Fremantle Launch for ‘Argot’

Christopher Konrad’s powerful poetry collection, Argot, will have its Western Australian launch in Fremantle next month.

This collection explores the domain of the personal, perhaps even secret speech, the half-hidden languages derived from culture, family and desire.  The collection will be launched by award winning poet and author, Shane McCauley [most recently, The Drunken Elk, Sunline Press, and Trickster, Walleah Press.]Argo-3d-cover

Thursday May 11
Orient Hotel
39 High St.     Fremantle

 

Kindly supported by New Edition Books – Fremantle

 

 

 

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Christopher Konrad

We are proud to announce the release of a new poetry collection, ‘Argot’  by the powerful voice of Christopher Konrad, a Western Australian poet, whose work has been published in numerous journals and has won several poetry awards, he now lives and works on the south eastern strip of this big continent.  See earlier post August 8Argo-3d-cover.

I first read Konrad’s work a year ago when he contacted Pomonal Publishing with the manuscript of ‘Argot’ and I knew immediately that this was one I wanted to turn into a book.  But my health has slowed me down . . . so I also knew this was not going to happen . . . unless I changed the way things are done around here.   I must demand more hands-on involvement from writers who wish to publish with us.

Chris Konrad rose to that challenge and did all the layout himself, even designed his own cover (with quite a bit of interference from me) and organized the print run. He hopes to properly launch the collection in Western Australia, where both he and his work are better known, but in the meantime it is available here.

Here’s one of from the collection:
 
Liminal

Crashing waves carry us onto the crushed sand to find there, on the
shore – something’s missing. Just out of reach, always at finger-tip
edge, singing out like buildings tumbling down into the sea. Never
quite there – Angels nod towards the dry dirt. Not quite or, she,
standing upon the bridge looking skywards, like a plea, like
inevitability & somewhere in-between another race we cannot
conceive but somehow so remote, & their celestial music. I feel the
wind salty through my fingers & the graining waves through my toes:
it is not in vain this edge, this ligature & liminal of day. Not for
nothing, the sculptures of the heart or mind.

 

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Coming Soon!

Christopher Konrad’s latest poetry collection soon to be released by Pomonal Publishing!

 
Argot_Cover

In this collection of poems Konrad explores the domain of the personal, perhaps even secret speech; the half hidden languages derived from culture, family, and desire. Employing that slippage of language which only poetry can properly convey – the liminal, free-floating or tangled structure of the written or spoken word – enabling it to be just what we make of it.

 

Watch this space for launch details

 

 

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Chamber Launch Shots

Photos, as promised:
Katherine Brabon launching ‘Shots from the Chamber’ at the Chamber Art & Coffee House on June 11.

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Proud editors, from left: Christopher, Ben, and Myron.

 

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David Wood, poet, reading his poem from the anthology.

 

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‘Shots from the Chamber’ ring out!

CPAfinalcoverThe first anthology of poems by the Chamber Poets was let fly today amid much celebration at the Chamber Arts & Coffee House.  The event was part of the Woodend Winter Arts Festival.  This exciting, germane, community-affiliated publication was launched by Katherine Brabon, winner of the 2016 Vogel Award, who was born in Woodend. Contributing poets then read from their work.

Unfortunately I was unable to be there to represent Pomonal Publishing, as it was just too far for me to drive in a day, so I can’t yet show you pictures. For those of you at the festival: copies of the anthology can still be purchased from the Chamber Coffee House, from the New Leaf bookshop in Woodend, and it will soon be available online, through Amazon.

‘Shots from the Chamber’ is a remarkable volume featuring over sixty poets who have read at this event since its inception in February 2013. Hosted by founder of the band Going Down Swinging Myron Lysenko, Chamber Poets is a spoken word event incorporating art and music.

The book was edited by Ben Oost, Myron Lysenko and Christopher Race, with an introduction by poet and academic, Andrew Burke, a foreword by Myron Lysenko, and an extract from a forthcoming memoir by Ron Burrows. And, in addition to those 60 + contributors comprising both established and emerging poets, there are photos by Philip Holgate and David Crosbie. The book design was done by myself and Ben Oost. I promise pictures of the event as soon as they arrive in the PP inbox.

