Darby Hudson’s Launch Speech for ‘Falling Upwards’

It’s such a lovely thing to have met one of my heroes of decades – they say don’t meet your heroes, however the first thing I noticed about Adam Elliot was he is less human and more creature. And I love creatures more than humans. And if you look closely he has an invisible waggy tail. It’s a dog tail.

This book accidentally began when I was sent by the dole to a resume writing course in 2008. I was indignant so wrote a resume that just listed my interests (most have bush walking) but I included interests such as pushing buttons with really smooth push button actioncomparing data with completely irrelevant other datagetting a little bit wet in the rain then quickly running inside … then I applied indiscriminately for every single job in The Age with it over a weekend – 2500 jobs. From engineer, to lawyer to bridge-builder.

And people called me to see if i was serious or crazy and the truth is I am a little bit crazy – but in the way that I’ve always treated life as an opportunity to play a long continuous prank on myself so i end up in interesting places, not expected places – like this situation right now where I’m talking to a small crowd about this book I wrote.

 So, I ended up in advertising because of this resume. They decided I was a copywriter. I said I wasn’t and they said I was and I said I wasn’t and they said I was and so I became a copywriter. My boss asked me what I read, I said I don’t read. He said you can’t write if you don’t read. And I’m here in Readings bookstore saying this.

So, I read poetry and fucking loved it. It saved me. And for some reason I thought I’d start writing it too. And I did that for 10 years sitting by the train tracks at night in the bushes, under the moon the local creepy guy – watching trains go past writing poetry as my monitor blinded me, helping stealthy foxes try to steal my backpack sitting beside me. I ended up bringing food for them. And this book happened because of it!

And because of this book, this gathering has happened.And what’s weird about having this book is it took a lot of being alone and writing alone – writing is a deeply alone activity yet it has led to this! I’m an introvert so this is my version of hell.

But it’s probably the loveliest problem I’ve ever had.

So, thanks for coming.

Readings Books, St Kilda
23 August 2019

Falling Upwards can be purchased here.

Jo Langdon launches Sofie Westcombe’s ‘Timestamps’

Sofie’s poems show an attentiveness to the startling ways in which language and form can create, transform and negotiate limits, and to lyric poetry’s propensity for estrangement, brevity and intensity—which might be another way of saying poetry’s propensity for executing paradoxes and dissolving or testing oppositions.

Thanks to Jo Langdon for her elegant and generous launch speech, the full text of which can be read here.

Timestamps can be purchased here.

David McCooey launches Jo Langdon’s ‘Glass Life’

‘One of the strengths of Glass Life is that it evokes both a rich worldliness and an intense sense of the local. Like so many of her peers, Jo’s poetry is very much a transnational one, showing that when it comes to creativity, national borders are largely irrelevant. This collection beautifully represents the poet inhabiting both a Northern world (European, cold, distant) and a Southern World (Australian, warm, nearby).’

Thanks to David McCooey for his wonderful launch speech, the full text of which can be read here.

Glass Life can be purchased here.

Bella Li launches Kent MacCarter’s ‘California Sweet’

‘Kent’s work performs not only the feat of fabricating speed, of going from fast to superfast by a writer’s sleight of hand, but also of reconfiguring the manner in which we take the measurements of moving objects to begin with.’

Bella Li’s launch speech, published in Issue 25 of Rabbit Poetry Journal, can be read in full here.

California Sweet can be purchased here.

Alex Skovron launches Gayelene Carbis’s ‘Anecdotal Evidence’

‘[A] particularly personal, indeed intimate book, by turns playful, poignant, hilarious, nostalgic, brisk, effusive, wry, fragile, intricate, sexy, ironic, scathing, loving—and occasionally all of these at once. The language is deceptively free-flowing and conversational, propelled by a lively intelligence and a distinctive, sometimes barbed wit, but allied with a discipline of craft and a toughness of psychological insight’

Alex Skovron’s excellent launch speech can be read in full here.

Anecdotal Evidence can be purchased here.

David McCooey launches John Kinsella’s ‘Graphology Poems’

‘”Graphology” puts in train any number of Kinsella-esque concerns: identity, authenticity, memory, place, representation, power, and textuality itself. Facsimiles of handwriting, doodles, and even scribble, can be found in these pages, but even more notable, more ‘telling’, are the poetic images of the vast material history of writing found here.’

Thanks to David McCooey for his wonderful launch speech, the full text of which can be read here.

Graphology Poems: 1995–2015 can be purchased here.

Lisa Gorton launches Robyn Rowland’s ‘This Intimate War’

‘No poem can change the past. But a poem, if it is strong enough, can change the way in which we remember the past – our own, or our culture’s. It can change the kinds of facts that we notice. And when it changes the kinds of facts that we notice in the past, it changes the present, too.’

Lisa Gorton’s brilliant launch speech, published in Rochford Street Review, can be read in full here.

This Intimate War can be purchased here.