writing

Whoops.

Dear follower of The Other Adam Ford.

It’s come to my attention that this afternoon you may have received 118 emails from WordPress about updates to my blog.

I am so sorry. I was messing with my blog archive and switching a bunch of posts from private to public, which posts had previously been public. I had no idea that every one of those pre-exisiting posts would be re-sent to people who were following this blog.

I would like to apologise to you all by offering you your choice of one of my ebooks for free. If you would like a free copy of either Not Quite the Man for the Job or Man Bites Dog, please email me at adamatsya@gmail.com and I will send you a link and a code you can use to download the book.

Once again, apologies and thanks for your interest in my writing.

writing

#IStandWithTheArts

In response to recent developments relating to arts funding in this country, back in June 2016 I decided to temporarily take my entire website down in protest.

The current Australian Government seems to have little or no interest in meaningfully or realistically supporting or sustaining the arts in Australia. While they continue to subsidise mining and fossil fuels, they refuse to understand or acknowledge the importance of arts funding or even the arts themselves. All they seem interested in is making cuts to arts funding budgets.

Art won’t disappear from Australia if the declining trajectory of arts funding continues, but it will become a smaller, less diverse, less widely available aspect of our national culture.

None of the writing on this website would have been possible without the support of the Australian government, both direct and indirect. It is because this country has a history of financially supporting culture and the arts that I was able to even contemplate devoting my time and energy to becoming a writer.

My first poem ever published appeared in a Federally sponsored youth poetry anthology. My first gig as an editor of creative writing was with a youth arts organisation funded by the Australia Council. Without these federally funded opportunities I would probably not have considered pursuing a career as a writer.

Market forces are not enough to sustain a diverse and inclusive artistic culture. Arts funding is crucial to the continued existence of the amazing arts scene that exists in this country. I urge everyone reading this to look closely at the arts funding policies put forward by each of the parties contesting the Federal Election on July 2, and to vote for the party dedicated to supporting and sustaining the vibrant and diverse Australian arts scene.

For more about arts funding in Australia and how you can support it, check out this info on Arts Almanac and please consider signing the petition on #istandwiththearts or this petition on change.org. Or both.

 

writing

And Lo! There Shall Come a Newsletter

I’m switching things around a bit and putting this blog to bed. Blogging has long ceased to be the central point of online communication. I hung in there and kept on blogging well past the point where it became clear that people were more comfortable aggregating themselves across the web instead of setting up a single home base as a central repository of all their online engagements, mainly because I still remember the transition from “home page” to “blog” as something exciting, but also maybe because I have so many fond memories of reading so many excellent blogs over the years.

But now it’s time to wind things up and try something different. As an old fart in internet years, I’ve been delighted by the recent rise in email newsletters. In some ways the way that newsletters work is the way that blogs used to. I don’t know if it’s the fact that newsletters are much more of a deliberate opt-in thing as opposed to the random short-term encounter thing that social media and listicle sites seem to be, which may incline those who DO opt in to read a little more intently and tolerate something not particularly written in a “what do I get out of this?” kind of way.

I’ve also felt that of late the focus of this blog has been quite scattered, and it’s not really realistic to expect my blog’s audience to be equally as rapt with my poetry and writerly life pontifications as my comics and action figure musings and my random whatevers.

So from today if you want to find out what I’m up to poetry-and-other-writing-but-probably-mainly-poetrywise, you’ll need to sign up for Adam’s Occasional Poetry News. You’ll get one email a month, much like this one here.

Those of you who hanker for yet another online dose of random pop culture commentary, general silliness and supposedly wry and insightful life observations can always follow me on twitter or instagram.

This website will stick around, featuring samples of my past writing and books, and any updates that might be necessitated by the hopeful future publication of even more books, fingers crossed.