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3 days to book-launch

As we count down to the launch of ‘Shots from the Chamber’ here is what Myron Lysenko, Chamber Poets convenor, has to say about the poetry/poets included in this publication:

We hope that this anthology will capture something of the atmosphere prevalent at Chamber Poets: the highs and the lows, the established poet and the emerging poet; sometimes poets come out of the closet and read for the first time in public, sometimes somebody inadvertently caught up in the reading while trying to get a glass of wine ends up being inspired by what they hear and goes off to write their own poetry. The anthology is inclusive as it showcases poets at the height of their careers or at the beginning, and everything in between. It can be read from start to finish, or just by dipping in from poet to poet.

We are very proud to present a wonderful representation of the readings that have been staged with such famous poets and identities such as Judith Rodriguez, Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Claire Gaskin, II. O., Alice Savona, Kevin Brophy, Jennifer Compton, Joe Dolce, John Flaus, John Bryson, Gaylene Carbis, Ross Donlon, Andy Jackson, Klare Lanson and John A. Scott.

We are pleased to republish John A Scott’s four sonnets, which won the Peter Porter Poetry Prize of 2013, a poem each from Anna Fern and Maurice McNamara who both wrote a poem about their shared experience of being caught in a railway tunnel and being surprised by on unexpected oncoming train. There are poems from other poetry couples: Lish and Paul Skec both writing about Minyip, Myron and Jade writing haiku about their relationship, poems from poetry twins Emily Polites and Bronwen Manger, father and daughter Ben and Soleil Oost, who is the youngest poet at 9 years old and John Flaus the oldest at 82.

Thank you to all the feature poets and open section poets who submitted to the anthology. We received over two hundred poems. Many addressed the general theme of life in Central Victoria. The book is a combination of poets living in Melbourne and poets who encircle Woodend.

Thank you also to our sponsors and people who donated to the costs of the book: Macedon Ranges Shire Council, Bendigo Bank and the patrons at the Village Larder who threw in coins and notes into a jar beside the till. Thank to Philip Holgate for the use of the premises and we welcome the hospitality of new owner Remy Shpayzer.

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Woodend’s Chamber of Poets

B_col_balancedWoodend’s Winter Arts Festival will kick off on June 10 – just another way we try to keep warm in here Victoria – and with it our next poetry publication: ‘Shots from the Chamber, An anthology from the Chamber Poets’.

The titular chamber was once Woodend’s Council Chambers but long since has been home to a delightfully arty cafe: the Chamber Art & Coffee House. Once monthly it hosts an open mic gathering of poets in a warm friendly atmosphere where many varied voices and all developmental levels of poetry are equally welcomed.

Each month a more established poet is also invited to read, so the venue has seen some of Australia’s most renowned poets. The anthology reflects this diversity and the philosophy of inclusiveness that is the Chamber Poets hallmark.  From Judith Rodrigues to Chris Wallace-Crabbe; from John Flaus to Pomonal Publishing’s Christopher Race (pictured) whose first collection we launched only a year ago.

Festival goers are invited to attend the launch of this latest publication. Entry is free and the anthology will be on sale for $20.  Meanwhile, watch this space for more about the anthology, its editors and contributors.

 

 

 

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A splendid kind of darkness

Bright autumn sun interspersed with showers, inclement cloud the darkly spectacular backdrop to a radiance of red/gold foliage – Clunes is at its magical best in moody weather. The lighting seemed purposely tuned to shades of Annie Drum’s collection of stories, ‘Like Trees’, launched at the festival on Sunday. See previous posts.

A cold wind did not deter Clunes Booktown festival goers. The upper room of ‘the Warehouse’ where Neil Boyack‘s segment of the program unfolded was packed with readers of, and true believers in BOOKS. Yes, that good old fashioned printed word.

Introduced and lauded by Boyack, Annie assured us that the sometimes darkness of her stories was no cause for the concern that had been (kindly) expressed; she was in fact quite okay in herself. Then she read the story: Hero And The Machine, from the collection, and from which I’ve quoted in an earlier post.

Two days previously Annie had spoken about Boyack’s support of her writing in an interview on VOICE FM Ballarat. Neil is a Central Victorian author and convenor of the Newstead Short Story Tattoo, a small literary festival that features both known and emerging writers, with a substantial sidedish of music and fireside storytelling. His particular support for new and emerging voices was substansiated on Sunday by the inclusion of a very young writer indeed: Zach Haywood, a student of Maryborough Education Centre, reading for the first time with remarkable poise.

Other readers were Nathan Curnow, and Bronwyn Blaiklock both published poets and consummate poet-performers.  Kirsten Boerema charmed us with her powerful voice and magical ukulele accompaniment.

