Welcome to Pocketry Presents, the poetry podcast that finds out what goes on in poets’ minds and how they deal with writer’s block.
Are you an emerging or aspiring poet wondering how to write, get published, enter competitions or perform your work? Then this is the poetry podcast for you!
Host Indrani Perera brings you interviews with established poets and explains the techniques used in writing poetry. You can also hear words, stories, poets reading their own poems as well as contributions from the artists featured in the Pocketry Almanack.
Join us for Pocketry Presents the podcast that goes behind the scenes of the poetry world. It's the must-listen to podcast for all those interesting in improving their craft or anyone wanting to learn more about poetry.
Season One Trailer
Welcome to the first season of Pocketry Presents, the brand new poetry podcast that finds out what goes on in poet's minds and just how they deal with writer's block.
Featured poets in this season include Emilie Collyer, Angela Costi, Kevin Brophy, Dominique Hecq, Scott-Patrick Mitchell, David Munro, Dr Mark Tredinnick, Thabani Tshuma and Melizarani T Selva. Pocketry Presents is also excited to bring you the fresh, new, previously unpublished voices of emerging and aspiring poets published in issues three and four of the Pocketry Almanack.
Are you keen to hear the poems from the latest issue of the Pocketry Almanack? Then tune in and get comfy as we hear the poets reading their poems from Issue 3 published in April 2021. We hear from our featured artist Shirley Kanyon and also hear some intriguing words and interesting anecdotes.
Poets featured in this episode: Andrew Brion, Amanda Collins, Anne Collopy, Kelle Cunningham and Rowan White.
Australian poet and playwright, Emilie Collyer talks about her creative process. We chat about how she writes her poetry as well as the limits of words, Greek mythology and inherited lineages, truthful energies, the benefits of reading your work out loud and re-drafting vs careful planning.
Emilie Collyer lives in Australia on Wurundjeri country where she writes poetry, plays and prose. Her writing has appeared most recently in Booth (USA), The Ekphrastic Review (USA), The Blue Nib (Ireland), TEXT, Meanjin, Cordite, Rabbit and Australian Poetry Journal and in 2021 she guest edited Teesta Review Journal (India). She is the author of the illustrated poetry book Your Looking Eyes. Her award-winning plays include Contest, Dream Home and The Good Girl which has had multiple international productions. She is currently a PhD candidate at RMIT researching feminist creative practice. You can find her at www.betweenthecracks.net.
Emilie Collyer joins us once again to share her experience and insights into getting her poetry published in literary journals. In this interview Emilie talks about the use of different forms, crafting poems, your poetic voice, different types of validation for writers and poetry as a conversation with other poets. You can find Emilie at www.betweenthecracks.net.
Hear David Munro read his poem Night Sky and learn about the poetic techniques of line breaks and enjambment.
David Munro works as a statistician, analysing data and building models to help people understand the world around them. He feels the most interesting things in life are found in the liminal: from the absurd to the sublime. Poetry and mathematics can deliver both. You can find Night Sky, the poem in this episode, in David's first poetry collection, Wearing My Father’s Hat which is published by Melbourne Poet’s Union.
In this episode of Pocketry Presents, Dr Mark Tredinnick Mark shares the details of his creative process. We talk about the insistence of the muse, Seamus Heaney and the attic life, the instrumentation and musicality of typing, the constraints of form, inspiration as a fetish, the intrusions of ordinary life, interrogating the adequacy of phrasing and the many ways to overcome writers' block. You can find Mark at www.marktredinnick.com.
Dr Mark Tredinnick is a celebrated celebrated poet, essayist, and teacher. His many works of poetry and prose include A Gathered Distance, Almost Everything I Know, Egret in a Ploughed Field, Bluewren Cantos, Fire Diary, The Blue Plateau, and The Little Red Writing Book. For twenty-five years, he’s taught poetry and expressive writing at the University of Sydney, where he was poet in residence in 2018. His many honours include two of the world’s foremost poetry prizes, the Montreal and the Cardiff. 'His is a bold, big-thinking poetry,' Sir Andrew Motion has written, 'in which ancient themes (especially the theme of our human relationship with landscape) are recast and rekindled.' Judith Beveridge has called him 'One of our great poets of place'. In 2020, Tredinnick was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for services to literature and education.
