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