Friday, 25 June 2010

How excitement

I was going to review my goals, given I said I would at the end of March, but something arrived today that makes constructing sentences and actually using certain parts of my brain too damn hard. So, instead, I'm just going to share this.


Tuesday, 22 June 2010

You asked for it!

You wanted a sneak peek of First taste before I leave for warmer pastures? Wanted to get your hands on a special pre-launch copy... for just $10? Want to find out what all the butterscotch sauce is about? Just want to see my face one more time before I go?

Well, because you asked, I'm going to deliver.

I will be reading from the new book during my feature at Sospeso Readings on Friday 2nd July, merely hours before we head off. So come along and share in the celebration, or risk waiting until November. It's happening at 428 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, from 7pm. Free entry, open mic, co-feature Anna Fern, the very last Sospeso Readings, it's a night not to be missed!

But if you really can't come along, you might catch me at one of these places.
Thursday 1st July: Featured reader at Storytelling at Dog's Bar, 54 Acland St, St Kilda, 8pm.
Friday 25th June: Attending 'hanging from the Props' featuring Emilie Zoey Baker and Eddy Burger, presented by the MPU, details here.
And I'm still considering finding my way to the Short & Twisted launch this coming Sunday.
And if you really can't make it to anything but have to have a copy of First taste NOW, just send $12/copy (inc P&P) to me at PO Box 566, Cockatoo, 3781, and if it arrives by Fri 2nd July, I can even sign it to whoever you like.

But really, come to Sospeso! I'd love to see you there.

Friday, 18 June 2010

First taste - poetry

I mentioned in my last post that I'm releasing a poetry collection soon and at first I was going to make you wait until next week to find out more, but I thought I'd be nice and share some details today. Woot!

I guess the best thing to share first is the cover.

Before you ask, yes, it is a photograph of me. It's actually one my dad took, and I'm pleased to have been able to include him in some way. I just know he'd love it.

Jenny Chapman designed the superb cover. Ashley Capes was nothing short of fabulous as my editor and helped me learn heaps. And I'm sure you'd like to know what people are saying about 'First taste' already, and who am I to withhold such information?

First Taste is brimming with domestic luminosity. These poems explore the terrain of love and desire, parent and child, ecstasy and death and reveal the depth of Johnson's voice. Her poems teach us not only to accept, but to feel blessed by the complexity of humanity, the terrible mysteries of life. You will not forget 'The facts' nor that 'first taste of butterscotch sauce'. Johnson renders her secrets in language vivid and strong. Graham Nunn

Tiggy has pierced my heart, with butterscotch sauce... her poems are both earthy and ravishing. Uplifting, voracious words with a side of suburban voltage. Love it. Alicia Sometimes

With a heart pierced by butterscotch sauce, Tiggy Johnson introduces us to the joys and perils of daily life—what it means to be a woman, partner and parent amid birth and death, memory and loss, coffee and cake with citrus tang. And in considering the bitter-sweet, it’s as if this, her first collection, still comes out wearing its own Life-Be-In-It t-shirt. She is a straight-talking emerging poet with a vision all her own. Nathan Curnow

Copies of First taste will be in my hot little hands before I leave for the big trip, although I won't have a proper launch until later in the year, probably November. If you don't want to wait that long, drop me an email and I'll let you know how you can get a copy. You can email me at 'tiggy' at 'pageseventeen' dot 'com' dot 'au'. So, if you just have to find about the butterscotch sauce, you know what to do.

For those of you in Adelaide, I'll bring copies to Friendly Street on Tuesday 6th July, when I'll be the featured poet.

If you're lucky enough to be going to the Queensland Poetry Festival in August (the program will be released next week), you can grab a copy then, or the following week at SpeedPoets.

Meanwhile, please join me in a virtual celebratory drink tonight, or whenever you read this, knowing that I'll be having White Frontignac and/or a sip (cough) of Tokay.

Monday, 14 June 2010

preparing for the big trip

With less than three weeks to go before the big trip, and a growing list of things to do beforehand, it's fair to say I've felt flustered lately, which means things don't happen the way they should.

