Tag: poetry

Ben: A Poem

Ben: A Poem

Sadly, one of my closest friends passed away 2nd September. Ben was a wonderful friend; warm, kind, loving, gentle, passionate and caring. I hope this month’s freebie (a poem dedicated to him) captures some of what he meant to me. Ben We ballroom dancedthrough your…

Poem: The King Sends Three Cats to Gwenivere by Marjorie Allen Seiffert

Poem: The King Sends Three Cats to Gwenivere by Marjorie Allen Seiffert

I have always been obsessed with the historical Merlin and Arthur and devour Arthurian literature and pop culture. I am currently researching Welsh legend and history for a Merlin verse novel set in Dark Ages Wales, and found this truly wonderful, but creepy verse poem.…

Poetry and the Chat Room: An Interview with Maree Dawes

Poetry and the Chat Room: An Interview with Maree Dawes

A few months back I was very lucky to receive a review copy of BRB; a verse novel by Australian poet, Maree Dawes. I’d just started a new job and it took me ages to pick up the novel, but it was worth it when I did. I love poetry- writing it and reading it- and I am very honored that Maree was able to take time out of her schedule to give some meaty answers to the questions I posed for her.


How did you first discover poetry and what is it about poetry that appeals to you?

I can remember my mother saying the Song of Hiawatha (Longfellow) from memory so I guess poetry has always been a part of my life. I wrote poetry in primary school, and one of my teachers was very keen on us learning and reciting poetry by heart. From then on I wrote a lot of very heartfelt but not very crafted work. Doing some creative writing workshops, some Uni courses and reading volumes and volumes of Australian poetry made a difference.

Why verse novels and do you have any people you look up to within this specific genre?

Verse novels because that was the form that most nearly suited this work. It’s something I try and achieve with all my writing – find the form that makes the most of the other elements. My other full length work Women of the Minotaur has some aspects of narrative, but it remains a collection not a verse novel. I called BRB a nanonovel to start with, but that has another specific meaning in that you write it quickly which wasn’t what I did. I also like to write shorter works, for example my short stories are short short – less than a page.

I can’t go past Dorothy Porter if I’m choosing my favourite writer of verse novels.

Who are your favourite authors and why?

This is a difficult question for me because it often relates to just what I am reading at the moment. David Malouf and Michael Ondaatje are both writers I admire for the sheer beauty of their words while writing of things that really matter – and they both write poetry! Barbara Temperton and Caroline Caddy are South West Poets who inspire me – they both use imagery which stays with me for days.

You portray the beginnings of the internet chat culture in BRB. What inspired you to write about this topic?

I was involved with chat at that time and while I was chatting I wrote imagined pieces. It was a fascinating world to me and I had a lot of fun creating my verse novel world alongside my chat world – although it wasn’t a verse novel then – just very many disparate pieces. In a way it was a writer’s paradise having a world made of words.

Did you do much additional research to write this verse novel? How did you go about it?

Unlike Women of the Minotaur where I read autobiographies, biographies and visited galleries this was more about little snippets of information coming to me. At the time I was writing the original draft I would see an article, read a book or go out into the community and think – what would Boadicea’s IRL person be thinking in this situation. The lovely day at the beach in Dogs have been known to die from eating sea hare was based on a day at Parrys beach with friends. I also read erotica and conducted a chat room poll on words for vagina. Honey pot appears in the poem Contemplating the options with a clear head.

Do you have any personal stories of early life on the internet that you’d like to share?

I really did write Rengas across the digital world – Mumbai, Albany, Bucharest and what we wrote about was the outdoors, the sea, flowers, leaves falling and snow. Not quite Basho but great fun.

When reading BRB I was struck by how ‘Boudicea’ is able to express herself both sexually and artistically when anonymous on the internet. Was this a theme that you sought to bring out deliberately within the novel?

Themes were the middle work of writing BRB – after most of the different poems and fragments and made up chat were written. Reflecting on theme really helped link the pieces into a narrative. I certainly wanted to explore what aspects of the self were revealed when it was possible to try a particular role and not be hampered by judgement, or being stuck with the choice – online in a new persona, Boadicea could explore many aspects of self, including the sexual and artistic without being concerned about reputation.

The ocean is a re-occuring motif in BRB. What significance does the ocean hold for you?

Perhaps it’s the recurring dream I had as a child of surfing a huge wave I could never dismount from … or the fact that I lived in a dry inland place for the first 18 years of my life… or that I now live on the edge of the Southern Ocean and can hear it from my front door on a quiet night. I think my next work is going to be about the ocean.

What’s a question about your writing/work that you’ve never been asked before and you’ve always wanted to be asked?

Really I want someone to ask me “can I pay you for a year to just write?

Now answer it.

The answer is yes!

But seriously…

 Did you base Thistlehead on your own cyber lover?

Answer: I never kiss and tell.

