Later this week, I was booked in to fly to Queensland to attend the RWR Retreat 2021. RWR has become a bit like my ;in-person’ writing family but I was unable to attend last year due to the Covid outbreak. This year, fingers were crossed, tickets booked and paid for and . . .
My state of Victoria has had another outbreak and we have gone into Lockdown #4 for an initial one week duration. No Retreat for me.
So, in order to feel that I’m a part of this year’s Retreat, even from a distance, I’ve recorded a couple of readings for YouTube. I hope to do 3 in all.
Harking back a little to provide context, the first Retreat I attended was in 2018. My imprint – Wild Arancini Press – seven poetry collections and two picture books have gone live since that time. I learned the possibilities of publication at that Retreat, and have treasured it since.
What I thought might be useful to explore, or demonstrate, is the way that one idea or prompt can blossom into something more. In this case, the prompt has been the anthologies that the RWR has taken to producing each year.
The first anthology I took part in was titled Short Tales of Forest and Fantasy. The requirement for this anthology was to write to a ‘fantasy’ genre, and include reference to ‘rainforest’ in the story.
I hadn’t deliberately written fantasy before, but in striving to produce something worth submitting for inclusion, I found myself covering a lot of ground and writing a lot of stories/poems. In the end, I had enough material to create a complete collection – a book – of speculative fiction genre poetry.
I haven’t released the book yet, but it is sitting and waiting on the shelf beside me as I write this blog entry. I thought it might be useful to read from the collection as a small illustration of where a line of thought can lead, and the way in which it can grow in an unexpected direction.
The image I used on the cover was of a wild rose – the last of the season – growing on the fence-line at the back of my property. I was teaching myself how to make book covers and to be self sufficient at formatting them, at the time, and I’m pretty sure I’ll improve on that effort a little before I publish the book.
So. The first of a hoped for three YouTube readings done for the Rainforest Writing Retreat, 2021. I hope you enjoy them. This first consists of three poems:
- our sky
- the clack and the ah
- the hunter writes a letter
I’ll post more a little later in the week.