Those wishing to purchase a copy of LIKE TREES may do so by contacting us through Pomonal Publishing’s main website.

 

 

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Annie’s Stories Hitting the Highway

AnnieFaceOnly hours to go now, and I bet Ms Drum is feeling a tad nervous – as any emerging writer would be with the launch of her first published book. Fortunately she’ll be singing with her Acappella group in ‘the singing room’ (St Thomas Aquinas) shortly, and that ought to relax the diaphragm.

The Clunes Booktown 10th anniversary festival is well underway, despite a damp weekend. Annie’s collection of short stories, LIKE TREES will be launched by Neil Boyack in the Newstead Poetry Short Story Tattoo Presents segment, at 3.00 in the warehouse.

Annie spoke about her writing and the publication of this collection on community radio station Voice FM Ballarat during the week and I’ll put segments of her interview up here as soon as I’m back at my desk. Meanwhile get down to Clunes and buy some, buy lots of books, enjoy the long-awaited rain and support small publishers

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one week to ‘take off’

Like Trees inner

 

Annie Drum ‘s first collection of short stories will be launched by Neil Boyack on May 1st at the tenth anniversary festival, Clunes Book Town

These are razor-edged stories investigating the bounds of identity, provoking questions: How do we travel? And more importantly: What do we travel as?  Read the full Press Release on the Pomonal Publishing website.

…when she gave birth there was a sense of something sacred and almost like order. Throughout the labour Hero kept asking – how big is the egg? The large nurse said – a baby, you’re having a baby. The other nurse laughed, a sort of a crazy sound, and Hero thought she must be a bit off centre. When the large nurse presented her with a darling little bird in a tight white blanket Hero thought her heart might burst…

The launch will take place in the ‘Newstead Literary Tattoo Presents’ segment, in the Warehouse at 3.00 pm. To attend you will need to purchase a festival ticket. This will enable entry to all of the many exciting literary events of the weekend.  See the festival website for further details.

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‘Like Trees’ by Annie Drum

Like Trees_smallTwo weeks till we launch Annie Drum’s first collection of short stories. An event I’ve anticipated for nigh on thirty years, after reading an early story by ‘the girl downstairs’ in a block of East Melbourne flats.

Why has this taken so long? Well, the radical change in the ideology of publishing houses, for one thing. In this advanced stage/age of capitalism, in a society obsessed by the concept of perpetual-growth-driven profit, a beautiful voice is easily overlooked.  (This, of course, is exactly why small, non-profit publishers like us had to come into existence.)

And perhaps also life itself has intervened, slowing down the pace at which Drum could pursue her career in literature. But this slower maturation of her voice will perhaps, like a good wine, prove worth the wait.

Today I am a tree, tall and alive, with sap crystals on my body. The wind is strong but I sway with it, we are the same. My trunk is wide and my jewels wink and glint in the sun. People walk by and never see me amongst the other trees. A little way up the street is James Owen, he is also a tree. That’s where he went, you see. I smile at him, and he waves a branch at me.

Watch this space for more about this magical collection of stories over the next two weeks. Maybe I can entice Annie to speak to us about her work on this blog.

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Projects 2016

Let me tell you about some exciting new books we are working on for the first 6 months of this year:

Annie Shearing has been writing a series for younger readers, each focusing on a thorny or critical event challenging a group of friends in the outer suburbs of Melbourne; each book features a different member of the group. The first – ‘Anna & the Last House in Melbourne’ – will be ready later this month.

Pomonal Publishing’s Anthea Nicholls is the designer and all round hands-on person for this series.

Next up: ‘Like Trees’ short stories by Annie Drum – an emerging writer of literary fiction, whose close observation of life, coupled with quirky, moving depiction of people in fragile mind-states makes for poignant reading.

It is a personal pleasure to see this first collection of Drum’s stories carrying the Pomonal Publishing logo, as her writing has enchanted me for many years.  It will be launched 1st May at the Clunes Booktown 10th anniversary.

The ‘Like Trees’ book design is being done by the talented Lin Tobias. We are delighted to have her expertise on this and, hopefully, future projects.

Chamber Poets (known to us for hosting the 2015 launch of Christopher Race’s ‘Still Life With Grandmother’) are producing a members’ poetry anthology. The theme is ‘Place’ and submissions are now closed. The editing team are Ben Oost, Christopher Race, and convenor Myron Lysenko. Hands-on layout will be done by Ben Oost with my input. It will be launched at the Woodend Winter Arts Festival in June.

