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an angst disposal unit

91Over the last few weeks, Melbourne’s poet soulster Sean M Whelan has been so crazily busy working the stages with his new poetry-music collaboration, Sean M Whelan and the Interim Lovers, that he’s barely had time to breathe, let alone ease out a pen and paper and scribble a little poetry. Whelan performed for the first time with the Interim Lovers during Overload 2009, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. The Overland Overloaded team finally backed Whelan into a corner and forced him to answer some questions.

Sean M Whelan & the Interim Lovers…
are brand new! Our debut performance was at this years Overload Poetry Festival.
We rock because…
the lead singer doesn’t sing, he speaks.
We sound like…
sean-intMogwai & Dirty Three, a little bit, and like ourselves, a lot.
We came together when…
my previous collaborators The Mime Set disbanded and Andrew Watson, who played guitar and violin in The Mime Set first suggested writing a response piece to Lewis Carroll’s ‘Hunting of the Snark.’ So I came up with the idea of imagining the Snark as a vision of love. A vision worth hunting.
We’re performing…
somewhere close to you in the near future. After our successful debut at Overload we’re looking to do a season of Softly & Suddenly at a soon to be revealed location.
It works because…
The Interim Lovers know that poetry needs light, air and space to breathe in. But also because I know that rock bands have to be let off the leash every now and then too.
I first came to poetry…
when my guitar was stolen when I was 21. I had to choose between a new guitar and a typewriter. No prizes for guessing which one I bought next.
& now I hear poetry when I…
see moments worth saving
and write it…
in those small sacred moments when I can find them.
poetry shits me when…
it’s treated like an angst disposal unit, rather than a craft worthy of respect.
and even more when…
I see good writers mutilate their own work because they don’t know how to read it out loud.
Poetry does with words what…
fish do with bicycles.
and I keep writing cause…
thankfully I keep witnessing moments that are worth saving.
I publish my poems…
with Hit & Miss Press, Small Change Press, Going Down Swinging and whoever else will have me
and…
sean-xI can be a little lazy when it comes to sending things off, but I’m trying to be better at that this year.
But what i really want to tell you about poetry is…
it’s a recording machine.
and more to the point…
I don’t always enjoy writing it, but I love the end result (usually).
and most of all…
most of my poems are really love letters.
But the long & short of it is…
poetry is all around you.


Sean M. Whelan is a writer of poetry, prose and works for performance.
In 2009 he was a special guest at the Festival Voix d’Amériques in Montreal, Canada.
His second book of poetry, Tattooing the Surface of the Moon was released in 2008, published by Small Change Press.

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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Comments

  1. Yep, the gig at the Bella Union was definitely one of my festival highlights, all fantastic performances. Aside from the MC of course, who still seemed dazed from the opening night (and Maurice’s book launch) and probably had a bit too much to drink to (over)compensate.

    Sean does a wonderful job of taking poetry to the people and making them all swoon – I know I do!

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