Archive for August, 2012


QPF – Day Three

Sunday morning I was fortunate enough to catch Andrew Phillips and Tiggy Johnson’s ‘Storm and Honey’ in which the talented pair read from their new book ‘That Zero Year’. Enjoyed this performance immensely! I also caught the tail end of MC Lady Lazarus and DJ Thought Fox as Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath which I enjoyed as well and wished I had have seen more of.

Immediately after it was show time for me and my fellow ‘Whisper me Awake’ poets Nathan Curnow and Jill Jones. I thought it lovely to be invited along as the warm up act for these two wonderful poets 😉 I was first up however, and although it was difficult to see who was out there during my reading, I was touched afterwards by the number of people who came up to say they had enjoyed my set. I read primarily new material from Confessional Box, but opened with a few old favourites from Feeding Paper Tigers.

This was probably the most comfortable I have felt in a feature length set and just as well considering it was the theatre space of the Judith Wright Centre. It was a truly great experience. The benefit of going first was that I could then sit back and enjoy the performances of Nathan and Jill with nothing to distract me. I loved how each of us was so different and yet how we fitted together perfectly. JK was also a great host for this session.

Nathan Curnow, Me, Jill Jones and John Koenig backstage after our set

I was rapt to read the following review of my performance over at Another Lost Shark, courtesy of Graham Nunn:

“So with a buzz in the temples I eagerly take in the opening of Whisper Me Awake. I have the pleasure of catching the majority of Vanessa Page’s reading and she proves just why her work has been shortlisted in the Thomas Shapcott Award in 2011 and 2012. Her voice is assured, her words ringing with the fullness of the heart. If you have not yet acquainted yourself with Vanessa’s work, you can do so here, and believe me… she is a poet to watch!”

Thanks Graham!

My work done it was time to relax and mingle and enjoy further conversations with the crew over lunch. The poetry world is an incredibly supportive one and to all those who I chatted with and who gave me great advice and encouragement – thank you. That sort of thing is priceless and means so much coming from respected peers.

The chats were so good it meant I completely missed the 2pm sessions, but I did get along to ‘Through these paper walls’ with Robert Adamson, Charmaine Papertalk Green and Paul Summers which was a great way to close out the day.

And so came to a close a great Queensland Poetry Festival weekend. It also brought me some very good news regarding the future of my two shortlisted manuscripts ‘The lost art of penning you a love note’ and ‘Confessional Box’. But more on that soon 


QPF Day Two

This was the first year I have been free to attend the QPF delights on the Saturday and Sunday and this was fortunate given I was performing on both days! The sense of community and spirit around the festival were the aspects I enjoyed the most. From the artist meet ‘n greet at kerbside, to just relaxing on the couches at the Judy chatting in between shows – I met so many wonderful poets and poetry lovers and made many friendships.

Saturday I started the day by catching Brenda Saunders and some of Charmaine Papertalk Green’s performances in ‘To Count the Breathing’ before dashing off to make sure I caught most of Nathan Curnow’s set in the shopfront. Following this it was Misbah Khokar, Cameron Hindrum and Geoff Lemon in ‘An Accidental Grace’. At 4pm I caught Jill Jones, Nicola Easthope and Robert Adamson in ‘The Phrasebook of Silence’ before moving on to something a bit different via the Going Down Swinging showcase ‘Smashing the Sunset’ featuring MC Mantra, Eleanor Jackson and Felix Nobis.

Evening brought with it ‘A Million Bright Things’ and my first foray on stage as part of the showcase event. Opening with a song from Holly Throsby and the debut of a.rawlings’ Gibber project – the showcase featured one poem from every artist on the bill – the result one magnificent open mic session! I read ‘Tough Love’ from Confessional Box and thought it came across well on debut 😉

I hope A Million Bright Things is retained by the festival moving forward – it is such a treat for poets and poetry lovers or even curious potential poetry lovers to gain a snapshot of so many different styles all in the one show.


QPF Day One – Opening Night and Shapcott Prize bridesmaid again!

Opening night is always a bit special and for me even more special with the knowledge that my manuscript ‘Confessional Box’ had again been shortlisted for the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Prize for an unpublished manuscript. I am thrilled that I have been shortlisted for this award for the second year in a row, with two different manuscripts. Last year ‘The lost art of penning you a love note’ was also shortlisted.

 Judges Felicity Plunkett and Justin Clemens had some lovely comments about my work and it has certainly made me feel like I am close to the mark with my poetry. The prize went to Rachael Briggs, who was last year’s Val Vallis Award winner.

Following the award announcements, activity moved into the theatre space for the Tongues of Flame opening night performances featuring Robert Adamson, a.rawlings and LE Scott. The evening was finished off by a set by Holly Throsby (whose Seeker Lover Keeper CD is still on high rotation on my iPod!).

 A wonderful opening to the weekend to follow!

Ruining yet another nice photo 😉


QPF Day One – Robert Adamson workshop

Brisbane turned on all of its charms for festival weekend, commencing with a glorious day on Friday 24 for the workshop ‘The Art of Reading a Poem’ with the wonderful Robert Adamson.

I was lucky enough to secure the last spot in this workshop, definitely my good fortune as the three hour workshop was absolutely engaging! The three hour workshop simply flew and I think we all could have sat there for much longer listening to Robert read through his favourite poems and build context around them through stories, anecdotes and his extensive knowledge of all things poetry. What a great opportunity and experience!

Over the festival weekend I made it a priority to catch each of his solo readings and I feel extremely fortunate to have had the privilege of watching Robert in action on stage and striking up a friendship with him in conversation as the weekend progressed.


Gibberbird: Of Birds and other strings

I am most thrilled to have been invited by the Queensland Poetry Festival to participate in this special project with a.rawlings (2012 Poet in Residence) and nine other Queensland poets. A poetic conversation, Gibberbird: of Birds and Other Strings involves local poets responding to a.rawlings’ work Gibberbird. The project has now been published at Cordite and will be made available throughout the QPF as a limited edition chapbook. You can read my response here and that of the other poets.


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August 2012