we make no apologies. we’re poets

91Okay, so it was bound to happen. For the first five days of the Overload festival, the Overland Overloaded team has been right on the money. But now the festival’s two days away from being over, we’re all tired, we’ve spent a little too much time wining and poetry-ing rather than typing, reviewing and posting. So this vox pop is one of a series we’re left holding, thinking ‘Mmm, yeah…probably should have gone up about Tuesday.’ We make no apologies. We’re poets. And those of us that aren’t probably soon will be. But this here is an incredibly important vox pop with Teresa Bell, the amazing and very forgiving director of the Australian Poetry Centre.

During the Overload Poetry Festival, the APC launched three new books by Australian poets Ali Cobby Eckermann (SA), Helen Hagemann (WA) and Kimberley Mann (NT).

Really, a centre for poetry? They gave you money for that?
About time I say!
So, poets write poetry…what do you do for them?
And what else?
Tour them o/s, publish their first book in our new poets series, give them reading opportunities, workshops, masterclasses, publish them in Blue Dog (or not), make films of their work, put them in cafes, in tragic poet houses, on postcards….
And what else?
Get their works and make a lovely australian poetry collection that will be available for browsing and reading and writing in in the new CBWI from November.
Are poets really as organised, sane, even tempered and punctual as they seem?
What’s the best thing about working with poets?
They don’t flinch at mad, creative, left brained flexible things, like employing a pregnant woman who lives miles away. And of course their words.
The worst thing?
Sometimes they bite.
That all?
Come one, whisper it. We won’t tell…<br />
Words can hurt, but I am getting tougher.
Actually, that’s not quite right, that ‘working with poets question’. You kind of work for them, don’t you?
We work together is how I see it, because we love poetry and believe in the artform.
So how does it feel to be employed by a bunch of, well, poets?
We are funded by wonderful, generous Arts Victoria and Copyright Agency Limited so I have to pay tribute to them and believe that the poets and the staff/Board at the APC work as hard as they can to promote poetry and the poetic spirit.
Where will the Australian Poetry Centre be in five years time?
In ten years time?
In a hundred years time?
“How now, spirit! whither wander you?”
During Overload Poetry Festival?
Launching 4 great new poets.

You can check out the refreshingly new and long-awaited poetry voices of in the APC New Poets series here.

Overland Overloaded

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  1. Cool. Hopefully now the Literature Board of the Australia Council has a poet as Chairperson instead of a conservatist columnist employed by Rupert Murdoch, The Poetry Centre might get a look at some of the Gov’t funding it deserves. Hopefully the whole system has been flushed out properly. By the way, Jeff, how long do you reckon it’ll be before Philip Adams fesses up to reading your blog? Did you see, Maxine in The Weekend Australian, Philip, grandaddy of the left, saying that a mother’s love for her child will always lead her to capitalism?

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