Maree Dawes is an Albany based poet, who has been published nationally and internationally.  Her childhood in the wheat belt and following lifestyle close to the coast in WA’s South West continue to inform her work. Maree’s first collection Women of the Minotaur explored the lives of the mistresses in Picasso’s life.  It was featured on Poetica in May 2009 and dramatized for the program launch for PIAF writers festival 2010. Her short story I am so sweet and truthful first appeared in Indigo in 2008, was published in Best Australian Stories the same year and is in production for a short film with Starchild media. Maree has collaborated with artists, dancers and embroiderers resulting in a range of performance pieces and publications, from ephemeral water colour pages to projection onto the Albany Town hall. Her verse novel BRB, Be Right Back  is published by Spineless Wonders and was launched at Perth Writers Festival in the Great Southern in February 2014.  BRB dives headlong into on-line life in the nineties and explores its quirks, erotica and dilemmas.

BRB is available as an ebook. You can find Maree on Twitter and Facebook You can find my review of BRB Here

A Quick Interview with Myself!

A Quick Interview with Myself!

I had some questions left over from my Freshly Booked Interview which unfortunately didn’t fit into the (very generous) sixty minute time slot. I have decided to put the five most interesting here in case people are still hungry for more! Who are your favourite…

Poetry Peek: Books

Poetry Peek: Books

Without further ado, I present to you the first poem in my upcoming poetry collection, My Heart’s Choir Sings. Books The open, sterilized jaws of your flat beckoned, quiet Like the yellowed pages of books That were your long time companions. Their old, musty scent,…

Cover Reveal: My Heart’s Choir Sings

Cover Reveal: My Heart’s Choir Sings

Finally, the time is upon me! My wonderful cover artist, Tegan Ivison, sent me the final cover art for my poetry collection.

A eulogy and a verse novella. Grief, guilt, redemption. How do you go on in a world without your other half?

Think Ted Hughes Birthday Letters meets Dorothy Porter verse and you’d have My Heart’s Choir Sings. This is the story of Stewart Hinchcliffe, a writer and an artist who loses his lover and fellow creative in tragic circumstances. As he cleans out their old apartment, each new object brings back bittersweet memories. Throughout the 25 poem sequence, grief, guilt and anger color his memories. Who is to blame for what happened? Where did everything go wrong? And how on earth does Stuart move on from his past?

Smashwords_E-book_Cover (1)

(Click the image for the full size!)

Interested? You can pre-order from Smashwords Here for the 1st Feb release date. Or if you’d rather wait for the release date, or to get the latest news on the virtual book tour, like the facebook page Here.

Jill (Poem)

Jill (Poem)

I’m on a poetry roll with my ebook coming out on Saturday 1st! This poem is positively ancient and is based off the relationship between Jill and Rhodry in Katharine Kerr’s Deverry Saga. I am quite fond of it even in its oldness. I hope…

Carla (A Feminist Manifesto)- Poem

Carla (A Feminist Manifesto)- Poem

I wrote this poem a few years back and it is pretty rough (in more ways than one as it discusses sexual assault) but it also is a fair example of what my verse novella will be like in terms of the style of free…

My Heart’s Choir Sings Ebook Release

My Heart’s Choir Sings Ebook Release

My Heart’s Choir Sings. A eulogy and a verse novella. Grief, guilt, redemption. How do you go on in a world without your other half?

Two years ago, I fell in love with London. I began to write a sequence of connected poems telling the story of Stewart Hinchcliffe; a writer who loses his fellow creative in tragic circumstances. As he cleans out their old apartment, each new object brings back bittersweet memories. Throughout the 25 poem sequence, grief, guilt and anger colour his memories, so how then can he ever move on?

The poems were messy and confused. I gave up. And then one day I pulled them out of the dust drawer and started to edit them with fresh eyes. I sent a pdf out to some friends and they all told me how much they loved it but what was it all doing mouldering in silence on my desktop? Indeed.

I have Isobelle Carmody to thank for her 2013 Greylands ebook experiment. So many interesting people weighed in and deep down, I knew I wanted a turn too. So two years later here I am. On the 1st of February I am going to erelease My Heart’s Choir Sings to the world. Like the Facebook Page to come along for an experimental ride. Here I will discuss the trials and tribulations of ebook publishing, where I am at, and more importantly, why you should fork out the 99c and buy my collection come Feb.

To those people who have asked me for the past three years where they can buy my stuff officially, thank you, I love you, and this erelease is for you!


Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Hearts-Choir-Sings/490774427698379
Twitter: https://twitter.com/InkAshlings
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/14943418-maureen

Merlin Poetry

Merlin Poetry

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted any original work from myself. I have just completed a novel plotting and planning course with the indomitable Kate Forsyth and am therefore reworking my manuscript (damn those inciting incidents in the wrong place!) Meanwhile, I am…