Natural grayscale on a winter St Georges Basin. In the airspace, were pelicans and drones. On the margins, teal and white faced herons. A swan or two and invariably, spur-winged plovers who have long been given another name.
Mihaela Cristescu and NEW Writers’ Group Inc are already planning Mihaela’s next event at the State Library of NSW booked for 25th March, 2017. Pounding the Pavement is being written right now – an anthology featuring Cristescu’s poetry with guests writing in English and Romanian. SEE
FB Page: Code-Mixing Poetry
Some photos from this year, 2016.
Five writers from NEW Writers’ Group Inc have been invited to read short pieces of their original work at this event. NWG has an ongoing friendship with Romanians in Sydney through sharing each other’s writing, cheering each other on. We much admire our colleagues who create works in more than one language. Mihaela Cristescu’s latest Romanian / English poetry volume IT Solander will be launched by author and filmmaker Anamaria Beligan. Other writers and performers offer poetry, music, puppetry. Details Here
Saturday, 26th March, 2016, 11:00 am in the magnificent Dixson Room at the State Library of New South Wales. Free entry, refreshments included.
Not really understanding what “beta” means in terms of vulnerability, I moved to Windows 10. It is currently working well, much better than at first, but the cost to my time is not worth it. After several standard efforts, I used a tool that was more drastic than it described itself. It resulted in my seeing the full Windows 10 panel for the first time but stripped my computer of things I need – like Word, Publisher – and oh yes, Norton Security. In the short frazzled period I spent getting back my beloved Word, I didn’t notice the absence of armed guards front and back. In waltzed a virus unchallenged – one of those bell-ringing noisy shouting kinds that insist you ring a number or your computer will die and won’t shut up until you turn said computer offfff. It litters adware as far as the eye can see and is probably recording your every keystroke for future reference. I managed to reinstall Norton and then they set out to rid me of the virus and clean up every file. It took two sessions of remote control and finally I was back in business. Still can’t download Google Chrome though without trouble, so now I’m using Internet Explorer, okay fine, but not my first choice. In brief, my advice is only go for Windows 10 if you’re a tech-head. The tech-heads in my family can’t believe I was that stupid.
After a fixation with the prose of Hilary Mantel (when she’s writing about Cromwell) I’ve turned back to an old favourite to dip into at leisure: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon.
I’ve become sensitive about mispronouncing things lately and I must have missed the book’s clues on how to say the name Kavalier when I first read this gigantic American novel. I’m now busy correcting my auto pronunciation after discovering it’s Kavalier as in Maurice. I’m not sure how old you have to be to get that, Maurice Chevalier died in 1972. But it’s that kind of book, best not to skim…
Via google today I found a Chabon quote which I rather like even though I have little hope of learning from it. Interesting to think about though if reading Chabon’s work:
Re Ray Bradbury’s The Rocket Man:
I think it was when I got to the butterflies — in that brief, beautiful image comprising life, death and technology — that the hair on the back of my neck began to stand on end. All at once, the pleasure I took in reading was altered irrevocably. Before then I had never noticed, somehow, that stories were made not of ideas or exciting twists of plot but of language. And not merely of pretty words and neat turns of phrase, but of systems of imagery, strategies of metaphor. For the full statement see Washington Post archive
We were standing up the hill near the Premier Cruz and a Frenchman was overlooking the valley. In his school English and our school French we began a conversation. He described how his grandfather tilled the valley below with horse and furrow until he began to look like son cheval. We laughed and then he said, pointing “Il reste”. And that was when my French utterly failed me. How could I tell him that somewhere near Ypres my grandfather and his brother-in-law also rested in French soil, their names written on walls in France and in Canberra. I have never worried for their remains. Safe in French soil just like the vigneron who plied his horse.
Romanian speaking writers associated with New Writers Group inc (Parramatta) have kindly mentioned the support received from other Sydney creatives (who speak/read no Romanian) and the obvious fact to me is that the gratitude should flow as much if not more in the other direction. There is nothing quite like a keen bi-lingual or multi-lingual writer to freshen up some concepts of what is literature and in how many languages and continents it can be shared. How do writers who develop their “voices” in one language move the authenticity (a loaded word) of those voices into another language? Well, on Friday evening, 27th March 2015, some answers were presented. Our gracious host, Mrs Oriana Acevedo, Multicultural Consultant, NSW State Library, opened the launch of two bi-lingual poetry anthologies, one by Mihaela Cristescu the other by Loredana Tudor Tomescu. The setting was the historic Dixson Room of the LIbrary’s Mitchell Wing. The Consul General of Romania in Sydney, Floricel Mocanu, attended; Mady Slabascu and Catalin Anastase performed readings brilliantly in both Romanian and English; and Sue Chamoun supplied Lebanese delicacies at supper. Above all, I’m reminded how close language is to music. Here are some visual highlights:
Poets’ progress! An old poet friend of mine, now passed, kind of bailed me up in a cafe in Parramatta mall eight years ago, to get support for a great proposition. It wasn’t as big as SWF, but it involved known names plus the never heard of, himself, a mic and Parramatta. I threatened to invite lots of literary poets, he said that was fine! It was insurance (lack of it) that killed the idea off. I wrote a poem about this disappointment and read it on 28th February, 2015 only steps away from the open-air theatre of my friend’s imagination. His name was Jim Spain. He wrote “bush” poetry which he performed well and loved to have published on outback radio. Award-winning Parramatta author, Felicity Castagna’s new project is in similar spirit: writers with varied experience sharing their work. The Connection Arcade event on the 28th Feb is to promote her monthly meetings coming soon to Parramatta’s heart. See Studio Stories for more information.