While I’ve been taking a back seat on all these projects, I’ve been focusing on reading submissions, and on the editing and book design for:

‘Macka’ a story about the adventures of a tame cockatoo Cocatoos.small that gets caught up with a wild flock and swept away in a colossal storm. This is a story for adults to read to children, written and beautifully illustrated by Peter Voice.

Peter Voice is an artist known for his work with Chalk Circle. He is currently involved with the founding of the WAMA, the Wildlife Art Museum (to be located near Pomonal).

Watch this space for more about each of these projects.

 

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An Imaginary Mother

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Pomonal Publishing (or that part of it responsible for this blog) has been quiet over the southern summer buildup of heat, dry, Christmas/New Year madness and the usual bushfire threats.  But I promise new posts soon as we get up to speed with several exciting projects for 2016.

In the meantime, here’s a book recommendation, not one of our own publications, but written by one of our collective.  Imaginary Mother by Bron Nicholls, published by BlackPepper

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Talent in the Wings

As mentioned in a previous post, I edit a community newsletter as a sideline to my publishing ‘hobby’.  It was in this context that I discovered the talents of a remarkable 11 year old, living down our dusty road a little way – a young person intending to become a writer when she finishes school, and already turning out work of staggering maturity. Below is a review piece she wrote recently for the newsletter about Pomonal Publishing.  Her byline: Evie 

Pomonal News.B&Wmaster

This local organization consists of a group of talented writers, editors and artists who publish their own books and sell them (mostly) online. They are also responsible for the monthly Pomonal Newsletter, which helps to inform the community of what’s been happening and events coming up. With a population around 350, our small town has lots going on!

Pomonal Publishing has a website where you can view new book releases and also read their blog. Fellow writers review the books and offer constructive feedback to the writer. One aspect I loved was reading about the world of writing and publishing.

I was asked to read and review their latest publication: ‘Currawong Creek’ by Bron Nicholls (who has written two other books for young readers). I loved this book and would describe it as heart warming and sophisticated. I particularly liked the main character Alice, with her different thoughts and the way she saw the world. I loved the bit where she finally made a new friend, and the type of relationship they had (not being in each others faces). I also liked the caring and warm relationship she had with her grand parents.

Pomonal Publishing is a fantastic establishment and I hope it continues. Make sure you check it out on: http://www.pomonalpublishing.com and look out for their books, now available at our local shop too!

newlettergrab

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‘Currawong Calling’ by Australian author, Bron Nicholls

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Alice Weaver doesn’t like the things other kids like, computer stuff and television, she only loves books. And she has never had a best friend. When Mum and Dad send her to stay with her grandparents in Currawong Creek, bad movies start screening inside her head. Who to tell? There is only Joe, a loyal Border Collie, until Alice feeds a wounded bird, and sets off a chain of events she couldn’t have imagined.

‘Currawong Calling’ a book for younger readers by Bron Nicholls, author of ‘Mulliway’ & ‘Three Way Street’ is available for purchase from June 30th. This is a limited edition publication from the acclaimed Australian author so you will need to contact us via this blog (leave a comment) or the main Pomonal Publishing website to order your copy.

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And work goes on…

In recovery mode after the launch of our second poetry publication: ‘Still Life With Grandmother’. (Is it a month already?) Those of you who understand this publishing hobby was only meant to keep me out of mischief while my body fell into undignified demise, may well imagine the toll that event took on me.  If you missed the excitement, visit YouTube to hear the author, Christopher Race, reading from the title poem. Or yours truly trying to ensure Pomonal Publishing is not taken to be something it never can be, unless someone more able than myself sits in the driving seat.

currawong calling

We struggle on, getting ready to upload ‘Currawong Calling’, the latest work for younger readers by acclaimed children’s author, Bron Nicholls (my sister, as it happens).  A quiet novel for a more individual readership, this will be a limited edition, by author request. Fans of Bron’s work may let us know via this site, if you would like to pre-order a copy.

