Excuses, excuses

I’ve been very bad with the not posting lately. Blame Labour Day long weekends and hail the size of golf balls (not that I got to see any of Melbourne’s freak storm, since I was raining it in Macedon). I’d like to think that you’ve missed me, but you probably haven’t, and now after the dispensing of my uninventive excuses, I have some photos in the style of Read You Bastards for your viewing pleasure:


March 1: What’s happening, Melbourne?

I told somebody I was Tom Cho-ing the other day; they laughed and said Tom would be pleased to find out that he’s now a verb. (Tom Cho-ing – v. 1. going out to see Tom Cho at the Wheeler Centre on 1 March 2010 for Debut Mondays.) Other writers who might also be turned into verbs today will be Lisa Dempster, Andrew Croome, and LK Holt.

Read You Bastards is getting Lifted this Wednesday at the Empress. (Lifted – adj. 1. Lifted Brow-ified and therefore awesome.) Guest readers will be contributors from The Lifted Brow’s Atlas issue, including Nicolas Low, Angela Meyer, and Lorelei Vashti. No Atlases on sale this Wednesday (sold out), but there’ll probably be some back issues available at the door or you can preorder an Atlas reprint at www.theliftedbrow.com. I will also attempt to encourage/bully open mic newbie Christine Priestly into doing another reading.

Sketch is launching their second issue on Thursday night at Chaise Lounge. After hearing them talk about their lack of (wo)manpower at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival, I volunteered to help proofread their second issue. I haven’t seen the final proofs yet, but hopefully Sketch 2 will be good. There’s this amazing story by new writer Clare Kitada in it and I’m looking forward to seeing it in print.

Friday will be Domestic Rock ‘n’ Roll night for Sospeso Readings. Derek Motion and Nathan Curnow will be performing, along with a whole lot of open mic peeps. I won’t be able to make it because OHMIDOG I AM SEEING RICHARD DAWKINS, but I really really liked the last Sospeso and I think you should like totally go to this one, like yeah.

Signing off for now, lots of photos soon,


Confessions of an open mic virgin: Christine Priestly ‘fesses up on her RYB experience

Showing your creative work to people is intimidating. Reading it aloud, more so. And with a mic, to a pub full of strangers, are you insane? But when I walked into The Empress last Wednesday night for Read You Bastards there was an anticipatory vibe. Encouraging. Supportive, even.

Before I could wallflower myself, I wrote my name down to read. Volunteered alongside published guest speakers, seasoned Read You Bastards regulars, and fellow open mic virgins. There was no getting out of this. I took my seat with some quality pub grub, a bottle of booze, and looked around. I was among friends.

Our hosts made a night and a half of it, with kooky door prizes between sets (I won the appropriately titled Mills & Boon Man-Hater—my story ‘Nesting Season’ is about a woman who murders her lover in a cemetery), live music, and encouragement aplenty. Hearing authors and poets perform their work gives it a flavour you can’t taste from reading it yourself.

Then my name was called, my hideously scrawled bio deciphered. I was up on stage. Lights blurred out most of the audience. Blind and deaf to everything but my beginner’s violin voice, I was in the story. I was the story. It was adrenalin-city.

Then it was over. I took my seat, still shuddering. I looked around. Still among friends. And all I wanted was to get up there and do it again.


Christine Priestly is currently studying for her Master of Arts in Writing and Literature at Deakin University. She writes fiction and creative non-fiction and knows you can never own too many pairs of stilettos or love enough cats.

February 1: What’s happening, Melbourne?

Catherine Deveny will be talking about freelancing at the annual National Editors Workshop and Skill-Share Conference this Wednesday (3 February 2010) at the new Wheeler Centre. Deveny starts at 6pm, followed by a performance from my favourite musical philosopher, Justin Heazlewood. 🙂

Read You Bastards No. 4* is the hap afterwards (from 7.45pm) at the Empress with special guests Shane Jesse Christmass and Andrew Croome. For those of you who have not ventured out to a Bastards night and sampled Bastards cake, you can read my posts on previous RYBs (No. 1, No. 3). Get in early before the cool kids from Three Thousand steal all the seats.

