Category Archives: Poetry

Fremantle Launch for ‘Argot’

Christopher Konrad’s powerful poetry collection, Argot, will have its Western Australian launch in Fremantle next month.

This collection explores the domain of the personal, perhaps even secret speech, the half-hidden languages derived from culture, family and desire.  The collection will be launched by award winning poet and author, Shane McCauley [most recently, The Drunken Elk, Sunline Press, and Trickster, Walleah Press.]Argo-3d-cover

Thursday May 11
Orient Hotel
39 High St.     Fremantle

 

Kindly supported by New Edition Books – Fremantle

 

 

 

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Christopher Konrad

We are proud to announce the release of a new poetry collection, ‘Argot’  by the powerful voice of Christopher Konrad, a Western Australian poet, whose work has been published in numerous journals and has won several poetry awards, he now lives and works on the south eastern strip of this big continent.  See earlier post August 8Argo-3d-cover.

I first read Konrad’s work a year ago when he contacted Pomonal Publishing with the manuscript of ‘Argot’ and I knew immediately that this was one I wanted to turn into a book.  But my health has slowed me down . . . so I also knew this was not going to happen . . . unless I changed the way things are done around here.   I must demand more hands-on involvement from writers who wish to publish with us.

Chris Konrad rose to that challenge and did all the layout himself, even designed his own cover (with quite a bit of interference from me) and organized the print run. He hopes to properly launch the collection in Western Australia, where both he and his work are better known, but in the meantime it is available here.

Here’s one of from the collection:
 
Liminal

Crashing waves carry us onto the crushed sand to find there, on the
shore – something’s missing. Just out of reach, always at finger-tip
edge, singing out like buildings tumbling down into the sea. Never
quite there – Angels nod towards the dry dirt. Not quite or, she,
standing upon the bridge looking skywards, like a plea, like
inevitability & somewhere in-between another race we cannot
conceive but somehow so remote, & their celestial music. I feel the
wind salty through my fingers & the graining waves through my toes:
it is not in vain this edge, this ligature & liminal of day. Not for
nothing, the sculptures of the heart or mind.

 

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Coming Soon!

Christopher Konrad’s latest poetry collection soon to be released by Pomonal Publishing!

 
Argot_Cover

In this collection of poems Konrad explores the domain of the personal, perhaps even secret speech; the half hidden languages derived from culture, family, and desire. Employing that slippage of language which only poetry can properly convey – the liminal, free-floating or tangled structure of the written or spoken word – enabling it to be just what we make of it.

 

Watch this space for launch details

 

 

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Chamber Launch Shots

Photos, as promised:
Katherine Brabon launching ‘Shots from the Chamber’ at the Chamber Art & Coffee House on June 11.

006 Katherine Brabon CPA launch 11 June 2016 e.jpg

 

Proud editors, from left: Christopher, Ben, and Myron.

 

004 CDR Ben Myron CPA Launch 11 June 2016 e.jpg

 

David Wood, poet, reading his poem from the anthology.

 

011 David Wood CPA launch  11 June 2016 e.jpg

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‘Shots from the Chamber’ ring out!

CPAfinalcoverThe first anthology of poems by the Chamber Poets was let fly today amid much celebration at the Chamber Arts & Coffee House.  The event was part of the Woodend Winter Arts Festival.  This exciting, germane, community-affiliated publication was launched by Katherine Brabon, winner of the 2016 Vogel Award, who was born in Woodend. Contributing poets then read from their work.

Unfortunately I was unable to be there to represent Pomonal Publishing, as it was just too far for me to drive in a day, so I can’t yet show you pictures. For those of you at the festival: copies of the anthology can still be purchased from the Chamber Coffee House, from the New Leaf bookshop in Woodend, and it will soon be available online, through Amazon.

‘Shots from the Chamber’ is a remarkable volume featuring over sixty poets who have read at this event since its inception in February 2013. Hosted by founder of the band Going Down Swinging Myron Lysenko, Chamber Poets is a spoken word event incorporating art and music.

The book was edited by Ben Oost, Myron Lysenko and Christopher Race, with an introduction by poet and academic, Andrew Burke, a foreword by Myron Lysenko, and an extract from a forthcoming memoir by Ron Burrows. And, in addition to those 60 + contributors comprising both established and emerging poets, there are photos by Philip Holgate and David Crosbie. The book design was done by myself and Ben Oost. I promise pictures of the event as soon as they arrive in the PP inbox.

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3 days to book-launch

As we count down to the launch of ‘Shots from the Chamber’ here is what Myron Lysenko, Chamber Poets convenor, has to say about the poetry/poets included in this publication:

We hope that this anthology will capture something of the atmosphere prevalent at Chamber Poets: the highs and the lows, the established poet and the emerging poet; sometimes poets come out of the closet and read for the first time in public, sometimes somebody inadvertently caught up in the reading while trying to get a glass of wine ends up being inspired by what they hear and goes off to write their own poetry. The anthology is inclusive as it showcases poets at the height of their careers or at the beginning, and everything in between. It can be read from start to finish, or just by dipping in from poet to poet.