Master of form and winner of major international poetry prizes, Dr Mark Tredinnick, joins us again to talk about entering poetry competitions. With a guest appearance from Dante the dog, this wide ranging conversation covers ecological writing, the joy and mystery of trees and children, commissions vs writing prompts, the high octane combination of faith and scepticism, the impact of wining money on a poetry practice, choosing which competitions to enter, judging tribes and schools of poetry, making technical not sentimental judgements about your writing, how to choose the poems to enter, what not to include in your poetry if you want to win and the duty of judges. His tips for keeping on going in the face of rejection: keep faith in your poem, don't plagiarise yourself and put it in a book if it doesn't win a prize. You can find Mark at www.marktredinnick.com.
Hear Angela Costi read her poem Coburg and learn about the poetic technique of stanzas and end stopped lines.
Angela Costi is on the land of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation. Her heritage is Cypriot-Greek and among the Cypriot-Greek diaspora she is known as Aggeliki Kosti. Angela is the author of five poetry collections: Dinted Halos, Prayers for the Wicked, Honey & Salt, Lost in Mid-Verse and An Embroidery of Old Maps and New. In 1995, she received a travel award from the Australia National Languages and Literacy Board to study Ancient Greek Drama in Greece. In 2009, she travelled to Japan with support from the Australia Council for the Arts to work on an international collaboration with Stringraphy Ensemble, to perform her text A Nest of Cinnamon. In 2021, City of Melbourne funding is supporting her to work on a new suite of poetry titled The Heart of the Advocate. You can buy An Embroidery of Old Maps and New here and follow Angela on Facebook.
Spoken word artist and poet, Melizarani T Selva, joins us to talk about her creative process, ending poems, secret newsletters, collectors' notebooks, being in a perpetual state of writing, why she'll never admit to writer's block, the importance of serving the idea, the validity of bullet points as a form of writing, metaphor generators, permission to write, advice for BIPOC writers and the hamster wheel of grief.
Melizarani T Selva is a Malaysian writer and spoken word poet, with notable performances at the Jaipur Literature Festival, StoryFest Singapore and TEDxGateway. Her first book, Taboo is a poetic exploration of her Masters’ thesis on the constructs and representations of the Malaysian Indian Identity. Her poems have been translated in French and Bahasa Malaysia. She co-founded If Walls Could Talk - Poetry Open Mic and co-published an anthology of 100 poems by 61 poets from Malaysia titled When I Say Spoken, You Say Word! Presently, Melizarani is the co-editor of the literary journal SingPoWriMo.com. You can buy Taboo from Lit Books in Malaysia (they ship internationally) and sign up to Melizarani’s newsletter here.
Find out what summer camp, Pussycat Dolls and Seventeen magazine have to do with spoken word in this second part of Pocketry's interview with veteran of the open mic and queen of improvisation, Melizarani T Selva.
You'll also hear about audience reactions and a poet's responsibility, writing pantoums, earning a feature set, closing a gig, audience investment, the open mic animal, how to curate a tight set, the importance of comedy, Draupadi and the Mahabharata, adding movement, making mistakes and forgetting lines, improvisation and the ephemeral nature of performance, sharing before performing, tailoring a set for a particular audience, the poet's toolkit and the greatest disservice you can do to a performer. You can follow Melizarani on socials @melizaranitselva.
Editor of The Pocketry Almanack, Indrani Perera, gives indispensable advice and practical tips for emerging poets wanting to get published in literary journals. You’ll discover the biggest mistake made by emerging poets when sending in their work for publication and learn what you can do to make sure your work is read by the editors of literary journals. To learn what poetry opportunities are on offer each month, sign up to Indrani's Poet's Express newsletter.
Indrani Perera is a Sri Lankan/German/Australian poet living and working on Wurrundjeri Country. She is the creator of The Poets' Express e-mail newsletter, founder of Pocketry, the home of unheard voices and host of the Pocketry Presents podcast. Indrani is also the author of Promote Your Poetry and the poetry collections Defenestration and pas de deux. Find her at www.indraniperera.com.
