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.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Meeting on Wednesday

Don't forget our first meeting of the Castlemaine Word Mine this coming Wednesday, 28 September at 7pm.
We will be asking for your input regarding the use of the room and for ideas about events, courses, workshops etc. Also if you would like to be on a small committee to oversee the operation of the Word Mine come prepared to volunteer your services.
Terry Jaensch, local poet/performer will entertain us; the winner of the launch poetry competition will be announced. Plus time for networking over tea or coffee.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An afternoon of poetry on Sunday 25th September

If you haven't ever been to the Guildford readings here is an invitation from Ross Donlon for this coming Sunday, 3-5pm. There is an open section for you to read and compete for the Castlemaine Cup.

Catherine Bateson and Geoff Page : Together at Last. At the Guildford Poetry Reading

Geoff Page (ACT) and Catherine Bateson, two of the most luminous stars on the Australian poetry scene feature at the September 25 reading at the Guildford Hotel. 3pm - 5pm.

Together at last etc. and both in the amazing old goldfields atmosphere of the Guildford Hotel - on the Daylesford / Ballarat Road from Castlemaine - five rhyming couplets from Castlemaine - 15 minutes for humankind.

Along with the vibrant Open Section in keen competition for the coveted Castlemaine Cup - 3 mins absolute max miketime - raffles - book vouchers.

Still only gold coin donation.

Geoff Page is a Canberra-based poet who has published eighteen collections of poetry as well as two novels, four verse novels and several other works including anthologies, translations and a biography of the jazz musician, Bernie McGann. He has also read his work and talked on Australian poetry throughout Europe as well as in India, Singapore, China, Korea, the United States and New Zealand.

Among his more recent works are: Agnostic Skies (Five Islands Press 2006); Lawrie & Shirley:The Final Cadenza (Pandanus Books 2007); 60 Classic Australian Poems (UNSW Press 2009); Coda for Shirley (Interactive Press 2011 forthcoming); A Sudden Sentence in the Air: Jazz Poems (Extempore 2011 forthcoming) as well as the CD Coffee with Miles (River Road Press 2009)

Catherine Bateson's latest collection of poetry, Marriage for Beginners, was published by John Leonard Press in 2008. It is her third collection of poetry. She is an award-winning writer for children and young adults, having twice won the CBCA Children's Book of the Year Award, Younger Readers and also had Honour Books for Younger Readers and Young Adults. She has published three verse novels for young adults and is currently working on a libretto retelling the Rapunzel fairy story. Collaborating with her on this project is composer and picture book writer and illustrator, Matt Ottley. Most recently, her poetry sequence, 'Learning the Tango', was published in The Wicked Wood, Tales from the Tower, Volume Two, edited by Isobelle Carmody and Nan McNab. She is currently finishing a new novel for younger readers.

Get there early for this one, folks. The Wow Factor is high.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Last two days

The poetry competition ends this Saturday at midnight. So if you have a poem to submit using at least 10 words from the word list please send it to me via email. The pile is growing and there are some wonderfully ingenuous examples of word usage. Carmel Bird will judge the competition.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Rules of poetry competition

Please check the rules for the competition in the earlier post. And if you have any queries about it email me.

Post Launch - and that list

Thank you to everyone who came to yesterday's launch, and to the people who worked behind the scenes to make it such a huge success. We had around 80 participants and many apologies. And we raised around $900 towards refurbishment of the room. Don't forget if you would like to contribute Persian rugs, original old masters,priceless illuminated manuscripts please get in touch!
And here is the list of words provided by members of the audience. You are invited to chose at least 10 of these words and create a marvelous poem. It's wonderful to see such complex and varied words. What an intelligent lot you are! When you have ceased from your exploration of the Macquarie or Oxford please send your creation to anndeh@bigpond.com . The steering committee will then have the arduous task of selecting a winner. 1st prize a year's membership of CWM and a bottle of grog. The name of the winner will announced at the gathering on the 28th September.

Now here's the list with original spelling (unless spell check has been at work:
1. steeple
2. garden
3. effervescent
4. obscenity
5. ovate
6. beyond
7. memorise
8. madrigal
9. greatness
10. swallow
11. watching
12. astounded
13. shimmering
14. imperial
15. frenetic
16. samsara
17. honesty
18. periphery
19. butterfingers
20. clatter
21. quench
22. frittering
23. virtuosity
24. sotisier
25. digger
26. grandfather
27. pernickety
28. savage
29. erotic
30. prestidigitation
31. multiplicity
32. catapult
33. goulash
34. grace
35. conspiracism
36. merging
37. caricature
38. bugger
39. curmudgeon
40. traveller
41. crepuscular
42. scrabble
43. event
44. fun
45. procrastination
46. appendix
47. good
48. sesquipedalian
49. balanced
50. poppycock
51. evocation
52. scamper
53. delve
54. omphalopsychotic (sychite)
55. think
56. mystery
57. generosity
58. palimpsest
59. desolate
60. melisma

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


We are now on Facebook. Follow us and leave a comment on our Facebook site, Castlemaine Word Mine.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Launch Poetry Competition

When Robyn Annear launches the Word Mine she will scatter a bunch of old library cards. Everyone will be invited to pick up a card and quickly write A WORD of their choice on it.
The cards will be collected and the WORDS will be published on this blog.
People are then invited to take AT LEAST 10 of the words in order to create a poem. Words may be repeated.
It is OK to add a few extra words if needed, but the fewer extra words the better.
Poems are to be emailed to anndeh@bigpond.com .Make sure you include your name.
Entries close midnight September 17.
Poems will be judged by members of the steering committee.
The winner of the competition will be announced at the MEETING on September 28.
The prize will be a bottle of wine and one year's free membership of the WORD MINE.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What comes next

Some people have contacted me and said they can't make it to the launch. Never fear.We will be holding a follow-up event 28th September 7pm when we will be asking people to sign up as members of the CWM. Terry Jaensch will entertain us and there will be opportunities for people to volunteer their time, interests, areas of expertise etc in order to get the organisation off the ground.
Annual membership is $25 and if you come to the launch there will be a $15 deduction from your fee.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mining the Word

Confirmed readers for the event on 3rd September are Carmel Bird, Rob Wallis, Lisa D'Onofrio, Rebecca Sutton, Julie Gittus and Neil Boyack. We have some fabulous gifts that have been donated by local businesses and writers for our raffles on the day. These include signed books, luxury hair products, vouchers and a wonderfully generous gift from Stoneman's bookshop.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

more details of launch

The launch of Castlemaine Word Mine will be at Christ Church Hall, Agitation Hill, Castlemaine, 3rd September 2011, 4-6pm. Further information contact Ann de Hugard ( anndeh@bigpond.com )

Launch of Castlemaine Word Mine

A new centre for writers is about to be launched in Castlemaine, Victoria.
Details to be announced very soon. Launch date: 3rd September 2011.