hand. Les is the literary editor of Quadrant, the pro-industry rag which boasts Keith Windschuttle as its deregulatory helmsman. As a segue into his read yesterday Les grumbled about big machines not being fashionable today... Perhaps Quadrant could give out free Tonka mining trucks and hamburgers with fries and coke to encourage younger readers.

Les Murray at the Butterfly Club for the 4W launch Melbourne Dec 2012
The main reason the little group of writers and listeners assembled in Melbourne yesterday was to celebrate the launch of this year's 4W New Writing anthology (#23), which includes nearly seventy writers from around Australia and overseas who together constitute the long-list for the 2012 Booranga Prize. I met David Gilbey, the 4W editor, and quite a few poets I hadn't heard read before.

This guy for example, Pony, who has the sort of short bio you can really do something with:
Pony lives somewhere in Melbourne. He spends his time writing poetry, growing vegetables, reading, resting, hanging out and partying. And making online dating profiles and deleting them.
Another gardener, Stu Hatton, read a nifty little poem called 'a book of buddhist monks', which ends with a thud. You'll have to seek it out to see why; no spoilers here.

Stu Hatton
I read one of my weed loving poems, Noxious, which was shortlisted for the 2012 Booranga Poetry Prize alongside Stu Hatton, Brett Dionysius and Vlanes poems. Michael Farrell won the prize with The Structuralist Cowboy – good one Mickey Faz! 


A weed is by common definition a plant in the wrong place, in my poems a number of letters follow such arrangement.


tronica said...

Great to finally meet you Patrick - really love your work. Fantastic picture of my handsome husband too :)

Looking forward to heading your way some time in 2013!

derek said...

great images - from the other side of the room mine are all just blobs of white light.

Permapoesis said...

hey tronica, thanks, great to meet you too, and pls look us up next your this way

hi derek, thanks too, i can send images for the writers' centre to use if you wish.

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