Poet and spoken word artist, Scott-Patrick Mitchell, talks about page poetry and spoken word, memorisation and fragments, writing routines and the critical voice, movement as an editing tool, art as inspiration, writing for journal themes, LQBTA+ identity activism and archive, ecological disaster and climate change, always learning, honouring a poem's ecology, recognising the ummms and errs of your writing and a strategy to overcome writer's block.
Scott-Patrick Mitchell is a WA-based non-binary poet who is a guest on the land of the Whadjuk Noongar nation. SPM’s work appears in Contemporary Australian Poetry, The Fremantle Press Anthology of Western Australian Poetry, Solid Air, Stories of Perth and Going Postal. In 2019, SPM won Coal Creek’s Literary Award for Poetry, Melbourne Poets Union’s Martin Downey Urban Realist Poetry Award and The Wollongong Short Story Prize. Most recently, SPM was shortlisted for The International Googie Goer Prize for Speculative Prose, The 2020 / 2021 Red Room Poetry Fellowship and The Martha Richardson Poetry Award. Scott-Patrick's debut collection of poetry, Clean, is forthcoming in 2022 with Upswell publishing.
Content Warning: addiction, recovery and self-harm
In this honest and far ranging episode of Pocketry Presents, Scott-Patrick Mitchell takes great care in dealing with the issues surrounding the publication of their debut collection, Clean, forthcoming with Upswell Publishing in 2022. They talk about the Port Augusta train station and the Indian Pacific, the stars and writing your own creation myths, the magic of writing, coming up with your own language for poetry, homophobia and the publishing world, stage jam and sonically burlesque fringe shows, duty of care, gender identity and expression, grief and letting go, the ebb and flow of success and failure, the dangers of comparison and reading as a tool to develop care and compassion.
Warning: this episode contains mature themes and parental guidance may be required
In this episode, we hear Kevin Brophy read his poem What We Know from the collection, This Is What Gives Us Time. We look at how the poem is structured and learn about the technique of anaphora used in the poem. Kevin's latest book, In This Part of the World, was published by Melbourne Poet's Union in 2020 and can be purchased from Brunswick Bound Bookshop.
Kevin Brophy’s latest book is In This Part of the World (Melbourne Poets Union 2020), available from Brunswick Bound Bookshop. His previous poetry collection, Look at the Lake (Puncher & Wattmann, 2018) was awarded the Wesley Michel Wright Prize for Poetry. He is a past winner of the Calibre Prize for an outstanding essay. His poetry has appeared in many Best Australian Poems volumes and major national anthologies, including the recent Anthology of Australian Prose Poems (Melbourne University Press 2020). In 2015 he was writer-in-residence at the Australia Council’s B. R. Whiting Studio in Rome, and in 2019-20 at the Keesing Studio in Paris. From 1980 to 1994 he was a founding editor of Going Down Swinging. From 2007 until 2020 he was a managing editor at Five Islands Press. He is patron of Melbourne Poets Union, and Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Melbourne. In 2021 he received an Order of Australia award (AM) for his services to creative writing.
Content Warning: grief, death, SIDs
Dominique Hecq talks about silence and sunshine, prose vs poetry, the materiality of language, writing through the night, the flow of a writing day, sequences and triptychs, getting stuck, not forcing a poem, rhythm vs images, sounds and movement, where the poem is going vs where you want it to go, hearing what the poem wants, first drafts and mess, discovering new forms, editors, crossing borders of art and language, loss and grief, mentors, languages and translation, appropriation, safety and protecting people, imagination and creativity as well as tips for revising poetry and generating ideas.
A Belgian-born poet, fiction writer and scholar, Dominique Hecq lives in Melbourne. She writes across genres and sometimes across tongues. Her works include a novel, three collections of short stories and eleven books of poetry. Kaosmos (2020), Tracks (2020) and Songlines (2021) are her latest poetry offerings. With Eugen Bacon, she also co-authored Speculate (2021), a collection of microlit. Smacked and Other Stories of Addiction, a runner-up in the 2021 Carmel Bird Digital Award, is fresh off the press. Among other honours, Dominique is the recipient of The Melbourne Fringe Festival Award for Outstanding Writing and Performance (1998), The New England Review Prize for Poetry (2004), The Martha Richardson Medal for Poetry (2006), the inaugural AALITRA Prize for Literary Translation from Spanish into English (2014). She is also a Pushcart nominee and a recipient of the 2018 International Best Poets Prize administered by the International Poetry Translation and Research Centre in conjunction with the International Academy of Arts and Letters.