Caffe Sospeso’s February event has temporarily relocated to the Town Hall Gallery up the road. Otherwise, it’s the usual deal: starts at sevenish on the first Friday of the month with guest poets (David Gilbey and Randall Stephens) and a prize for the best themed open mic poetry (a copy of The Lifted Brow’s latest issue).

The Etchings Indigenous launch is also scheduled for Friday. Like the title suggests, all of the journal’s content is by indigenous artists, so if you’re in the St Kilda area, head down to Readings from 6.30pm-8.30pm. (Thanks Ilura Press for the thumbs up.)

Now if only I could teleport from one Melbournian suburb to another, life would be pink alligators.

*Bastards, you need a website and not just a Facebook fan page. 😛

Read You Bastards 3

On Thursday, I finished my random pharmacy shift and headed down to The Empress for some Bastards action of the non-Tarantino kind.  I was bummed for missing out on the first set, which included a reading from Lisa Dempster, but I did get to see (and record) Allison Browning’s performance of an untitled piece. 

The sound quality isn’t great, so you might want to read the written version here

Spoken word nights are a bit hit and miss. Read You Bastards 3 isn’t an exception to the rule, though I do enjoy the mash of curated/non-curated prose/poetry and the ambience of The Empress, but Ozlem Baro’s ‘Hotel’ was the highlight of the second set, its vulnerability silencing the crowded room.

I also performed my piece, ‘Patrick Bateman’, a homage to American Psycho. I had consumed American Psycho during my Deakin years; the novel is a fascinating study technique-wise and I had wanted to reconstruct its style and write about the act of. Anyway, I performed the first half of ‘Patrick Bateman’, got feedback from Lisa (yay!) and ate some of her vegan birthday cake before trundling home. Lisa, I owe you a birthday drink…possibly two.

Reading 'Patrick Bateman' @ Read You Bastards 3 (photo courtesy of Read You Bastards peeps)

Reading 'Patrick Bateman' @ Read You Bastards 3 (photo courtesy of Read You Bastards peeps)

No. 3 was the last Read You Bastards for Visible Ink, but the 2009 editorial team may continue the Bastards tradition in 2010. Meanwhile, Lost and Found: Visible Ink 21 is launching on Monday, 9 November 2009. The cover’s beautiful; lets hope that the words are equally gorgeous.

Lost and Found: Visible Ink 21 (image courtesy of www.visibleinkmag.wordpress.com)

Lost and Found: Visible Ink 21 (image courtesy of http://www.visibleinkmag.wordpress.com)

Getting Friendly with Read You Bastards

In August, intrepid me decided to check out the inaugural Read You Bastards night at The Empress Hotel, and despite the lack of entourage, I got up on stage to read my one and only poem, ‘Red Den Beauty’. Fast forward a couple of months: I still only have one poem worth reading, but at least I won’t be reading to strangers. Ohmidog, I have friends who are word nerds and not doctors, pharmacists, or salsa dancers.

Yep, Lisa Dempster will be there, reading from her latest book, Neon Pilgrim, as well as Allison Browning and Anthony Noack (those cool Vis Ink kids from NYWF), and a dog and a cat and possibly a horse and some baked goods. I wish I wasn’t working but I am, so I will be late but hopefully I’ll be right to read. Time for some Patrick Bateman, perhaps?

Suit A has a theory about emergency departments after seeing his share of waiting rooms, those beige-coloured boxes filled with beige-coloured plastic chairs full of ‘medical emergencies’ who get up and jingle about on their two legs (or maybe a wheelchair)…

Who knows? Come see. Read You Bastards 3 happens this Thursday. Words start flying at 8pm.