We are very proud to present a wonderful representation of the readings that have been staged with such famous poets and identities such as Judith Rodriguez, Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Claire Gaskin, II. O., Alice Savona, Kevin Brophy, Jennifer Compton, Joe Dolce, John Flaus, John Bryson, Gaylene Carbis, Ross Donlon, Andy Jackson, Klare Lanson and John A. Scott.

We are pleased to republish John A Scott’s four sonnets, which won the Peter Porter Poetry Prize of 2013, a poem each from Anna Fern and Maurice McNamara who both wrote a poem about their shared experience of being caught in a railway tunnel and being surprised by on unexpected oncoming train. There are poems from other poetry couples: Lish and Paul Skec both writing about Minyip, Myron and Jade writing haiku about their relationship, poems from poetry twins Emily Polites and Bronwen Manger, father and daughter Ben and Soleil Oost, who is the youngest poet at 9 years old and John Flaus the oldest at 82.

Thank you to all the feature poets and open section poets who submitted to the anthology. We received over two hundred poems. Many addressed the general theme of life in Central Victoria. The book is a combination of poets living in Melbourne and poets who encircle Woodend.

Thank you also to our sponsors and people who donated to the costs of the book: Macedon Ranges Shire Council, Bendigo Bank and the patrons at the Village Larder who threw in coins and notes into a jar beside the till. Thank to Philip Holgate for the use of the premises and we welcome the hospitality of new owner Remy Shpayzer.

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Woodend’s Chamber of Poets

B_col_balancedWoodend’s Winter Arts Festival will kick off on June 10 – just another way we try to keep warm in here Victoria – and with it our next poetry publication: ‘Shots from the Chamber, An anthology from the Chamber Poets’.

The titular chamber was once Woodend’s Council Chambers but long since has been home to a delightfully arty cafe: the Chamber Art & Coffee House. Once monthly it hosts an open mic gathering of poets in a warm friendly atmosphere where many varied voices and all developmental levels of poetry are equally welcomed.

Each month a more established poet is also invited to read, so the venue has seen some of Australia’s most renowned poets. The anthology reflects this diversity and the philosophy of inclusiveness that is the Chamber Poets hallmark.  From Judith Rodrigues to Chris Wallace-Crabbe; from John Flaus to Pomonal Publishing’s Christopher Race (pictured) whose first collection we launched only a year ago.

Festival goers are invited to attend the launch of this latest publication. Entry is free and the anthology will be on sale for $20.  Meanwhile, watch this space for more about the anthology, its editors and contributors.

 

 

 

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Launching: Still Life With Grandmother

File 17-03-2015 5 47 04 pmOn a balmy autumn day, after a magical journey through the Wombat Forest to Woodend, I met up with Christopher Race in an odd little cafe, ‘The Chamber Art & Coffee House‘. He and Myron Lysenko were doing something obscure with microphones, in readiness for the first half of the afternoon: the gathering of the Chamber Poets, live music from Black Forest Smoke and an open mic segment. Greetings, hugs, introductions, cheek kissing…

We were off to a racing start for the launch of Pomonal Publishing’s second volume of poetry: Christopher’s ‘Still Life With Grandmother‘. By 3pm the rooms of ‘The Chamber’ had filled with a heart-warming crowd. Myron MC-ed proceedings with an inimitable flair. He also launched the collection of poems into ‘the universal world of books’ with just the right touch of theatre.

I then gave account of Pomonal Publishing; the whys and wherefores that readers of this blog are already familiar with – not wanting us to be taken for something we are not and probably never can be. Not a business venture, rather a collective adventure. (Appreciative nodding.)

Christopher read from his book, including an extract from the long title poem, was duly applauded, and we were on to the champagne and nibbles. Both author and publisher relieved it had all gone off without mishap or disappointment. Such a grand turn out and more than 50 copies sold (should just about cover the cost of the champagne and nibbles. Author’s expense!) And Christopher had read very well, even (as I heard afterwards) drawing tears. So that was it: Pomonal Publishing’s first ‘event’.

I want to thank Myron Lysenko, convener of Chamber Poets for enabling and hosting the day. (His review of the book is posted here already – see below.) Also present was Michael Foster, who compiled and edited this collection. It was good to be able to publicly acknowledge his excellent work. Thanks are due to the Chamber Art & Coffee House owners and staff for their part in making this a splendid gathering. How they managed to prepare food and serve customers in the midst of all this is a mystery. A special thank you also to my driver – friend of many decades, Carole Wilson – who enabled me to get there without undue stress to the body of form.

An finally, to readers and publishers everywhere: I introduce you to the work of Christopher Race.

 

 

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Still Life With Grandmother by Christopher Race

A review by Myron Lysenko

The poems in this book are accessible yet deep, serious yet subtly funny. They contain fearful and lonely thoughts in juxtaposition with domestic imagery. Music and the garden are recurring motifs. There are windows through which the poet looks both outwards at scenes going past his life and within as he recollects dead relatives and loved ones who have enriched his life or bullied him into a man who has difficulty in expressing his love.

