To add to Overload’s collection of poets who dance, sing, chant and rant, the Overland Overloaded team is also talking with poets who blog. Stu Hatton is one such poet. The Melbournite will remix the work of fellow poets for the last of Overload’s ekphrastic readings, Tripping the Light Ekphrastic, at Glitch Bar and Cinema tonight. The Overland Overloaded team recently caught up with Hatton:
Why do you poetry blog?
Originally I set up the blog as a repository for my writing – it was all about the poems, really. Now it’s also about featuring the work (poems, quotes, images, videopoetry, etc) of others who inspire or influence me in some way. I think what keeps me going is the community aspect of blogging – fostering friendships with other writers by reading and commenting on each other’s blogs.
Why not print? Do you do print?
I’ve never published a book or chapbook, although I intend to publish a collection of poems within the next 12 months. Probably self-published / print-on-demand. I still prefer to read print than reading things online.
What if someone steals your shit online?
Good luck to them! No, in all seriousness, I’m into poetic remixing, so if someone wants to remix/rework any of my poems I’m cool with that (although I’d expect some form of attribution). In fact I encourage it through something I’ve called the ‘remix exchange’
Are you being honest about all this?
You teach poetry as well, don’t you?
I’ve taught creative writing at Deakin Uni for the last few years, but the focus is on fiction and non-fiction. I’ve hosted the odd poetry workshop here and there, though.
Are you honest with your students?
I’m diplomatic, but yes.
So you’d tell them if their poetry sucked?
Haha. I think the aim’s to enable them to be critical, about their own writing and writing in general.
What are you doing at Overload?
I’m involved in a gig called ‘Tripping the Light Ekphrastic’ at Glitch Bar on Tuesday the 8th of September. Ekphrastic as in different artforms responding to one another, although for this gig we’ve broadened the theme to include other forms of response. In my case I’ll be performing poems by Dana Guthrie Martin and Nathan Moore and my remixes thereof.
Because I loved collaborating with Dana and Nathan, and wanted to get that work out there. I think it deserves an audience.
No seriously, Why?
Well, I wouldn’t have been involved unless Fee Sievers had asked me to be part of the gig. She’s always supported and encouraged me – I have a lot to thank her for.
In fact, poetry, why?
Haha, here we go again! On a personal level, because I love language, its possibilities and complexities. Poetry is about taking language to its limits – conceptually, sonically, emotionally – and tapping into its image-casting potential.
What’s the best thing about poetry blogging?
The community aspect, by which I mean the discussions and debates that take place in comment streams, and the friendships that arise from there. The fact is, I don’t know (m)any poets in Melbourne who are trying to do similar things to what I’m trying to do in my work, or
who share similar influences. But there are quite a few of these folk out in the blogosphere.
How will poetry blogging change the world?
It could be argued that, for the first time in history, we have a truly global poetry community. I believe it’s the poet’s responsibility to give voice to things that might otherwise be ignored, unnoticed, suppressed. Poetry can be a form of enquiry, the poet a kind of investigator, an uncoverer. This can (and should) extend to social, political and environmental issues. So long as the poetry blogging community can rise above petty squabbles and cliquishness, there’s the potential to make poetry matter, to make it vital on a global level, perhaps in unprecedented ways.
Break it down:
talks your arm off
you yet another
such expertise in
even when your attention swings
to the drizzle of adjectives
out on the street
& how do you like
these café clientele
glazed cakes &
tarts under glass
sincere, unimpressed looks
that say, “I hope
you are not the future”
don’t they realise
the number of errors
can only inflate?
you drop a twenty
on the table,
slip out alone
Stu Hatton spends most of his waking hours messing with text. He’s a poet, freelance writer and editor, and teaches writing and editing at Deakin Uni.