Thanks to everyone who’s helped out with the blog to date by reading it, doing things that excited me enough to write about them, agreeing to be interviewed and leaving lovely comments. Hopefully I’ll see you in your inbox sometime soon.

crappin' on about the inconsequential, poetry, rejected, the writing process, writing

Published (almost, not really): Whitmore Press Manuscript Prize

A while ago I went away by myself for a weekend to work up a couple of poetry manuscripts for some prizes, one of which was the Whitmore Press Manuscript Prize.

I was pretty happy with what I walked away with after that weekend, and also pretty stoked to find out a couple weeks back that I’d been chosen as one of the 12 shortlisted poets for the prize. It was a nice affirmation and an indication that I might not be the only person who’s interested in poems featuring Robocop and Richard Nixon.

Sadly I didn’t make it as the final choice of the Whitmorians – that honour went to Carmen Leigh Keats. Congratulations to Carmen and best of luck with the making of her new book. Congrats also to my fellow shortlistees – it was nice to note that there were no massive heavy-hitting names on the list this year (at least none I recognised) after last year’s co-awarding of the prize to Jill Jones and Tracey Ryan.

Anyway, nice to be shortlisted. Now I just need to try to convince someone to actually publish these poems.

And, is it just me and have I just noticed, or is the Whitmore Press logo meant to look like the colon-P emoticon guy? :P

writing

Poem Monday Update

So Poem Monday is ticking along nicely, with Oonagh, Essie and I managing most weeks to write something for the blog. In the last month or so we’ve written poems about:

  • Lego witches we didn’t want
  • Chocolate bars
  • Sushi
  • Weedy seadragons
  • Ducks
  • Bears

Our latest poem was an exquisite corpse collaboration between Oonagh and I that I guess is about a dog?

Anyway. Poem Monday. Updated most weeks. Check it out one time why don’t you.

i would like to recommend these people's writing, lines I wish I'd written, new poems, poems, poetry, writing

Our New Blog: Poem Monday

For the last few Mondays Oonagh and I have been writing poems together. We pick a topic and then write one poem each, reading them out to the family when we’re done.

Our first poems were about blue hamburger fish.

You can check them out over at our Poem Monday blog, and stay tuned for more poems every Monday from now on.

writing

250 Followers! (and update on 200 followers too)

Aramis Fox

Aramis Foxgot a little more popular recently with the addition of our 250th follower, which is nice. As per the rules established around the time of follower 200, Zoe Dattner, who was the one who got the counter ticking one past 249, has been included in Aramis Fox.

Zoe appears as a colleague of Aramis’s who has a particular interest in superhero costumes. The two strike up a chat at a work do along those lines, giving Aramis more to think about in terms of his “work wear”, so to speak. The full conversation has already appeared on the twitter feed, and will be ensconced here in the archives shortly.

Heath Graham, our 200th follower, has also made his appearance in the story since he became follower 199 + 1, appearing as The Mystery Squid, a blogger-superhero looking for another powered person to team up with. Will that person be…

View original post 132 more words

writing

Links for Sunday: Academic publishing scams, pink cubes, Borges on Poetry & 💩

Hello. Has it really been a week? I guess it has! So here’s some links with which to fritter away the last hours of your weekend (that is, if you’re on the progressive side of the dateline – the rest of you have ages yet).

Get Me Off Your Fucking Mailing List
If there’s a way to fill a legitimate communication form with deceptive bullshit, you can bet the internet will find it. Here’s the story of one scientist who submitted a paper that consisted entirely of the phrase “get me off your fucking mailing list” (yes, even the graphs and figures) and still the content farm that was trying to scam him published the whole damn thing.

Cute Cube
Readers, I’d like you to meet the cutest pixellated pink cube on the interwebs. Cube, these are my readers. I’m sure you two will have a lot to talk about.

An Oral History of the Poop Emoji
I’m a bit get-off-my-lawn when it comes to emoji, but this article on the 💩 icon is a great example of how language is history and history is culture.

