There are writers who seem to keep everything including receipts and others who systematically destroy any data outside the published work itself. On this spectrum there are those who hold onto some material and those who tend to lose or misplace things (like John Forbes). I fit somewhere in the retentive end though I can understand those who want nothing but the authorized work to be available. Most of us will leave at least some work out of later collections: this is how we wish to present ourselves. At the same time anyone can go back and find the discarded items if they want to, and I have no problem with this. With writers whose work I love I want to see as much as I possibly can; even the failures can be of interest. But if I had to put together an edition of another author’s work I would feel (unless the edition was ‘scholarly’) that I was doing the author a disservice in including second-rate work.
Friday, 28 February 2014
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Another issue of Pete Spence’s ETZ has appeared (with the next one on the way). This one has photos by Bernard Hemensley on the cover. ETZ, if Pete doesn’t mind my saying so, belongs to a great Australian tradition of ‘ratbag’ magazines. By this I mean other long running low-tech productions like Rae Desmond Jones’s Your Friendly Fascist and Pi O’s 925. All of these mags punche(d) well above their weight and are worth tracking down for much of the work that appears within. Each has, to a greater or lesser degree (greater with YFF, lesser with ETZ) a retro appearance that was/is a challenge to the reader. If you couldn’t stand the heat you needed to stay well away from the kitchen.
Friday, 31 January 2014
Last night Peter Riley gave a very fine reading in Caterbury in the Free Range series at the Veg Box. This venue's funds are shrinking and one can only hope that it finds ways to stay open. It's a tight space but the acoustics are good, resident pianist Sam Bailey is always inventive, selflessly leading in to the advertised performers, and the audiences are as receptive as any I've seen. The mix of style and approach works in this place for all of these reasons and Riley's poems were heard loud and clear.