Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A new home for our blogging

We have moved - sort of. Our real world home is still the Anglican Church Parish Hall in Castlemaine, but we've upped our blogging sticks and set up camp - if that's not too much of a mixed metaphor - at:

All of the latest news about our regular reading series, and anything else of writerly interest happening in the Castlemaine region or further afield can be found at the above address.

Won't you join us?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

2 book launches in Castlemaine

Two poets, both Word Mine members, will be launching their new books at the Anglican Church Hall.
1. Ross Donlon's book,

To the launch of THE BLUE DRESSING GOWN and other poems by ROSS DONLON at The Anglican Hall, Castlemaine on Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 3.00 for 3.30pm

The book will be launched by DR ROBYN ROWLAND AO


A Tribute to the poem:

Ross Donlon's poem ‘The Blue Dressing Gown’ (is) exceptionally fine, a moving tribute wonderfully expressive of the relationship of father and son. It is the kind of poem all of us would love to have written.

Bruce Dawe (Australia)

And to the book: I'm shaping up the overall sense of the poems: your unflinching honesty really makes the book, I think, a little bombshell and if I might say quite outside the normal run of current poetry making and with this I feel a natural accord: to write poems that are not overly knowing and sophisticated, over intelligent,ironic or sardonic and hidden below a journalistic impersonal mind, but
centre on the power of true feelings and try as best as is possible to name them. As Ted Hughes has said, ‘Maybe the reason we're so affected by this sort of poetry, when it’s genuine, is that we are starved of it, & now we really need it.'

Paul Deaton (England)

If you can’t make it to the launch, but would like to buy the book, write a cheque for $21.95 made out to Ross Donlon, and send it to 47 Bull St., Castlemaine Vic 3450

2. Launch of new collection of poetry by Castlemaine poet, Rob Wallis

Rob’s new chapbook, 'Man In A Glass Suit', Mark Time Books, will be launched by Carmel Bird in the Anglican Church Hall, corner of Kennedy and Forest Streets, Saturday 3 December at 3pm.

Rob is a prize-winning poet whose award include the FAW John Shaw Neilson Poetry Award 2006, and the Mount Alexander Shire Residents Prize in the 2011 Castlemaine Poetry Competition.

He has had poems published in various magazines, including Woorilla, The Mozzie, Poetry Monash, Wet Ink, Westerly, Blue Dog. His second chapbook 'My Life As A Sheep Dog', was published by Castlemaine based Mark Time Books in 2009.

Anne Gleeson comments on the new collection :
'These are poems to live by; half of them confronting, empathic, laying out the minutiae of lives lived, and the other half abuzz with Wallis's clever turn of phrase, his self-deprecating and pithy humour. Some of these poems will grab at your heart, others will fuel your angst but all will remind you of the humanity we share and the fun there is to be had with words.

Carmel Bird : 'The delight and strength of these poems lie in the unique quality of the voice. It is the cool voice of reason. In a single moment, the depth of sorrow and the height of hilarity are shaped and presented, with breathtaking precision, dexterity and sweet music. Watch out for the 'Love Letter' that is : 'the snake tossed into the air/ like a comma of rope.

Rob was a member of the steering committee that established the Castlemaine Word Mine and is a regular reader at the monthly Guildford poetry readings.

Giving books to children. A St Luke's Christmas scheme

Lisa D'Onofrio has organised a Giving Tree in Dymocks, Bendigo. You go to the store, pick a tag (which will say the children's gender, age and interests,) and purchase a book for them. Lisa wraps the books, and gives them out at the St Luke's Christmas party - so she can guarantee each child gets the book. St Lukes Literacy Improvement Project/Dymocks Book Giving Tree for children in Foster Care

Please support reading by buying one of the book titles tagged onto the festive tree displayed at the Dymocks store in Bendigo, each containing a unique reference to a foster child in the area. Each book bought will be delivered to the child, in time for Christmas. This book buying makes a great alternative to Secret Santa schemes and office card giving and it is a real opportunity to give a gift that really does keep giving - and make a difference.

It is hoped that more than 75 children in care will benefit from the scheme. Some of these children have not been the owner of a book and many have not had the same access to books as other children.

The St Lukes Literacy Improvement Project (SLIP) began this year as a way to increase awareness about the importance of literacy amongst children in care and foster carers. The project is run by Lisa D'Onofrio, Word Mine Committee member, who guarantees each child gets the book. If you'd like further information please contact Lisa: writeasrain@zoho.com

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Next Event: Out of the Blocks

Our inaugural monthly reading is taking place this Wednesday, the 16th of November, featuring Robyn Annear and Adam Ford, as well as an open section (2min maximum).

The gig starts at 8pm sharp.

Entry is by gold coin donation, and there will be a raffle drawn for the prize of a book basket generously donated by the Small Press Underground Networking Community (SPUNC) including titles from Sleepers, University of Western Australia Press, Text Publishing and  Transit Lounge.

