Friday, 12 August 2011

Words in Winter gig

Words in Winter, a literary festival held in the Victorian Goldfields, invited me and my poetry stall up for the weekend just gone. My partner and I were put up by WIW at Duke's B 'n B, which was the most wonderful accommodation either of us have ever enjoyed - hardwood floors, sumptuous breakfasts and a cosy but well-curated environment.

The P.S.S. Poetry Stall was received with real enthusiasm and a steady line of requests on the Sunday. The requests were varied and while many were made with the intention of gifting the resulting poem to a specific person, they were still sufficiently open to interpretation.

Jane @33, the cafe` (a Clunes establishment and hub) that hosted the stall was an enlivening venue and Jane herself is a lovely person. The space is lined with intriguing ephemera, and the food and drinks (over a dinner and a lunch, plus hydration!) were extremely tasty. The definite highlights were a chocolate and chilli tart, and the chimichangas.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The Notorious Poet

I'm now the 'Notorious Poet' - Take a look at my poem in the latest issue (#23) of the Get Notorious Magazine, run by some of the people behind 1000 Pound Bend. They've asked me to contribute a poem each issue that includes the word 'notorious'.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Lines event!

Next Sunday will be my poetry performance debut, at an event organised by Australian Poetry. Two poets, two musicians - four slightly overlapping performances of 'kissing cousin art forms'.


Thursday, 26 May 2011

Updates and My Favourite Request

Table reserved for my stall at 1000 Pound Bend; and a poem about to be posted to a savvy dad out with his 4 kids for the day. They all became very excited by the idea of their own poem, and the two oldest requested one on 'animals playing football'.
The new presentation
A rare stall at night, 1000 Pound Bend

My favourite request so far: a creative writing student from RMIT handed my this old book on Hawaii he'd found in the cafe`, and wanted a poem on whatever inspired me from it.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

A Panoramic Vision

A panoramic vision of 1000 Pound Bend, from in front of my poetry stall. (Such fancy things a phone can do these days...)

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Recent Requests

Among the requests I have received recently at my poetry stall:

  • a poem 'on concrete' with 'a reference to Richard Nixon';
  • a poem about the country town Wandiligong (near Bright, in Victoria);
  • numerous poems about boyfriends (one with a penchant for chemistry, another departing Melbourne due to a lapsed visa);
  • a poem about 'love in the time of Lent';
  • a poem 'on indecision' for a man's girlfriend.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

'The Spirit of the Black Dress' poem

For a post today on 'The Spirit of the Black Dress', a part of the L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival, Cheryl at BusinessChic commissioned a poem from me on the topic, inspired by two images of models wearing some of the featured dresses amongst the iconic Melbourne artwork, 'The Businessmen Who Brought Their Own Lunch'. I don't find fashion the easiest topic to write about but I actually found it quite satisfying to redraft and play with the ideas and imagery in this poem. Cheryl was great to work with and should be commended for her comittment to seeking out varied responses to, and perspectives on, fashion - she enrichs the (overlapping!) fashion and art worlds greatly. For the purpose of the post she chose to use an excerpt for brevity, but here I can post the full version.

the spirit of the black dress

at the corner of
Bourke and Swanston Streets,
a parade of black dresses:
           ebony reams
unfurl and sculpt
against the pumiced
bronze forms of history.

the statue performers in Bourke Street Mall
mimic the petrified businessmen,
enviously inspect their bronzed
longevity. but Batman, Swanston and Hoddle
remain bemused,
reincarnated as a Melbourne
archetype, suited
for public

cut lunches still wrapped
in tarnished briefcases, usually
they whisper observations
on their opus' adulthood -
shortfalls of planning
and skirts, mass drunkenness,
the preoccupation
with black.

this visitation of dresses is
          black reimagined,
their only kinship
tonal — some
afford chiaroscuro geometrics
across clavicles and legs;
some draped as though one
stitch was the sole
anchor; others with
winsome shirred hems
that lead the businessmen
to thoughts of birds
and night,
          to reminisce about the dark
opaque of plans, the city
still forming,
and ideals stalked
in mental backwaters.                  

amidst modern flux
Melbourne's founders
live their afterlife
through black (dresses).

© Sophie Curzon-Siggers, 2011.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Australian Poetry featurette

Australian Poetry ('the peak industry body for poetry in this country'), which runs the Cafe` Poet Program I am a participant in, has just posted a featurette on me on their website - quite exciting!

Sunday's Market

As of last week, my Saturday session at 1000 £ Bend has been swapped to Sundays, so I can set up stall at the Hide and Seek market held there each week. I wanted to experience a different atmosphere to Tuesdays, when I'm positioned just as you walk into the cafe` and there is a mid-week lunchtime intensity. People are often ravenous and edification via a poem is an after-thought! Whereas a market encourages a more meandering pace, and those who turn up usually would like to take home a little treat. This is not to say I prefer Sundays, or that I lack commissions on Tuesdays - neither is true, as I look forward to every session as poet-in-residence! However I do enjoy the contrasts between the two days and scenarios.

At my first Hide and Seek Market - my new signage wasn't quite ready so we appropriated my childhood easel.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Poet residency featured on Business Chic!

Me at my poetry stall. Photo from Cheryl's website.

On the first day of running the poetry stall as part of my residency at 1000 £ Bend, the lovely Cheryl approached and commissioned a poem about her fashion blog Business Chic. She presented me with one of her person-shaped business cards and away I tapped on my Remington 'Holiday'. The resulting poem pleased Cheryl so much that she has featured it, and this poet-in-residence, in a post on her blog. She's even scanned in the poem original! It's a really wonderful post - you must go read it and then stay to explore all the interesting people and outfits she has found - especially if you want inspiration on how to enliven your work wardrobe! Thanks Cheryl.

                                                                                                       - Sophie

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The 1000 £ Bend Board for this week - look!

'Why do you write?'

I am often asked by people, friends and acquaintances, 'why do you write?'
This was my response to one of my pen pals a few months ago:

'I write because words and phrases surface in my conscious mind as on a lake and if I do not skim them off they obscure the water;
they are my restless tenants that demand meaningful outings;
they are my keepers, but I know I am merely a whistle-stop on their way to a destination. I create the vehicle for them to get there, but beyond that...

 In a more cerebral sense, I write (poems mostly, as you know) because that is the way in which I divine meaning from things. It's a vocation, not really a choice...'