Content warning: cancer, death, grief
Dominique Hecq returns to Pocketry Presents to share her experience of entering competitions and winning awards. She talks about writing in French and English, responsibility to the people you're writing about, the liberating effect of time, testing other audiences, the gamble and thrill of entering competitions, judges and the judging process, choosing competitions, feedback and review, rejection, vanity vs validation plus great tips for entering competitions.
Listen to Es Foong read the poem Heavy Into Silence, from her chapbook, Margin Doodles Volume 1, and then learn all about rhyme and how to craft a title for your poem. You can find Es and Waffle Irongirl, her digital and performance persona, at www.waffleirongirl.com.
Es Foong is astounded to be a poet, flash fictionista and spoken word performer based in Naarm (Melbourne). Her poetry appears in print and online including the Australian Poetry Journal, Cold Mountain Review, and Borderless: A transnational anthology of feminist poetry published by Recent Work Press. Her performance persona, Waffle Irongirl has featured at spoken word events around Australia including Passionate Tongues, La Mama Poetica, That Poetry Thing That's On at Smith's Every Monday. On-stage, she is the poetic analogue of heavy-metal karaoke. Off-stage, she eats identity labels for breakfast. She lives online at waffleirongirl.com.
In this episode hear Thabani Tshuma on learning to use the medium, writing when there's time, non-linear writing and starting in the middle, figuring out where in the poem you are and what it needs, performance as an editing tool, poetry as an oral art form, editing as part of the creative process, not writing enough vs always writing, watching tv and talking to friends as part of the writing process, capitalist grind culture, the need for introspection, the intersection of art and commerce, funding and quantifying the arts, the worth of a poem, writing for publication and a tip for writing.
Thabani Tshuma is a Zimbabwean writer and performance poet. His work can be found in publications such as Dichotomi magazine and Next in Colour. He is the co-curator of Thin Red Lines, a 2019 Hotdesk fellowship recipient with the Wheeler Centre, featured author with Djed Press, Slamalamadingdong’s 2019 Grand Slam champion, ranked among the top 50 slam poets worldwide at IWPS 2019, and winner of all major awards at the 2019 Melbourne Spoken Word Prize. Writing is the aperture through which he views the world and experiences self in relation to others.
In this masterclass on the art of spoken word performance, Thabani Tshuma talks about terror and excitement, empowerment and nerves, feelings and nuances, dangerous spaces and diary dumps, resolution of narrative, duty of care to an audience, curating a feature set, starting young, learning poetic techniques through scribing, stage presence and theatricality, writing for page vs stage, poems as mini plays, memorising and rehearsing, rhyme as a memory aid, forgetting lines and improvising, the open mic testing ground, audience as an editing partner, curator vs artist, trust and performance, getting featured and remembering your why.
Pocketry interrupts the scheduled episodes for this season to bring you a special announcement for emerging and aspiring poets wanting to get their poetry published.
Content warning: drug reference, toxic relationships, torture, war
Pocketry Presents is back with a special episode featuring the poets and artists published in Issue 4 of the Pocketry Almanack! Tune in to hear poetry in English as well as Burmese. Learn how we've managed to cram in even more art with stunning pieces from artists Meg Doller and Shirley Kanyon as well as art from one of the poets for this issue. You'll also hear some intriguing words that were bartered for a copies of the Almanack.
Poets featured in this episode: Kris Deminick, Caleb Green, Thinn Thinn Khine, Anna Kochetkova, and Nidhi Rao.
Thank you to all the poets who appeared in the very first season of Pocketry Presents. It's been a whirlwind five months of poetry, stories, words, interviews and poetic techniques. And a big thank you to all you lovely listeners for tuning in - it's been wonderful to share poetry with you!