It’s always a struggle to see out;
To turn oneself into a window;
To become an empty room, a glass wall
Facing out into the foreign flowers

There is wisdom and craft in these brave, isolated meditations full of pain and regret as the poet searches for his identity and wonders where to find his place in a world where everything is strange and foreign. Christopher Race is not afraid to make himself vulnerable as he documents his feelings, fears and insecurities within family and social situations.

The main highlight amongst many highlights is the title poem, a long narrative which captures the personality of a grandmother who was forced to leave England and come to a strange and hot country full of people who she couldn’t feel comfortable with; a woman who spoke her mind and spoke it harshly, a woman who made life hard for her family except the grandchildren who were able to see a softer, more compassionate side. A person who expressed her love for things rather than people; somebody who painted still lives because her own life had stilled when she was still young and free and full of promise.

This is a sophisticated and assured debut. Christopher Race’s distinctive and calm voice is a welcome harmony to the chorus of Australian poets.

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A Book Launch

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by | February 28, 2015 · 4:08 pm

Emerging Australian Poet

Our forthcoming publication, the second in our poetry series, ‘Still Life With Grand-mother’ by Christopher Race,  is  an  event  of  some  significance  for   Pomonal Publishing: it will be the first time we have held a public launch for one of our books, complete with posters, press releases, invited guests, drinks and nibbles.

I have known Race since we were both in our late teens, poised without dignity on the cusp of our adulthood and holding that spurious conviction (you may well recall it)  that one actually sees the world clearly.  We have watched each other grow up, both as writers and as a members of our species; arriving at the tail end of the booming-babies with our own particular tales to tell.  Christopher has worked with books and writing for all these years – both on personal projects and professional jobs (including in-house and freelance editing). He is now a qualified librarian.

It was with considerable elation that I discovered, just a few years ago, that my literary friend had  also found his voice as a poet. Now it is with pride and great pleasure – and the help of a mutual friend, Michael Foster, who has selected and edited this collection – that Pomonal Publishing announces the forthcoming release of this book: STILL LIFE WITH GRANDMOTHER.  It will be launched on Saturday 14th March at the (locally legendary) monthly Chamber Poets reading, at The Chamber Art & Coffee House in Woodend, Central Victoria.  Race will be the featured poet reading poems from this collection.

 

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A review: The Blind by Christine Murray

1-front-200x300There are new voices on the wind, and their singing is to vastly variant tunes.

When I first opened Murray’s ‘The Blind’ I entered into the rhythm of this – for me – new voice eagerly and was immediately delighted by the imagery, the succinct phrasing, the unfolding drama of the first poems… and then I hit a wall.

Suddenly the mise en page confused me. I couldn’t locate a destination or follow her meaning (in the manner I expected) in the refined simplicity of her phrases; couldn’t read the implications of/the unfamiliar placement of the slashes, dashes, dots enclosed by brackets, and the cryptic lines that offered me so little clues to her narrative.

citadel

rings rim bears the swish of silks
it witnesses the ravel/un of thread

from its metal mouth/ its iron lung
a gap will open at a point north -west

slow the revolve to an avenue / a road
nearby a waystation/

there is the constant presence of the dead
in their soul-cocoons / needing caressing

I had to go back and read from the beginning again…

And with this re-reading my excitement mounted. Like a photographer suddenly gifted with eyes that perceived previously unseen spectrums of colour, I entered into a new country, and my ears began to hear its language.

Now isn’t that exactly what poetry should do? I cannot give a fellow writer higher praise than this – that she takes me by surprise and shows me things I never knew our common tongue was capable of.

Over a week I read ‘The Blind’ daily. Each time I began again at the beginning and travelled a little further into its unfolding mysteries. As each veil lifted, the sense of intimacy shared increased, but also the sense of wonder, the sense of being a privileged observer to a grander-than-personal drama. This I attribute to Murray’s unique sense of language as metaphor. Nothing essentially new to poets or poetry of course, but seldom have I found it in the work of my own generation to be as refined or as exquisite as in this collection.

from catapult

stitched in caul and head they will
use the steel tips to force him out

This is a work dense with layers of meaning that emerge gradually from crafted layers of text. Like a cubist painting, its parts make up a whole greater than their sum.  The images of women weaving or sewing, thread together all the elements: the living and the dead, the world weary and the unborn, in the stories and in the personalities that populate this collection. It is one poem and it is many, and it offers both detail and vista.

unleash the skein

red thread the open wound
and from it a thin red rivulet

will drain into a metal dish
and curl into water

and from  shadows

some say they sit behind mirrors watching lives
pass through a room:

that they spindle the threads / that they are blind /that
they have no emotion

they are simply bent to the work that they were given
and never a stitch is dropped /

that is not picked up and brought clean again / for they
simply do their job

by touch by hand by long and patient experience with
the vagaries of man

and woman

I have not enjoyed a new voice as much, or felt such excitement in discovery since I first read T.S. Eliot in high school.

[Note: This collection was published by Oneiros Books, not by us]

 

 

 

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