A literary tongue in Aspic
Well this is another attempt to start a blog as I’ve started one previously and just got forgot about it because it was much easier to blog live around dinner guests than post something up in this strange land of bloggers. However nefarious my previous blogs were I intend to make the journey to blog land at least once a week depending on how much more there is going on in the world. But it might also be because of this fact that I return to the written word in order to make sense of my responses to things going on in the world. I’ve spent a lot of time doing university degrees, which for the most part I have worked in retail selling soap and perfume to pay my way through my literature degree, and my masters of poetry. So although I’m not a ‘tradie’ and woe is my inability to buy a house and do up the plumbing, I am quite good with my hands.
I went into my Double Major in English literature with a (naive) ideal that university was all about learning and discussing ideas and being intellectual. And that is naive. I must say though that I don’t regret it at all for what a joy to be introduced to the works of Joyce, Eco, Shelley, Diderot, Plato, Woolf, Winterson, Rimbaud, to name but a few of the couple of thousand books I’ve read and discussed with others over the course of those three years and beyond. I actually had a woman on a bus ask me what an English Literature degree is actually about, and I told her it involved gruesome autopsies and necrophilia. Which is kind of accurate if you think about some of those advanced literary criticism EN3000 classes, and as to the necrophilia, well who hasn’t gone to bed over and over with a dead writer. What joy! And then since I was hopeless at cleaning my own house I thought it best to invest in a post-grad in Writing, Editing, and Publishing. This certificate saw me perform editing exorcisms and bizarre research rituals in the SS+H library that involved small plastic strips of information and towers I never knew existed that harboured relatively old books. Amidst these studies I am making, creating, collaborating on much music, performance, and poetry. And then my Masters of Philosophy in Poetry! Wheeeee. I got in and met other amazing poets, like Sarah Holland-Batt and Jaya Savige and had Bronwyn Lea for my advisor. Talk about name dropping. Anyway after realising that what I was doing with poetry was absolutely trite and harking back to terrible romanticism I found my voice and produced ‘Rooftops in Karachi’, which has been highly commended twice in the prestigious Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize. Oh and my work has been published in various journals, which I’ll create some links too.
I’m in a band as well, “Mr and Mrs Woolf’. DIY bloody-fairytale punk is the best way to describe what we do. All the songs are literary referenced and usually relate to a writer or their work. We have a myspace account and do actually get out and perform more and more. My husband and I started the band and we were playing xylophones and spoons and teacups and guitars and then we have recently had two friends who wanted to join and we invited them and it’s all very wonderful. So now we have this entire cacophony of sounds with keyboard and four vocalists. I need to get a demo done and sent to Volcanic Tongue, which is an underground music forum and promoter of new, emerging, existing experimental, unusual music. So that’s a definite goal. And I’ve just sent my writing off somewhere but more on that when more information comes to hand.