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Launching: Still Life With Grandmother

File 17-03-2015 5 47 04 pmOn a balmy autumn day, after a magical journey through the Wombat Forest to Woodend, I met up with Christopher Race in an odd little cafe, ‘The Chamber Art & Coffee House‘. He and Myron Lysenko were doing something obscure with microphones, in readiness for the first half of the afternoon: the gathering of the Chamber Poets, live music from Black Forest Smoke and an open mic segment. Greetings, hugs, introductions, cheek kissing…

We were off to a racing start for the launch of Pomonal Publishing’s second volume of poetry: Christopher’s ‘Still Life With Grandmother‘. By 3pm the rooms of ‘The Chamber’ had filled with a heart-warming crowd. Myron MC-ed proceedings with an inimitable flair. He also launched the collection of poems into ‘the universal world of books’ with just the right touch of theatre.

I then gave account of Pomonal Publishing; the whys and wherefores that readers of this blog are already familiar with – not wanting us to be taken for something we are not and probably never can be. Not a business venture, rather a collective adventure. (Appreciative nodding.)

Christopher read from his book, including an extract from the long title poem, was duly applauded, and we were on to the champagne and nibbles. Both author and publisher relieved it had all gone off without mishap or disappointment. Such a grand turn out and more than 50 copies sold (should just about cover the cost of the champagne and nibbles. Author’s expense!) And Christopher had read very well, even (as I heard afterwards) drawing tears. So that was it: Pomonal Publishing’s first ‘event’.

I want to thank Myron Lysenko, convener of Chamber Poets for enabling and hosting the day. (His review of the book is posted here already – see below.) Also present was Michael Foster, who compiled and edited this collection. It was good to be able to publicly acknowledge his excellent work. Thanks are due to the Chamber Art & Coffee House owners and staff for their part in making this a splendid gathering. How they managed to prepare food and serve customers in the midst of all this is a mystery. A special thank you also to my driver – friend of many decades, Carole Wilson – who enabled me to get there without undue stress to the body of form.

An finally, to readers and publishers everywhere: I introduce you to the work of Christopher Race.

 

 

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Still Life With Grandmother by Christopher Race

A review by Myron Lysenko

The poems in this book are accessible yet deep, serious yet subtly funny. They contain fearful and lonely thoughts in juxtaposition with domestic imagery. Music and the garden are recurring motifs. There are windows through which the poet looks both outwards at scenes going past his life and within as he recollects dead relatives and loved ones who have enriched his life or bullied him into a man who has difficulty in expressing his love.

It’s always a struggle to see out;
To turn oneself into a window;
To become an empty room, a glass wall
Facing out into the foreign flowers

There is wisdom and craft in these brave, isolated meditations full of pain and regret as the poet searches for his identity and wonders where to find his place in a world where everything is strange and foreign. Christopher Race is not afraid to make himself vulnerable as he documents his feelings, fears and insecurities within family and social situations.

The main highlight amongst many highlights is the title poem, a long narrative which captures the personality of a grandmother who was forced to leave England and come to a strange and hot country full of people who she couldn’t feel comfortable with; a woman who spoke her mind and spoke it harshly, a woman who made life hard for her family except the grandchildren who were able to see a softer, more compassionate side. A person who expressed her love for things rather than people; somebody who painted still lives because her own life had stilled when she was still young and free and full of promise.

This is a sophisticated and assured debut. Christopher Race’s distinctive and calm voice is a welcome harmony to the chorus of Australian poets.

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A Book Launch

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by | February 28, 2015 · 4:08 pm

Emerging Australian Poet

Our forthcoming publication, the second in our poetry series, ‘Still Life With Grand-mother’ by Christopher Race,  is  an  event  of  some  significance  for   Pomonal Publishing: it will be the first time we have held a public launch for one of our books, complete with posters, press releases, invited guests, drinks and nibbles.

I have known Race since we were both in our late teens, poised without dignity on the cusp of our adulthood and holding that spurious conviction (you may well recall it)  that one actually sees the world clearly.  We have watched each other grow up, both as writers and as a members of our species; arriving at the tail end of the booming-babies with our own particular tales to tell.  Christopher has worked with books and writing for all these years – both on personal projects and professional jobs (including in-house and freelance editing). He is now a qualified librarian.

It was with considerable elation that I discovered, just a few years ago, that my literary friend had  also found his voice as a poet. Now it is with pride and great pleasure – and the help of a mutual friend, Michael Foster, who has selected and edited this collection – that Pomonal Publishing announces the forthcoming release of this book: STILL LIFE WITH GRANDMOTHER.  It will be launched on Saturday 14th March at the (locally legendary) monthly Chamber Poets reading, at The Chamber Art & Coffee House in Woodend, Central Victoria.  Race will be the featured poet reading poems from this collection.

 

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