This must be underwater love

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For I feel some kind of muted, muffled delirium.

Of late, I’ve been very trapped in the all yellow of Peril’s latest edition, the little map that could, but I want to come up for air and give you some Brisbane Emerging Arts Festival coming up soon on 27 July from 6.00pm at the Judith Wright Centre.

For those who have missed the details, you need to prepare yourself for the multitude of joys, confusions and experiences that is one of the most exciting collections of new and emerging artists. Visual art, performance, sound and music, theatre and dance, film and – of course – spoken word, which I have been lucky enough to program again this year.

Please do check out the website for details, but equally, strap yourselves in for some very fine spoken word contributions and clear your calendar. This year we are doing our best to turn away from the heroic and to locate both the tender bruise that resides just under the skin, and to hold a butterfly in the palm, savouring those things that are fragile and febrile in equal measure.

This year, we have some very special offerings, including:

  • Angela Willock and Megan Bartholomew, who are collaborating in a conversation between voice and violin, repurposing popular song titles into classical motifs set against contemporary stories of the daily we’re not inclined to want to hear. Angela has just returned from a successful tour of some east coast cities with the Raw Poet Tour and she is sure to be filled with the energy and excitement that comes from sharing stories with new audiences.
  • Tony Mutton, the warm host of Poetry Open Words, who will be sharing stories of hands that speak, knees that genuflect, and words that have wings in unexpected places. Tony might not fit your existing idea of an emerging artist, given as we live in the cult of the young, but with just a few years’ writing under his belt, Tony is making an energetic and purposeful commitment to the Brisbane poetry community, with a particular vigour for sharing the works of other Queensland writers.
  • Simon Kindt and Betsy Turcot are collaborating in “Barrelling In,” Betsy Turcot and Simon Kindt team up to blow the dust off their snapshot memories of family beginnings.  As first-time parents of daughters, respectively, they have given up Sunday morning coffee cups and newspapers to catalogue the howls of delivery room arrivals, the quiet of late night, the bliss of a child’s kite-flying grip and the stumbling perfection of first smiles, first steps and first speech through poetry.

One of the aspects that excites me most about this program (and there’s more to come!) is a real sense of shared vitality and genuine, open collaboration between the poets. As Simon says (couldn’t resist) about the lead up to BEAF 2013:

I would have to say that the aspect that I’m enjoying the most at the moment is the process of collaborating with Betsy Turcot. It has been tricky fitting our schedules around our kids but that seems  fitting given that our work is all about our experiences as parents of little ‘uns!

I first heard Betsy perform in Chosen Family During the Anywhere Theatre Festival and I felt such a strong response to her work. Now collaborating with her, it’s quite stunning to see the similarities between our work. All of the pieces we will be performing were written before we decided to put our heads together but they really did just stitch themselves into a cohesive whole quite effortlessly. Perhaps that’s evidence of the common ground that parents find themselves treading: I’d like to think that our work conveys that sense of a shared experience as well as the miraculousness (for lack of a better word) of a life’s beginning.

Get into it.

DATE : Saturday 27th July, 6:00pm – 11:00pm

VENUE : The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts.

COST : Free Event

By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.


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