This morning I was on Radio National’s Book Show as part of “Fishing for Richard Brautigan”, a feature put together by Sarah L’Estrange about the Richard Brautigan issue of Torpedo, along with Torpedo editor Chris Flynn, contributors Caren Beilin and Jon Bauer, and Ianthe Brautigan herself.
I got to read out “Timid Work Friendship”, which is the poem I had published in the issue, and I got to answer a few questions about my interest in both Torpedo and Mr. Brautigan, too. There’s also a great reading by Jon Bauer, who read an excerpt from his story, “The Coward”, one of my favourite stories in the issue.
You can listen to the feature below, or head on over to the Radio National website to read a transcript or download an mp3 of the whole shebang. And while you’re there, might I recomend subscribing to The Book Show’s podcast? Nothing nicer than wordy literary stuff fresh daily for aural consumption at your discretion.
Listening back to myself talking about why I’d described being published in this issue of Torpedo as such a big honour, I realised that the answer I’d given wasn’t quite accurate. I sort of answered the question off the top of my head, but now that I’ve had time to think about it I think I know the real reason I was so pleased to be part of this project.
I mean, yeah, having the daughter of a writer you admire select your poem for publication in a book about her dad is pretty cool, but I think the real reason I felt honoured was because of Ianthe’s preface to the journal in which she wrote about coming to terms with her father’s death by letting his writing out into the world again after years of hiding it away in an attempt to preserve and protect it and him.
That’s a pretty big thing to come to terms with, and an extremely personal thing as well. My dad died a few years back so the whole process of grieving and moving on is something I’ve been very interested in of late, and to have been allowed to be even a small part of that healing for someone else is something pretty special.