I’ve been unusually quiet here on the blog for a little while. Many demands dragging me away from simply writing, as I usually like to do. It is a very productive time, though, in many ways.
In any case, I thought it would be nice to share a little news.
A while back I submitted a proposal to deliver a paper/presentation to a conference being hald by the University of Canberra. The conference is titled: Out of the Ordinary: On Poetry and the World.
My paper was to be titled ‘Why aren’t you writing? Don’t you know there’s a war on?’ I felt that I might be able to explore ways in which poetry is able to interpret and make accessible big subjects that many folk have trouble getting their heads around – a case in point being the war in Ukraine, where the invasion of one country by another country is huge and terrible, but difficult to comprehend in human terms, whereas, seventy kilometres of tanks running nose-to-tail from my street past two regional cities in an unbroken line takes my breath away. Readers of my poems on teh Ukraine war will know the approach I take.
This morning I was notified that my paper has been accepted for presentation at the conference.
I’m delighted, of course, and just a little bit intimidated at the prospected of presenting something in the hallowed halls of academia.
This has come about because I’ve fairly recently become involved in a group that is looking at ways in which the creative arts utilise research, though it is not generally formally acknowledged, and therefore academically overlooked or excluded. There is more nuance and argument involved in this than I fully comprehend, but it comes my way at a point in my creative life in which I find myself increasingly referencing sources I have relied upon for my work – Sheep On The Somme, for example, relies on images sourced from WW1 archives, the work I’ve been doing around the Ida Pender story comes largely from Newspaper archives dating back to the 1920s, the Ukraine war poetry has been generated from articles and analysis posted online by news and other sources.
I have come to view these sources, and to treat them, as researched work leading to a creative arts product. It is iinteresting to find that there is a confidence to enter new fields that comes with a revised understanding of how my work is being generated. To be able to point to a source that goes beyond whatever happens to be churning around in my own mind is in some way liberating and also empowering.
I think. LOL
Anyway, I thought I’d share. There is another one in the wings that I haven’t heard back about, yet.
By the way . . .
The Ukraine work will be comprised of 3 parts, when done. Two large (300+ pages) 8.5 x 8.5 inch picture poetry books which won’t be released, and one volume of referenced poems that quite probably will be released. Each of these is currently being subjected to my haphazard approach to layout, at the moment. I hope to create uniformly consistent cover imagery that will work for all three as a set, but also for the non-picture book as a stand alone.
It’s par tof the reason why I’m not writing much at present. Just too many projects pushing me along.