Borges’s Lectures on Poetry
via the always reliable Open Culture, 8 lectures on poetry (scroll down to “The Craft of Verse”) by Jorge Luis Borges (in English), for you to download and listen to whenever you want. I haven’t started listening myself, but the titles alone are exciting: “Thought and Poetry” (eeeee!); “The Poet’s Creed” (ooooohhhh….); “The Telling of the Tale” (huzzah!!) – do I gush? I guess I do!

 

writing

Nanoreview: Lorrie Moore – Self-Help

LorrieMoore

When you were six you thought “mistress” meant to put your shoes on the wrong feet. Now you are older and know it can mean many things, but essentially it means to put your shoes on the wrong feet.

I always forget how god damn dark Lorrie Moore is, tending instead to think of her a humourist. The theme that runs through this short story collection is relationships that are broken or about to break. Moore’s characters are self-aware enough to know what they’re doing isn’t helping, but not confident enough to change. A woman is confounded by the realisation she’s become someone’s mistress. A woman chooses euthanasia over chemotherapy and throws a party to tell her friends at which she thinks she sees her husband making plans to date someone after she’s gone. A woman steals from her work to compensate for her anxiety about her young son’s happiness and her husband’s former (possibly ongoing) infidelities. It occurs to me that Moore’s humour is what I remember because it’s less discomforting than her depiction of her characters’ flaws and failings, and their paralysis in the face of oncoming tragedy, which is as sharp as her sense of humour (but jeez!). That said, she is funny, and smart, and a dab hand at a pun, too.

Recommended.

Compare second-hand prices for Self Help here.

writing

Velocipede

[Being an excerpt from the poetry collection Not Quite the Man for the Job, on sale at Tomely for only 99c until 23 June 2014]

Some say it’s unnecessary,
even extravagant.
But to properly experience
every nuance of bike riding,
you need all fifteen gears.

First Gear
(Hill-eater)

Along the Merri Creek
there’s a hill I swear
was created
with first gear in mind.
Only those strong of thigh
and heart
can make it to the top
without dismounting.

Second Gear

almost nothing
a feather on the pedals

Third Gear

I watch the cross-light
shift from amber to red.
My leg muscles tense.
I shift my grip,
release the brakes
and go.

Fourth Gear
(Wind-fighter)

Ten knots if it’s a breeze,
it bites my ears and pulls my hair.
I squint through watery eyes,
ignore the cold and pedal on.

Fifth Gear

a slight drop
for slowing as you
move through the
roundabout

Sixth Gear
(cruising speed)

dodging potholes
and car doors
gone before their
apologies reach my ears

Seventh Gear

Regular oiling of the chain
will allow a smoother, quieter ride,
while ensuring that its fit
to the cogs is as close as possible.

Eighth Gear

Friday morning after bin night,
the sloppy garbage-men
have turned the footpath
into a slalom course.

Ninth Gear

Angle of ascent equals thirty-eight degrees.
Gravitational force equals nine point eight
metres per second per second.
Given that force equals mass by acceleration,
calculate the maximum velocity possible
for a rider weighing seventy-five kilograms.

Tenth Gear

Split the puddle
Neatly in half
Then curse the
Lack of mudguards

Eleventh Gear
(tram racing)

I play chasey with the number 86
all the way along High Street.
It passes me then I pass it
as passengers blankly stare
out of dusty windows.

Twelfth Gear

the only sounds are
my breath and the wind

Thirteenth Gear

The wind behind me
A downward slope
Thirteenth gear
All my weight
On the pedals

How close to escape velocity?

Fourteenth Gear
(seven-league boots)

I straighten my leg and travel five blocks.
Once more and another five.
Ten times my legs have bent and unbent
and I’m on the other side of town.

Fifteenth Gear

Sometimes it’s fun
to choose the path
of most resistance.

***

Some say it’s unnecessary,
Even extravagant,
But every click,
Every tick,
Every ker-chunk of the derailer
means something.

In the art of bike riding,
nothing is wasted.

Read more poems from Not Quite the Man for the Job – buy it now on Tomely for the mere price of 99c!