The event is BYO, and we can provide glasses.

On the night we'll have more information about what Castlemaine Word Mine will be up to in 2012 and if you want to sign up as a member we'll have membership forms there too.

It's on at the Anglican Church Hall on the corner of Kennedy and Forest Streets, (click for a Googly map), near the train station. You can enter from the side street access at the corner of Kennedy and Forest - there's plenty of parking behind the Hall.

So come for the poetry, sign up to perform some of your own writing, and stick around afterwards for a quiet shandy or two and a natter with fellow word miners about what's in store for Castlemaine Word Mine.

See you there!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A few notices

Just a few notices for all members and other interested writers and readers:

1. We are now incorporated! Many thanks to our secretary Cath James for preparing all the paper work.

2. Our membership is growing and we'll let you know very soon how to join if you'd
like to become a member.

3. The Castlemaine Library is running an E-book expo this coming Saturday 15th October 2-4pm.

4. Look out for the article in next week's Express about the Poetry Slam 26th Oct at the Maurocco Bar.

5. A notice about a workshop with Carmel Bird

Short Story Workshop with Carmel Bird

The Macedon Ranges Writers Group is running a five-hour workshop for members and community members on November 26th 2011 at the Woodend Community Centre starting at 11:00am. The Victorian Writers Centre and the Woodend Rotary Club are sponsoring the event.

The workshop, writing for young people and adults is being conducted by Carmel Bird who is primarily a writer of fiction, covering both adult and children's writing. Her first collection of short stories was published in 1983, and since then she has published another four collections of short stories, and also novels, essays, anthologies, and books on how to write. She is a leading author of short stories and has published ten novels, three of which have been short listed for the Miles Franklin Award. Her most recent novel is CHILD OF THE TWILIGHT. She is a celebrated teacher of both fiction and memoir-writing, and has published the non-fiction guide WRITING THE STORY OF YOUR LIFE. Carmel is also an experienced editor of many journals and anthologies, including THE STOLEN CHILDREN - THEIR STORIES. Her website is www.carmelbird.com

To book your tickets please go to http://www.trybooking.com/XNS but spaces are limited. To purchase a ticket go into the shopping cart section on the website, just click on full price and select a ticket. The total cost is $40.30. You will not be able to pay on the day.

For further information about the Workshop please call Miranda 0431 114 539 or Christine on 5429 5452 or 0407 012 140. If you would like to hear more about the Writer’s Group call Christine or email Sue Yardley sjyardley@bigpond.com.

Where: Woodend Community Centre
When: Saturday, 26 November, 2011
Time: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Bring: Writing materials; lunch; your ticket
Cost: $40 plus 30¢ booking fee
Booking: http://www.trybooking.com/XNS
Inquiries: 5429 5452 or 0431 114 539

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Winning poems

Here are the winning poems from our inaugural poetry competition. The first prize winner used all the words supplied by the audience at our launch.

Think, Swallow, Catapult – Diving into the imperial Castlemaine Word Mine

Arriving late for the event, frittering,
yet balanced on the periphery
of the ovate crepuscular rays
shimmering effervescent and erotic
beyond the church steeple,
the pernickety, curmudgeon of a traveler,
feeling as old as a digger, a grandfather
- frenetic, savage, merging with a clatter
and little grace with the crowd - expected what?
Conspiricism, procrastination,
poppycock, generosity?
A sottisier, madrigal or melisma?
To scrabble, scamper and delve
into the greatness of the goulash
garden of obscenity?
Or memorise the multiplicity
of an omphalopsychotic caricature,
the prestidigitation
of original word mining?
Watching, astounded,
at the evocation, a veritable samsara,
of sesquipedalian virtuosity,
our traveler was fired up
to quench her thirst
for the fun, mystery and honesty
of the palimpsest
at the launch of our very own Word Mine.

Evelyn Jackson


It was as though everything
On the periphery
Of what I call my life
Seemed nothing more than frittering
Nothing more than filling in time.

Nothing more than procrastination.

Then I saw a point,
Beyond the everyday
And, astounded
I dared to believe
That what was in front of me
Was real,
Is real.

It is not greatness I seek,
Merely a garden
Where love, grace and generosity
Merge with each other
Changing the world around us
Giving us cause
To understand each other
Trust one another,
And cease to be the traveller
Searching for something
That was there all the time.

Christine King

Thursday, September 29, 2011

First Meeting

Despite the stormy weather on Wednesday night about 40 people turned up for our first meeting. We now have a committee: Terry Jaensch, Cath James, Lisa D'Onofrio, Dick Mack, Adam Ford and Ann de Hugard. The winner of the poetry competition is Evelyn Jackson and runner-up, Christine King. There were some wonderfully original takes on the idea. Evelyn managed to use all the words on the list and still create a poem that made sense.
I will be writing in the Word Mine this coming Tuesday, 10am - 2pm. If you'd like to join me please drop in.