But mostly it's an exciting time. We helped Hamish start a blog so he can record his experience of the trip. He's super excited and keen to take photos and keep a written diary as well as do the maths work he says his teacher wants him to do. I don't think he's even mentioned his eighth birthday, which happens a week after we leave. If you check out his blog, you can see where we plan to go, although we will make it up as we go. And please ignore his spelling errors if you go there before I've had a chance to fix them (I'm not at home right now and have to wait until I am).

As far as all the things to do before we leave, well, I'll be telling you about a few of them as they arise. You already know about the page seventeen team (who are super-keen to read your submissions that you have until June 30 to get to us).

But I can tell you a little bit about another of the big ones now: I'm releasing my first poetry collection before we leave. I'll show you the cover and give you a sneak peek soon.

And if you want one last chance to see me before waiting until September/October, come to Storytelling at the Dog's Bar, 54 Acland St, St Kilda, from 8pm, on Thursday 1st July. It's free, and I'll be reading a couple of stories alongside co-feature Luke Stickels.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Another EWF over

It's a little late but I thought I might share a few highlights of the Emerging Writers' Festival. The town hall program in particular. Although I didn't take any notes during any of the sessions I attended, so perhaps this is more of a memory game, though I'd like to think the bits I recall must have meant more to me than some of the others.

It would be wrong not to start with the Artist's party that was held on Friday night at the Wheeler Centre. Though if you follow Angela's blog, you'll know already that I had myself a good time. And why not. I didn't have to fulfil my hosting duties until Sunday morning, so the least I could do was assist the organisers by taking some of that wine off their hands, right?

Aside from the alcoholic pleasures, the party was an excellent opportunity to chat with other writers and I particularly enjoyed meeting Chris Downes, who spoke on the panel A short note on process that I hosted, and Jeremy Balius from Black Rider Press.

It's not often I get the opportunity to drink, either because I have to wake to to the call of 'mum-mum' that comes too early every morning, or because, well, put simply, Cockatoo is not within walking distance to anywhere. So staying in the city was an excellent plan and having a roomie made it even better, as we got to spill our showbags together and share excitement over the smallest tidbits of festival news.

Saturday offered a pretty full on program which began with Seven Enviable Lines, where the festival ambassadors shared seven secrets they wish they'd known when they started out. This event has been reviewed here and here, so all I'm going to add is that Sean Riley was my favourite, even though I've never even tried to write a play. Even as I listened to him I couldn't help but wonder if some of the newer writers at the festival realise that the advice doesn't apply just to plays but to any and all forms of writing, or if some took him (and others) literally.

I weaved in and out of various sessions throughout the afternoon, and landed at the festival club afterwards, although I had just water given someone had the foresight to schedule me to be articulate and presentable by 10am on a Sunday!

Our session A short note on process went well, although I can't say I expected to take away this advice from a writers' festival: don't take drugs. Chris Downes wowed the audience by acting out illustrations from his comics. Mischa Merz took us to the shrink's couch. Myke Bartlett struck a personal chord as he spoke of never writing anything until close to the deadline (thankfully I've learned to treat my pretend ones at least semi-seriously) and Steph Bowe was so amazing she perhaps impressed the not-so-new writers while possibly making some of the newer ones feel inadequate because they hadn't achieved half as much as her despite several extra years. You can read her presentation here.

I'm with Irma Gold as far as highlights go. My favourite panel was You want me to do WHAT? a discussion on promoting, or prostituting, yourself. All panellists were entertaining, although I particularly enjoyed Sean M Whelan's advice of what not to do when speaking/performing in public. Because there's always been someone (or two) who does one or all of these things at every poetry reading I've been to. For specifics, see Thuy Linh Nguyen's write-up.

Although now that I've said that, I hope none of those types of poets happen to be at Sospeso Readings on 4th June (tomorrow/today), where I'm reading as part of a feature organised by Geoff Fox. The theme is Motherhood and Vicki Thornton, Amy Bodossian, Geoff Fox, Koraly Dimitriades, Di Cousens and myself are combining forces for the feature, with an open mic that offers an excellent prize for the poem deemed to be a particular person's favourite on the night. It's happening from 7pm at Sospeso Caffe, 428 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn.